My work as a photographic artist has included the Edinburgh Festival, Scottish Ballet, Celtic Connections, Manchester Jazz Festival (MJF) and many concerts such as Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Snow Patrol. In particular I try to mix the old with the new and capture moods such as quiet moments of inner reflection. One of my main interests is taking images of new artists – several of those I’ve photographed are now signed to major labels.
Five years ago when I took up my first Canon camera, I was able to combine my long held passions for both art and music by pursuing music photography. I had taken some images with a small digital camera at a live gig at the Metro London and I realised that the art of photography was about having a ‘good eye.’ After I received excellent feedback for my photos I worked on developing my craft and skills.
An electrifying and enriching concert to warm those cold winter blues! The Transatlantic Sessions concert is Celtic Connections grand finale every year. As the lights flickered on stage we were treated to a concert of welcome variety – of energetic Scottish jigs and reels, flamboyant country airs, foot-stomping thrills and fine musicianship.
The Ttransatlantic Sessions’ band was led by musical director, host and expert dobro player Jerry Douglas and the gifted, unassuming fiddler Aly Bain. Aly always makes it look so easy and as usual he was flanked by composer and long-time partner, Phil Cunningham.
Michael McGoldrick, the ever popular Uillean pipes, whistle and flute player was on the left of the stage with fiddler, John McCusker, and festival director Donald Shaw on piano. While on the right of the stage there were American banjos – with Jerry Douglas, Dirk Powell and guitarist Russ Barenburg, who also took up the pace and rhythm. It was a welcome coming together of those strands of music that travelled from these shores to the Smokey Mountains and the Great Plains. When American country meets Scottish roots and fiddle tunes it’s a delightful mix-up.
The stage was buzzing with Douglas was on grand form and the backing singers having a dance. The stage was set up as a casual back porch session with a sofa for the singers – all adding to the warm chemistry. And then there was those heart-warming melodic songs sung this year by Jim Lauderdale, Karan Casey, Dirk Powell, Tift Marritt, Eddi Reader and John Paul White.
Tift Merritt, who’s from Carolina, sang in her powerful voice: ‘Heartache is an Uphill Climb’, ‘Easter Lights’, ‘Good Hearted Man’ and ‘Wait for Me’. Award-winning Americana and Bluegrass singer Jim Lauderdale showed loads of character with his accomplished ‘Headed for the Hills’, ‘Angel Band,’ I Lost You’ and ‘We’ve Only Got So Much Time’. Irish lass Karan Casey delighted the audience with the lovely lullaby ‘Lovely Annie’ and the anti-colonial song ‘The King’s Shilling.‘
Russ Barenburg performed his tune ‘Hymn’ – he knows when to hold back, keep it subtle but bring emotion too. While Dirk Powell, played old-time Appalachian style banjo with his ‘Motherless Child’, ‘High Score King’ and ‘Waterbound,’ where he spoke fondly of his grandfather’s inspirations. Irish guitarist John Doyle sang ‘The Bonny Light Horseman’ and Phil Cunningham played his moving tune ‘Irish Beauty.‘
From Alabama Grammy-winning John Paul White (The Civil Wars) mixed country and blues and impressed us with a dramatic soulful performance of his songs ‘Make You Cry’, ‘Crazy Arms’, ‘What’s So’ and ‘I’ve Been Over this Before.’
The ever popular, flame-haired Eddi Reader, sang songs to lift our spirits in these turbulent days, including, Burn’s song ‘Winter is Past’, Willie Nelson’s ‘Back to Earth’ and a rockin’ ‘Hummingbird.’
Douglas spoke of the musicians we have sadly lost this past year and all the singers performed a rousing tribute to country singer Guy Clark, described as the King of Texas Troubadours, with his ‘Desperados Waiting for the Train.‘
It was clear that not only were the band all good friends but had formed great musical partnerships – such as Jerry and Russ, Aly and Phil, Michael and John. Plus the engine room of the band Danny Thompson (double bass), James MacIntosh (drums) and John Doyle (rhythm guitar) – with their tight and right-on rhythms. Performing with such a high quality band certainly raised everyone’s game.
The Americans Tim O’Brien and fiddler Bruce Molsky haven’t managed along to Transatlantic Sessions recently, I hope there’s a chance they’ll return. This concert was all about what works, tradition, depth and high quality players. It would be good to see an accomplished woman musician joining the band sometime soon!.
