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Review: Celtic Connections

GUEST,akenaton 04 Feb 18 - 06:07 PM
Kenny B (inactive) 05 Feb 18 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Joe G 05 Feb 18 - 12:38 PM
GUEST 05 Feb 18 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,IanA 05 Feb 18 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Joe G 05 Feb 18 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Guest 05 Feb 18 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Joe G 05 Feb 18 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Joe G 05 Feb 18 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 05 Feb 18 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Joe G 05 Feb 18 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,akenaton^ 05 Feb 18 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,Joe G 05 Feb 18 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 05 Feb 18 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,Joe G 05 Feb 18 - 04:14 PM
GUEST 05 Feb 18 - 06:13 PM
Gallus Moll 05 Feb 18 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Sol 05 Feb 18 - 08:59 PM
GUEST 06 Feb 18 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,Joe G 06 Feb 18 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,Peter 06 Feb 18 - 04:32 AM
GUEST 06 Feb 18 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,akenaton 06 Feb 18 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,Joe G 06 Feb 18 - 04:49 AM
GUEST 06 Feb 18 - 04:55 AM
GUEST 06 Feb 18 - 04:58 AM
GUEST 06 Feb 18 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,akenaton 06 Feb 18 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,Joe G 06 Feb 18 - 05:39 AM
Jack Campin 06 Feb 18 - 05:45 AM
Kenny B (inactive) 06 Feb 18 - 08:10 AM
GUEST 06 Feb 18 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Gallus moll 07 Feb 18 - 12:00 PM
GUEST 07 Feb 18 - 12:18 PM
Allan Conn 07 Feb 18 - 12:33 PM
GUEST 07 Feb 18 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,akenaton 07 Feb 18 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Chris Murray 07 Feb 18 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Joe G 07 Feb 18 - 06:31 PM
Gallus Moll 07 Feb 18 - 06:39 PM
GUEST 08 Feb 18 - 09:48 AM
Allan Conn 08 Feb 18 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,akenaton 08 Feb 18 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Joe G 08 Feb 18 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Joe G 08 Feb 18 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Joe G 08 Feb 18 - 06:39 PM
Gallus Moll 08 Feb 18 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Joe G 08 Feb 18 - 07:07 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 18 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,akenaton 12 Feb 18 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,akenaton 12 Feb 18 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Allan C 12 Feb 18 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Joe G 12 Feb 18 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,akenaton 12 Feb 18 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 12 Feb 18 - 04:49 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 18 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,akenaton 12 Feb 18 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 12 Feb 18 - 07:25 PM
Mick Lowe 12 Feb 18 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,akenaton 13 Feb 18 - 03:09 AM
Bonzo3legs 13 Feb 18 - 03:16 AM
GUEST,Joe G 13 Feb 18 - 05:11 AM
Bonzo3legs 13 Feb 18 - 05:43 AM
Bonzo3legs 13 Feb 18 - 06:29 AM
Gallus Moll 13 Feb 18 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,Captain Swing 13 Feb 18 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Joe G 13 Feb 18 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Joe G 13 Feb 18 - 07:48 AM
GUEST 13 Feb 18 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Captain Swing 13 Feb 18 - 08:20 AM
Kenny B (inactive) 13 Feb 18 - 08:54 AM
gillymor 13 Feb 18 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Santaci 13 Feb 18 - 10:41 AM
GUEST 13 Feb 18 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,akenaton 13 Feb 18 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Joe G 13 Feb 18 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,guest 13 Feb 18 - 01:55 PM
Gallus Moll 13 Feb 18 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 13 Feb 18 - 08:32 PM
Mick Lowe 13 Feb 18 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,ake 14 Feb 18 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,Santaci 14 Feb 18 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,Joe G 14 Feb 18 - 04:02 AM
Will Fly 14 Feb 18 - 04:14 AM
Allan Conn 14 Feb 18 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Captain Swing 14 Feb 18 - 06:53 AM
GUEST 14 Feb 18 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,ake 14 Feb 18 - 07:55 AM
Will Fly 14 Feb 18 - 08:23 AM
gillymor 14 Feb 18 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Joe G 14 Feb 18 - 10:20 AM
GUEST 14 Feb 18 - 11:22 AM
GUEST 14 Feb 18 - 12:22 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 18 - 12:39 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 18 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Santaci 14 Feb 18 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,Joe G 14 Feb 18 - 02:53 PM
Johnny J 14 Feb 18 - 04:43 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Feb 18 - 05:05 PM
Johnny J 14 Feb 18 - 05:13 PM
Mick Lowe 14 Feb 18 - 10:57 PM
GUEST,Ake 15 Feb 18 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,Santaci 15 Feb 18 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 15 Feb 18 - 06:10 AM
Allan Conn 15 Feb 18 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Captain Swing 15 Feb 18 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Joe G 15 Feb 18 - 08:28 AM
Bonzo3legs 15 Feb 18 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,North 18 Feb 18 - 12:21 PM
peteaberdeen 18 Feb 18 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,akenaton 08 Mar 18 - 04:10 AM
GUEST,akenaton 08 Mar 18 - 04:16 AM
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Subject: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 04 Feb 18 - 06:07 PM

Did anyone watch Celtic Connections on BBC 2 Saturday night?
It was appalling, a full orchestra, half a dozen highland pipers, a chap gibbering into a telephone, and another rowing a pretend boat across the stage ....all to an audience of hundreds.
What has this shite to do with traditional or even "Celtic" music I ask myself?
It took pretentiousness to a new level and must have been an utter embarrassment to any folkies unfortunate enough to have stumbled upon it.    So this is the "new wave", the produce of the folk academies?
God preserve us. I had to turn the cacophony off gave it ten minutes and turned it back on......the tuneless din continued only louder.

What are these people about? CC is supposed to be the showcase of Scottish music......they are making Scotland a laughing stock.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 11:44 AM

Ake
"What are these people about? CC is supposed to be the showcase of Scottish music......they are making Scotland a laughing stock."

