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Cara Dillon with BBC SSO, City Halls, Glasgow

It won't be every night that the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra is told that the star soloist's favourite song is coming up "so don't ruin it" with such winningly cheeky charm.

There was no ruining done across the programme that Cara Dillon performed either with her own six-piece band or the various permutations of orchestra and traditional musicians. There were, though, moments both brilliantly inspired and not quite so convincing as Dillon sang songs from across her solo catalogue in a setting that certainly didn't overawe her.

Brought up in Dungiven in an environment rich in traditional music, Dillon very much has, as they say, the tradition in her. She has a natural understanding of her material and a very natural presentation style but on this occasion her voice was a little underpowered at times, with her customary clarity of diction not always audible in the first half, even on an introductory Johnny Lovely Johnny that heralded a band set before her "new friends", the BBC SSO, arrived.

A superb, initially unaccompanied, Fil Fil A Run Ó illustrated Dillon's beautiful singing, with gentle strings added latterly, and a lovely orchestration perfectly captured the mood of The Snows They Melt the Soonest. If the orchestra didn't quite catch the snap required for Dillon's own High Tide and was a little laboured on She Moved Through the Fair, Dillon's singing, both in its subtle, storytelling nuances and her ability to soar easily with the more powerful arrangements and the nicely-integrated folk and classical elements, grew steadily more impressive as the concert headed towards its coda.

HHH

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