• Calum

Celtic Connections 2019

Brave in Concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Whew! Celtic Connections 2019 is over, I'm back to studying at the RCS and I'm ready to talk about what a great festival I had.

This year I was the busiest I've been so far at Celtic Connections, with various wee shows with my trio (w/ Megan MacDonald and Ruairidh Gollan), an RCS Big Band concert, and one of the most unique and bizarre gigs ever - Brave in Concert with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Tom Oakes and Me playing guitar at Brave in Concert

I was nestled within a great cast of folk musicians including Chris Stout (Fiddle), Jarlath Henderson (Uilleann pipes), Fraser Fifield and Robyn McKay (Whistles), Lorne MacDougall (Bagpipes), Eilidh MacKenzie, Iona Fyfe and Peigi Barker (voice) and Tom Oakes also on guitar. The whole project was overseen by the composer himself, Patrick Doyle, and the performance was conducted by Dirk Brosse.

It was uniquely exciting and difficult trying and sync a live film score to the movie projected on the wall and it was the first (and most likely last) time I've had a 24" TV monitor at my feet as well as a wedge! It was a great experience of inter-disciplinary magic and an excellent opportunity to learn from a variety of different musicians. I can only hope that I'll do something that awesome again in the future!

Ruairidh Gollan, Megan MacDonald and me at Celtic Connections on Campus

It was equally fun to do some more low-key performances with my trio, including Celtic Connections on Campus at GCU (for which I returned for my second year running) and the Danny Kyle Open Stage at GRCH which earned us a place on the "highly recommended" list (again, for my second year running). The three of us are heading up to Edderton (Ruairidh's stomping ground) this weekend (16th Feb) to support Mike Vass on his Save His Calm launch tour. More on that over on the 'Gigs' page.

We have some exciting things planned for this year; hopefully a single/video of some kind.

Anyway, better start saving up for Celtic Connections 2020 festival club tickets...

Here's a video the festival put out today featuring various shots of Brave in Concert and my nonsensical rambling. Enjoy!



© 2020 Calum McIlroy.