Hurdy Gurdy Night, Michael McGoldrick Band and Den Fule at Celtic Connections 2008 on January 25

A hurdy gurdy fest waits the audience at Celtic Connections on January 25. Four top exponents of this ancient European folk instrument will be performing together: Frenchmen Patrice Villaume, Pascal Lefeuvre and Thierry Nouat, and Hungary’s Andras Vigh, originally brought together by La Banda Europa project. There will also be concerts by renowned Scottish musician Michael McGoldrick with his Band, Blazing Fiddles and Swedish group Den Fule, as well as masterclasses, ceilidhs and much more..

Iain Anderson In Conversation
Elizabeth Cumming & Jim Sutherland
Fri 25 January, 12:30pm
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Exhibition Hall

BBC Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson hosts an eclectic mix of local figures as well as musicians performing at the festival for a lunch time blether.

Masterclass of Breton Pipe Music with Jakez Pincet and Pierre Gallais
Fri 25 January, 1pm
Central Hotel

Learn from the experts! Due to popular demand at last year’s festival, the Breton judges of the Solo Piping Competition will show you exactly how it’s done. Played with wonderful skill and passion, this makes for glorious music.

Danny Kyle’s Open Stage hosted by Gibb Todd
Fri 25 January, 5pm
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Exhibition Hall

Hosted by Danny Kyle’s good friends Gibb Todd and Liz Clark, the Open Stage is a chance to see new musical talent as they try to win a coveted support slot at next year’s festival – and all absolutely free!
In partnership with the Evening Times

Hurdy Gurdy Night
Fri 25 January, 6pm
City Halls, Recital Room

In what’s quite possibly a world first, tonight brings together four top exponents of this ancient European folk instrument: Frenchmen Patrice Villaume, Pascal Lefeuvre and Thierry Nouat, and Hungary’s Andras Vigh, originally brought together by La Banda Europa project.

BBC Radio Ulster
Fri 25 January, 7pm
Free but ticketed
BBC Scotland, Pacific Quay

Friday night is music night on Blas, BBC Radio Ulster’s Irish Language Magazine. Lynette Fay presents a live one hour special from BBC Scotland’s new home, Pacific Quay and showcases the best of Celtic Connections 2008.

Blazin’ Fiddles Aged 10 Years
Fri 25 January, 7:30pm
£18, £16
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Main Auditorium

2008 marks Blazin’ Fiddles’ 10th anniversary – a milestone little envisaged when they embarked on a ‘one-off’ tour of the 1998 Highland Festival. The instant chemistry between them, however, proved as incendiary as their name, and thus a band – not to say a legend – was born.

Ten years on, Blazin’ Fiddles’ career highlights include playing the Royal Albert Hall at the 2005 BBC Proms, and the acclaimed ‘With Strings Attached’ project at Celtic Connections the same year.

Tonight’s headline birthday guests – international fiddle stars Bruce Molsky, Liz Doherty, Annbjørg Lien, Harald Haugaard and Archie McAllister – have all featured as tutors at the band’s acclaimed annual Blazin’ in Beauly fiddle school.

Comprising fiddlers Bruce MacGregor, Aidan O’Rourkee, Iain MacFarlane, Catriona MacDonald and Allan Henderson, with pianist Andy Thorburn and guitarist Marc Clement, Blazin’ Fiddles will also be joined by cellist Christine Hanson, trombonist Rick Taylor and percussionist James Mackintosh, in a venue rechristened for the evening as the Glasgow Royal Village Hall.

Packway Handle Band with Harem Scarem
Fri 25 January, 7:30pm
Òran Mór

Arriving all the way from Athens, Georgia, for their debut Scottish performance, the Packway Handle Band are a young five-member posse who’ve been causing quite a stir in bluegrass circles lately, combining classic close-harmony vocals and old-timey, round-the-mike stagecraft with stylish original material and livewire progressive attitude.

The Scottish quartet Harem Scarem, including past or current members of Dàimh, the Poozies, Aberfeldy and the Karine Polwart Band, artfully mix’n’match original folk-pop songwriting, multi-layered vocals, sparkling instrumental work and tunes from diverse traditions, underpinned by both superb individual prowess and close ensemble rapport.

King Creosote with James Yorkston
Fri 25 January, 7:30pm

The wider world continues to wake up to the homespun maverick genius of King Creosote, aka Kenny Anderson, currently Fife’s favorite son, and the founder of Anstruther-based musical community the Fence Collective.

2007 ushered in his second major-label release Bombshell, on Warners subsidiary 679, an album blithely unruffled by the plaudits heaped on its predecessor, KC Rules OK, and revelling in the full spectrum of its creator’s mercurial songcraft. ‘Lovelorn alt.folk with a dagger-like tartan twist,’ enthused the Observer Music Monthly, ‘Bombshell is his finest moment yet.’

Citing such seminal folk artists as Anne Briggs, Martin Carthy and Dick Gaughan among his wide-ranging influences, Anderson’s Fence Collective homeboy James Yorkston interweaves haunting interpretations of traditional ballads among his own stirringly evocative compositions, with one critic describing a recent London show as a ‘truly life-affirming celebration of great songwriting’.

