Heaven and Hell

Added on Wednesday 20 Jan 2010

West End Volume 21

Photo: nell bryden. It's that Celtic Connections time of the year in Glasgow. The time of the year when I pull rank and go into hiding and leave the reviews to others. Why do I hide? Simple, I am allergic to fiddles. I have a recurring nightmare that when I end up in hell - which I surely will at current course and speed - I will be serenaded by the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra playing an unending selection of traditional favourites. All good horn sections go to heaven because God loves James Brown.

I did manage to do a review of one Celtic Connections gig as I was certain that fiddles would not be making an appearance. Duly, I went and climbed all the way to the top of the Classic Grand to see Nell Bryden. I even took up smoking half way up the stairs so that I would have an explanation for being out of breath at the top (memo to brain - the snow is gone and it is time to get back into training). The delightful Ms Bryden had an adoring audience but would surely have charmed anyone who was not a believer anyway. Worth every penny as they say, with the added attraction of a rather attractive blonde in the audience right in front of me who was - I think this is the correct term - shaking her thang. Look at the stage or look at the audience - a man just couldn't lose. It's tough being this shallow.

Talking of female singers, another one came to my attention recently called Nuala Dalton. She is originally from Ireland but has ended up in Newcastle. So much for the luck of the Irish then...Anyway, her new album "Breaking The Spell" has been keeping the CD player busy for the last week. It is quite difficult to categorise Ms Dalton. She sounds like a hybrid of Buffy St Marie and my favourite post punk princess Lonelady and her songs have a maturity that curiously complements the rather awkward poetry in their construction. Not quite mainstream then but certainly not obscure either.

That's enough words for now. There's a cat trying to stare me out. I don't like cats. I guarantee Hell is overrun with cats.

Nell Bryden - www.nellbryden.com

Nuala Dalton - www.myspace.com/nualadalton

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