Glasgow Letter – week 06

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Celtic Connections is now finished for another year. 2019 was a wonderful festival – with too many highlights to mention.

Due to other commitments, I didn’t manage to make it to any of the concerts that made up the final weekend of the festival. I have heard great things about them all – particularly Rura in St Luke’s on the Saturday; Megan Henderson’s New Voices commission on the Sunday; and the concert in the City Halls to launch this year’s Royal National Mòd which comes to Glasgow in October. Luckily, as a number of times before, Donnie “Maroot” MacLeod was on hand to write me a report of the latter – and here it is:

Mòd Ghlaschu 2019 Launched at Celtic Connections

The City Halls and Celtic Connections welcomed the Glasgow Gaels on Saturday night as Mòd 2019 was officially launched with a tremendous concert. BBC Alba’s Siobhan Macinnes introduced a multitude of gold medal winners from across the generations, each singer performing songs which inspired them.

Calum Ross, Margaret Macleod, Darren MacLean, James Graham, Kenna Campbell, Gillibride MacMillan, Wilma Kennedy, Margaret Callan and Mòd 2019 Convenor DI Brown all performed fantastically at the concert, which was expertly coordinated by musical director Mary Ann Kennedy. The soloists were complemented by a fantastic house band and the junior and senior Gaelic choirs from Glasgow. The rousing finale of Cearcall A’ Chuain was the perfect way to officially launch Mòd 2019.

Allan Henderson’s Formative Playlist

Last week, I made a trip to the Hillhead Bookclub to watch Allan Henderson perform five songs from his Celtic Connections show for BBC Alba – alongside the majority of the band who joined him on the night of the gig. I will write more about this in next week’s column.

Stirling Ceilidh

As usual, the Stirling branch of An Comunn Gàidhealach (founded in 1930) have a great line up for their ceilidh on Saturday February 9. Performing that night will be Margaret Callan and family; DI Brown; Holly and Lucy Smith; Islay Duke; the Cluaran Dancers; and piper Callum Wynd. The ceilidh takes place in the Lesser Albert Halls and begins at 7.30pm.

Milngavie Ceilidh

Comunn An-taobh-an-Iar’s ceilidh (in the Ellangowan Social Club at 7.30pm) has a nice big line up, including Rachel Deans, Catherine Tinney, Gordon McKeeve, and Kenny MacLeod and Peter Beaton. Calum MacColl is the instrumentalist for the evening and Kirsteen Grant the accompanist. The chairman is Peter MacDonald and the piper is Kenneth MacFarlane. There will be a raffle as well as teas, coffees, and biscuits.

What’s On

Friday February 8: Clydebank and District Highland Association Ceilidh in the Napier Hall, Old Kilpatrick, at 7.30pm.

Saturday February 16: The Mull and Iona Association Annual Gathering in the Glasgow University Union.

March 09: Gaelictronica in the CCA, Sauchiehall Street, at 7.30pm

Pub Scene

Islay Inn
Friday February 8: Mooki
Saturday February 9: The Raggaels

Park Bar
Friday February 8: John Carmichael
Saturday February 9: Trail West
Sunday February 10: Buddha and the Band


caption: The massed Gaelic choirs singing their hearts out to launch Mòd Glaschu 2019 at Celtic Connections last Saturday night.