Alela Diane and Mick Flannery, Celtic Connections 2018 review by Pat Byrne
The Mackintosh Church at Queens Cross provided the perfect intimate setting for these talented, laid back performers. Celtic Connections fans were treated to Alela Diane’s first concert since the birth of her second daughter. It was also her first opportunity to play songs from her new album ‘Cusp’, due for release 9 February, 2018.
Playing on both piano and guitar, the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter drew on her experience of motherhood in the creation of her songs. The feeling that she was missing her family, whilst being excited about being back out performing, was conveyed in the emotion of her voice in a flawless performance.
‘First time to get back to it with these new songs – it’s been a long time.’
On some of her songs she was accompanied on piano and vocals by her friend Heather Brown and the two woman treated the audience to some beautiful harmonies.
It was a very relaxed and enjoyable gig and a beautiful performance that would prompt you to buy her music. We went along on the recommendation of my nephew Sean in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Alela Diane is his favourite singer. I’m apprehensive about telling him about the gig – he’s going to be very jealous.
Support was provided by the award winning singer-songwriter Mick Flannery from Blarney in Ireland. A talented lyricist he told the audience that he sang ‘miserable songs’, nonetheless they were very enjoyable. He also injected some humour with his anecdotes and had them laughing out loud with his quirky finale – ‘A Love Song to 2017’
‘Kim Kardashian is pregnant again, how come we ain’t Facebook friends’
An accomplished and entertaining performer, he told us something of his songwriting process – incorporating stories he’d heard as a child, including about his grandfather: – ‘I lit the small fire, I don’t know who lit the big one.’
(Photography by Jim Byrne)
Pat Byrne, January, 2018
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