Celtic Connections: Trad Trail Tours

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It’s our third year at Celtic Connections, and we’re very proud to run our Merchant City Trad Trail tours again. The tours have sold out for the last two years and we’re expecting to do so again in 2018. Places on the tours are limited, but there are still some tickets available here.

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The tour begins at the Scottish Music Centre on Candleriggs. A resource for both the public and professional musicians, the SMC is a treasure trove and home to a huge archive of Scottish music material.

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The good people at the SMC have kindly collated a mini-exhibition of Scottish music artefacts relating to Celtic Connections, and along with a welcome dram of Legacy from our kind sponsors, Tomatin, we will be telling the tales behind these objects before setting out on our tour.

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From Burns to the bards of the shipyards, unusual rider requests, skirls and skirmishes, the tour traces the story of Glasgow’s folk and roots scene, including legendary sessions in long-standing bars to today’s Celtic Connections headliners. Walking some of Glasgow’s oldest streets, our expert guides share tales of the songwriters and storytellers who have shaped the city’s vibrant folk culture.

The tours start with a dram of Tomatin and end somewhere cosy where you are welcome to buy another whisky or warm your hands around a cup of tea or coffee.

Tours start Fri 19 Jan and tickets are selling fast:

 

Concert for Stewart: Guest blog by Rab Noakes

On Friday November 24th Saint Luke’s will host a celebration of the legendary radio producer Stewart Cruickshank, who lived for music and for people. His work from Beat Patrol to the Iain Anderson show gave a start to countless musicians and enriched the lives of all music lovers in Scotland. He made things happen, brought people together, and always shared his knowledge and his wisdom unstintingly. One of the musicians appearing is Rab Noakes, who has written this lovely guest blog on his memories of working with Stewart. Big thanks to Rab for taking the time to do this.

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The concert is raising funds for Drake Music Scotland and tickets are available here We look forward to seeing you there! Over to Rab…

I knew Stewart a little in the early 1970s but got to know him better at the BBC in the 1980s. At that time he was working in the Gramophone Library and I was doing work on Radio Scotland shows, mostly the afternoon show presented by Art Sutter. Over and above his librarian duties Stewart, along with his colleague, Sandy Semeonoff, and presentation announcer, Peter Easton, produced a vital new-music show called Rock on Scotland, which went out late on Friday nights. Stewart had also produced a definitive story of rock’n’pop in Scotland called Beatstalking.

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The Sikh Pipe Band by Peter Ross

To celebrate the launch of his new book The Passion of Harry Bingo and our Piping Live tours, Peter Ross and his publisher Sandstone Press have graciously allowed us to use this wonderful piece by Peter on The Sikh Pipe Band’s appearance at Piping Live in 2015. Thanks also to Michael McGurk for allowing us to use his photograph. Keep an eye on our Facebook page later this week for a chance to win copies of The Passion of Harry Bingo.  Over to Peter…

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Beneath a Saltire blue sky, with Irn-Bru in their bellies and an old Punjabi war cry on their lips – ‘Sat Sri Akaal!’ – the men and women of the Sri Dasmesh pipe band march out into the grassy arena of Glasgow Green, the first time a Malaysian group has competed at the world championships, and give their medley laldy. ‘Gaun the Sikhs!’ shouts a turbaned fellow in the crowd.
The World Pipe Band Championships, known as ‘The Worlds’, is the Olympics of piping. Some 230 bands from sixteen nations, adding up to around 8,000 pipers and drummers, are taking part this year. The championships date back to 1906, but they have never seen anything quite like Sri Dasmesh.

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Photograph by Michael McGurk

There are about forty of them, ranging in age from early teens to early sixties, tricked out in a manner that makes the uniforms of even their gaudiest rivals appear drab. Over white robes they wear a bright sash, a plaid in Royal Stewart tartan, and a faux tiger-skin apron, combining in one outfit the distinctive styles of Mason Boyne, Mary Doll Nesbitt and the Bay City Rollers. All of this, mind, topped with a turban and pink plume, or kalgi, bearing the symbol for ‘One God’. They look amazing: Glasgow fabulous; Kuala Lumpur dead brilliant. Continue reading

At the Apollo: A Postcard From Roddy Frame

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Guests on our Music Mile tour love hearing and sharing stories about the late, great Glasgow Apollo, and we’re re-running Roddy Frame’s guest blog on the fabled venue in case you missed it first time around.

Although he decamped many years ago, Frame will always be linked to the town: partly, because he gave the city an unofficial anthem in the yearning bus-station epic “Killermont Street”; but mostly due to his years as Postcard Records’ prodigious post-punk boy wonder. Signing with Alan Horne’s fabled DIY label aged 16, Frame’s Aztec Camera put the young into The Sound Of Young Scotland, yet shared with labelmate Edwyn Collins’s Orange Juice a preternatural knack for writing songs that seemed simultaneously to reference every record he’d ever loved – in Frame’s case, from Wes Montgomery to Motown via Bowie, The Clash and Joy Division – while sounding unique. From wiry, charging acoustic jangle to gorgeous plastic soul, a restless, mercurial spirit has remained constant across his ever-changing career.

We’re beyond delighted to have a few words from the man himself. We asked him to cast his mind back to his own early gig-going memories in Glasgow, and a favourite venue. Over to Mr Frame:

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Belle and Sebastian’s Chris & Sarah chat about TRNSMT

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With T In The Park taking a well-earned rest this year, the festival focus shifts to Glasgow this weekend when the inaugural TRNSMT festival takes over Glasgow Green from Friday to Sunday. Kasabian top the bill on Saturday and Biffy Clyro bring proceedings to a rocking close on Sunday but it’s the Friday line-up we’ve got our eye on, especially our beloved Belle & Sebastian, spreading the good vibes before the brooding clouds converge over headliners Radiohead.

We spoke to Chris Geddes and Sarah Martin from the Belles about being part of TRNSMT, as they both looked forward to playing their biggest ever hometown gig.

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Glasgow Jazz Festival: Jazz Tour featuring guest musician Joe Williamson

We have a real treat in store for you!  The guitarist Joe Williamson —”Outstanding musicianship and breathtaking improvisation” Tommy Smith — will perform a short set at the beginning of our jazz tour on Saturday 24th June commencing the Scottish Music Centre at 2pm. Join us for a refreshment and some great music before we set off on a gentle stroll around the Merchant City.  Purchase of a ticket entitles you to one half price ticket for the concert celebrating the centenary of explosive drummer and bandleader, Buddy Rich, with the SNJO featuring Alyn Cosker on drums.

We’d love to see you there, get the lowdown on Glasgow Jazz Festival with our walking tour on Sat 24th June:

Joe Williamson hails from the North East of England, and recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with first-class honours. Known for his melodic and creative improvising, Joe performs regularly across the Scottish jazz circuit.

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Joe is a founding member of award-winning quartet Square One known for their free-spirited original music and energised live performances. In December 2015, Square One became the proud recipients of the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, administered by Help Musicians UK. This prestigious prize allowed Square One to record their debut album, In Motion which was released in October 2016 along with a tour of the UK and Poland.

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