Altan, Filska and Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections 2006

Glasgow, Scotland – The seventh Showcase Scotland event takes part
at Celtic Connections this weekend. The event has become a fixture in the music
industry calendar.

Regularly attracting over 100 UK and international promoters, record labels and
agents, organizers of Showcase Scotland have been able to develop strong links
with several leading international folk festivals such as Celtic Colours in
Canada and Tonder in Denmark, who consistently feature Scottish performers in
their festival programming as a result of their performances at Showcase
Scotland.Saturday, January 21st Program

01.00pm The Quartet Piping Concert
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall: Main Auditorium
2 Sauchiehall St, G2
£12.50 – tickets available from the Box Office

Part of Celtic Connections’ Piping Weekend celebrations, this concert brings
together quartets from some of the most prestigious pipe bands in Scotland
including the

Scottish Power Pipe Band
, the

Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Quartet
, and the
Gregor Pipe Band
and solos by Pipe Major Gordon Walker.

01.00pm BBC Radio 3 Live Broadcast Early Music Show –
Soprano Catherine Bott
Recital Room, City Halls
Candleriggs, G1
Free – tickets available from the Box Office

Soprano Catherine Bott showcases the words of Robert Burns in some unusual early
music settings. One of the most versatile singers before the public today,
Catherine Bott studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. On graduating
she was chosen by Ward Swingle to join his new British group, with whom she sang
everything from Bach to Berio and developed her gift for improvisation and scat
singing. After two years she left to begin her solo career and has long been
recognized as a virtuoso of early music.

Among her numerous recordings in this
field are Bach’s St John Passion with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Monterverdi’s
L’Incoronazione di Poppaea with Sir John Elliot Gardiner,
Purcell’s Fairy Queen with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and title role in
Dido and Aeneas with the Academy of ancient Music. Her recital recordings
include virtuoso Italian arias,

Mad Songs
from the English Restoration Theatre
and arias by Barbara Strozzi. Decca released The World of Catherine Bott in
September 2001.

In complete contrast, she is much in demand by contemporary composers, drawn to
the combination of purity and sensuality in her singing. She has premiered works
by Jonathan Dove, Joe Duddell and Francis Grier, and recorded works by Michael
Torke, Michael Nyman, Bo Holten and Nicholai Korndorf. She can be heard as
soloist on more than seventy recordings and has performed and toured in New
York, California, Japan, Australia, South America, Europe and the Middle East.

02.00pm The Young Tradition
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall: Strathclyde Suite
2 Sauchiehall Street, G2
£7.50 – tickets available from the Box Office

Like the Scottish Fèisan movement, Comhaltas—the traditional Irish music
association—was founded in 1951 to keep Irish traditions high on the cultural
agenda. It has grown in stature ever since and now has 400 branches worldwide.
The Glasgow Irish Minstrels branch was the first to be formed outside Ireland in
1957 and is one of the largest and most successful. The branch has had numerous
successes at All-Britain and All-Ireland Fleadhanna, whilst its St Roch’s
Ceilidh Band has provided the soundtrack to many a hooley all over the West of

02.00pm Showcase Concert with

Elspeth Cowie
, featuring


, and

Jillian Isbister

The Piping Centre
30-34 McPhater Street, G4
£6 – tickets available from the Buff Club

03.00pm BBC Radio 3 Live Broadcast World Routes
The Old Fruitmarket
Candleriggs, G1
Free – tickets available from the Box Office

Radio 3’s world music show with the best of Scotland’s traditional musicians.

05.00pm Danny Kyle’s Open Stage with

The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall: Exhibition Hall
2 Sauchiehall Street, G2

Hosted by Danny Kyle’s good friends
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.


Karine Polwart
& Camera Obscura with special guest Roddy Woomble (Idlewild)
The Garage
490 Sauchiehall Street, G2
£10 – tickets available from the Box Office


will be performing with her band Steven Polwart (guitar/vocals),
Kevin McGuire (double bass/vocals), Inge Thomson (accordion/vocals) and Mattie
Foulds (drums). Karine’s special guest is Idlewind’s lead singer Roddy Woomble,
who will be joining her onstage for a few songs.

