I tend to view my relationship with CELTIC CONNECTIONS as a gauge of this humble blog’s stock in Scottish music circles.
Two years ago, I was unceremoniously told by the organisers that The Pop Cop wasn’t important enough to be supplied with review tickets for any of their shows.
For the 2010 festival in January, though, the Celtic Connections team were happy to give me media accredition for all the gigs I wanted to review.
And this week I was invited to attend the press launch (including breakfast!) for the 2011 programme, which I had to turn down, so I guess that makes us even.
Next year’s festival runs from January 13–30 at various Glasgow venues and given the sheer volume of events that are taking place (more than 1,500 performers will be on show) not all of it will be to everyone’s tastes, but I’d be amazed if there isn’t something for everyone.
Such is the eclecticm of Celtic Connections these days even American indie-rock band The Walkmen come under the official banner despite their music bearing no resemblance to anything celtic. Perhaps they’re raging Tims.
The Walkmen – Woe Is Me
In terms of Scottish eye and ear candy, there are special performances from Roddy Hart and Rachel Sermanni to look forward to, while other choice cuts include Dublin’s answer to Tegan And Sara, twin sister duo Heathers.
Heathers – Remember When
Here are The Pop Cop’s highlights in full:
January 16: The Burns Unit featuring King Creosote, Karine Polwart, Emma Pollock, Future Pilot AKA, Old Fruitmarket (tickets)
January 19: The Walkmen, Oran Mor (tickets)
January 21: Justin Currie / Heathers, ABC (tickets)
January 21: Trembling Bells, Oran Mor (tickets)
January 23: Rachel Sermanni, Royal Concert Hall (tickets)
January 23: Sharon Shannon Big Band featuring Imelda May, Shane MacGowan and Mundy, Old Fruitmarket (tickets)
January 23: BMX Bandits 25th Anniversary, Oran Mor (tickets)
January 24: Forever Young – A 70th Birthday Tribute to Bob Dylan featuring Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, Justin Currie, Tim O’Brien, Justin Townes Earle, Thea Gilmore, James Grant, Rab Noakes, Gemma Hayes, Royal Concert Hall (tickets)
January 27: Tommy Reilly, Tron Theatre (tickets)
January 29: Roddy Woomble / Amelia Curran, St Andew’s In The Square (tickets)
In addition, Celtic Connections have teamed up with charity Mary’s Meals for a special fundraising concert at the Old Fruitmarket this month featuring Colin Macintyre, Jon Fratelli, Eddi Reader, Tommy Reilly, Roddy Hart and Washington Irving on October 29 (tickets).