CEL’C CONNECT CNS ISLANDS
Strathclyde Suite, Glasgow. Thu 17 Jan
The ironx of this Celtic Connections presentation 0‘ Luke Dan es and Donald Grant's sit "as is that Grant WI" not be there to take part The Higl‘lar‘d-bom violinist has a yew active Classical career. and had a prior engagement when the Opportunity to perform a, the festival was added to the Ollgll‘ili dates proposed fer the show, and Will be replaced by Ben Gunner\'
The project is n‘ainly the work of accordionst Luke Daniels tGrant worked With him in preparing the string arrangeinents‘i. It was commissioned With support from the Perfonning Rights Society by the Oxford Folk Festival, the Belfast Festival at Queen's and An Tobar on Mull, and had its first outing at the TultJooth in Stirling in October.
The Glasgow concert Will feature Islands, a 40-minute Suite in four sections, along With a selection of other inus‘ir: from Daniels repertoire. Luke explained the thinking behind the piece
i ;i 'i .r MN! (,llt iNi; OPENING CONCERT: COMMON GROUND Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Wed 16 Jan
partly a kind of big birthday bash. We felt this was a bit more in keeping with the spirit of the festival than a posh night with an orchestra and so on.
Celtic Connections will launch this year with what artistic consultant Donald Shaw likens to a giant session. Common Ground will be led on stage by John McCusker, and will feature a host of big name Scottish and Irish musicians, including the likes of Karine Polwart, Kris Drever, Mike Scott, Sharon Shannon, Karan Casey, Luka Bloom and Michael McGoldrick. The concert follows last year's similarly conceived Hands Across the Water project. Donald Shaw explained his reasons for choosing this model rather than another of the large-scale commissions that have opened the festival in past years, with mixed results. ‘Although we didn’t want to make a big deal of the fact that the festival is 15 years old this year, we did fancy the idea of making the opening night at least
‘That's not to say that we won‘t do that again, but I felt that the sense of camaraderie and collaboration in Hands Across the Water worked really well, and all of the players are used to entering into the spirit of a session, which is what we are after on a grand scale here.’
The focus on Scottish and Irish artists ensures the common ground of the title, and the fact that everyone on the stage will know each other, and have probably worked together at some point, should make for a highly compatible night. John McCusker was an obvious candidate to co-direct the project with Donald, and will be responsible for keeping order on what promises to be a busy night for on stage traffic. (Kenny Mathieson)
Stereo, Glasgow, Sat 5 Jan
‘I haven't been touring any of my Spectrum material for a while,‘ explains Peter Keinber. ‘because there have been other things I
‘The idea was to bring together muSiCians from all parts of the British
wanted to concentrate on. Through the internet there seems to be a whole new level of interest in my early work, though, so I've been going round playing to the kids who were only Just being born when it first came out.‘ That's a sobering statement. given that the bulk of Keinber's 'early work' includes spending the best part of the 80s as one half of the progressively psychedelic and hugely influential Spacemen 3.
The other half of S3 was one Jason Pierce. The pair fell out in t99t) and Pierce went on to Sizeable success wrth Spiritualized. although Kernber more familiar to SB fans as Sonic Boom, a name he impressively still uses to check into hotels) has also carved a more Ieftfield career by recording as Sonic Boom. Spectrum and EAR iExperimental Audio Research) over the years.
Now. however, this one-man show precedes a full-scale return for the most Spacemen 3-Iike Spectrum next year. With a full-band tOur and two new albums planned. ‘The first album's called Spectrum Meets Captain i‘vlemphis.’ explains Kember. ‘lt's With a guy called Jirn Dickinson, who played With Ry Cooder. Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin - he's a Memphis legend. baSically. Then the next Spectrum album proper comes out in March, which I'm really exerted about.
“I've net er needed to be famous or rich. but the most imponant thing for me has always been to continue communicating wrth people who I hope are or my wavelength (David PoHock;
Isles, including Northern Ireland. and write a piece of music that both incorporated and developed from trace elements of early traditional muSic and archive recordings.
‘The performances of ls/ands are well spaced out rather than a continuous tow, and it's a challenge for us to get the mUSIC up again each time. although it has the advantage of giVing us a chance to reflect on and refine it as it goes along.‘
In addition to Daniels' accordion, the ten-piece ensemble Will feature Uilleann piper Tiarnan C) Duinnchinn, Shetland fiddler Jenna Reid, pianist John Paul Grady and a string section, while flautist Nuala Kennedy Will JOin them as a SpeCial guest on some of the supporting sets. Suppon act for the concert wrll be Borders fiddler Shona Mooney's new six-piece all-female band, Shee. (Kenny MathieSOn)
4—1 7 Jan 2008 THE LIST 59