Where did you get that idea , have you read the nationalities of the official performers ... like the Edinburgh Festival its the "Fringe" ( and don mean Dt's hairstyle) that's the folky side


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 12:38 PM

Unfortunately I missed it but I gather what akenaton describes is probably the Grit Orchestra's interpretation of the Martyn Bennett work 'Botthy Culture'. Martyn's work was truly original and groundbreaking and last year's orchestral performance of his 'Grit' was superb. It is tragic that his life was cut short as I am sure he would have continued to innovate and bring joy to the lives of those of us who don't want folk music preserved in aspic

As I say I didn't see the concert but I hope to if I can get it on iplayer here in England and I suspect I shall I enjoy it but I will reserve judgement

Celtic Connections isn't just a showcase of Scottish music 'Glasgow’s annual folk, roots and world music festival, Celtic Connections celebrates Celtic music and its connections to cultures across the globe'. I haven't been lucky enough to attend yet but I hope to at some point and its very diversity is the main attraction for me and I suspect many others who do attend


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 01:24 PM

Come on lads it was terrible, and I couldn't see any links to other cultures in the parts that I viewed.
It bore no relation whatsoever to folk music other than the pipers who seemed to be playing jazz o the highland pipes.
The overall sound was excruciating......torture.
I've been to several CC's and enjoyed them, usually try to see June Tabor.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,IanA
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 01:55 PM

I can't say that I enjoyed it. Full orchestral brass section, contra bassoon, (contra bassoon????) harpsichord (inaudible) and sundry other oddities. Perhaps it was a Celtic contra bassoon. So much effort to so little effect. I longed for a still, small voice...


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 01:59 PM

The reference I made regarding 'links to other cultures' was in response to the comments that CC was a showcase of Scottish music and that artists were invited were from a range of countries. It was not related to that particular performance


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 02:23 PM

I suppose what makes it to television is the most bombastic, spectacular, lowest common denominator stuff, but that doesn't truly reflect all that happens at the festival. There is a lot of quality music to be heard on the ground. However, the festival definitely has changed over the years. There's definitely less of a focus on actual traditional music and song than there was even a decade ago.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 03:18 PM

All the more reason to go in my view :-) I like trad when it is played well but there is room for all types of music in a festival - especially one this long!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 03:22 PM

I can't imagine why anyone would insult the memory of Martyn Bennett by describing his music as 'lowest common denominator'. He was widely regarded as one of the key figures in Scottish music of recent years and his CDs are a great legacy.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 03:23 PM

Scotland, unlike the rest of the UK, actively promotes its traditional music and the new music that comes from those roots. CC is a superb festival that celebrates the fruits of the journey that Scottish music has made around the globe. In some cases the music has changed more than in other cases - that's what a tradition does. Those variations and developments will sometimes be contentious - that's a good thing, promotes discussion, interest, criticism.

I'd rather hear the music developing and being played and encouraged than, as in much of the rest of the UK, it being the preserve of a relatively small group of ageing people.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 03:39 PM

Agree with all of that Captain but I would argue that things are moving in the right direction in the rest of mainland UK with people like Jim Moray, Jon Boden, 9 Bach etc reinvigorating the music and bringing in new listeners and performers. I can't comment on Northern Ireland as I don't know enough about the music scene there


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton^
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 03:47 PM

Did anybody have the stomach to watch and listen to it right through?
Honestly?
"I'd rather hear the music developing and being played and encouraged than, as in much of the rest of the UK, it being the preserve of a relatively small group of ageing people"
That's pretty insulting to older people, do you think we have no taste? We have all lived through the revival and seen the music change, quite happy to go along with the singer/songwriter phase, unhappy about the demise of chorus singing......and trad singing in general.....but this is something else, I am reminded of the "Emperors new Clothes".......Anti-Music?....Fake Music??


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 03:51 PM

It would be useful if those criticising this performance listened to the original CD on which this music is based. Have a listen and tell us what you think. Also have a listen to Bennett's masterpiece Grit - probably the most innovative work to come out of Scotland

I am not sure if I can access the programme of the orchestral version but I'll have another look. Certainly last year's performance by the same orchestra was superb


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 04:02 PM

Guest 03.45: As an older person myself (62) I don't find my comment insulting. It's simply a fact.

Like or dislike the stuff that's presented at CC (and I don't like it all by any means), it cannot be labelled "fake', anti-music etc - the quality of music and musicianship is superb and matched by their passion and respect for the traditions.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 04:14 PM

Absolutely correct. Because someone doesn't like a particular type of music doesn't mean it is bad it just means they don't like it. I don't like Wagner's opera, Mozart or Drum&Bass but that doesn't make them inferior to the music I do like


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 06:13 PM

That's right Joe G. I really can't abide most of the work that Queen produced but I can't deny that it was also excellent work. As musicians they were far more proficient than, say, the Stones or the Beatles and Freddie Mercury was a magnificent singer.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 06:34 PM

How I wish I'd made it to the Bothy Culture concert!
Greg Lawson is an absolute genius to have been able to interpret and orchestrate Martyn Bennet's studio-produced... techno? dance? don't know what it's called ... compositions for a huge group/orchestra of mainly of not all folk/trad muscians and singers - plus Danny McAskill!! and another cyclists, also the amazing (trapeze?) artistes -- Grit was incredible, memorable -- but Bothy Culture surpassed it!   
Ake -- - like you my preference is traditional singing, but remember - Martyn grew up in that culture, his mother is Margaret Bennet, Gaelic singer, historian, academic, colleague of Hamish Henderson. I remember Martyn as a young lad stunning us all with his piping at a concert in George Square Theatre, Edinburgh. He was steeped in tradition - he was also a talented musician and filled with incredible ideas and experiences - - he achieved so much in his short life, cancer took him just short of his 34th birthday, But his legacy, his vision, his marrying of cultures- -
If you open your mind and really hear what he has woven into the tapestry of his compositions, there are fragments of traditional singers - including his mother. There are hints of ancient pipe and fiddle tunes...there's bird song, weather......I am no musical expert, I canny read manuscript -- but I listen and I hear, I can become lost in the music or the song- - - did you not wait long enough to hear Fiona Hunter?!
Perhaps it is best to be at a live performance? But - give Grit an chance, then try Bothy Culture again.
And please respect the unique Greg Lawson -- -

