Music, Folk

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Glasgow packs a punch with two piping hot cultural events

4 Aug 2012

Piping Live! and World Pipe Band Championships coming in August 2012

Live Piping! Glasgow once again welcomes new and established artists from over ten countries to perform at 150 events across the city, including the John McSherry Band, Breabach and Rura. Look forward to master classes, ceilidhs, concerts…

Efterklang - Piramida

7 Sep 20124 stars

Homespun yet grand release from the Danish alt.folk group

The latest offering from the Danish orchestra-botherers comes wrapped up in a rich mythology: Piramida (also known as Piramiden) is an abandoned Russian mining settlement half way between the northern tip of Norway and the North Pole. The ghost town so…

Adrian Crowley - I See Three Birds Flying

7 Sep 20124 stars

War, gorgeous alt.folk from the Malta-born, Galway-raised troubadour

Autumn was made for Adrian Crowley. His sixth LP sees the Malta-born, Galway-raised troubadour further hone his gift for warm, rich, fertile psalms that hang heavy with melancholy, earthly wonder and mellow fruitfulness. From the russet…

Rodriguez to perform in Usher Hall in Edinburgh on November 25th

4 Sep 2012

The Sugarman receives recognition in the west four decades after his music was originally discovered

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez will perform at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Sunday 25 November following sell-out shows in London. The music of the 70-year-old Detroit singer has only recently come to light in the western world, despite achieving a cult status in…

Folk at the Pleasance

24 Aug 20123 stars

An enjoyable variety of folk music in a relaxed and intimate setting

This folk session is led by a tentative, yet somehow regal Sophie Ramsay, who in her flowing red dress and tumbling brown hair resembles a folky Kate Bush. After a soft introduction the Scottish songstress performs two songs, the first a melancholic…

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Nuala Kennedy - Noble Stranger

17 Aug 20124 stars

Acclaimed flautist mixes traditional songs with Casio keyboard-inspired material

While imaginary old folksters in woolly jumpers wave disapproving fingers, the younger generation continues to update the genre. Here acclaimed flautist Nuala Kennedy mixes traditional songs and instrumentals such as ‘My Bonny Labouring Boy’ and ‘Matt…

A royal Tattoo will mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in August 2012

3 Aug 2012

The programme includes music, Dennis the Menace, and Brave-inspired medley

Musicians from Switzerland, Norway and Australia, as well as some unexpected guests, will be among the sparkling line-up at this summer’s 62nd Tattoo, which will welcome a fusion of well-loved traditional elements and exciting new contributions. As…

James Yorkston - I Was A Cat From A Book

3 Aug 20124 stars

The folk troubadour's newest album is his first since 2008

A traditional folk songs collection, the publication of his tour diaries and the anniversary re-issue of his debut album have helped bridge the gap, but it’s been a long four years since James Yorkston’s last LP proper. The arrival of the Fife…

Karine Polwart - Traces

3 Aug 20124 stars

The collaboration-friendly folk artist's latest solo effort reaffirms her striking reputation

For all of Karine Polwart’s unquestionable folk appeal (the multiple awards; the clarity of her voice; the history and humanity in her songs) it bears noting that she has stolen the limelight in three of our finest indie collaborations – The Burns…

Meursault, Rob St John and Jill O’Sullivan & Jenny Reeve - Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 7 Jul 2012

28 Jul 20124 stars

Triumphant performance more than delivering on high hopes of hometown crowd

Some album launches can be rather flat affairs – people don’t know the songs, the band are nervous, and it can all feel a bit dutiful. But this packed-out show heralding the arrival of album number three for Meursault couldn’t have been further from…

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Of Monsters and Men - Oran Mor, Glasgow, Tue 10 Jul

27 Jul 20124 stars

Rabble-rousing folk-pop from Iceland

The already warm, friendly atmosphere is amped up to 11 by the time the Icelandic sextet take to the stage and it’s folk-pop, yarn-spinning aplenty for the next hour. They make a riotous sound, complete with trumpet and accordion for a cajun feel.

Piping Live! 2012 warms up with tour around Scotland

27 Jul 2012

Pit stops for the pipers include Eilean Donan and Culzean Castle

To celebrate The Year of Creative Scotland 2012, Piping Live! Festival On Tour will bring piping to new audiences and locations across Scotland. The tour, which runs from 31 Jul to 4 Aug, will offer the opportunity to enjoy the best of Scotland’s…

Eat, sleep and breathe: Meursault

15 Jun 2012

Neil Pennycook reveals some of the band’s on-the-road eating habits

What time is breakfast? The five minutes between waking up and getting in the tour van.Tea or coffee? Coffee. Smoking or non-smoking? Smoking.