Moishe’s Bagel with Den Fule
Fri 25 January, 7:30pm
The Classic Grand

When a classical/Latin pianist, a German-Jewish/Geordie violinist, a folk accordionist and a Brazilian bassist meet in a tango band, perhaps the only conceivable result is another band – completed by a Scottish tabla player – performing a headily unclassifiable brew of klezmer, Balkan, jazz, Latin and Oriental sounds, stirred together with bravura musicianship. Such is the singular story of Moishe’s Bagel, one of Scotland’s most successful world music groups, who released their second album ‘Salt’ in 2007.

The powerful Swedish supergroup Den Fule, recently reunited after a ten-year sabbatical, combines members of such ground-breaking acts as Filarfolket and Groupa, splicing rock riffs and jazz stylings with traditional tunes.

Grace, Hewat & Polwart – in Harmony with the Maria Dunn Trio
Fri 25 January, 8pm
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Strathclyde Suite

Building on their previous collaborations in the Unusual Suspects and the Scottish Women project, three of Scotland’s finest singers and harmonists – Annie Grace, Corrina Hewat and Karine Polwart – join forces for a show of bewitching vocal artistry. Interweaving traditional, contemporary and original material, sourced from anywhere that takes their collective fancy, the trio pool their formidable talents into something truly rich and rare.

Juno-nominated singer-songwriter Maria Dunn describes herself as a storyteller in song, often drawing inspiration from the history and folklore of her native western Canada, as on her widely airplayed 2004 release ‘We Were Good People’. Tonight she will be accompanied by Fiona Coll (fiddle) and Andy Illig (guitar).

Fri 25 January, 8pm
The Tron Theatre

Commemorating and celebrating the history and heritage of North West Sutherland, Ùrachadh weaves together Gaelic music and song, narration and poetry, archive recordings and visual projections.

Renowned performers from the North, James Graham, James Ross, Carol-Anne Mackay, Catriona MacLeod and Rhona Sutherland, end the show on an apt note of renewal with a selection of newly-composed pieces.

Merry Muses
Fri 25 January, 8pm
St Andrew’s in the Square

Not for the easily offended, this adults-only Burns Night show highlights the bawdiest gems of our national bard’s oeuvre, performed by Burns ‘n’ Blue members – Wendy Weatherby, John Morran, Fred Freeman, Sandy Brechin, Angus Lyon and Marc Duff.

Michael McGoldrick Band with Classic Album: Kris Drever‘s Black Water
Fri 25 January, 9:30pm
Old Fruitmarket

Brace yourselves for the return of Michael McGoldrick‘s mighty big-band line-up, performing the uniquely compelling, cutting-edge Celtic sounds on his two solo albums, ‘Fused [USA] / Fused [UK] (2000) and Wired  [USA] / Wired [UK] (2005).

Accompanying his flute, whistles and uilleann pipes will be regular cohorts like Dezi Donnelly (fiddle), John Joe Kelly (bodhran), Ed Boyd (guitar), Neil Yates (trumpet), Parvinder Bharat (tablas) and James Mackintosh (drums), plus several special guests from the dynamic Manchester-Irish scene that originally nurtured McGoldrick’s talents.

Billed as a ‘Classic Album’ gig, Orcadian singer-guitarist Kris Drever‘s opening set will comprise a full performance of his 2006 debut release Black Water, which – having secured him the Horizon prize for best newcomer at the Radio 2 Folk Awards, and a raft of critical raves – counts as an instant classic if ever there was one. Kris will be joined by some of the album’s guests, including Ewen Vernal, Andy Cutting, Donald Shaw, Roy Dodds, John McCusker and Roddy Woomble.
Sponsored by Eskmills

Celtic Connections Festival Ceilidhs
Fri 25 January, 10pm
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Exhibition Hall

Enjoy the perfect post-concert fling or pre-festival warm up, with the fantastic Alasdair MacCuish and The Black Rose Ceilidh Band.

Celtic Connections Festival Club hosted by Gibb Todd
Fri 25 January, 10:30pm
Central Hotel

The late night club ensures there is even more music to enjoy after all the gigs are over. Join local and international artists as they make special unbilled appearances or join in one of many sessions happening in the bars.

With food and drink in plentiful supply you can happily keep going into the early hours of the morning whilst witnessing some of the best musical collaborations of the festival.

Master of ceremonies, Gibb Todd returns to present each act on stage and Doris Rougvie hosts The House of Song in a peaceful oasis away from the main stage.

BBC Radio Scotland 92-95FM & 810MW Live Radio Broadcasts
Iain Anderson
Fri 25 January, 10:30pm
Free but ticketed
BBC Scotland, Pacific Quay

Join Iain Anderson in the sensational surroundings of BBC Scotland’s new home at Pacific Quay where he is joined by some of the best songsmiths from Scotland and beyond. Live on BBC Radio Scotland.


The 15th Celtic Connections festival takes place over 19 days in January and February in 14 venues across Glasgow, Celtic Connections is the UK’s premier Celtic music festival, with over 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops.

Tickets can be booked:

In person Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
2 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G2 3NY
City Halls and Old Fruitmarket
Glasgow, G1 1NQ
By phone 0141 353 8000

For further information  check