Review: An Evening with Jimmie Macgregor and Friends, Mackintosh Church, Glasgow – Saturday 24 January

Review: An Evening with Jimmie Macgregor and Friends, Mackintosh Church, Glasgow – Saturday 24 January

Jan 27, 2015

When Jimmy opened the concert alone on stage with a lively song, the first line was “I was born long ago”, which got a laugh from the audience, who were with him from the moment he stepped on the stage. He then introduced his talented array of guests.

Rab Noakes, Annie Grace, Stephen Quigg, Corrine Polwart and Sheena Wellington and multi instrumentalist, Alistair McRae who were referred to as “the orchestra”

The first duet with Jimmy was Tramps and Hawkers with Annie Grace, who also played small pipes, whistles and fiddle throughout the concert.

Sheena Wellington sang The Jute Mill Song, appropriate as she is a Dundonian and of course, the song she has made her own by opening the Scottish Parliament with it, “A Man’s a Man” by Robert Burns, which got a terrific response.

Many of the songs were of a bye-gone era and “Freight Train” written by Elizabeth Cotton was given a great treatment by Rab with his individual style of guitar playing, with harmonies, of course, by Jimmy.

Karine Polwart, with her pure and lovely voice, sang her own beautiful song, “Follow The Heron”.

I hadn’t seen Stephen Quigg for a number of years and had forgotten what a great voice he had and when he sang the very poignant “Only Remembered” written by Horatous Bonar, a 19th religious writer from Edinburgh, it brought the house down, as they say.

But, the ultimate accolade must go to Jimmy, who at the age of 84, played and sang for most of the evening. His self penned parodies were very well received and I particularly liked his Glasgow love song “I Like You” which was both funny and nostalgic.

At the end of the night, a capacity crowd gave him a well deserved standing ovation.

Moria Kerr
Presenter, singer-songwriter
Celtic Music Radio 95FM

Review: Hootenanny wi’ Joyce & Annie, The Glasgow Art Club, 17 January

Review: Hootenanny wi’ Joyce & Annie, The Glasgow Art Club, 17 January

Jan 19, 2015

Last Saturday night (17 January), I was privy to a great night’s entertainment, courtesy of Annie Grace and Joyce Falconer, ably assisted by multi instrumentalist Alister McRae on guitar, piano and uke at The Glasgow Art Club in Bath Street, Glasgow as part of Celtic Connections 2015. 

Annie showed her many talents as well as some great vocals, by playing whistles, Scottish small pipes, ukulele and shruti box.

Joyce played piano and accordion and sang in her own deep husky style. They both engaged in a lot of amusing banter, showing their acting abilities to the great delight of the audience.

Although their voices were completely different, they blended very well together, with occasional harmonies from Alister.  There were traditional songs from the north east to Glasgow and several very clever parodies.

Although the evening was mainly upbeat with lots of audience vocalising,  there were a few poignant songs.  There was a beautiful rendering of Matt McGinn’s “Courie Doon” and a self penned song from Joyce called “Where Every Child Thrives.”

Altogether a night of great songs, great musicianship and great fun.  If you missed it, make sure you get to their next performance.

Moira Kerr

Presenter, Celtic Music Radio 95FM

Rab Noakes guests on Moira Kerr, Saturday 10.00am

Rab Noakes guests on Moira Kerr, Saturday 10.00am

Jun 9, 2014

On this Saturday’s Sounds Celtic with Moira Kerr, her special guest will be Rab Noakes who is a force to be reckoned with in the world of music in Scotland and beyond.

Last year, 2013, was a busy year for Rab. In January 2013 the centerpiece of Rab’s activity was the Celtic Connections concert ‘All will be well’. This was a commemorative, celebratory event featuring the songs of Michael Marra, who sadly died in October 2012.

This summer will be busy a time also, mainly with the dates Rab’s doing with Barbara Dickson. Their EP ‘Reunited’ is available now.

Moira will be talking to Rab on his current collaborations is with the great Gaelic singer and actress, Kathleen MacInnes.

Rab Noakes plays Glasgow on Wednesday 18 June at the Landsdowne Church with his From Nashville to Muirend, Stripped, a Peter MacCalman promotion for the West End Festival.  This is an unplugged version of Rab’s Celtic Connections show featuring guests including Emma Pollock and Jill Jackson.

Sounds Celtic with Moira Kerr, Saturday 14 June 10.00am-12 noon and Catch Up anytime.

Review: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Concert Hall, Friday 24 January 2014

Review: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Concert Hall, Friday 24 January 2014

Jan 31, 2014

Mary Chapin Carpenter’s appearance at an almost full main auditorium of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Friday 24 January did not disappoint her many fans and indeed, she got a standing ovation.

Mary simply sang all the tracks from her new album “Songs From The Movies” with the 50 or so strong Scottish Symphony Orchestra playing in fine form behind and I have to say, I thought that they drowned her out a bit at times.

The arrangements went from a simple harp accompaniment to a full blown orchestra, cymbal crashes and all. The arrangements were good though, lots of light and shade with I thought, an excess of cor anglais in most songs.

My favourite songs of the night were Mrs Hemmingway and the final stirring “10,000 Miles”. A flawless performance by Ms Carpenter.

The support act was another singer-songwriter from Australia, Geordie Lane, who had a fantastic voice and used it very well. His own personal style of guitar playing was augmented by occasional subtle backing tracts, the bass drum of which blended perfectly with the live playing.

From his first song “I Could Die Looking At You” to his last and I thought most commercial, “Oh My” in which he strapped on a mouth-organ, he had the audience enthralled and consequently, he got a great response. Definitely a name to watch out for.

Moira Kerr

Singer Tom Fairnie with Moira Kerr

Singer Tom Fairnie with Moira Kerr

Dec 14, 2013

On Moria Kerr’s Sounds Celtic programme on Saturday 14 December will be Edinburgh singer-songwriter Tom Fairnie.

Tom says: “My style cuts across folk, country and blues but I simply try to write the best songs that I can.”

Tom has a rich background of performance and recorded collaborations with other poets and musicians. Tom chats to Moira and plays a few songs live on her programme.

Moira Kerr Sounds Celtic, Saturday 14 December, 10.00am-12noon and Catch Up anytime.


Martha Wainwright at the Concert Hall on Tuesday 29 January 2013

Martha Wainwright at the Concert Hall on Tuesday 29 January 2013

Jan 30, 2013

I had never seen Martha Wainwright perform before and when she started her first song, I must say I found her strange leg movements a bit distracting, however, I soon realised that it was intrinsic to her energetic performance and I was soon so spellbound by her lyrics and guitar playing, that I hardly noticed.

The only accompaniment to her powerful and compelling voice was her guitar, which she played with an individually stylish flare, d-tuning on several songs to great effect.

She told us of a song contest in Quebec, which they asked her to write a song for, the subject matter being “Four Black Sheep”.   She paused for effect and got the expected response. Then she said, in order to make it a bit more interesting, she wrote in a car crash where they all died – which brought more laughter, but I couldnt help thinking that there was something a bit “McGarrigle – esque in this decision!

Martha sang a few songs written by her mother.

One of them was “Come Home To Mama”, which is the title track from her latest album. It was apparently written by Kate a few months before she died and it was an emotional performance by Martha, which got a tremendous response.

However, it was her first encore “This Life” which was my favourite song of the evening – and she followed that by walking out in front of the monitors and singing, without a microphone, “La Vie en Rose”. I”m

not sure if this is common practice across the pond, but the only other singer I”ve seen doing that was Janis Ian at last years Celtic Connections and of course, on both occasions, it brought the house down.

Moira Kerr

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