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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