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  • Alistair Braidwood

Halfway To Paradise: It’s Celtic Connections 2013…

It’s almost time for this year’s Celtic Connections Festival (17th Jan-3rd Feb), and each year I write about how varied and impressive the line-up is, so I’m wary of repeating myself. However, this year is the 20th anniversary and they really seem to have pulled out the stops. There are some of my favourites acts from both Scotland and around the globe appearing, people whose music has made a huge impact on my life, and may have on yours too.

The problem is, if you want to see even just a few acts then you’re in danger of running up quite a debt as prices are steep, and I do wonder if there couldn’t be a few cheaper nights on offer, but since many are already sold out then it’s maybe not as big a problem as I think it is, (it is), and there are some free nights available which you should check out. To see the whole programme go to Celtic Connections.

In the meantime here are my highlights of this year’s festival. I could tell you anecdotes about at least five of these bands and how they’ve soundtracked memorable times in my life over the years, but you’ll just have to ask me about those some other time.

The Be Good Tanyas, Waitin’ Around To Die:

Karine Polwart, Sorry:

Cowboy Junkies, Misguided Angel:

Aimee Mann, Amateur:

Little Feat, Willin:

The Pictish Trail, Michael Rocket:

Martin Stephenson and the Daintees, Wholly Humble Heart:

Washington Irving, Holy Company (appearing at Oran Mor with the Olympic Swimmers):

Sam Carter, Dreams Are Made Of Money:

Old Crow Medicine Show, Wagon Wheel:

There is no doubt a stunning selection of good music on offer and this list could have been twice as long. But if you want one sure fire winner for your money, seeing Aimee Mann play live in ’93 is one of my top five gigs of all time; although if you have the chance to see The Cowboy Junkies…? Ach well, eating’s overrated anyway…


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