Tonight at Celtic Connections there is a timely celebration of Marina Records, a label responsible for some of my favourite albums over the years. Theirs is an interesting story. An indie-label founded by Stefan Kassel and Frank Lähnemann in 1993 in Hamburg, Marina Records became the home of some of the classiest Scottish pop music around. If ever a label should be celebrated for their auspicious work in promoting Scottish music and supporting musicians it is Marina, and this is the opportunity to do just that.
The Mitchell Theatre gig is part of the label’s 25th birthday festivities – which included the bumper anniversary compilation Goosebumps – and sees the appearance of many Marina artists, including James Kirk, Malcolm Ross, Duglas T. Stewart, The Pearlfishers, Cowboy Mouth, The Secret Goldfish, Jazzateers, The Kingfishers, The Bathers, Sugartown, Colin Steele, The Magic Circles and Starless. That is undoubtedly musical bang for your buck. Continue reading
“January, sick and tired you’ve been hanging on me”, sang Edinburgh’s Pilot in 1975 and even if you’re not quite sure what it means, you get the gist. 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.
This year is the 25th anniversary, which is worth celebrating in itself, but which would mean little if the quality wasn’t maintained. Have no fear as Celtic Connections shows no signs of slowing down.
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 Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer, Kate Rusby, Shawn Colvin, Kathryn Williams, Beth Orton, Joe Henry and The Mavericks!
“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
If it’s January, it must be Celtic Connections, and it’s the perfect way to blow away the new year blues, often with the blues. Arguably the world’s greatest roots music festival, it continues to offer up a programme which is quite extraordinary in terms of its scope, and we should not take that for granted.
This year is no different, and you can peruse the full line-up at your leisure, but before you do here are some suggestions as to what to spend your hard-earned on.
The first ticket I bought this year was for The Bathers, who are playing two nights at The Mackintosh Church. The Bathers have made some of my favourite records, music that’s on my ‘save from a fire’ list. If you’re not aware of their work you should change that situation, and once you’ve fallen for the songs be assured that they are even better live. It’s rare for them to play these days, so this promises to be something special. Here they are playing at the peak of their powers with ‘The Belle Sisters’:
If it’s January it must be Celtic Connections, Glasgow’s roots music festival (15th Jan – 1st Feb) which has become the perfect way to kick out the new year blues, and which features some of the best music from around the world.
In the past it has been said, by me, actually, that the gigs are overpriced, but the price of most gigs these days seems to have caught up, and often surpass, those at Celtic Connections, and if you are canny with your choices, and include some of the showcases available, you can get a lot of music for your money.
Here are just a few suggestions as to what’s on, but you should check out the Celtic Connections website for a full listing. These are a personal selection, but there is something to suit most tastes. Continue reading