Every year at Celtic Connections the cream of new musical talent perform at the Danny Kyle Open Stage. A diverse panel of judges – from industry stalwarts to members of the general public – then have the unenviable task of picking just six winners from the numerous acts who took part.
The winners of this year’s Open Stage, which is supported by the Evening Times, will perform in the finale concert tonight (Sunday 1st February) at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, before being presented with their awards. Each of the six finalists will then get a support slot at Celtic Connections 2016.
Shelagh is a folk singer/songwriter from Greenock who sings a mix of traditional and modern folk songs including her own material. She sings locally and took part In Inverclyde’s folk & Roots Festival supporting the Gaberlunzie. Shelagh is currently working on a new CD of songs relating to the history of the people who came to live and work in Greenock in the late 1800 and 1900’s including some songs based on the poems written by Shelagh’s great –great grandfather
Based in Glasgow, Granny Green has all the ingredients to become one of the most exciting and diverse new ensembles in Scotland. The trio of friends, who met whilst studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, are some of the most versatile young musicians of this generation. With the core instrumentation of the group being Trumpet, Accordion and Tuba, this group has a brand new and quirky sound which naturally brings a contemporary feel to World folk music.
Formed in 2014, Talisk consist of Mohsen Amini on concertina, Hayley Keenan on fiddle and Craig Irving on guitar. They have extensively toured Europe and played at the likes of the Royal Albert Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Hebridean Celtic Festival and Speyfest. They plan to record their debut album in early 2015.
Pons Aelius are a Newcastle-based, contemporary instrumental folk sextet performing music largely taken from and influenced by the traditional repertoires of Britain and Ireland. Combining flute, whistles, mandolin, banjo, double bass, bodhrán, guitar, bouzouki, piano and the great highland bagpipes, this ensemble offers a refreshing, youthful and vibrant attitude towards repertoire, arrangement and performance. Since forming in mid 2014, the band has performed in many different venues around the North East of England
From Orkney. Graham was a student of Douglas Montgomery and Aidan is a self-taught guitarist and Scots singer. Both are first year students on the Scottish Music course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and both played as part of Orcadian band Broken Strings. Recently they have been performing with various acts at home in Orkney, including alongside the singer Jo Philby, but now have started gigging as a duo.
Deeply rooted in the tradition, Ireland’s FourWinds produce an exciting landscape of tunes and lyrics that present Irish traditional music in a modern and creative context. Their influences include Begley and Cooney, The Bothy Band, Planxty, Brady and Irvine, Moving Hearts, Pink Floyd and even Elvis. This energetic quartet delivers a truly
unique musical experience. The band has performed as FourWinds since 2013, individual members having all Ireland titles at Fleadh Cheoil, individual recordings and a debut EP in the box.