Added on Monday 25 Jan 2010
West End Volume 22
There I was on a Saturday night in the Recital Rooms in Glasgow doing a review of a Celtic Connections gig and all I could think of was Guinness. Catriona McKay was doing her thing with the Scottish harp and she was driving me to drink. She wouldn't be the first woman to drive me to drink, of course, but there was something about that harp that just made me want alcohol.
Even though I'm not a fan of things traditional, Ms McKay proved to be a fine ambassador - is there a feminine form for ambassador? - for such things and with Olov Johansson on the nyckelharpa, the time passed in a pleasing manner. Even more pleasing were the facts that the venue was busy and that the audience was both appreciative and attentive.
The previous night, Angelique Kidjo had set about getting the entire Glasgow audience at the Old Fruitmarket moving with the dedication of a true performer. She even did a Vegas style walkabout amongst the masses to make sure that everyone was feeling the beat. The last person I saw do that in dear old Glasgow was Nancy Sinatra and, given the positive reaction, perhaps more bands should try such an approach?
Anyway, as I strolled home after soaking up the culture, I pondered upon some of the important things of life: barmaids, chicken pakora, blonde lawyers and Guinness. How should a man prioritise such things? Then the harp appeared once more to me. Let's start with the Guinness and the rest will just fall into place. Maybe.