A blog from Chris Bartter, trade union writer and communications expert in Scotland,
This blog is a small contribution in opposition to the right-wing consensus in the media, and will. hopefully, campaign for working people and public services.
Any comments on this blog to firstname.lastname@example.org please.
Saturday, 10 January 2015
Celtic Connections - bringing the world together.
My preview of this year's Celtic Connections festival is printed in today's Morning Star, here. They have made some (entirely legitimate) editorial changes to my original article - mainly reordering the concerts thematically rather than by date. However, I thought I'd put my original up here - not because I think it is better written (it isn't), but because in the editing the date of Arthur Johnstone's concert has been lost (it is on the 31 Jan), and more importantly, the point that I was making about the significance of the Horizon's project in bringing together music from the nations of the British Isles, has been somewhat obscured. Here is the original.
In 2015's programme,
Celtic Connections Donald Shaw suggests that for some parts of the world,
'music is the best hope of bringing people together', and acts from Van Morrison to the Congo's Konono No 1 show the festival's
success in that.
While he probably
doesn't mean to include the UK, there is at least one event that seeks to do
that. Horizons (16 Jan) is an
intriguing partnership promoting music from the British Isles' constituent
nations. The concert features Karine
Polwart (Scotland), Kate Rusby
(England), Damien O'Kane (NI), the
Republic's Declan O'Rourke, and
Welsh balladeer Al Lewis (playing
with Alva Leigh).
Sam Sweeney's Fiddle (16 & 17 January) is a multi-media
performance about a fiddle bought by Sam
Sweeney, whose maker turned out to have died in the First World War. The
performance will also feature Sweeney's Bellowhead band mates, Paul Sartin, Rob Habron, and storyteller Hugh
One of the Festival's
international acts are Canzionere
Grecanico Salentino (23 Jan). A band from the 'heel' of Italy, they blend
music, song and dance to deliver the unique cultural tradition of the region's
A major feature must be
the concert of Ewan MacColl's music
(Blood and Roses 25 Jan). Curated by
his sons Calum and Neil, the concert includes performances by Kate St John, Dick Gaughan, Martin and
Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart.
Craig Armstrong is a local Shettleston boy who now writes
music for Baz Luhrman's films, winning many awards. He's worked with U2,
Madonna, Texas, Tina Turner et al and he's still based in Glasgow. Here he
plays latest album It's Nearly Tomorrow,
with the Scottish Opera orchestra and guests (27 Jan).
Political singer, Arthur Johnstone invites guests from his
original band, the Laggan, the Stars Band, Tommy Sands, actor David Hayman and
many others, to celebrate his enduring contribution to working people's
struggles (31 Jan). Arthur deserves the widest recognition and the concert's
sell out testifies to his enduring popularity.
Also sold out is Frances Black and Kieran Goss's return
to their 1992 partnership (27 Jan) although a second night has been added (26
Jan). 2015 may be shaping up to be another success story. Listings and tickets