2011’s Celtic Connections programme is now available for perusal at Celtic Connections and it seems to get bigger, better and wider in scope every year. Over the years it has moved from being a fairly niche folk festival to the all inclusive world music behemoth it is today. This is generally a good, if expensive, thing. After Edinburgh, it’s become the festival where I spend the most money, but it’s good to have the choice rather than no choice at all.
Next year’s confirmed acts include Craig Armstrong, The Burns Unit, BMX Bandits, Crooked Still, Ani Di Franco, Future Pilot AKA, Thea Gilmore, Grant Lee Buffalo, James Grant (with and without a reformed Love and Money), John Grant (whose Queen of Denmark is album of the year), Gemma Hayes, Boo Hewerdine, Jah Wobble, Laura Cantrell, Shane MacGowan, Mundy, The Pastels, Monica Queen, Richard Thompson, Alasdair Roberts, Kate Rusby, Mavis Staples, Trembling Bells, James Yorkston and the mighty Waterboys. These are only my recommendations, or at least the ones I’ll go and see if that Nigerian prince’s cheque clears. There are many other acts appearing, catering for most tastes.
I’ll look at the festival in greater detail nearer the time, and I’m sure names will be added before kick-off, but there are certain gigs which are sure to sell out quickly so I recommend getting in early. To whet appetites, and for my own enjoyment, here are a small selection of videos from some of those who promise to be among the festivals best: