Celtic Connections 2020 – Fionnuala Boyle
Celtic Connections 2020 kicks off on 16th January and runs until 2nd February, 2020, bringing with it some of the best new and established Celtic talent from around the world. Taking place in venues across the city such as Drygate Brewery and Old Fruitmarket, the festival will play host to an eclectic mix of Celtic music – each show promises a diverse and moving musical experience for music lovers. The festival will also be home to ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, and free events.
On 17th January, Edinburgh band Wrest will continue to prove themselves as one of Scotland’s most exciting new live acts. With the band’s sound, reminiscent of Admiral Fallow and similar Scottish bands of an indie persuasion, it is one to look out for as they take their music to the well-known Jazz club The Blue Arrow. Tickets and information.
On 18th January, Molly Linen will take to the stage at The Hug and Pint to play tracks from her Outside Ep released last year. Molly’s music is a new discovery for me but on first listen her soothing vocals paired with lyrics that gently explore her relation to the world around her, suggest that this will be a great gig to enjoy with a midweek pint. Tickets and information.
On 19th January, Lucy Rose plays Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with Rory Butler and Chartreuse. With a voice that evokes comparison with Regina Spektor but with a sound that is distinctly her own. It will be a delight to see how Lucy Rose’s music has developed since her debut album Like I Used To with better known tracks ‘Shiver’ and ‘Middle of the Bed’ was released in 2012. Her latest release, No Words Left, foregrounds Lucy Rose’s hauntingly beautiful vocals often only with one other instrument accompanying her. The album successfully captures the emotion that features heavily in all of the English singer/songwriter’s work. Tickets and information
Some emerging acts, which are sure to be popular include: Rambler (FKA Caitlin Buchanan) alongside Fenella and Luthia at The Blue Arrow on 23rd January, Glaswegian artist Cara Rose at CCA on the 24th and SHHE, who will perform with support, on 25th January at The Hug and Pint.
On 29th January, ‘Return to Y’Hup’: The World of Ivor Cutler comes to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to celebrate the legacy of Ivor Cutler with an array of brilliant Scottish artists including Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch and headed up by musicians such as Frightened Rabbit’s Andy Monaghan. I only recently discovered Ivor Cutler through Cillian Murphy’s BBC Radio 6 special on New Year’s Day. ‘Return to Y’Hup’ will be a fantastic display of Cutler’s iconic work and will provide great insight into a Scot who is perhaps lesser known than he should be. Tickets and information
Glaswegian folk rock band The Wakes will bring the festival to a near close on 1st February in King Tut’s. With powerful musings on social justice, the Spanish Civil War and the Easter Rising, with song ‘Erin Go Bragh’ off their most recent album Venceremos sampling 17th century Jacobite song ‘Óró sé do bheatha abhaile’ and Yeats quoted in their song ‘Rise’. It’s easy to envisage the stomping atmosphere and mighty sound that will be produced by the band in the world-famous venue. Buy tickets
Many exciting collaborations are featured in the festival programme including Beerjacket with Cairn String Quartet and Keeley Forsyth at CCA on the 31st and nights dedicated to new talent such as Hazy Recollections hosted by musician Michael Cassidy on the 19th and 26th.
Celtic Connections is a celebration of music where Celtic nations collect and the Celtic voice soars; sometimes sorrowful, often reflective, but always joyous and uninhibited. It is not to be missed.
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