BBC Radio 2 Radio Ballads at Celtic Connections 2007

Karine  Polwart
Karine Polwart
Glasgow, Scotland – The Radio Ballads Live is a stage version of the highly acclaimed documentary series broadcast by BBC Radio 2 between February and April 2006.

A celebrated line-up of musicians will perform a selection of the sixty-plus specially-commissioned songs from the 2006 Ballads at Celtic Connections 2007. The ballads explored contemporary issues like hunting with hounds, sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, living with HIV and AIDS and the decline of the steel industry.The first half of the show will include songs from five of the six Ballads, while the second half will be a complete performance of the sixth and final Ballad, The Ballad of the Big Ships, telling the stories of the men and women who worked in the shipyards of the Clyde and Tyne. The interviews gathered from shipbuilders in Glasgow and Newcastle for the Ballad were the inspiration for the songs in the show.

Celtic Connections is presenting the premiere of The Radio Ballads Live, with Ballads series producer John Leonard and musical director John Tams at the helm of the stage adaptation. John Tams was part of the musical team which staged the play The Ship in Glasgow during the City of Culture celebrations in 1990.

The show will be an historic opportunity to see the artists who wrote the songs for the 2006 Ballads perform them live, complete with extracts from the interviews which originally inspired the songs.

Among the artists featured will be Karine Polwart, Kate Rusby, Bob Fox, Jez Lowe, John McCusker, Andy Cutting, Andy Seward, Chris While, Julie Matthews and Barry Coope who all sang, composed or performed the songs in the radio series.

Celtic Connections takes place in 12 venues all over Glasgow. The focal point of the festival is The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, where performances take place in every available space, from workshops in the foyers to performances by world-class artists in the Main Auditorium. The City Halls and Old Fruitmarket, ABC, The Tron, The Piping Centre and Glasgow’s newest live venue The Classic Grand will all play host to Celtic Connections events this year over a period of nineteen days in January and February.

BBC Radio 2 Radio Ballads
Mon 22 January, 7:30pm
£18, £16
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Main Auditorium

Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office:

In person at: The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
2 Sauchiehall Street
G2 3NY
Online at:
By phone on: 0141 353 8000