Also - just cos you dinna like / un'erstaun' it disnae mean iverybiddy else disnae - -- !!!
May no' hiv been tae yer taste, but certainly wis tae mine!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 08:59 PM

Bottom line: each to his own. End of.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 03:46 AM

Whatever it was, it certainly was not the "music of the people", rather "music" of a pseudo artistic elite(sorry Gallus, you are always an exception :0)).

I only watched four small sections, but in all honestly I did not find it uplifting, or even tuneful. I don't think I could have managed to sit through the whole performance.....and that is what it was, a pretentious homage to the people who have hijacked folk music.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 04:21 AM

It depends what you call music of the people. I dare say Martyn Bennett's work connected with many people who would not have listened to trad - which to be honest, in some people's hands, can be tedious in the extreme.

As I said just because you didn't like it doesn't make it invalid. All your comments do, by insulting those who do love it, is show your narrow mind.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 04:32 AM

Frankly from Akeaton's description that concert sounds dreadful but it was just one concert in a massive festival. To extrapolate an opinion on the whole festival from that one performance seems perverse to say the least.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 04:39 AM

It's not that I don't "like" it. I don't "like some traditional music.
What I object to, is this "avant garde" claptrap being presented on television and on Scotland's largest roots music platform, as having anything in common with folk or Celtic Music.

As you seem to be a bit of a connoisseur, could you explain the bloke with the telephone and the contribution he was making to...Celtic, Roots, and World music.
Not to mention the fella on the exercise machine?


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 04:45 AM

Sorry Peter, I did not mean to criticise the festival, it used to be great and I have attended many times. Unfortunately I have not been able to go over the last two years...Ake


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 04:49 AM

I will if I can find it on iplayer :-)

From recollection of the original CD much of the music is based on traditional Scottish music so there should definitely be a connection there.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 04:55 AM


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 04:58 AM

Well he was saying..."Aye right" into the phone, so I suppose that's a "Scottish connection"......but is it "folk"?


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 05:07 AM

and another t'ing. In Ireland young people are deeply involved in traditional music with no need for any of the "theatrical" nonsense which seems to be obligatory to the Scottish folk scene.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 05:15 AM

Sorry all these guest posts are from me :0(


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 05:39 AM

Actually the track with the phone call on the original CD was probably my least favourite :-)


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 05:45 AM

I didn't like the original "Grit" very much either. Martyn Bennett was technically fantastic but his compositional abilities have been way overhyped.

I have just been listening to Chris Stout's "Brazilian Theory" - similarly experimental but there's more substance to it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 08:10 AM

Well he was saying..."Aye right" into the phone, so I suppose that's a "Scottish connection"......but is it "folk"?

of course its "folk" havnt yet heard a horse do it

with respect to Burl Ives


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 10:59 AM

Ye huvnae heard a horse playin' the penny whustle either. :0)


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Gallus moll
Date: 07 Feb 18 - 12:00 PM

Ake...article in today's 'National' about Celtic Connections with specific reference to the Bothy Culture and Beyond event, also Grit.....you might find it helps broaden your appreciation?
- my first love will always be traditional singing, but it is interesting to see and hear different generations' takes and interpretations.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 18 - 12:18 PM

The National would say that...wouldn't they? :0)
Mah appreciashun disnae need brodind bytheway! Ah wis gaun tae folk clubs whin yoo wir jist a twinkle in yer daddy's eye.

The whole operashin wis a heap of shite, in my considered opinion.
Nae offence intendit tae yoo personally ..like, ah jist cannae be bothered wi' pretenshus twaddle an' kid oan folkies in big groups.
Whit wis it supposed tae be an interpretation of?


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Allan Conn
Date: 07 Feb 18 - 12:33 PM

I've not seen this yet but I did go to the Grit Orchestra's performance at Edinburgh Festival. They only played the Grit album on three occassions. At Celtic Connections, at the Womad Festival, then at Edinburgh Festival. One of my friends is in the violas. It was a wonderful concert and got rave reviews. Though it may not be too everyone's taste. It was basically an orchestral version of a dance/electronic album, which used old folk songs/tunes as its base material. The album Bothy Culture draws on world music in general. Again there i surely room for innovative works too. Re the rowing boats etc I take it that was referencing the vid attached below. Track taken from Grit and a wonderful 7 minutes watching the splendours of Skye

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ_IQS3VKjA


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 18 - 01:00 PM

Naw naw Allan.....this wis a gadgie on a rowin' machine in the middle eh the SSEC!
I hink it wis mentae looke like ra Coolins bit thae left sumthin oot :0(

The bagpipes an' orchestra really didnae work pal. Evin wi' yer eyes shut.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 07 Feb 18 - 01:09 PM

Seriously, this stuff needs to be slated hard, it does a great disservice to Scottish traditional music.
As I said earlier the Irish have a terrific culture of music and dance, why cant we?


