The line-up for Inverclyde’s second Scottish Folk & Roots Festival has been confirmed with the 2014 festival running during the weekends from Sunday 5 October to Saturday 15 November. Celtic Music Radio will be broadcasting live from the event featuring the ‘The Session’.
The festival opens with a spectacular concert that received a standing ovation from the sell-out Glasgow Royal Concert Hall audience during Celtic Connections 2014.
“Far, Far From Ypres” is the story of an everyman Scot set in World War 1, brilliantly written and directed by Ian McCalman. The Greenock show features a cast of 25 folksingers, with BBC Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson’s wonderful narration linking songs and stories about Jimmy MacDonald from “any village in Scotland”. This powerful show, telling of Jimmy’s recruitment, training, journey to the Somme, and return home, features songs of that era and contemporary songs about WW1. Cameo roles by Davy Nicol and Gordon McKenzie give an Inverclyde dimension to the story.
The festival is delighted to welcome back the spellbinding and evocative Celtic Connections’ evergreen Karen Matheson, recently seen by a worldwide TV audience of 1 billion people performing “Ae Fond Kiss” at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Karen was determined to return to that “wonderful, warm audience” at the Beacon for this year’s festival.
By popular request, two artists who played hugely entertaining sell-out shows last year return – the high energy and great harmonies of the kings of folk’n’roll, Scocha, and the legendary Alastair McDonald, performing better than at any time in his long career. Tickets for both shows are guaranteed to sell fast again.
A coup for the Studio Theatre is Emily Smith, who has been part of the television Transatlantic Sessions on stage and on tour, as well as headlining her own Celtic Connections shows.
Great shows in The Studio Theatre continue with the Scottish folk music institution of Gaberlunzie; “Where Eagles Fly” soundtrack star Moira Kerr in a great double bill with our own Yvonne Lyon; and a new name to many – Amber Road, whose recent signing of a US recording deal was announced on STV. Catch them here before they embark on a US tour.
The increasingly critically acclaimed Yvonne Lyon leads the Inverclyde contingent. Music business legend Bob Harris is now counted amongst her fans, calling her live performance on his radio show “just stunning”. Yvonne is also a former Celtic Music Radio presenter.
Songwriters John Morgan and Martin Jones, who played in last year’s folk-in-the-round, have the opportunity to showcase their talents to larger audiences by supporting Karen Matheson and Alastair McDonald respectively.
Scocha insisted on The Wherries supporting them again this year at what will be the liveliest concert of the festival, while Lynnie Carson brings her great voice and songwriting skills to complement Emily Smith.
Dave Mac will make an interesting pairing with Amber Road bringing something of an indie folk feel to festival performances. Dave’s list of support credits include Pete Doherty, Chris Helme, Tom Hingley and Nick Harper.
The Session is a new feature, open to new-to-the-festival acoustic performers, subject to programme capacity. Registration details are available in the festival programme – available at The Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay, Greenock PA15 1HJ or at “Inverclyde’s Scottish Folk & Roots Festival” on Facebook.
The Session will be broadcast live by Celtic Music Radio 95 FM and online from 3.00pm on Sunday 5 October introduced by Ross Macfadyen, Liz Clark and Alex Jenkins.
A support slot to Gaberlunzie at the final concert of the festival will also be up for grabs.
Festival organiser Neil Lochiel said: “With reduced funding this year, ticket prices couldn’t quite be maintained at last year’s level but, with such a great line-up across the generations, it remains a great value for money event”.