The Pictish Trail & Sweet Baboo, Glasgow Art Club
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I'm told that finding the bands by following the noise isn't standard practice for Celtic Connections.
But then, there wasn't much standard about this show, during which Moshi Moshi labelmates and enigmatically-named alt-folkers Sweet Baboo and The Pictish Trail took turns performing their own songs with the other as backing. There was the surroundings, for starters; but the mahogany furniture and po-faced sculptures of Glasgow's Art Club somehow provided the perfect backdrop to music that nobody would appreciate me calling nursery rhythmic.
Sweet Baboo - Stephen Black to his friends - had the face of a Welsh choirboy, but the lyrics of one who got thrown out of the club for smuggling in dirty magazines. His songs were whimsical without being twee, with "C'mon Let's Mosh!" even edging mischievously close to dance-pop territory; and his stage partner's input and harmonies transforming 2010's "I'm a Dancer" into something more melancholy than on record.
Johnny Lynch of The Pictish Trail's selections managed to showcase the range of his genre-busting work, from a gorgeous acoustic guitar-driven hymn about eating your selection box and playing your Game Boy on silent through Christmas Day mass to "Long in the Tooth", an old song updated for 2013's Secret Soundz vol. 2 into something altogether joyous. A stunning version of "The Lighthouse", with Lynch's voice sounding like the wilderness against a musical swell, was the highlight of the night.
The focus shifting from one side to the other during songs, and lengthy asides on the acceptability of listening to your own songs and the University of Wales' electronic library systems, may have disrupted the flow - but for tonight, at least, these things were part of the charm.