101 Scottish Songs at St Andrew’s-in-the Square

101 Scottish Songs at St Andrew’s-in-the Square

Revival at Celtic Connections 2017: Review

101 Scottish Songs (The Wee Red Book) at St Andrew’s-in-the Square, Glasgow on Saturday 21 January 2017

Back in 1962, a book of over 100 traditional Scottish folk songs was put together by Norman Buchan and published by Harper Collins.

One of the most influential books of folk songs ever compiled, which provided a foundation repertoire to many a young singer in the 60s. These songs were a collection of the most significant and influential traditional Scottish folk songs in 1962 and many are still widely sung today.  This concert showcased many of these popular songs.

A gathering of some 18 singers from throughout Scotland came together to share their experiences of this book and sing a song from it.

The evening was organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) and MC’d wonderfully by Janet Weatherston.

The night reminded me of many a house party when each person would start a song and be joined by everyone else by the time you got to the chorus. With such an array of talent on show this was always going to be one of those memorable nights with the audience joining in with the chorus. I was not disappointed.

cc2017-adam-mcnaughton-101-songs-2The singers in order of appearance were Gillian Frame, Fraser Bruce, Fiona Campbell, Ian Young, Barbara Dymock, Ewan Robertson, Abby Smith, Adam McNaughton, Amy Lord, Brian Miller,  Tom Spiers, Maggie Maclean, Tracey Boyd, Ian Bruce, Eilidh Campbell, Jimmy Hutchison,  Janice Clarke and Janet Weatherston.

This was a truly wondrous night of good Scottish music sung passionately and predominantly without musical accompaniment.

The songs included The Lea Rig, Bleacher Lass of Kelvinhaugh, Maggie Lauder, Haughs O’ Cromdale, Will You Marry Me and Beggar Man.

One truly poignant moment was the legendary Adam McNaughton leading everyone in Yellow On The Broom. This man who immortalised The Jeelie Piece has lost none of his magic and the sell out audience loved every moment of is any everyone else’ singing.

Danny Matheson

Revival reports from Celtic Connections 2017

Revival reports from Celtic Connections 2017

Celtic Fusion on 100.8 Revival FM is covering Celtic Connections, Europe’s biggest winter music festival with 2,100 artists and 300 events at 20 venues across Glasgow city centre. 

Celtic Fusion airs on Tuesdays 8.00-10.00pm with a repeat on Saturdays 5.00-7.00pm and Catch Up anytime.  Presenter Bob McWilliam will be recording a selection of concerts for future broadcast on 100.8 Revival and programme contributor Danny Matheson is reviewing concerts and events during Celtic Connections 2017 which runs until Sunday, 5 February 2017.

Lindsay Lou and The Flatbellys + Blazin’ Fiddles + Mànran t Barrowlands, Gallowgate, Glasgow, Friday 20 January 2017.

A trio of tremendous acts wowed the 2,000 sell out audience at the iconic Barrowlands Ballroom as part of Celtic Connections Festival 2017. Rarely in it’s history has this venue had so much wonderful talent on the bill on the same evening.

First on stage were Michigan based band Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys bringing their bluegrass music to the east end of Glasgow. (The band are pictured getting ready for their set at the Barrowland).

lindsay-louThe majority of the audience were there to see the two Scottish bands that were to follow Lindsay Lou, however, they soon fell in love with the fantastic vocal range of Lindsay Lou ably accompanied by her husband Joshua Rilko, PJ George and Mark Lavengood. Their self penned songs including Ionia, Hot Hands and Old Song were very warmly received by the appreciative audience.

As already stated Lindsay Lou has a wonderful voice which is complemented perfectly with the accompanying instruments of mandolin, guitar, double bass, cajon and steel guitar.

The tempo of the music and the noise of the audience increased somewhat as Blazin’ Fiddles took to the stage and started their superlative set with The Lads Like Beer.

These incredibly talented musicians know how to get an audience going and they did that easing from one fast set to even faster ones.

Coupled with their superb musicianship and witty repertoire Blazin’ Fiddles are the complete package.  A March, Strathspey and Reel set including the tune The Cambridge Caravan Catastrophe just got faster and faster and it was a wonder that the fiddles didn’t burst into flames such was the speed of the bows crossing the strings.

With tunes dating back to the 18th century such as She’s Sweetest When She’s Naked to some brand new music, this performance really had everything. The current line up of Bruce MacGregor, Jenna Reid, Rua MacMillan, Kristen Harvey, Angus Lyon and Anna Massie are incredibly talented musicians in their own right but collectively they are exquisite.

A new album is in the making and should be due out in summer 2017. I’m already looking forward to it with great expectation.

If the noise rose when Blazin Fiddles took to the stage, the roof nearly came off and the spring loaded dance floor was tested to itsmanran-sound-check-barrowland capacity as Mànran took centre stage and drove the audience wild with delirium as they opened with Fiasco and Trod,  the two opening tracks of their brand new album.

This evening was the launch of their much anticipated album An Da La – The Two Days. How Ewen Henderson could play the bagpipes in the lively opening tune of Fiasco which would leave most pipers out of breath, he put his pipes down and immediately take lead vocals in Trod (another very lively song) beggars belief.

Not only is Ewen the piper for the band and the lead vocalist, he also plays the fiddle too. Whilst the majority of Manran’s songs are done in Gaelic it doesn’t matter a jot to their loyal following. I doubt if over half the sell out audience could speak Gaelic but it didn’t stop them thoroughly enjoying every song sung and every note played.

Focusing predominantly on tracks from the new album, including a solo song by the newest member of the band, Craig Irvine, Alone and Autobahn, the Mànran also played some of their old favourites. Having been in the periphery of other bands in their genre recently this new album and the performance tonight brings them right back to the forefront of the  Celtic rock scene.

Mànran (pictured at their soundcheck at the Barrowland) comprises of Ewen Henderson (Vocals/Fiddle/Pipes), Gary Innes (Accordion), Ryan Murphy (Uilleann Pipes/Flute), Ross Saunders (Bass), Craig Irving (Guitar/Vocals), and Mark Scobbie (Drums) this band are definitely a force to reckon with.

This was a very entertaining evening with three very different bands. If you get the chance to see any of them, I would recommend doing so. Irrespective of age or gender you will thoroughly enjoy them.

Danny Matheson