Glasgow Letter – October 28, 2021

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Although not the usual subject for a Glasgow Letter, I could hardly write about Glasgow this week without starting off with a mention of COP26.

The UN Climate Change Conference is well and truly upon us in Glasgow and where better to hold an environmental conference than the city known as the Dear Green Place?

One way to make the city even greener and environmentally friendly, of course, is to close all the roads, so it’s already looking like mission accomplished on that front with all the traffic cones popping up all over the place!

In all seriousness, however, let’s hope for a positive outcome from the conference.
As I’m hardly an expert on climate change, I thought it better just to mention a number of events open to the public connected to the conference.

Live music is at the heart of that. Concerts for Climate will take place in the famous King Tuts on Thursday November 11, featuring stripped back performances by Twin Atlantic, Admiral Fallow, Rura, The Ninth Wave, Rachel Sermanni, Blue Rose Code, National Youth Pipe Band, and Tamzene – who, as I wrote a few weeks ago, supported us in the Kelvingrove Bandstand with such a stunning performance.

There is also a ‘green zone’ open to the public from November 1-12 at the Glasgow Science Centre. Youth groups, civil society, academia, artists, and business from across the UK and all over the world will be hosting events, exhibitions, cultural performances, workshops and talks. There are over 100 exhibitors, 200 events and 11 sponsors taking over the space – so plenty opportunity to listen and learn about climate action.

There are multiple other interesting events, including a couple not yet announced. For anyone interested in heading along, you can check out what is available online.
On another note entirely, if anyone is looking for new album recommendations to keep you going through the winter, I have been very much enjoying Mànran’s new record, Ùrar, which was released last Friday.

My attention was drawn to it first when I came across a hilarious video on Facebook of an outtake of their music video for the single, Ailean, in which box player, Gary Innes, just about scares the living daylights out of vocalist, Kim Carnie, by sneaking up behind her during a take!

The actual track is excellent, though, and the video a great piece of filming and lighting design. The rest of the album is a tremendous mix of traditional Gaelic songs, upbeat tune sets, and an original poppy folk song called Crow Flies. The album finishes with a wonderful rendition from Kim of Griogal Cridhe – the poignant lament for Griogair Ruadh Mac Griogair written after his execution in 1570.

It’s a very old song but a very fresh version which will absolutely bring a tear to the eye and is a lovely way to finish the album.

Mànran are off on tour to Germany soon, where I’m sure the material will go down very well indeed.