Who you have to see at Celtic Connections 2017

Highlights from Celtic Connections 2017

Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh

Our pick of the acts taking to Glasgow for the annual celebration of folk, roots and world music, including Laura Marling, C Duncan and Law Holt

Every year, thousands of musicians embark on Glasgow for Celtic Connections, the city's annual celebration of folk, roots and world music. Taking place from 19 Jan to 5 Feb, this year's festival returns with a strong programme, featuring over 300 events from concerts and ceilidhs to exhibitions and workshops. With so many events to choose from, we've rounded up some of our top picks for 2017.

Laura Marling
Laura Marling will be gracing the stage with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the opening night of the festival on 19 Jan. The concert will be the three-time Mercury nominated singer-songwriter's debut at Celtic Connections, which will see her lead the orchestra as they perform new arrangements of her songs, composed by Kate St John.
Thu 19 Jan 2017, 7.30pm, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Mànran with Blazin' Fiddles and Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys
Scottish six-piece Mànran will be launching their new album An Dà Là - The Two Days, with a high-octane show planned. The band will bring their English/Gaelic blend of folk music to the Barrowlands Ballroom, with support from Blazin' Fiddles and US band Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys.
Fri 20 Jan 2017, 7.30pm, Barrowlands Ballroom

Broken Records and Olympic Swimmers
Edinburgh band Broken Records have been key players on the Scottish music scene since their formation in 2006. Their multi-instrumental approach has set them apart, giving their brand of indie rock an injection of folk. They're joined by Glaswegian indie-pop band Olympic Swimmers.
Fri 20 Jan 2017, 7.30pm, The Hug and Pint

The Where You're Meant To Be Ceilidh with Aidan Moffat and Guests
Former Arab Strap frontman Aidan Moffat will be performing a live concert version of songs from the feature-length Paul Fegan documentary Where You're Meant to Be. The film followed Moffat as he explored his conflicting relationship with Scottish traditional music and captured his encounters with singer and storyteller Sheila Stewart. He will be joined on stage by the original touring band from the documentary and various musicians from the world of folk.
Sun 22 Jan 2017, 8pm, Old Fruitmarket

Fairport Convention @ 50 and Steve Tilston & Jez Lowe
It's been almost 50 years since Fairport Convention's debut gig but the legendary electric-folk band have returned, kicking off their golden anniversary tour with a performance at Celtic Connections. Co-founder Simon Nicol still leads the band, with the full line-up having remained the same since 1998. English singer-songwriters Steve Tilston and Jez Lowe will be providing support.
Tue 24 Jan 2017, 8pm, Old Fruitmaket

Wind Resistance: Karine Polwart
Scottish singer-songwriter Karine Polwart's Wind Resistance was a sell-out show during the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival. A stunning piece of theatre, in which Polwart makes use of traditional and original songs as well as spoken-word storytelling, Wind Resistance explores a number of themes from nature to football.
Wed 25-Fri 27 Jan 2017, 8pm; 28 Jan 2017, 2pm and 8pm, Tron Theatre

C Duncan, Man of Moon and Andrew Wasylyk
C Duncan and Man of Moon will be taking over St Luke's with their experimental soundscapes and hazy instrumentation on 26 Jan. C Duncan returned in 2016 with The Midnight Sun, his highly praised follow up to his Mercury-nominated debut Architect. Man of Moon meanwhile have been working towards the release of their debut, having put out two strong EPs already. They're joined by Andrew Wasylyk.
Thu 26 Jan 2017, 7.30pm, Saint Luke's

Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh and support
The veena is a large fretted lute-like instrument, often considered India's oldest. Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh comes from a long line of veena players, who have been virtuosos in classical Carnatic music for generations. Join Jayanthi for a unique and highly impressive performance at The Mackintosh Church.
Fri 27 Jan 2017, 7.30pm, The Mackintosh Church

Law Holt
Frequently endorsed by close friends and collaborators Young Fathers, Law Holt has been labelled a force to be reckoned with by many. The release of her mini-album Gone at the end of 2016 further cemented this, following on from the strength of her debut City. Catch Law and her uber-soulful vocals at The Hug and Pint
Sun 29 Jan 2017, 7.30pm, The Hug and Pint

Martha Wainwright with Ed Harcourt
Martha Wainwright's recently released fourth LP Goodnight City saw the Canadian singer-songwriter recruit a cohort of talented musicians and composers from Glen Hansard to her brother, Rufus Wainwright. Martha will be joined at Celtic Connections by Mercury-nominated London musician, Ed Harcourt.
Fri 3 Feb 2017, 7.30pm, O2 ABC

BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Final
Taking place during the closing weekend of Celtic Connections, the finale of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year is one not to be missed. Six finalists from all over Scotland will battle it out for the title, which has known to launch professional careers in the past. Visit City Halls for your chance to see some of Scotland's future stars.
Sun 5 Feb 2017, 5pm, City Halls

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Laura Marling

Engaging alt.folk from the English singer whose music brims with lyrical depth and maturity.

Albert Hall, Manchester

Tue 12 Oct

£27.50 / 0161 817 3490

Brighton Dome

Tue 19 Oct

£27.50–£35.75 / 01273 709709

Cambridge Corn Exchange

Tue 5 Oct

£27.50–£29 / 01223 357851

Also at:

Martha Wainwright

Sister of Rufus and daughter of Loudon and Kate McGarrigle performs her own cathartic singer-songwriter material including tracks from her latest album Goodnight City.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

Thu 30 Sep

£28.50 / 01424 229111

Union Chapel, London N1

Mon 20 Sep

£43.50 / 020 7226 1686

Broken Records

Sweeping indie anthems from the Edinburgh six-piece.


Original songs in Gaelic and English with a driving backbeat from Mànran – a Scottish band who aim to take exciting, contemporary, Scottish trad-music worldwide. Since they were established in 2010, Mànran have performed at numerous folk festivals around the world, including a concert for the 2012 London Olympics.


Old school vocals matched with electro backing from Law Holt.

Wind Resistance

  • 5 stars

Every autumn, two and a half thousand pink-footed geese fly from Greenland to winter at Fala Flow, a peat-bog south-east of Edinburgh. Musician Karine Polwart captures the surrounding landscape through story and song, taking in history, bird lore and personal memoir.

Fairport Convention @ 50 and Steve Tilston & Jez Lowe

On May 27th 2017, it will be exactly 50 years since Fairport Convention played their debut gig, at St Michael’s Church Hall in Golders Green. Kicking off their mammoth golden anniversary tour at Celtic Connections - complete with an appropriately-themed new album, 50:50@50 - Fairport are a much-loved living link to that…

BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Final

The final in the Young Musician of the Year competition.

Where You're Meant to be Ceilidh

A ceilidh in memory of Sheila Stewart, focus of Where You're Meant to Be, with Aidan Moffat and lead singers and musicians from Scotland's folk scene.

Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh

Master of the veena and sixth-generation virtuoso, Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh performs.

C Duncan, Man of Moon and Andrew Wasylyk

Folky Scotrock line-up for Celtic Connections.

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