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Sunday 12 February 2017

Celtic Connections - The Verdict

That's Celtic Connections over for another year.
We attended three concerts this year all pretty good but none absolutely outstanding.

The first one Tom Russell at St Andrews in the Square was a bit of a revelation. I was expecting some Americana which we got. What I was not expecting was the showmanship and continual interaction with the audience. It was very entertaining but something I think I could only take in small doses. The songs when he got round to playing them were pretty good though.
We were late for Rachel Sermanni at the Mackintosh church as I got us lost including driving past the venue at least once. A lovely but draughty church with narrow pews which meant the entire row had to shuffle out if anyone needed the loo. Talking of loos I'm getting a bit old for unheated Portaloos in January.
Rachel Sermanni  seemed a bit nervous but put on a good show with a combination of acoustic solo numbers and songs from a pretty tight band.
Although the Tom Russell show was slightly better if I had to choose I would probably opt to  go and see Rachel again if that makes sense.
Heidi Talbot at the Mitchell Theatre was also very good taking advantage of Celtic Connection's generosity to front a seven piece band, a luxury I suspect she can't afford most nights.Her new stuff led us to purchasing Here We Go 1.2,3 which will no doubt feature here in the future.
I would probably give all three 7 or 8 out of 10.

None of the supports bands made much of an impression. Cera Impala was pleasant and an excellent banjo player but I felt her voice was a bit weak. We missed half of Jolie Holland and Samantha Parton's set which was perhaps just as well as Mrs CC particularly disliked them. I thought some of their versions of Be Good Tanyas songs were ok but didn't think much of their newer stuff.
John Smith was easily the pick of the bunch. An able singer songwriter who dealt admirably with a particularly enthusiastic heckler. I enjoyed his music in a live setting but don't know whether I would listen to his records all that often.

All in all a good year.

Tom Russell - He Wasn't a Bad Kid , When He Was Sober

Rachel Sermanni - Banks Are Broken


  1. Seems like a good time was had by all, though the freezing cold loos sound a bit unpleasant. I've enjoyed all the Rachel Sermanni tunes I've heard, including this one. Is it just me or does Tom Russell sound a bit like Stan Ridgway?

  2. Glad you enjoyed it all this year - We usually have friends that go down but not heard about their experience yet.

    As for loos, that's why I've not been able to get Mr WIAA to go to an "off-piste" concert/festival for ages - He likes his "comforts" nowadays.