Celtic Connections

Celtic Connections

Well I had a fantastic time at Celtic Connections. There was some great trad music, the craic was fantastic and the drink was flowing, so no complaints here. What did everyone else think of it. Best concerts etc. I heard a group of young musicians playing in the fest club in the early hours of the morning, one was a girl defo from Manchester tell by the accent and I think the others were Irish and from Glasgow. Brilliant box player playing with Tim Edey too was a young fella from London.
John

Re: Celtic Connections

Hi there - I was at the festival club every night for the last ten days and had a blast. The highlight of my festival was the painist/fiddler Troy MacGillivray from Nova Scotia. He blew me away. And I was lucky enought to get to know him and spend some time playing tunes with him in one of the wee bars. That memory will stay with me for a long time.

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Yes. It was a great festival and lots of good sessions, as you say. My favourite band wasn’t Irish but Ale Moller’s World Heritage Orchestra. It was the best gig of the festival, I thought, and sadly it was poorly attended. Still, they might do it again next year.

John

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I saw quite a few concerts, Lunasa as usual excellent, Danu and Flook in Arches smashing! Beneche and Malinky really really good, Dick Gaughans with Scottish Opera Orchestra really lovely, i didnt know, what I’m going to see and it really stroked my soul 🙂 but probably the best of all was Monday’s concert of Dubliners. I’m not scottish, I’m from Prague and Dubliners together with The Chieftans are know in my country as a huge legend. So i decided to go to see them (when will I have a chance next time). I knew roughly, what they sing, staff which I like, but I was a little bit sceptical, when I saw three guitars, banjo and fiddle in a hands of a bit older old white-haired gentlemen. But I must say what they showed on the stage was a storm! Such a passion temperament and spark you couldnt see very often in whole Celtic Connection. The atmosphere was electrifying and the audience almost broke all Concert Hall down with their applause, stamping feet and whistling. And I’m not surprised, I’m 27 and I’m in love with them too 🙂 Really brilliant! On other hand must say, I didnt like Unusual Suspect very much. Is something wrong with me? After concert was everybody in the coridor enthusiasticly talking about how great it was and I was thinking about, what did I miss. The unusual combination of celtic music and jazz (was it jazz?) was little eccentric but after while I got use to it but what I really didnt like, were four brass instruments, which just didnt much with the rest of the band. The sound was unpleasantly cutting your ears. I feel sorry for that. But what I really enjoyed was watching of all fiddle players. With what a pleasure and fun they were playing! Jiging on their chairs, smiling, talking to each other! I think it was the best part of all concert. (I hope I wasnt to sharp)
Celtic Connection was great, pity it finished, but dont worry "The festival is dead, long life to festival 2005!

luska

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Interested to hear your comments on Unusual Suspects - as I bought tickets yesterday to see them in Basingstoke next week!!
I must admit that it’s the brass line up that has put me off booking until now but I decided I must be open minded and not prejudge!!

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Don’t be put off, Tarantella. It was a great concert and one of the better ones during the festival. I didn’t find the brass section a problem and it included some fine musicians. However, it’s all a matter of taste. The fiddles were great too. Look out for Karine Polwart and Emily Smith on vocals. They’re two of the finest singers going around Scotland, these days. Also, Nuala Kennedy from Dundalk on flute, a wonderful player who features very prominently.


John

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BAGAD Quimper were outstanding I thought.First time Ive seen McGoldrick with the full band-great too(if you like the fused album).Heard a three piece called Fine Friday that I found to be very interesting

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MrBloop, you’ll have seen Nuala then? She’s the great flute player in Fine Friday?

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Yes-I saw them at the Tron and then later that night at the Festival Club.I attempted to buy a CD but Im not quite sure what happened.I think that drink may have been involved.

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Don’t worry about the Unusual Suspects - they were fab - and the horn section were one of the best things about it. I couldn’t stop smiling! Loads of really well known tunes, played a bit differently, with lots of energy. Just try and get a front row seat so you can laugh at all the trad musos who don’t read a note of music. That was the only thing that seemed a bit odd to me. All these guys just looked wrong sitting behind music stands. But on the tour only the front row of fiddles will be going, so don’t get your hopes up if you like some of the ones in the back row - like John McCusker.

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Hiya, not been in for a while but enjoyed your comments on the festival. I had a blast too, and as to the unusual suspects, they sound great! Emily Smith Has an amazing voice and looks stunning (did you see the review in the sunday herald?) But then i’m quite biased 🙂

Had a great ses with tim edey and the box player from london (can’t remember his name, damien or something) on a wednesday night whilst consuming much wine (everyone seems to drink a lot at this festival….) and it was great fun. Tim’s a fantastic guitarist, how on earth does he play those triplets?…

Once again, go and see the unusual suspects on tour, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Aiden O’Rourke and Chris Stout are two of the best fiddlers in scotland so don’t be put off if John and the others are not there!

Jamiedj

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I feel like a bitch now! Tarrantella, please go and see them. I really didnt want to put you out of desire to go to see them. And I agree, the band is full of amazing musicians, who I was meeting through all festival in another bands on another concerts and everytime they were smashing. I just didnt like the brasses. From my point of view they were spoiling the effect. But how I can see, something had to be wrong with me, because everybody else liked it. So please, go and see!

luska

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Interested to read Luska’s comments re The Dubs….OK not smart three guitars and Wild Rovers but taking their version of ITM (some of it very good too!) all over the world has performed some service for the tradition even though inestimable. It may be trite to ask ‘where would ITM be had it not been for them?’ but the fact is they existed and were a significant influence in popularising Irishness making it a little easier for the diaspora to acknowledge their antecedents and their music. There are plenty of musicians, bands etc who, while talented, exciting and innovative, will never aspire to an identity so unmistakably Irish with all its humour, pathos and passion. It was wonderful to see the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow honour the Dubs for a lifetime’s work and rather than subtracting something from the efforts of the many youngsters who participated in the series of concerts, this show should be seen as a fitting finale to a powerful celtic experience that transcends mere music and dance.

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We’ve got front row seats, Fi. I like to watch the fiddle players and my partner, who is the sound engineer for our band, likes to be near enough to read the makes and numbers on the equipment - and usually wanders over to look at the desk in the interval of concerts!! Each to his own!!

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well make sure you check out bruce macgregor. he will be sitting second from the right. poor thing doesn’t read a note of music but is one of the most brilliant musicians i know and his solos are awesome. chris stout does a fair amount of foot stomping which is also quite funny. you will have a great time.

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Saw Bruce at Fiddles at Witney last weekend. His workshop was taught by ear, not surprisingly!!

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I was lucky enough to be sent to Glasgow with work and caught a few days of the festival. managed to see L

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Emma Sweeney, Conan?

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Actually you might be right Bowhand! As usual alcohol has had a detrimental effect on my already feeble powers of recollection.
Cheers!

Con

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I seem to remeber Bruce referring to music at Witney last weekend.
And unusual suspects is great, but then I’m a big fan of Bachue and it’s like a big Bachue orchestra.

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Yeah, i live in Glasgow and was fortunate to be in the festival club almost every night for the three weeks! The best sessions ever i’ve heard at the festival in all the 11 years i’ve attended were by Damien Mullane, Tim Edey, the girls from Manchester were Emma Sweeney (fiddle/whistle) Samantha Morris (concertina/flute) and the amazin musicians from Glasgow, Katie Boyle (fiddle), Mairead McManus (flute) and the Hunter family! The tunes were amazin whenever they were about!! Thankyou!!!