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 07 Feb 18 - 02:25 PM

I remember when Martyn Bennett was on at Cambridge many years ago. He followed Joan Baez. The organisers tried to get us older ones to move out of the tent by telling us that we wouldn't like his music. Of course, we insisted on staying - and absolutely loved it!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 07 Feb 18 - 06:31 PM

Guest - whoever you are - in no way can the comment 'heap of shite' be considered as a considered opinion. It is an opinion but certainly not considered and thus of little value. You may not like it. That's fair enough. That does not make it the pile of ordure you imply. It just means you do not like it. I don't like Mozart's music, or Wagner's operas but I don't insult those that do by name calling that music. Perhaps a more considered analysis might be more useful than insults to the memory of someone who brought a new perspective to Scottish music


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 07 Feb 18 - 06:39 PM

Ake I am not sure what age you think I am? But I've been daein' folk music fer nigh on 60 years - an' ah wis singin' an' listenin' tae ma grampa's sangs even as a wean!
Jist cos ma herr isnae grey disnae mean ah've no' experienced jist as muckle traditional music as yersel!
- it is a bit annoying that while Gordeanna, Anne an' a' the rest o' them wis at Rutherglen Academy in Norman Buchan's ballads club while I was a few miles doon the road at Hamilton and missed that opportunity!

As for yon concert - did you at least watch/hear Fiona Hunter singing The Blackbird (while Danny was cycling up the Cuillins)? If your preference is for traditional voice then surely you enjoyed that?


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 18 - 09:48 AM

No, I must have missed that Gallus.....here ah thought you were fifty somethin', how dae ye keep sae young lookin'?

Dae ye work oot? :0)


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Allan Conn
Date: 08 Feb 18 - 09:53 AM

The likes of Hamish Henderson, Michael Marra and Sheila Stewart didn't seem to think Martyn's music did a disservice to Scotland! This is a great wee documentary about Bennett showing him working on the Grit album. Look he uses snippets from traditional work in what is dance fusion music. Why should that be a disservice to Scotland? I don't follow that! It may not be to everyone's taste but that is a different thing altogether. And if you don't like Bennett's albums then I imagine you'd not be too bowled over by an orchestral version of his music either - but again that is personal taste. You can clearly see from even the last 5 minutes of the video attached that Bennett loved Scottish folk song and viewed his music as a way to introduce the younger generation to older songs. You can see too that Sheila understands his love of the music and what respect she has for him - totally different to how she viewed Aidan Moffat's versions of folk songs.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aJXNN_D07o


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 08 Feb 18 - 09:56 AM

Sorry Joe don't mean to insult the guy's memory, but the whole arrangement was dire...bagpipes and orchestra don't sound good together. It MIGHT have been well intentioned but it didn't work and as far as I can see it had little to do with CRW music.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 08 Feb 18 - 12:36 PM

Well said Allan


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 08 Feb 18 - 06:09 PM

Well I have got round to watching it - two pieces in and I'm loving it - especially the pipes with the orchestra! I much preferred Grit to this album but this is a good tribute to what was still a remarkable CD


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 08 Feb 18 - 06:39 PM

I don't think the recreation of the rowing scene from the video was necessary but I did enjoy the simulated mountain biking. Blackbird was the best piece yet (perhaps because it was from Grit)

It doesn't all work but the bits that do work really well. As someone who has been a follow since the age of 17, over 40 years ago, I find it exhilarating when someone takes folk music in new directions. Far better to keep it relevant than see it die through lack of invention and interest


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 08 Feb 18 - 06:47 PM

Ake - gingers never look our age!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 08 Feb 18 - 07:07 PM

I meant 'folkie' not 'follow'!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 01:09 PM

Well I suppose that's the point, when you take it "somewhere else" eventually it stops being folk music and becomes "something else".
Traditional music remains virtually static and is discovered and appreciated by succeeding generations......it never dies.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 01:10 PM

Sorry that was me ^


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 01:17 PM

The shambles at Celtic Connections was analogous to the direction of today's society, change simply for the sake of it, thoughtless, destructive and if we don't regain our senses, unstoppable.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Allan C
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 02:07 PM

Again it was not a "folk" concert as such. There were probably dozens upon dozens of folk concerts on at Celtic Connections. This wasn't. It was a concert featuring an orchestral version of a dance/folk fusion album. I have now watched it and it was superb as far as I am concerned but that is just a matter of taste. There certainly wasn't just hundreds in the audience either. You could see there were a few thousand at least. I read it was a 6,000 sell out.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 03:38 PM

All of whom seemed to be having a fantastic time - which is more than can be said at some traditional folk events ;-)


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 03:52 PM

I have already cited Irish traditional music and dance, the prayers and performers become incidental, there is huge excitement and emotion in the music, dance and song. That same excitement and emotion is found in archive footage of the old time traditional musicians......the young people of Ireland have carried the culture forward with little or no adaptation.
Folk music should be about getting through emotionally, wringing the hearts and stamping the feet and even lifting the roof with the spirit of the chorus........the too clever tuneless stuff is solely for pseuds.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 04:49 PM

I love traditional music, especially those forms linked to irish and Scottish music. If the music 'leaks' into other genres that's fine by me. I won't always like the results as I found last year when I heard some folk/ 'house'(?) fusion stuff played by a DJ at a festival. I was pleased it was happening, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't consider the people enjoying it to be 'pseuds'.

Trad music has always drifted towards other genres. I hope it continues to do so. Is being a 'folkie' (hate the term personally) incompatible with enjoying Vaughn Williams for instance?


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 05:24 PM

Of course it isn't.
But have you seen what passes for popular culture recently...can you honestly say that the predictable political "comedians" are actually funny? Foul language, obscenity and downright nastiness is lauded by the youth and force fed to them by an unspeakable media. You see it on this forum, which used to be a haven for discussions of all sorts, all views were supported or argued against, now the place is under a reign of terror, bullies and bigots rule and the prevailing view on all things political protected under threat of expulsion.
The young audience in terms of our genre is being cajoled into seeing worth in pretentious rubbish, while the real emotional gold is obscured.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 05:28 PM

Damn forgot to sign in AGAIN!!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 07:25 PM

I agree with most of what you say there but I've been in too many sessions, clubs etc with old 'folkies' to believe that younger people and popular culture have the monopoly on pretentious rubbish.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 12 Feb 18 - 10:12 PM

Wow! I've been away from Mudcat a mere 16 years and all sorts of stuff is kicking off. I also moved to the U.S. 18 months ago but whilst in England I always watched what snippets of Celtic Connections was broadcast on BBC Alba.

