FOLK PREVIEW Hamish Henderson Edinburgh: The Hub, Sat 20 Nov
Folk hero: Hamish Henderson
On his 80th birthday, Hamish Henderson, standard bearer for the great Scots traditions of song, story and music, is cheerfully optimistic about about the state of the nation, and the process of re-racination to which he contributed so much.
During the heady post-war days,
Henderson’s rural peregrinations and dogged detective work brought to light the still-living legacy of one of the great oral cultures of Europe. Its subsequent presentation at the first Edinburgh People’s Festival (which then grew into the Fringe) in the early SOs popularised the songs of Jeannie Robertson, Gaelic singer Flora MacNeil, and young piping virtuoso John D Burgess. ’Without a doubt what we hoped for then has come round,’ recalls Henderson, ’and we're lucky to have seen it happen under our own eyes.’ The so-called ’folk revival' which Henderson championed has been so successful that it’s now hard to imagine that there once had been no place for the songs or music on radio, TV, concert stage or festival.
A man 0' pairts, Henderson has been a soldier, an academic, a poet, essayist, songwriter, and a lifelong socialist who publicly refused an MBE from the Thatcher government. Now his fourscore fruitful years are being recognised - if not yet by the Scottish nation - by two Capital events staged under the aegis of Edinburgh's Shoots And Roots folk festival.
The central concert features the same Flora MacNeil headlining a tremendous list of the finest Scottish singers, performing Henderson’s own songs in conjunction with those timeless beauties the man fought to preserve for us all. (Norman Chalmers)
I Shoots And Roots is at The Hub Thu 78-Sun 27. See Folk listings for details.
Movietone Glasgow: The 13th Note, Fri 26 Nov.
‘I think "Secret Music” is music that comes straight from your heart,‘ explains Kate Wright of Bristol’s premier sonic cinematographers Movietone. ’But perhaps from a part of your heart that you’re a bit embarrassed to show.’
Movietone make a long overdue return visit to Glasgow for the second in Salute!’s ’Secret Music‘ showcases, on a bill with Glasgow’s own Appendix Out. Alongside Rachel Brook, once of Flying Saucer Attack, Wright and a floating pool of members including Matt Elliot of 3rd Eye Foundation and members of Crescent, have spent the past five years fashioning a back catalogue brimming with some transcendentally affecting night-time soundtracks. Frail, half-sung female voices sink and merge with softly sweeping jazz moves and intricate spirals of witch-guitar.
Rhythm of the night: Movietone
They’re currently occupied with putting the finishing touches to The Blossom Filled Streets, the follow-up to ’97's Day And Night, for Domino records. It's by far their most satisfyingly focused long-player yet, fleshed out with frantic sea-parting piano parts, and has all the melancholic timelessness of old speed- blurred photographs.
Wright agrees that the new material is more deliberately conceived. ’With Day And Night I was writing in a much more stream of thought way,’ she admits. 'I would try to recreate moments unchanged forever, frozen in their beauty. Now, rather than getting caught up in these moments, there’s more movement, more changes of perspective. There were a lot of things going on in my life when I wrote the new songs, a lot of people around me were ill, and the idea of The Blossom Filled Streets seemed beautifully hopeful: a new spring, covered in petals.’ (David Keenan)
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An Evening of Spoken Word with
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