Sunday, 24 January 2016

Our nation deserves better songs - Celtic Connections 3

Scotia Nova – Songs for a better nation ***  GRCH,  Strathclyde Suite
The problem with projects like this, is that you end up with a bunch of compositions, some of which won’t be as good as others.  That problem is magnified when you base it on such a crucial event as Scotland’s referendum, where strong opinions abound and the capacity for
And this is what has happened with Scotia Nova – a parallel musical project to the similarly-titled selection of poetry published last year  - some of the songs are very good, some are frankly, poor.
The diamonds are often those that address real issues – rather than vague appeals to abstract notions or continued harking back to the constitution. Brian McNeill – self proclaimed socialist – was probably the high point with his piece The War of the Crofter on the fight of the Assynt crofters to buy their own crofts. Scott Murray’s song about Edinburgh’s homeless – Duke Street to Jericho, taken straight from their own words, and Mari Campbell and Dan Francis’ O Man, Jock Tamson, a lament for the impoverished, also both shone out.
I’m afraid Charlie Milne’s Scotland’s Future didn’t really deal with our future in any real way, and Simon Kempston’s We must unite, for all its laudable aims, failed to grasp – well anything really.

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