Most events take place at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. 2 Sauchiehall Street. in the Main Auditorium. the Strathclyde Suite. the Buchanan Suite. or the lixhibition Hall. Other venues are Tramway. Albert Drive. Adelaide's. 20‘) Bath Street. and the Barony Hall. University of Strathclyde.
information1.ine:0141 353 4137. Booking Line: 01-11 227 5511; fax: 0141 353 4134.
Ticket prices do not include booking fee. Tickets may be ordered by post front GRCH or in person from GRCH. the Ticket Centre. Candleriggs. or any Ticketlink box Ofﬁce.
I Masterclass Exhibition Hall. 12.30pm. Tickets free frotti box office. Gaelic Song with Flora Mactleili. From Barra. one of Scotland's greatest traditional singers.
Suite. 1pm. £3.50. Adam Macliaughton. Wit. wag. folk historian and spectacular songwriter.
I University of Strathclyde Lecture Buchanan Suite. 2.30pm. Tickets free from box office. Margaret Bennett on the Gaels of Quebec.
I Battlefield Band/Barra Maclieils Main Auditorium. 7.30pm. £12.50. £10.50. Glasgow‘s enduring export-strength brew of Scots trad and popular entertainment features the brilliant playing of lain MacDonald and John McCusker on bagpipes. flute and fiddle. The MacNeil‘s Barra is in Cape Breton. and this
wholesome foursome are. with the Rankin
Family. the most popular of the Canadian Scots-based bands.
I Eddie Le Jeune and La Touche Tramway. 8pm. £5. The great traditional cajun accordionist/sitiger with his trio of fiddle and guitar. and a more modern cajun accent from the New Orleans quintet.
I Kieran Cass/Maggie Macinnes Strathclyde Suite. 8pm. £8.50. Highly
praised lrish songwriter/guitarist leaves
this writer underwhelmed; here teamed with weel-kent Gaelic singer and emerging songwriter.
I Anuna/Siieas Barony Hall. 8pm. £12.50. £10.50. Stagey. folk/Gothic lrish choral harmony. stars ofthe Riverdance
‘ show. Aiiuna are supported by
ljdiiiburgli‘s \ocal and small harp duo
Silcas. aka half the 1’oozies.
I Maire iii Chathasaigh and Chris Newman/Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill Adelaides 8pm. £5. Superb lrish harp and vocal with virtuoso guitar. Support from Hayes. the most dazzling and
stylistically accomplished of the current
crop of young fiddlers from lreland.
: I Balnain House Workshops Various classes on instrumental. dance and vocal
styles oi'traditional music. information 353 4137. I Late Night Ceilidh Dance Exhibition
f Hall. 10.30pm. £5. The Robertson Ceilidh iBand.
. _ , I Green Linnet Festival Club Central I Celtic Conversation Pieces Stralhclyde i
Hotel. 10.3()pm-1am. Free.
I Taigh Ceilidh Main Auditorium. 1pm. £5. lshbei MacAskill. Kenna Campbell. Hamish Moore. Dave Francis. Mairi
1 Campbell and Karen Stevens. DariCers
Sandra Robertson. Maggie Moore. Frank McConnell and John Sikorsky. Slightly
self-conscious endeavour to re-create an
old~style Highlands or islands house
: ceilidh with traditional stepping. Strathspeys. reels. fiddle. bellows-blown f and Highland pipes. and some classy
' I French Alligators/Tracy Schwarz Trio
Tramway. 2pm. £5. Cajun afterntxm. Playing Louisiana cajun dance grooves
it. Caiun and the Zydeco Brothers
I The Cajun Festival has been a feature of Celtic Connections from the start, but this year’s event raises the standard of artists, and locates the music in a new venue. Tramway will become an offshoot of Southwest Louisiana for a weekend which offers a variety of approaches to the Cajun tradition.
That tradition doesn’t come any better than in the hands of Eddie LeJeune (Fri 12), while the inimitable Tracey Schwarz Trio (Sat 13, afternoon) are less pure, but no less exciting. Sunday’s All Day Caiun Bash features home-based hands it Cajun and the Zydeco Brothers and Boogaiusa, as well as impromptu contributions from some of the
other musicians involved in the weekend.
Most intriguing of all, though, may be Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys (Sat 13, evening). The accordionist’s top-notch band are firmly rooted in traditional music, but they are equally prepared to pepper that music with more contemporary
borrowings, if they can make them fit.
Fiddler Dave Creeiy describes their philosophy succinctly: ‘We want it to be Cajun and we want it to survive, and part of that is reaching for new ideas, but always staying connected - we’re not gonna come up with a mutation.’ (Kenny Mathieson)
Cajun Festival, Tramway, Fri 12-Sun 14.
Dazzling instrumental prowess and musicianship along with a zestfui and infectious delight in music making is obvious in the two groups who share one of the Festival’s most eagerly anticipated concerts.
