Review: Roaming Roots at Celtic Connections 2024
Photographs and Review by Pauline Keightley
Roaming Roots review at Celtic Connections 2024
What a wealth of talent!
The Roaming Roots Revue celebrated its ever popular, sold out show, with its 12th year as part of Celtic Connections. This year honouring the modern Scots song, interpreted and chosen by some of Scotland’s top talent. The concert was hosted by the excellent talent of Roddy Hart and his band the Lonesome Fire and backed by the RCS Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Logan, which created a rich and dynamic backdrop for the songs.
The show was an eclectic and diverse look at the development of the modern Scots songs, from well renowned Gerry Rafferty to more recent hits such a Frightened Rabbit. New talent Brownbear aka Matthew Hickman, sang Spin Another Web and Aztec Camera’s Somewhere in my Heart. Eddi Reader performed King Creoste’s Something to Believe In. 80s artists Frank Reader and John Douglas impressed with Al Stewart’s Year of the Cat.
A highlight was Justin Currie of Del Amitri – who sang Be My Downfall and Nothing Ever Happens, plus a dramatic The Fight to be Human. After which the crowd cheered along to Franz Ferdinand’s Take by Out, well performed by a dancing Hamish Hawk! The popular singer Simon Neil sang Biffy Clyro songs Space and Victory Over the Sun, plus Frightened Rabbit’s Keep Yourself Warm.
Emma Pollock performed Gerry Rafferty’s classic Night Owl. Roddy Woomble shone along with the RCS Symphony Orchestra – after a wobble to get Rod Jones guitar plugged in – with Idlewild songs You Held the World in Your Arms and American English. Eddi Reader drew proceedings to a close with In a Big Country, followed with the entire ensemble’s rousing The Whole of the Moon by the Waterboys. (An additional Roaming Roots Revue was performed on the Saturday at the famous Barrowlands venue.)
It would have been impossible to include every quality song of the recent decades in one concert – I might have enjoyed Deacon Blue’s Dignity or a Michael Marra song, but we were certainly very happy to hear the popular Proclaimer’s anthem Sunshine on Leith, ably performed by Admiral Fallow’s Sarah Hayes and Louis Abbott!
Scotland saw a resurgence of the Scots’ folk scene back in the 70s with folklorists and song collectors such as Margaret Bennett, Hamish Henderson and Dick Gaughan, plus the rock and pop successes over the 80s and 90s. Scots songwriters mix our ballad traditions and contemporary influences to great effect. We should be proud and happy to see the new generation take up the mantle.
Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil,
Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble and Rod Jones,
Del Amitri’s Justin Currie,
Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell,
Admiral Fallow’s Sarah Hayes and Louis Abbott,
Plus Emma Pollock, Hamish Hawk, Brownbear,
Review & Photos by Pauline Keightley – https://pkimage.co.uk
Brownbear aka Matthew Hickman
At the sold out Roaming Roots Revue on 21st January 2024, Celtic Connections – backed by the RSNO
Roddy Hart hosted Roaming Roots Revue
Glasgow Scotland. 21 January 2024. Roddy Hart, Scottish singer songwriter and broadcaster, performed and compared at Glasgow concert hall at Roaming Roots Revue, Celtic Connections 2024. Photo Pauline Keightley/ Alamy
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