January Rhythm & Blues: A Preview Of Celtic Connections 2017…

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“January…let us endure this evil month”, to paraphrase the French writer Colette. You may think this overly dramatic, but you know what she’s getting at. For me, a year doesn’t get going properly til Celtic Connections begins. A festival which never fails to deliver, and which continues to grow in terms of number of gigs, breadth of music, and international stature – deep, and wide and tall.

As always, we’d like to point you in the direction of lesser known gems which can be found at the festival alongside the headliners and more well-kent attendees, which this year include Laura Marling, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Fairport Convention, Mary Chapin Carpenter with Altan & Julie Fowlis, and Eliza Carthy. Some of the names below you may recognise from our regular music reviews, and they all are deserving of your attention. Each one promises an unforgettable night, and what more can you ask for in these early days of 2017?

You can peruse the full programme at your leisure at Celtic Connections, and receive all the up-to-date news by following on Twitter, and Facebook.  But before you rush away, here is the Scots Whay Hae! guide, (complete with links to further details), to what we’re calling ‘the best of the rest of the fest’.

Mark W. Georgsson – 19th Jan, Hug & Pint

Ette – 20th Jan, Broadcast

Louise Bichan (supporting Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys) – 21st Jan, Royal Concert Hall

Blue Rose Code (supporting Sarah Jarosz) – 22nd Jan, City Halls

Aberfeldy – 23rd Jan, Hug & Pint

Modern Studies – 26th Jan, The Glad Cafe

Starless – 27th Jan, The Mitchell Theatre

State Broadcasters – 28th Jan, The Hug & Pint

Wotjek The Bear – 31st Jan, Broadcast

Meursault – 3rd Feb, Hug & Pint

Anna Meredith – 4th Feb, CCA

Randolph’s Leap – 5th Feb, Broadcast

Hopefully there’s something there to inspire you to buy tickets and venture out on these cold nights. If you’re thinking of going to a few then it may be worthwhile joining the Celtic Rover scheme, which offers discounts .

But if you want one suggestion as to something not to miss at the year’s Celtic Connections – a gig where you would sell your granny for a ticket – then it must surely be the chance to see Martha Wainwright supported by the man who is Ed Harcourt at O2 ABC on 3rd February. Both are great live, but Harcourt, when he is at his best, is something very special indeed.

Maybe see you at the bar of at least one of the above. Cheers…

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