Making their first Scottish visit, five-
strong Homes are a band hothoused in l _ 1 the Cork environment of contemporary
approaches to traditional music § performance. indeed, professor and 3 guru Michael D ’Suiileabhain plays 1 piano on a few tracks. But the band’s i individual style of music and song is ; strongly rooted in traditional fomis, E but revels in hair-raisineg fast, tight, ! accurate phrasing, and a repertoire that includes much from Donegal, ; Scotland and Cape Breton. Superb i bodhran, singing, fretiess bass guitar ) and mandocelio fly in wingtip 1 formation with the concertina and fiddle lead. ‘They’re fantastic,’ 3 enthuses llatalie MacMaster, the j doyenne of Cape Breton/Scottish ; fiddlers who shares the Sun 14 event with Homes. In tandem with piano/keyboards 1 player Tracy Dares, the two young women get so carried away by their a own rhythmic exuberance in the j strathspeys and reels that they’ve
3 become famed (as on BBC’s Hogmanay
TV) for breaking into the Cape Breton Island’s celebrated step-dance ; patterns - while keeping playing! Talking to 22-year-old Natalie when she was over here for the Edinburgh
Natalie MacMaster: ‘Muslc is what I've always done.‘
TV rehearsals, she revealed ‘lt’s not fully certain, but we hope to bring guitarist Dave Macisaac back over with us. i’ll find out when we fly home. He’s on the new album, the fourth, which is our full band sound, with bass, drums and bagpipes. We can play that line up at home, but it’s too expensive to tour over here ’
‘it’s crazy commuting, but we have to fly back home and then return the week later. i host a weekly radio show from Halifax. Live music from the Maritimes and beyond; and a live audience. I love it. Music is what i’ve always done, and so you lost get used to travelling. Mostly in Britain, the States and Canada. You see, I started playing in public when l was nine and i’ve never,’ she laughs, ‘had a real iob.’
MacMaster and Homes play the Buchanan Suite on Sun 14; MacMasfer and The Chieftains on Mon 15.
and songs. the Alligators are a French band bringing it all back home. Schwarz. is :1 convert to cajun. but the natives think he's brilliant on accordion. fiddle. and hollerin' vocals.
I Afternoon Ceilidh Exhibition Hall. 3pm. £3.50. lrish dancing with the St Boch’s Ceilidh Band.
I Barra Macileils/Smailtaik Strathclyde
Suite. 2pm. £5. Famous Cape Breton four-
piece sing. play harp. fiddle. accordion. whistle. keyboards. bodhran and are supported by a Scots group which includes small pipes. fiddle. and the vocals of Billy Ross. with the recent addition of Ossian's harper and multi- instrutnentalist. Billy Jackson.
I Frances Black/The Borderers Main Auditorium. 7.30pm. £12.50. £10.50. Mary's sister. now. after the Women‘s Heart successes and solo albums. a major lrish singing star. Rootsy Australian pop band The Borderers hope to repeat their spectacular Antipodean success with their award-winning album.
I Mary Coughian/Tam White Strathciydc Suite. 8pm. 1 1pm. £8.50. Two blues- tainted. distinctive and highly unique singers. Coughlan is one of the most remarkable. emotionally engaging interpreters of contemporary song. with a world-wide following. Support from Edinburgh's Tani White. in his usual trio of harmonica with acoustic and electric
'j I Steve Riley and the Mamou PIayboys/Boogalusa Tramway. 8pm. £8.50. The Playboys are still-young high- energy stars ofcontemporary cajun and
zydeco. See preview. Support from cheerful. stomping Scottish cajun-based outfit.
I Sugar Mountain Bahia/Martyn Bennett Adelaide's. 8pm. £5. Cross Capercaillie with the Pearlfishers. a hint of Deacon Blue and a few fine session players and you've got a band with some polished pop roots. Support from Bennett’s pipes. fiddle and whistles playing karaoke over somewhat tedious backing tracks.
I Bainain House Workshops Various classes on instrumental. dance and vocal styles of traditional music. lnfonnation 353 4137.
I Late flight Ceilidh Dance Exhibition Hall. 10.30pm. £5. Four Provinces Ceilidh Band.
I Green Linnet Festival Club Central Hotel. 10.30pm—lam. Free.
I Fiddle Forum Buchanan Suite. 2—7.30pm. £6. lain Fraser introduces Martin Hayes. Catriona MacDonald. Natalie MacMaster and others. lrish. Scots and Cape Breton styles.
I iiatalie MacMaster/llomos Strathciydc Suite. 2pm. £5. A highlight of the Festival. The most invigorating.conﬁdent new sounds emerging from Cape Breton and lreland. See preview.
I All Day Caiun Festival Tramway. From 4pm. £10. R Cajun and the Zydeco Brothers host the cajun bash. with many
‘ of the bands appearing at the Festival and
special guests. See preview.
The List 12-25 Jan 1996 53