Camera Obscura is Glasgow’s finest purveyors of intelligent, melodic pop.
Tracyanne Campbell, lead singer and peerless songwriter-in-chief, is aided and
abetted by Kenny McKeeve (guitar, vocals), Carey Lander (keyboards, vocals),
Gavin Dunbar (bass), Lee Thompson (drums) and Nigel Baillie

Cruelly overlooked by the UK pop industry’s powerbrokers—despite the patronage
of the late, great John Peel and, indeed, that barometer of Scottish culture Pat
Nevin—the band have cultishly flown under the mainstream radar in the UK while
quietly building loving followings in Spain, Sweden and the USA.

Their new, unreleased album, produced by Jari Haapalainen (The Concretes, Ed
Harcourt) is a masterclass in accessible pop/rock for discerning music lovers
and is set to propel them to a wider audience both in the UK and beyond.

7.45pm Songs of Scotland, Angus
hosted by

Universal Folk Club
Sauchiehall Lane, G2
£8.50 – tickets available from the Box Office

A new venue for 2006, the intimate Universal Folk Club brings together the great
tradition bearers of Scottish Song, with each evening throughout the Festival
dedicated to the unique musical characteristics of a region of Scotland.
Representing the Angus region for tonight’s session are Joe Aitken, Steve Byrne,
Scott Gardiner and Jim Malcolm.


Savourna Stevenson

Persian Knights Celtic Dawn
The Arches
253 Argyle Street, G2
£14 – tickets available from the Box Office

As today’s leading innovator on Scotland’s oldest instrument, the clàrsach,

Savourna Stevenson
is an artist who renders categorization not just impossible,
but irrelevant. Over the last two decades, her music has roamed freely and
fruitfully across the folk, jazz, world and contemporary-classical spheres,
along the way earning her accolades like “national treasure” from the Herald,
and “mother of invention” from the The Scotsman.

Long renowned as a writer for
the harp, in recent years

has also won growing acclaim as a composer
over a larger canvas, following the resounding success of her 2003 symphonic
debut, Misterstourworm and The Kelpie’s Gift. Her forthcoming ninth CD,
Knights Celtic Dawn
unites many facets of Savourna’s remarkable career, in
collaboration with Iranian percussion ensemble, The Chemiranis. It features her
striking new settings of texts by the Lebanese-born poet and artist Kahil Gibran,
author of The Prophet, and a leading figure in New York’s 1920s avant-garde.

08.00pm Session A9, Bachué, and the Fraser Fifield Trio
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall: Strathclyde Suite
2 Sauchiehall Street, G2
£14 – tickets available from the Box Office

Session A9 is a collaboration of some of Scotland’s finest and most innovative
fiddle players, enhanced by a top flight line-up of musicians. It is a project
that has grown out of live tune sessions held the length and breadth of Scotland
– hence the name. As Charlie McKerron of

explained they “are
basically a bunch of friends who just enjoy music and like to share the good
feeling around a bit!
“. McKerron, Duncan Chisholm of Wolfstone, Gordon Gunn of
the Gordon Gunn Band and Adam Sutherland of Croft Number Five came together for
this project in a desire to bring fresh, creative and original music to a
worldwide audience. They form the nucleus of the band. Kris Drever, Tim Edey,
Brian McAlpine, Ewen Vernal, David ‘Chimp’ Robertson, and Michael McGoldrick
round out Session A9.


Catherine Ann McPhee

The Piping Centre
30-34 McPhater Street, G4
£12 – tickets available from the Box Office

08.00pm Liz Lochhead and Michael Marra
In Flagrant Delicht
Tron Theatre
63 Trongate, G1
£12.50 – tickets available from the Box Office

East meets West, boy meets girl, brand new stuff meets old favorites when
Dundee’s finest, Michael Marra, and Glasgow’s own Liz Lochhead put his songs and
her poems together and talking to each other in a programme of all they’re
passionate about—places, people, paint and painters, love, language and

08.00pm Acoustic Affair
Unkle Bob, No.1 Son, Laura Kenny
St Andrews in the Square
£12- tickets available from the Box Office

Influenced by the mighty singer-songwriters of the early 1970s like Nick Drake,
Van Morrison, Tim Buckley, Cat Stevens, John Martyn, and David Bowie, Unkle Bob
are 21st Century songsmiths. They don’t sound like anyone else. While they can
sit quite convincingly as the acoustic Radiohead meets Carole King, their
intense live performances recall both Damien Rice and The Shins. Their appeal
undoubtedly crosses boundaries between indie-rock, pop, and folk and the band
continue to confuse and impress in equal measure as their music develops and

Former songwriter and singer with Greenock based Sneak Attack Tigers, Paul
McLaughlin (a.k.a. No. 1 Son) has taken time out over the last two years to
write a solo album. The independent launch of this release took place in
September and there has been a growing buzz in the music industry for this mix
of acoustic and pop influences with a strong focus on contemporary songwriting.

