Hopping

Yesterday, my friend (and former student at PTS) Katie Pate called my attention to Laura Veirs’s appearance last night at my neighbourhood night spot, the Òran Mór. I’d have gone to check it out, but I was still babying my convalescing cold. I did download a bunch of her songs, though (it’s still early in my eMusic cycle, so I have — errr, “had” — downloads to spare). I’m sure I missed a great (and affordable) show, but it isn’t the first time nor will it be the last. She was appearing as part of Celtic Connections, an annual January music festival in Glasgow, of which the inhabitants are evidently quite proud. The participants aren’t necessarily from Scotland or Ireland, not by far; I suppose the idea is to celebrate indigenous musics of the world, including Celtic culture in the foreground, but that’s just a guess. Maybe it’s just a matter of “book who we can, and call it ‘Celtic’ to draw the tourists.” Is there a “Rangers Round-up” music festival in the summer?
 
I have to say, though, that Scotland is a rocking place — especially considering the (small) population of the country. Signs all over Glasgow proclaim gigs by numerous bands of whom I’d never heard before; I assume they’re local groups, and I wish them all the best.
 
But then there are a myriad of bands of whom I had indeed heard before, some quite famous and others more neglected, but all from the land of Burns: Big Country, Franz Ferdinand, Belle and Sebastian, My Latest Novel, Camera Obscura, the Proclaimers (of course!), Simple Minds, Travis, Glasvegas, Trash Can Sinatras, Idlewild, Frightened Rabbit, Teenage Fanclub, the Eurythmics, the Fratellis, the Beta Band, the Scottish Enlightenment (but not, paradoxically, Sunny Day in Glasgow), and many more. (I’m putting my fingers in my ears and pretending that the Bay City Rollers didn’t exist, and only letting the Average White Band sneak in when I’m not looking.)
 
That’s a very impressive showing for a wee little state such as ours. I’d have a fantastic time at a (chronology-defying) festival featuring a line-up like that.

3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I enjoyed this entire post, but it was the pronoun “our” in the penultimate sentence that brought a smile to my face. God speed and good rocking, AKMA.

  2. Will check out Biffy Clyro, and will explore Idlewild further. Meanwhile, I forgot Prefab Sprout, whom Mark Elliott put me onto last fall.

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