Twentieth Celebration Concert - Celtic Connections 2013

Added on Sunday 20 Jan 2013

Photo: finlay macdonald chris stout. A stellar cast of Scottish folk artists took to the stage of Glasgow Royal Concert Hall stage for Celtic Connections Twentieth Celebration Concert. Some performers had taken part in the first ever Celtic Connections in 1994, including the talented singer Sheena Wellington and the New Rope String Band.

The concert was led by two accomplished musicians - piper Finlay MacDonald and fiddle player Chris Stout. Alongside Scottish pipers were some of the best from the present Scottish folk scene - including Eddi Reader, Michael McGoldrick, Phil Cunningham, John McCusker and Capercaille also Irish singer Cara Dillon and American folk band, Flook.

We were treated to the traditional Burns song Westlin Winds beautifully interpreted by Rod Paterson. Next was the singer Julie Fowlis, who sang two Gaelic songs ? perfect with her lovely flowing voice.

The folk band Flook, who had flown in from America for the event, were joined by Cara Dillon and her husband Sam Lakeman. They make a perfect musical partnership. Cara's voice is quiet and gentle but very expressive and moving and is never overdone. Sam accompanies her with his excellent piano and guitar. Cara sang Avalanche and Parting Glass, with Sam on piano.

The New Rope String Band provided a lighter set with some fun comedy routines ? sending notes flying in the air, while beating themselves over the head! Folk singer Archie Fisher followed with Song For A Friend.

Photo: julie fowlis. Capercaille (Donald Shaw and Karen Matheson) finished the first half with a rousing set of Scottish tunes (Alasdair Mhic, The Tree) - backed by the Scottish Power Pipers.

In the second half we were treated to more fine playing from the pipers and fiddlers and Eddi Reader, the much loved Scottish singer, sang Willie Stewart and Mountainside.

Accordionist Phil Cunningham was well received when he performed one of his own compositions with fiddle player, John McCusker. Also popular was Sheena Wellington, who sang a very personal version of Burn's best loved song My Love is Like a Red Red Rose.

Finlay MacDonald and Chris Stout were joined by a unique festival string ensemble for the second half of the concert and the Scottish Power Pipers, led by Greg Lawson, created a huge wall of sound. Then all the performers took to the stage to perform Hermless.

The finale was what Donald Shaw, Festival Director, enjoys best - a traditional folk session of reels and jigs with all the folk musicians on stage and building to a full on flourish of energetic playing. Enough to warm the coldest of hearts at this very cold time of year!

This was a proud-to-be-Scottish night and an enriching concert to start the festival with - giving a true taste of what the festival has to offer.