Saw some brilliant bands from all over the world. If it wasn't for that festival/show I would never have come across Le Vent du Nord from Quebec who are brilliant. Likewise BBC Alba's coverage of the Trad Awards.

I am not aware of the Mr. Bennett being either vilified or applauded here in this thread, but festivals like Celtic Connections and the Scottish Trad Awards plus the countless shows in Ireland I used to be able to get on Tara TV when I had Sky, are the only ones keeping traditional music alive. In England for the most part they seem only too willing to discount their musical heritage in favour of transatlantic crap.

At the end of the day we have to ask ourselves this question. What is folk/traditional music? I can't give a definitive answer, I'm not qualified to do so. As a starting point I would suggest that it is music/songs that celebrate the cultural history of whatever country it refers to. I would also suggest it does not include any kind of fusion but that's just me being nationalistic, which since coming to the U.S. I'm allowed to be.

As a post it, I am hoping sometime soon to resurrect Prof's Music Website for thise of you who remember it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 03:09 AM

"I would also suggest it does not include any kind of fusion "

Couldn't agree more.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 03:16 AM

Whatever I have downloaded from BBC Radio Scotland Celtic Connections 2018 has been superb. Some people have nothing better to do than moan!!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 05:11 AM

'Folk music should be about getting through emotionally, wringing the hearts and stamping the feet and even lifting the roof with the spirit of the chorus........the too clever tuneless stuff is solely for pseuds.'

What I saw of the audience at the Grit Orchestra gig suggested that the music did just what you say folk music should do - surely you are not saying the several thousand people in the audience and the others who enjoyed it are all pseuds? We just enjoy what we consider to be good music. Just because you don't like it does not make it of lesser value to the music you do like.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 05:43 AM

Well said Guest Joe G!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 06:29 AM

Surely we are forgetting that folk music must only be performed in a way approved by the folk police or Ewan McControlfreak!!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 06:50 AM

hahahaahh!!!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 07:12 AM

"No fusion" - what nonsense!

Without fusion there would be no Shetland Music, Cajun & Zydeco, Cape Breton Music, Ragtime. In Celtic music there would be no mandolins,banjos ( OK, that would probably be a positive), bouzoukis etc, etc. O'Carolan tunes would be outlawed.

Traditional music positively thrives on fusion. I imagine that there would have been more fusion in the past if economics and invention had allowed more people to travel more easily and further.

The idea of keeping traditions discrete is a spurious affectation of (parts of) the folk revival and these days the "we've always done it this way" brigade.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 07:47 AM

In my view it is important that the source material survives but I see know problems at all mixing it up with other musical forms - one of the most exciting things I have ever heard was what an artist who went under the name of Broadcaster did with samples from the original Radio Ballads. Chumbawamba also did wonderful things with samples of folk songs on their CD 'Readymades'. The more we can get folk music, in any form, out into the wider community the more likely we are to attract new people into discovering the source material and maybe even becoming folkies themselves.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 07:48 AM

'No' not 'know'!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 07:56 AM

"Queen were 'more proficient'than The Stones or The Beatles"
?????
Words fail me.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 08:20 AM

Guest 07:56

I am speaking as a massive Beatles fan here and I like the Stones quite a lot as well but neither band could be classified as technically great musicians. They were extremely resourceful musicians who made the absolute best of their talents. Through their imagination, creativity and innovation the Beatles music, in my opinion, sits well above all of the other bands of the era.

But I can still appreciate that Queen are technically more accomplished even though their music does little for me. I quite like Bohemian Rhapsody though.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 08:54 AM

From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 07:56 AM

"Queen were 'more proficient'than The Stones or The Beatles"
?????
Words fail me.

Promises promises


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: gillymor
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 09:17 AM

When did a ballad like "The House Carpenter" become "static" and not dynamic, on what date was the official "folk" version encased in amber and what committee or academic decided on that particular version played and/or sung in that particular manner? That kind of stilted, authoritarian thinking takes the folk out of folk music.

There are probably millions of musicians that are more proficient than either the individual members of the Beatles and Stones were/are including quite a few teenagers but how many of them will turn out the wide range of wonderful music that those two groups did?


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Santaci
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 10:41 AM

I saw the Grit concert at CC2015 - wonderful in the Concert Hall - but didn't manage to get to this one. On the TV it seemed a bit forced and I watched until Hallaig, then switched off. Maybe it didn't translate well in a broadcast, but IMO it didn't come over very well (and the stunt cyclist looked a bit embarrased). The album Bothy Culture is a classic and deserves all the praise it gets. The Grit Orchestra and Greg Lawson in particular deserve much credit for keeping the flame alive.

But this - "The shambles at Celtic Connections was analogous to the direction of today's society, change simply for the sake of it, thoughtless, destructive and if we don't regain our senses, unstoppable." - is laughable.

I've seen Martyn Bennett doing dancy pipes and laptop stuff in large venues and playing solo in a small club. He was an outstanding musician, hugely respectful of the tradition and also aware of the potential for innovation.

Celtic Connection has always looked for new things (did anyone else love the Heritage des Celtes in 1996?), but comparing it to the decline of society is surely a harrumph too far.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:14 PM

Well, I've done a quick straw poll amongst my friends and workmates. about thirty so far who have seen a bit of the pantomime. Not one thought the music "listenable", not one sat through the whole performance and this is a big piping area.

Martyn may have been an excellent musician, that is not the point, the whole arrangement was dire, had nothing to do with Celtic or traditional music and has turned Celtic Connections Which was and should be a showpiece, into a bad joke.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:15 PM

Well, I've done a quick straw poll amongst my friends and workmates. about thirty so far who have seen a bit of the pantomime. Not one thought the music "listenable", not one sat through the whole performance and this is a big piping area.