Review and Photos Pauline Keightley – pkimage.co.uk/
An evening of song and stories with Rab Noakes.
Rab looked smart in a black and grey stripped suit. He kicked off the show with ‘Let The Show Begin’.
The Fruitmarket was full of Noakes’ dedicated, appreciative and respectful fans.. He introduced his band – Innes Watson (fiddle), Una MacGlone (double bass), Stuart Brown (drums), Una McImprov (guitar), Christine Hanson (cello), Lisbee Roo (Banjo), and Jill Jackson (vocals, guitar). I was impressed by these accomplished musicians.
Rab sang his trademark songs – ‘Together Forever’ (which was covered by the band Lindisfarne back in 1969), ‘Eden’s Flow’ and ‘Clear Day’ (a call and response song).
In ‘Gently Does It’ he expertly played the melody on guitar as he spoke of being inspired by the acclaimed folk singer Alex Campbell; a great performer with a gift for building up his set.
The ‘Twa Corbies’ was performed with Gaelic singer Kathleen Innes. A new stand out song was “a Scot’s song nod to Dylan and a Bob Dylan nod to Scot’s song”; entitled ‘Tramp and Immigrants’. It was a mash up of Dylan’s ‘Pity the Poor Immigrant’ and the Scottish song ‘Tramps and Hawkers’.
For his second set Rab started with ‘That Won’t Stop Me’ from his Treatment Tapes CD. This 70/50 show was a double celebration for Rab as he will be 70 this year and has now been performing for 50 years.
He sang songs of traveling, long gone folk with ‘Jackson Greyhound’, of the maturity of experience, lessons learned and hard fought for acceptance. He spoke of his travels in the deep American south – starting at New Orleans and on up to Alabama, with the civil rights on one hand and music on the other. He said it was important to let the song tell the tale when he sang ‘A Voice Over my Shoulder’.
He took part in the project ‘Scotland Sings – Hands up for Trad’, when he re-engaged with the Scots song tradition working with Kathleen Innes. He wrote his song about the treatment of asylum seekers being lined up for farm work with his ‘The Handwash Feein Mairket.’
He thanked his wife Steph for her help during his cancer treatment and, along with Kathleen, he sang an emotional ‘Just One Look’ and ‘I Always Will’. He also spoke of writing songs with her and sang ‘O Me O My (O Fly Away)’.
Rab always enjoys looking back and treated us to special songs of the past – he sang an emotional final song ‘Tennessee Waltz’ – which had the Fruitmarket audience on its feet.
Noakes is unassuming, genuine and a keen observer of life. It was clear he had put a great deal of consideration into the song choices for his concert. A memorable night.
Review and Photos Pauline Keightley – http://pkimage.co.uk/
This was a concert in three sets.
First we treated to the beautiful voice of Julie Fowlis. She sang several Gaelic songs and the Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’ – her set was far too short!
Next was the accomplished, fun, folk band Altan from Donegal, who played energising reels and jigs. Their lead singer and violinist Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh sang movingly in the Irish Gaelic.
The main event was the Grammy-winning country singer songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter who performed songs from her 2014 album ‘The Things That We Are Made Of’. This included the well-crafted song ‘Something Tame, Something Wild.’ She said she hoped her songs might offer some balance to the freak show happening in America – her comment drew a loud clap!
She spoke of walking near her home in the Blue Ridge mountains and of how she wrote the song ‘Oh Rosetta’ – inspired by the spirit of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, she celebrated the gospel singer and ‘godmother of rock n roll’. She explained how she enjoyed being inside a perfect song with her interpretation of Lucinda William’s ‘Passionate Kisses’.
We had simply MCC’s husky, honey-toned voice and guitar for a tender ‘This Shirt’. Then she took the tempo up several notches with some rocky, blues songs – ‘Shut Up and Kiss Me’, ‘I Feel Lucky’ and ‘I Took my Chances’ ; when she was backed by the full and luxurious musicality of her band of grand piano, electric guitar and drums. The words of her songs often reach out and reflect on life’s extremes. She is also a talented guitarist.
