Glasgow Letter with Robert Robertson – Thursday December 23, 2021

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The Glasgow Letter has been a rollercoaster of emotions in the last year – one week waxing lyrical about concerts and gigs going ahead; the next mourning their postponements. Unfortunately, we finish the year with the latter.

After so much progress during the summer, and an autumn full of live music, it was truly galling last week to see online a cascade of cancellations one after the other: first Mànran, then Skerryvore, then Trail West…the list seemed endless and made for tough reading.

For the people of Glasgow, Skerryvore’s New Year’s Day Live bash in the Barrowlands was a particularly sore one to lose.
I am really cheering you up here and helping you get into the Christmas spirit, amn’t I?!

Well it’s not all been bad news this week. First of all, let’s remember that these call offs (while disappointing) are the right thing to do in the circumstances. There are a lot of aspects of a live show that can make postponing very complicated and difficult but, at a time such as this, bands really have no other option.

The good news is there are exciting times on the horizon.

During another tough week for the music industry, for example, Gary Innes took to social media to cheer us all up by revealing he has booked none other than Scotland’s largest venue, the OVO Hydro, for what he calls “the biggest cèilidh the world has ever seen” on Saturday December 17 next year! That is a wonderful thought and something for traditional music lovers to hold onto during this particular time where we can’t even hold the smallest cèilidh the world has ever seen!

Tickets went on sale on Wednesday morning and I’m sure many people will come together to support the event by grabbing their tickets nice and early.
More good news to keep us going is the upcoming debut album of 2021’s Gaelic Singer of the Year, Kim Carnie, entitled And So We Gather. After a successful kickstarter funding campaign where pledgers could pre-order the record and get access to all sorts of other rewards, it really is eagerly anticipated and I’m very much looking forward to hearing it.

Until then, my festive listening will be the new Beinn Lee album, Deò, which I mentioned a few weeks ago and which is now released. Or “tha Deò beò” as the band are saying. I’ll let you know soon how I enjoy it with my pigs in blankets and mulled wine!

On a personal note, I would like to finish this week’s letter by wishing my Auntie Margaret, who reads this column every week (and often reviews it in a WhatsApp message to me!) a happy 80th birthday. Her mother, my Granny, lived to the ripe old age of 106. Auntie Margaret is proof that the key to keeping fit and healthy into your eighties is reading the Glasgow Letter each week!

So mind and get your copy over Christmas, everyone, and enjoy the festivities.