Laura Kenny released her debut album Drive in 2005, produced by the Pearfishers’
own Davie Scott. Influenced by the legends of rock’n’roll, folk, country music,
along with an eclectic mix of contemporary artists, this grounding has equipped
Laura with the natural ability to write and perform music that fuses a range of
musical elements to create a unique and highly listenable sound underpinned by
her strong and distinctive vocals.

21st Birthday Party Concert with Special Guests Mary Black and Paul Brady
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall: Main Auditorium
2 Sauchiehall Street, G2
£18, £16 – tickets available from the Box Office

There are few acts indeed who can stay at the top of their game for twenty
years, but with their tenth album, Local Ground, Altan has raised the bar once
again. The unique strength of this Donegal-based five-piece was originally
forged in numberless pub and kitchen sessions around Ireland; in friendship and
in a deep shared affinity with the local traditions that remain the wellspring
of their music. Hence the choice of album title to mark that 20-year
anniversary, even though those two decades have seen them carrying the Irish
gospel to every corner of the globe. “We never forget who we learned this music
from and where it comes from
,” says fiddler and whistle player Ciaran Tourish.
Our aim as a band is to try and convey and capture some of the infectious
energy and undeniable power that made these tunes and songs attractive to our
ears in the first place
.” Altan will be joined by Mary Black and Paul Brady to
celebrate their 21st Birthday Party concert.

09.30pm Roddy Frame with special guest Cold Night Song
Old Fruitmarket
Candleriggs, G1
£16 – tickets available from the Box Office

Roddy Frame’s first band, Aztec Camera, was signed to Postcard Records when he
was 16, and his debut album High Land Hard Rain (1983) was critically acclaimed
and commercially successful. His first single from that album, “Oblivious”, went
top ten. He followed that early success by setting the summer of ’88 alight with
the massive “Somewhere In My Heart” and had Mick Jones of The Clash guest on the
1990 hit single “Good Morning Britain”.

Aztec Camera’s subsequent albums continued to benefit from a range of diverse
collaborations. Love (1987) found Roddy teamed with Michael Jonzun and The
Jonzun crew and legendary R&B producer Tommy Lipuma. Stray (1990) had the
aforementioned Mick Jones and on Dreamland (1993) the seminal Japanese composer
Ryuichi Sakamoto was part of the creative team. In 1995, he released Frestonia,
the last of the five Aztec Camera albums he recorded for Warner Brothers.

Freed from the write / record / tour cycle for the first time since he was a
teenager, Roddy released his first solo album entitled The North Star in
September 1998. Singles from the album included “Reason For Living” and “Back To
The One”. Surf, released in 2002, was the album many had hoped Roddy would one
day record in that it represented a refreshing and deeply personal approach to
songwriting. Simplicity was the watch-word during the recording of Surf, with no
other musicians involved, and all of the material recorded in one take. The end
result was as natural as a collection of songs could ever be, just a voice and a
guitar. It has been billed as “his finest record to date.” (The Scotsman)

Roddy is back on form with his live shows too, having just completed a series of
solo shows at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho, London, and will
be touring the UK and Japan later on this year. He’s busy writing for his new
album, which will be released in early 2006.

10.00pm Celtic Connections Ceilidh
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall: Exhibition Hall
2 Sauchiehall St, G2
£6 – tickets available from the Box Office

Get your dancing shoes on for the infamous festival ceilidh with the Scott
Harvey Ceilidh Band. Scott Harvey’s Ceilidh Band is a traditional Scottish
Ceilidh Band based in Glasgow, Scotland. With a line up of two accordions, banjo
and drums, the Scott Harvey Ceilidh band has a unique and lively sound.

10.00pm Late Night Session
Universal Folk Club
Sauchiehall Lane, G2

Informal music session.

10.30pm Festival Club with Gibb Todd
The Holiday Inn – City West
Bothwell St, G2
£7.50 – tickets available from the Box Office

The best late-night club in the city, this is the place to keep the party going
after all the gigs are over. Rub shoulders with world famous artists as they
make special unbilled appearances alongside the best newcomers. And Doris
Rougvie hosts the House of Song in the Cabin Bar.

[Photo: Filska].

Author: World Music Central News Department

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