An interview with Salsa Celtica

22 May 2012

For anyone who’s not seen Salsa Celtica play live before, what can they expect? Great music, a really exciting gig with some amazing musicians from two very strong cultures and maybe a baby. I have forgotten how many times people have come back to us…

Mary Epworth - Dream Life

22 May 20124 stars

A lavish and eclectic debut album from the folk-rock singer

Where shall we begin? With the banjo twang, Black Sabbath fuzz and Goldfrapping blues-stomp of ‘Black Doe’? With the brass-toting folk-rock euphoria of ‘Long Gone’? With the swirling psych-pop of ‘Come Back to the Bough’? Or perhaps we should start…

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Dan Mangan – Stereo, Glasgow, Sun 29 Apr

14 May 20124 stars

The Canadian folk-pop tunesmith unleashes his experimental side

Dan Mangan has previously mentioned that his band members ‘come from an experimental and free-jazz background’ – something that might not be immediately apparent on record but is plainly obvious at tonight’s performance. The brief squalls of noise that…

Eye o’ the Dug - St Andrews, Sat 14 & Sun 15 Apr 2012

27 Apr 20124 stars

Fantastic bill featuring Django Django, Malcolm Middleton and more

They may have quadrupled the size of their show, and conscripted beefcakes to man the doors, but the spirit of Fence chiefly prevailed at the inaugural Eye O’ The Dug – a musical hoopla which (kind of) filled a Homegame-shaped hole in the calendar (and…

The Waterboys - Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Wed 3 Mar

26 Apr 20124 stars

Three hours of intense, lyrical rock music for grown-ups

Backstage after tonight’s show, Mike Scott, Waterboy-in-chief since the band’s inception in 1983, is disgruntled. His band have put in a considerable shift, knocking out not only a connoisseur’s best-of set but the bulk of its recent and remarkable…

Kim Edgar - The Ornate Lie

26 Apr 20123 stars

Folk rock from The Burns Unit member Kim Edgar

The second album from The Burns Unit member Kim Edgar raises the bar from where her acclaimed debut album left off, mixing delicate folk rock melodies with Kim’s uniquely Scottish and poignant lyrics. Edgar’s harmonious piano playing and a voice full of…

Eat, sleep and breathe: Cate le Bon

23 Apr 2012

Cardiff’s answer to Nico shares her tour habits with us

What time is breakfast? I am yet to find out. Tea or coffee? It’s a delicate mix of coffee in the morning followed by the relentless drinking of tea until bed. Smoking or non-smoking? Non, unless I fancy it. Sweet or savoury snacks? Savoury will…

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Two Wings - Love's Spring

23 Apr 20123 stars

A warm-hearted fusion of vintage Americana and English folk-rock

(Tin Angel Records) The strident classicism of Two Wings may come as a surprise to those familiar with the avant-folk of Hanna Tuulikki’s other group Nalle. That project’s eerie soundworld is replaced by a warm-hearted fusion of vintage Americana and…

Star Wheel Press - Life Cycle of a Falling Bird

23 Apr 20124 stars

A timeless album from the Americana heartbreakers

Bonnie Prince Billy is not the only alt-country bard to have dibs on Glen Lyon. Americana heartbreakers Star Wheel Press are based in Aberfeldy (BPB’s erstwhile stomping ground), and have quietly amassed a dedicated following since their lovely debut…

Cate Le Bon - Cyrk

18 Apr 20124 stars

Brilliantly textured slice of Welsh psychedelic folk genius

For her latest outing Cate Le Bon takes her pick of the current crop of Wales’ finest musicians, with H. Hawkline providing hypnotically undulating synth goodness, while Y Niwl’s wünderkind Sion Glynn weaves beautifully meandering melodies, at times…

Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra - Improcherto (for HB)

18 Apr 20123 stars

GIO, Evan Parker and Lol Coxhill pay tribute to trumpeter Harry Beckett

The latest in Iorram’s strictly limited edition series of albums dedicated to the Glasgow free improvisation scene features the excellent GIO with two of the leading names in European improv, saxophonists Evan Parker and Lol Coxhill. They perform GIO…

Feist, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Tue 27 Mar 2012

11 Apr 20125 stars

Stunning concert from the Canadian alt.folkie

‘Wan, two, freee, fourr’, some gentleman gargles towards the end of Feist’s second encore. Without thinking, she laughs it off before ending on a heartbreakingly beautiful solo run of ‘Intuition’ from 2007’s The Reminder. It’s pin-drop silence…