Martyn may have been an excellent musician, that is not the point, the whole arrangement was dire, had nothing to do with Celtic or traditional music and has turned Celtic Connections Which was and should be a showpiece, into a bad joke.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:47 PM

As Santaci said it probably didn't come over as well in a broadcast - which is true of a fair bit of music to be honest - but I am not sure that your 30 friends are necessarily a structured representative sample - I'd tend to go on the reaction of the thousands of people in the audience. It wasn't perfect but to say it turns CC into a bad joke is hyperbole of Brexit bus sized proportions!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 01:55 PM

Perhaps the best that could be said of the offending televised concert, regardless of its quality, is that its ticket sales provided the revenue to fund some of the good things that happened at Celtic Connections?


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 08:05 PM

Dear Ake -
gggrrrr!!!! How come MA opinion wisnae includit in yer straw poll?
Um Ah no wan o yer freens / aquaintances?!!!
Ah telt ye way back near the tap o this thread that jist cos ye dinna like summat disnae mean ithers mauna -- ye are entitled tae yer ain opeenion, but sae am ah an ah hiv tae say ah enjoyed the production!
An' ah live in this piping area tae, hiv done fer nigh on 53 years..... an' as ye weel ken ah sing, play a bittie fiddle, dae Burns stuff, run folk events....ah ken a wee bittie aboot the genre.
Sae we shud agree tae differ - Ah'll no' drag ye tae a Greg Lawson / Grit orchestra event (tho I do think you should be open minded to give it a try some time?) but ye shudnae disparage sumpin' an' try tae pit ither fowk aff it jist cos ye dinna like / unnerstaun' it!!!
Love, Gallus


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 08:32 PM

Gallus Moll, I really ( completely really in every sense of the word 'really'), could not have said it better myself. Well done!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 08:52 PM

I think I have a different understanding/definition of fusion when I said it has no place in folk music. There was a good programme on BBC Alba in a "psuedo pub setting", the name of which I couldn't even begin to try and spell let alone pronounce. Had some brilliant acts though the camera tracking got wearisome at times. Every so often they would have what I call fusion music, bands trying to combine the musical cultures of two different continents.

I think Captain Swing is confusing fusion with development. You also got one thing almost right, the one thing that should be banned from all Western European music is the bouzouki. It has has much place in our music than the bagpipes do in a Mozart opera. I can't recall the guy's name now who is responsible for introducing it into folk music but I saw an interview on t.v. where he said it was his greatest regret. They should all be collected up and burnt in one big ritual ceremony.

Purely by chance I came across an album called "Rubber Folk", produced I think by Mike Harding it was a bunch of folk artists including John Tamm and Ralph McTell covering the Beatles' Rubber Soul Album. Interesting and very good in parts but it doesn't make it folk music.

Okay..that should set a few more cats amongst the pigeons...


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,ake
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 02:20 AM

Well Gallus, ah know thit you're beautiful, talented and an all round good egg, an' you know thit ah'm no the worst ootae a bad bunch, so we should be able tae haud diffrint opinions on the direction o' the music withoot fa'in oot?
Whit makes ye think ah don't "understaun" whit the pantomime in the SEC wis aw aboot?.....Ahm no as stupit as you seem tae think, it wis a "production" as opposed to real in yer belly traditional music.
It wis produced and promoted for an elite group of pseuds, a group who have all but taken over traditional music and its presentation in the media.
Where this pseudo- artistic faction go a section of our young people follow like sheep.....an ah don't mean you, for have yit tae encounter a "ginger" sheep.    Love A.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Santaci
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 03:29 AM

But, Mick Lowe, both the bouzouki and bagpipe were first described in the eastern Med / near east area, so maybe we should stick with the Carnyx and nothing else. (Johnny Moynahan, wasn't it?)

"It wis produced and promoted for an elite group of pseuds." No, it was one of the BIG events that can only really happen at big festivals, not to everyone's taste but every bit as relevant to the tradition as a few grumbling old men sitting in a corner singing for themselves.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 04:02 AM

I'm getting a bit tired of being described as a pseud!!. I'm a music lover - I enjoy many different genres and open minded to others. Those I particularly adore include Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Pink Floyd, Renaissance, Miles Davis, Arun Ghosh, John Tams, Jez Lowe, Tickled Pink, Cara Dillon, Treacherous Orchestra, Eliza Carthy, Runrig, Warsaw Village Band, Sailif Keita, a wide range of Eastern European, African and Middle Eastern music and of course Martyn Bennett. I also enjoy a fair bit of trad. Because I appreciate a wide range of music does that make me, and those like me who love music without borders or constraints, a pseud? I don't think so. Perhaps when we can have a discussion without insulting other people's musical tastes and name calling then we can move on to something more constructive


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 04:14 AM

Well said, Joe G. Long live variety, combinations of genres, and adventure and experimentation in music.

I saw the great Michael McGoldrick at a concert in Sussex some months ago. Wonderful, wonderful playing on pipes and flutes - with a most eclectic and exhilarating repertoire. 50+ years ago, I was thrilled beyond measure to hear the guitar stuff the Davy Graham brought us. Same feeling.

It's possible to love the old AND get to grips with the new.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Allan Conn
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 06:12 AM

Well said both of you! Thought this was an interesting short film. You can click on a tab where Greg Lawson (the conductor and orchestral arranger) is talking just before the initial performance of Grit in 2015. Talking about what he was trying to do and why he was doing it.

http://www.martynbennett.com/A015.html


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 06:53 AM

"I think Captain Swing is confusing fusion with development."

Not at all Mick Lowe, I chose my words carefully. There a plenty of examples of music form developing by fusion.

"You also got one thing almost right, the one thing that should be banned from all Western European music is the bouzouki."

What nonsense! There are so many counters to this I'm spoilt for choice.

