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Review: Celtic Connections

Roaming Roots Revue

Roaming Roots Revue

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

This was how such umbrella gigs (a popular feature of the festival as the attendance demonstrated) should be - slickly stage-managed with a good mix of visiting and local talent both new and familiar, a top-notch house band and a thoughtful dedication to thematic consistency.

Much of the credit for that should go to master of ceremonies Roddy Hart and his regular cohorts The Lonesome Fire. If guitarists John Martin and Gordon Turner looked like they were having rather too much fun with the duelling guitars on the massed-ranks version of Hotel California that closed the first half ("Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Joe Walsh"), that does not alter the fact that their facsimile was note, and tone, perfect.

The music of The Eagles was well represented in the celebration of Laurel Canyon, California, that linked the programme, with contributors permitted a tune of their own for every oldie, and Taylor Goldsmith's fine contemporary Canyon band, Dawes, the only ones permitted more of their own music.

In the lingo of Celtic Connections, they are, after all, the "tradition bearers". Goldsmith also supplied a fine reading of Jackson Browne's Before the Deluge, Lau contributed an excellent version of James Taylor's Fire and Rain, and teamed up with Idlewild's Roddy Woomble for a zydeco tilt at Lowell George's Rollin Easy.

Frank Reader revisited the catalogue of Judee Sill for The Kiss and Lindi Ortega followed her sold-out Tron gig on Saturday with The Eagles' Desperado.

The new name on everyone's lips as they left, however, was young Glaswegian Siobhan Wilson, whose reading of Joni Mitchell's A Case of You had the whole hall holding its breath.

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