The theme of Celtic Connections this year was the celebration of women artists and tonight for a grand finale we had Julie Fowlis, Altan, and a surprise appearance by dubro player Jerry Douglas, for ‘He Thinks He’ll Keep Her’. This was certainly one of the treats of the festival!
Review and Photos by Pauline Keightley – http://pkimage.co.uk
King Creosote, aka Kenny Anderson, from Fife and his nine piece band brightened up the Old Fruitmarket stage on Friday, 27 January, 2017.
The top quality band, who were made up with sparkly space age gear, included harp, cello, bass, keys, drums, violin, pipes and guitars – with Lomond Campbell (Ziggy) on vocals, Peter Harvey (cello) and Andy Robertson (drums).
This set the mood for the lush, cinematic soundscapes of Anderson’s 2016 album, ‘Astronaut Meets Appleman’. The album explores challenges between tradition and the new technologies.
The gig included the catchy tunes ‘Love Life’ and other memorable song from his recent album – ‘Surface’, ‘Wake Up to This’ and the momentum of ‘You Just Want.’ Kenny mixes colourful, subtle sounds with his indie folk rock music.
The band appeared to really be enjoying the gig; at one point Anderson wandered the stage and had fun interacted with each of the other musicians. The music was hypnotic and immersive from the start and the packed Fruitmarket audience knew they were in for a good night!
English singer songwriter, Charlie Cunningham, was the support and played some dynamic guitar and songs.
In 2014, King Creosote composed songs for a award winning theatre show with archived black and white footage of Scotland, entitle ‘Scotland With Love’. He is also a Mercury prize nominated artist for his collaborative ‘Diamond Mine‘– an album recorded with Jon Hopkins.
He is is a one-man cottage industry based in the Fife fishing town of Anstruther, Kenny “King Creosote” Anderson has released more than 40 albums since the late Nineties.
Review and Photos Pauline Keightley – http://pkimage.co.uk
LIV ON in Concert Celtic Connections 2017
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 24 January – review by Pauline Keightley
A hopeful and life-embracing evening of song to lift the spirits. Australian, American and Canadian, singer songwriters Olivia Newton-John, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Amy Sky shared their personal journeys of grief in song from their collaborative LIV On: ‘A New Album to Aid & Comfort Those Experiencing Grief & Loss While Using the Power of Music To Heal’.
Although this was only their second gig playing together, the set was seamless with Nielsen Chapman leading the evening as musical director. She sang her well loved songs – ‘Sand and Water’, ‘You Don’t Know What To Say’, ‘This Kiss’ and ‘Christmas Song’.
Amy Sky played piano on several songs including the heartfelt ‘Forever Blue’. She also performed a dramatic ‘Phenomenal Woman’, with lyrics by Maya Angelou.
Olivia sang her best loved songs – ‘Love will See Us Through’, ‘Grace and Gratitude’, ‘I Will Always Love You’. She also performed the signature song for their new collaboration ‘LIV ON.’ We all remember Newton-John from the famous Grease movie; she looked well, had great rapport with the concert hall audience and she performed her songs perfrectly. However, the show was quite a contrast to the musical; Newton John expressed exactly the right mood and feel required by the moving concert.
The three women sang of love and strength with gentle, poignant harmonies containing the message of how love will see us through. They also opened up to the audience with their own personal stories of grief.
This concert was about the journey of grief we must all travel to release pain, but more than this, it was about the destination of acceptance. For their finale they clapped and smiled and sang the hit song ‘Happy’.
Phil Cunningham then joined them on stage and they sang a restoring ‘Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep’.
They were well supported by the talented fiddler John McCusker and his band – playing wondrous reels and slower tunes. He was joined on stage by the singers Heidi Talbot and Adam Holmes.
Review and Photos Pauline Keightley – pkimage.co.uk
Pauline Keightley - PKImage: Portrait and Music Photography and Review
Sunday 10 Feb 2013
Bellowhead, the ten-piece English contemporary folk band, gave an exhilirating performance at Glasgow's ABC 02. Between them the band play a number of instruments and include a four-piece brass section. They were great fun, talented and entertaining and presented an ideal opportunity for photographs.