I'll leave it to Martin Carthy who knows a thing or two about all this:

"Folk music is not an archive. If you see it as that, it becomes like a butterfly in a glass case. Folk music has to live and breathe. I'm not interested in heritage – this stuff is alive, we must claim it, use it."

"Every instrument which plays a melody will do different things to that tune, and I've become interested in this style which is basically playing the song itself on the instrument."


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 07:51 AM

would you guys no' be better to stop congratulating one another on the bouquet of the pish ye talk and start addressin' the contradictions between the modern phenomenon of psycho-trad and the real thing?


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,ake
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 07:55 AM

That wis me, for anybody that husnae guessed.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 08:23 AM

We're not congratulating ourselves, you silly man - we're in agreement on a fundamental opinion about music. Obviously not your opinion, but who cares. I've been making music for over 50 years, and my views are as valid as yours. I've played music of all sorts, both professionally and otherwise, and never played anything I wasn't enthused about.

Who gives a toss about what you call psycho-trad and "the real thing"? All that matters is what sounds good to the individual - and every one of us is an individual - that we believe in what we play, and that we play to the best of our abilities. That's the real thing. All the rest is, as you put it, pish.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: gillymor
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 09:38 AM

Nicely put, Will.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 10:20 AM

Yes perfectly put Will. Clearly Ake thinks he is the sole arbiter of taste. Fortunately most folk enthusiasts do not take such a narrow view and are open to a wide range of music.

I think the discussion has probably run its course. Ake thinks he is right, most of us think he is wrong and extremely narrow minded in his taste. That is his prerogative, I have friends who only love trad and those who hate it but that is their choice. I don't insult them or tell them they are wrong


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 11:22 AM

"the modern phenomenon of psycho-trad and the real thing?"
Why don't you just listen to your "real thing", and leave others to listen to - and presumably even enjoy - "psycho-trad", without them having to suffer tedious, uninformed abuse from you.
One of the stupidest, most pointless discussions on Mudcat for a long time.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 12:22 PM

It was a tuneless racket and very pretentious into the bargain, but the most disgraceful thing is that it was presented on national TV, on Scotland's premier Celtic and Traditional music platform purporting to be what it obviously was not......tuneful, entertaining, or anything to do with folk music.

There are dozens of talented musicians and groups who never even get a sniff of a large TV audience. It must be extremely frustrating to these people to find themselves coming second to this "lovey" drivel.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 12:39 PM

Apologies, that was me and apologies to Gallus Moll....."gingers" can be sheep too" :0)
"ginger sheep"


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 12:53 PM

"It was a tuneless racket and very pretentious into the bargain, "
IN YOUR OPINION.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Santaci
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 01:07 PM

Some of the tunes in the tuneless racket were traditional you know.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 02:53 PM

I think this is just a waste of everyone's time - Ake is obviously an expert on folk music and no one else is entitled to an opinion on the quality or value of music. I'm on the side of the thousands of people in that hall and no doubt the thousands who enjoyed it on TV.

There are loads of great bands who never get TV coverage in all genres of music - just because those I have a particular love for are not shown on TV and stuff I am not so keen on is shown I don't insult the people who like those bands - I don't insult the music or those who have spent many hours composing, arranging, rehearsing, learning their instruments

To be honest it is up to the BBC what they show - they made a good call on this occasion - there may have been stuff I'd have liked more, there would definitely be stuff I'd like less but in the end it was a hugely important concert for the festival and therefore I see no reason why the BBC should not have shown it. Complain to the BBC if you must but don't try to tell the rest of us what we should or shouldn't enjoy. I'm sure I would hate some of the music you like but I wouldn't say you shouldn't be given the opportunity to hear it or see it on TV if it were shown

I'm out of here now - just as well there are probably no non folkies looking in on here as they'd be appalled by the narrow mindedness of some of the contributors and it would do nothing to attract people to the music


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Johnny J
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 04:43 PM

A couple of points.

The title is misleading. This discussion is not a review of Celtic Connections but only one concert.
Also, Celtic Connections is not and has never claimed to a "pure" trad or even a folk festival although it does feature many great exponents of these in several concerts too.

There are many other festivals which feature the so called "real thing". Smaller and less known ones, admittedly, but it's still a minority interest whether we like it or not.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 05:05 PM

Agreed Johnny J: perhaps a Mudelf could change the title of the thread to Review: Celtic Connections Grit Orchestra Concert at SSE Hydro.
From what I have read here and on Facebook, views of the concert are very polarised - loved it or loathed it. Among my friends the sizeable majority are in favour and this includes a good few, and myself, who were there on the night. And others have expressed their opinions of the TV broadcast on BBC 2: the latter in itself is a major breakthrough in terms of recognition of how important this concert was.
I was at the first Grit concert, the opening concert of Celtic Connections 2015, and described it then as one of the best concerts I have ever been to in my whole life (3-score and ten +!)
I did not enjoy the recent concert quite as much: yes, there were the spectacular bits with Danny McAskill and the various acrobats, which could only have been staged in a larger venue than the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (the venue for the 2015 concert), but the SSE Hydro, to my mind, was just TOO big: left you feeling disconnected from the orchestra.
It was a shame that Greg Lawson's impassioned speeches were NOT included in the TV broadcast: to me they were an integral part of the whole night, and might perhaps help to persuade the unbelievers what it was all about: a celebration of Martyn Bennett's life and work.
Despite my reservations, it WAS worth going to, and also watching on TV a week later.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Johnny J
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 05:13 PM

I enjoyed the concert on TV.
We don't know if Martyn would necessarily have wished the big orchestral treatment and spectacle but I suspect he would have been very proud.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 10:57 PM

I am grinning ear to ear here. Just how many people are up in arms about this one performance (which I have not seen), but the "uproar" it has created is wonderful, likewise all the posts here.

Johnny J is absolutely right, Celtic Connections is a brilliant event and no doubt will continue to be so. More venues need to fund such events.

