AWE it E
London-based Sin E, even in a world awash with Celtic crossover, are pretty unique. A few years ago they were voted Traditional Band of the Year by the journal Irish World. With new album Deep Water Dropoffjust released, they play the South Bank as part of the London Jazz Festival. But in truth, they're more at home in Celtic clubland than either.
Up at the front, vocalist Taz (short for Tamsin Alexander) gives further explanation about a band that's happy to call itself 'That's It' (Sin E translated from the Irish Gaelic). 'Everyone has a different input, it's totally democratic. I love ambient stuff [she used to be in the Big Geraniums], we’ve a drummer who's from jazz, but also plays tabla. There are keyboards and guitar. But we haven’t left anything behind —
Party mood: Sin E
Irish music is still a huge influence: we’ve an all- Ireland champion piper and fiddler, and another fiddler - and then there's whatever Stephan plays. I heard someone ask him recently, and he said that he plays about 40 instruments.’
Uillean piper and bodhran player with Lammas and the Band of Hope, Stephan Hannigan is the legendary (you might have seen him playing for the wedding in Friends) London—based Irish multi-instrumentalist who originally brought together the band that's going to play Celtic Connections' final fling. They’re good at parties - at Sting’s London house they recently played for Pierce Brosnan’s birthday party, serenading 007 with his famous signature tune, and joined on stage by Nick Mason and Van Morrison. (Norman Chalmers)
ll Sin E, with Transglobal Underground DJ Alex Kasiek, The Arches, Sun 30 Jan, 9pm.
But don't look for straight~ahead Irish jigs, reels and ruiinpipes. "We don't try to avoid Irish tunes » in Iatt, they're the hasrs oi rn/eiything But when we’re Srtting havrng a tune somewl'ier‘e and someone plays something — French, Spanish, Canadian OI whatever — if we all like it, it might find rts way into a set.’
And sitting having a tune is ;ust what The Burriblel)ees like doing ’Ihis is our third time at Celtic Connectrons,’ says Oleary. 'lt's JllSl such a brilliantly run festival. Reaiiy well organised, With so many musicians to hear. We're luciy, we‘ve got two gigs in the
PREVIEW The Bumblebees
Not yet lull-time as a band — fiddler LIZ Docnei‘ty is still a university lecturer —- the four yOung Irish women in The Bumblebees are havmg a hard time Juggling the band diary as the gigs flow in. Buzzin’, their new album, is creating qurte a, well, buzz for its charming,
Creating a buzz: The Bumblebees
relaxed and eclectic approach to instrumental Irish music.
‘We asked Trevor Hutchinson [ex-Waterboy and bass player With Irish instrumental outfit Lunasa} to produce it,’ says ever-smiling accordion player Colette O’Leary, ’We wanted an impartial set of ears, an objective Opll’llOll I mean, you tend to be too critical of yourself on playback — everyone listening to themselves too much '
(.once't Hall but we're also dorng three community gigs. La0ise [harp] is playing wrth Sileas, Mary [banjo fiddle] rs playing With Sharon [Shannon, her srster] and so most of us are gomg to be around the club for ab0ut ten days ' (Norrrran Chalmers)
E Bumblebees, Main Auditorium, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (supporting Brian Kennedy), Sun 23 Jan, 7.30pm; Strathc/yde Suite, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sat 29 Jan, 2pm.
preview CELTIC CONNECTIONS
PREVIEW The Guitar Concert
A couple til decades ago, the term ’lolk music meant, to most people, the aroustrr guitar rust look to one of the (losritg Contert Hall sltows to see the veterar‘ songsrinths Ine up With their trust» (HITMHIs, (in ids and Martins On the nstnrmental front, a(e fingerpickeis Davey Graham, John Renhourr‘e and Bert lair-«h galvanised a new Brrtrairexoheu atoiistit‘ hlues moxenient Brit ‘t'~.llll the arrival of the ieVivaI boom in traditional musr( on the fiddle, sgueese hox, pzpes and whistle, guitarists had to find a new role, and evolve r‘evt tet‘inigues, to take part New ltllllll.}‘> to make better use ()I the inherent modality of traditional melodies, \vider fret hoards, refined pick ups, and a (lutth of younger players huilrlirig on the atromplrshments ol the past masters Recognising this, Celtir Connections brings SIX of the best of them together for a fretful Friday evening Idinhurgh— hased Tony lvlclvlanus, a regular accompanist to fiddler lasdair Fraser, and Boston-exrled Tony tulle, ex-Jock 'Iams‘on's Bairns and Ossian, are two of Scotland’s most distinttive stylists, 80ig Siberil and Alain (ienty underpin Bi'ittany's contemporary musit ~ and Bellast's Colin Reid puts a new twrst on the Renhorir'ne/Jansrh idiom in his own Original compositions Ir‘. a (lass of his own, however, is Par'is-hased Pierre Bensusan 'I‘rn a Frenthman, 'out an unusual one,’ he reveals 'I'm also a North Alirtan Jew, when I was yOting | l!‘.’(,‘d With my parents in Algeria' Lyrital, delicate and passionate as his French songs are, it's his search for instruinentai rolou." that has taken him into East Indian, West Indian, Black Afr‘iran and, of (ourse, Aiahic music ~ and leaves a trace in his fingers ’You see, simple styles ran he very sophistitated and ! enjoy simplicity, but I also enjoy telling stories that aren't obvious ' iNorniai: Chalmers) I The Cir/ital Come/t, Stl'atlir‘lyde Suite, l-‘ri 281ml 8pm,
French connection: Pierre Bensusan
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20 Jan—3 Feb 2000 THE ll8T17