• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Songs of Struggle, Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow

It is gratifying that, in an era when the trade union voice has been quietened, there are musicians who can use the power of song to remind us that struggles of all sorts persist, from the traditional working- class movement, protests against world atrocities or campaigns for equality and fairness.

The serious message of this show came from the wonderful Sheena Wellington, who sang poignantly of the killing of thousands of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica, and the massacre of women, children and old men in a Beirut prison camp. The audience listened to her in silence, you could have heard a pin drop.

She was joined on stage by luminaries of the folk music world: Rab Noakes, Dave Anderson, Arthur Johnstone and Alastair McDonald. As for harmonica virtuoso Fraser Spiers, the man's a genius who almost stole the show.

Siobhan Miller, from Penicuik, brought a touch of youth to the proceedings and showed versatility. She sang a moving ballad about the plight of a young woman forced to work down the mines and followed it with a sing-along rendition of the Matt McGinn song about Glasgow boxer Benny Lynch, Benny Has Been.

We were reminded that out of every struggle, every tragedy, every instance of man's inhumanity to man, will emerge folk songs. The working man and woman were celebrated in songs about the conditions in mines on both sides of the Atlantic, and the scenes at Orgreave Colliery during the miners' strike of the 1980s. Sheena Wellington sang of Mrs Barbour's Army, about the Glasgow rent strike of 1915; Alastair McDonald performed Kelly the Boy From Killane, about the fate of Irish rebel leader John Kelly; and Arthur Johnstone gave us the Stephen Foster classic Hard Times. An excellent and thought-provoking evening of music came to a fitting end with Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land.

HHHH

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

138182