I can't be bothered to scroll back up 5 pages or so, but whoever it was describing their like in music.. I am in total agreement. My taste ranges everything from Mozart, through 5 Finger Death Punch, a crap load of pop, roots ridden blues to folk/trad. I have respect for all. What I don't like is when someone tries to take one form and blend it with another. Folk especially as history is my bag and folk is supposed to be "history" I know I am being finicky.

But one thing I am adamant about is burning every bouzi or how the hell you spell it.. we have the mandolin, a far superior instrument.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Ake
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 03:19 AM

You are quite wrong Joe, I like American roots music, contemporary singer songwriters(not all) Irish, some Pop and I usually have classical on in the car (I do a lot of driving).
I simply agree with Mick about "fusion", which I see as a tactic propagated by the academic musical elite(you know who they are....the "folk music lovies"), to create an effect which can be used to dilute traditional music and sanitise it for "popular culture".   Large audiences do not necessarily mean quality performance. (Spice Girls? Chilli Pipers?)


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Santaci
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 05:35 AM

It’s good to see that ‘fusion’ is now a sinister plot by the ‘academic elite’ to dumb down the music world. Even more hilarious that the work of Martyn Bennett, one of the most innovative and exciting musicians Scotland has produced, is being fingered as part of the process.

Sanitising folkto appeal to popular culture has been going on for ever (Lonnie Donegan, The Spinners) and is certainly an issue, but one big concert at an international festival that has had the rough edges taken off is not detracting from all the good songs and music being performed in other venues.

Listening to Ewan Mclennan or June Tabor solo is every bit as enriching as hearing Moving Hearts or the Peatbog Faeries at full blast. It’s not an either or (and one of the highlights for me this year was hearing the Peatbogs backing Vieux Farka Toure, where Malian songs were mixed up with Scottish tunes to fine effect).


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 06:10 AM

I `ad that Robbie McTavish, the well known folk archivist, in my cab the other day. `e was all done up in `is plaid, kilt and sporran, looking like an Edinburgh pox doctor`s clerk.
I said, " Morning Jock, you off to judge some `aggisses or something?"
`e said, " No Jim, get me to `eathrow please, I`ve gotta get home for the referendum."
I said, "I thought that was all done and dusted. Sturgeon said there would be no more independence nonsense."
`e said, "No, that`s all over. This one is a vote on the Celtic Connections that Mudcat is going on about. Do we want more pseudo, pretentious cacophony or more innovative, connective fusion presented as folk music? That`s the question and I don`t know where I stand at the moment!!".

Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Allan Conn
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 07:14 AM

Santaci is absolutely spot on. It is plainly ludicrous to compare Bennett's work to the likes of the Spice Girls with the idea of chasing the dollar etc. Bennett's work is not really orientated to the mass commercial market. I don't think Ake has actually listened to any of his albums!!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 07:37 AM

folk is supposed to be "history"

It never has been and there is no reason why it should become so. It should be up to date and about contemporary issues and reflect contemporary technology and other musical influences as it always has while respecting and referencing historical traditions, stories, musical formats, song themes etc.

"Sanitising folkto appeal to popular culture"

Surely the popular appeal of the music is what made it 'folk' in the first place.

So much of this argument is about personal taste. I wouldn't go to see the Chilli Pipers if you paid me. But I know at least one person who has taken up learning the pipes as a result of seeing them.

I love fiddle music and have played for about 30 yrs (not always that well). My interest was forged by people like Dave Swarbrick and Peter Knight who both worked in tandem with other genres. I've now got a passionate enthusiasm for traditional fiddle music, Irish, Cajun, French, Cape Bretton but especially Scottish.

Bouzouikis v mandolins? They are different instruments for different jobs though there are some jobs that both are OK for. But mandolins don't do everything that a bouzouki do and vice-versa.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 08:28 AM

Before I go - I forgot to mention that I love bouzoukis!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 09:22 AM

There was an excellent, and by that I mean superb, concert from Celtic Connections broadcast last night on BBC Radio Scotland "Travelling Folk" from the Court and Spark Band paying songs from Joni Mitchell's album of the same name!!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,North
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 12:21 PM

some further opinions: would MB have re-arranged his home studio made recording for an orchestra, 20 years later? No, very little to suggest this would have happened.

Is there a trend from individualism toward collectivism in the music of the funded Scottish establishment? Yes, most definitely.

Is this healthy? Like getting hit by a falling piano kind of healthy.

Are expressions like Lawson's "every note was written by one man" cretinous in the extreme? Yes.

How do I feel generally about the 'trad' music scene? Largely dead, taken over by something shallow, happy clappy and, ultimately, boring.


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: peteaberdeen
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 01:21 PM

i was at that court and spark gig and found it disappointing really - i thought the musicians were competent but i couldn't help judging each song on how much it was close to the original. there wasn't much spontaneity or improvisation. i wandered upstairs to get a closer look at the decorated ceiling - stunning art work by alisdair gray - while the band continued pleasantly enough downstairs. i've been to oran mor many times but not been up top before - happy enough with this exceptional good bar downstairs or the basement venue. where the following night i saw the Deslondes. bluesy, country folk from new orleans - i love a country band in a crowded responsive venue. anyway, the whole festival, oran mor, partick thistle and glasgow a great way to spend a few days


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 04:10 AM

Guest North has summed up the condition of traditional/folk music admirably......the slow descent into oblivion.
All that we once loved and was meaningful in music and its emotional content will be lost if we cannot recognise the paucity of what is being presented to us by the establishment elite, who only see value in what brings celebrity.

In saying that Jim Knowledge makes some excellent points in his own inimitable way. :0}


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Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Connections
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 04:16 AM

Jim, I don't know who you are....maybe a member? but your contributions are smart and very funny.
I'll probably be off soon, but you have been one of the best things about Mudcat.....Ake.


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