I met another photographer there, who was shooting for the English Folk Dance and Song ( EFDS), an organization which was set up to promote English folk music. He was very familiar with the band and explained that Bellowhead started with the duo of Jon Boden and John Spiers. Speirs plays melodeon and concertina and Boden plays fiddle and guitar and also stamps the rhythm on a stomp box. The pair brought in the other musicians to form a full band ? filling a gap in the market for a top quality English folk band. Their line up includes - Benji Kirkpatrick, Rachael McShane, Paul Sartin, Pete Flood, Brendan Kelly, Justin Thurgur, Andy Mellon and Giles Lewin.
At the gig they sang vocal harmonies on traditional folk songs and also played an assortment of jigs and reels of traditional country dance tunes plus sea shanties. Their sound draws on a diversity of musical styles and influences from the old English tunes, such as Greensleeves and Can You Dance the Polka, to a sound similar to the popular 70s band, Steeleye Span.
The band are highly entertaining and Jon Boden is a naturally theatrical front man. On stage the band are both polished and energetic. The packed crowd of all ages were clearly up for a good night and they were in no way disappointed. I highly recommend the band to anyone looking for a fun night out and it was good to see a band making folk accessible for a younger audience.
Bellowhead richly deserve the accolades that have been heaped upon them ? five-times winners of 'Best Live Group' BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2005, 2007, 2008 & 2010 and BBC Radio Folk Award 2012 for their album Broadside, which made number sixteen in the UK official album charts and number one in the UK independent album charts. Their previous album Hedonism went silver (selling over 60,000 copies) and is the highest selling independently released folk album ever. The band developed a new ale to go along with their album release!
I did wonder why they weren't playing at the more atmospheric Old Fruitmarket with its olde worlde charm. It would have fitted their sound perfectly. Maybe next time.
Review by Pauline Keightley www.musicfootnotes.com
Friday 8 Feb 2013
American singer songwriter Aimee Mann performed at Celtic Connections 2013 at Glasgow's ABC 02. Known for her insightful songs and well received albums, including Charmer, her eighth studio album released in 2012.
In her honey-toned and expressive voice she performed songs from the album, including: Living The Lie, Soon Enough, Charmer, Disappear, Labrador and Slip and Roll.? She also sang Save Me, the song she wrote for the film Magnolia, which was nominated for a Golden Globe.?
In addition we were treated to some of her extensive back catalogue?and she performed: Wise Up, Fourth of July and I Should Have Known. Also in her set were a couple of covers, One, a Harry Neilson?s song, and for a bit of fun she sang a Thin Lizzy number for her encore.
Mann draws her audience in with ease with songs that are subtle and sincere and which seem to hold an undercurrent of uncertainty.
She was accompanied by a very tight band, and as she said herself, 'she rocked in melody in a soft rock kind of way'.
Amelia Curran and Ted Leo provided excellent support and she performed a couple of duos with Leo, who is an American punk rock/indie rock songwriter and multiinstrumentalist. He's played in the bands Citizens Arrest, Chisel, The Sin-Eaters, The Spinanes, and Ted Leo & the Pharmacists.? Amelia Curran is from Newfoundland and has followed her Juno award-winning Hunter album with Spectators.?
Aimee Mann is married to songwriter Michael Penn (brother of actors Sean Penn and Chris Penn).
Review by Pauline Keightley?
Review: All Will be Well Celtic Connections 2013: Saturday 2 Feb 2013
Cara Dillon with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Glasgow City Halls: Friday 25 Jan 2013
Twentieth Celebration Concert - Celtic Connections 2013: Sunday 20 Jan 2013
Review Emeli Sande Old Fruitmarket Glasgow 10th April 2012: Sunday 29 Apr 2012
M?nran at the Late Sessions Celtic Connections 2012: Tuesday 7 Feb 2012
Fred Morrison at Celtic Connections 2012: Sunday 5 Feb 2012
Madison Violet: Sunday 5 Feb 2012
bring it on home concert for gerry rafferty: Thursday 2 Feb 2012
Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011: Thursday 27 Oct 2011
The Raghu Dixit Project at OranMor: Sunday 14 Aug 2011
Stag and Dagger Festival: Monday 23 May 2011
Michael Marra at Mugdock: Wednesday 11 May 2011
The Low Anthem,: Saturday 23 Apr 2011
March, 2011: Tuesday 15 Mar 2011[ RSS .91 RSS 2 ]