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Will Butler, younger brother of Win Butler, the Arcade Fire frontman, played a blinding solo gig at Glasgow’s Art School. And although his band can fill stadiums and headline festivals, you get the impression that some artists like going back to their roots by playing small sweaty gigs.
As a frontman, Will disposed with chat to power through the music. With a minimalist stage set, which he set up himself with his band, a three-piece wearing black t-shirts, their names Julie, Sara and Miles, displayed in big bold white letters, it was a quick fire gig that delivered songs at a blistering pace.
He only has one solo album, Policy, which contains eight songs but he crammed in quite a few others to this hour long gig. The variation of songs allowed him to show off an impressive vocal range, at times deep and throaty and then high pitched and hollering.
He’s already said he’s influenced by Talking Heads, which was apparent in Anna and the toe-tapping dark growl of When the Sun Comes Up, while Sing to Me, is a gentle ballad.
The encore included a cover of the Violent Femmes’ American Music and the former poetry student also devoted some time to his Irish namesake William Butler Yeats by reading one of his poems.
Music can make a movie. The right choice of music in a film can reduce you to tears in the first quiver of a carefully placed violin string.
At this year’s Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, composer Craig Armstrong showed how music can complement the silver screen. His concert at the city’s Royal Concert Hall displayed his compositions against a backdrop of the movies his works have featured in.
Armstrong is the man Baz Luhrmann calls upon to wave a magical musical wand over Hollywood blockbusters such as Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby.
As we watched film clips and listened to Armstrong playing piano accompanied by Scottish Opera’s Orchestra, he took time out to highlight other talented musicians, such as Clio Gould who played violin on The Great Gatsby.
Other films featured were The Quiet American and Peter Mullen’s Orphans as well as Oliver Stone’s The World Trade Center with cellist Alison Lawrance performing solo.
Films scores withstanding, Armstrong has his own works, with collaborations throughout the years including Jerry Burns and Elizabeth Fraser. His latest album, the sublime It’s Nearly Tomorrow, includes vocals from Jerry Burns, who also joined him on stage during this Celtic Connections performance.
And when the songstress took to the stage, there was an air of anticipation. Burns seemed slightly nervous during This Love, taken from album The Space Between Us, but when she sung Dust from It’s Nearly Tomorrow, she was totally at ease and it was truly magical.
Another highlight of the night was Love and Money’s James Grant who performed a cover version of Nat King Cole’s Nature Boy, a song which was used in Moulin Rouge! Grant’s version rumbled with a deep soulful timbre scaling the heights to a cinematic explosion. The effect was out of a James Bond movie – think classic Shirley Bassey sending shivers up the spine with her 007 signature themes.
Jerry Burns and James Grant also collaborated on Powder from It’s Nearly Tomorrow, their very different voices complementing each other.
Vocalists Katie O’Halloran and Lucia Fontaine also shone on One Day I’ll Fly Away and Crash.
Setting music to film also played a part at the Glasgow Film Festival, during an evening entitled A Night At The Regal, held at Glasgow’s 02 ABC.
Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair – the winner of the Best Vintage Fair 2013 and 2014 – arrived in Glasgow on a rainy Saturday on November 8th, 2014. But that didn’t stop people looking to bag a few bargains.
The Briggait proved a great venue, lots of space to move around and there were plenty of sellers from all over the country offering everything from clothes, shoes, crockery, hats, bags and jewellery. Here’s a selection below.
I loved the refreshments provided by The Tea Jenny. A company based in Glasgow who can arrange a personal tea party for you, minimum party size is six, and all food and china is delivered to your venue of choice.
Hello, my name is Avril, and I Am A Reluctant Blogger.
Does the world really need another blogger posting their opinions, musings and random observations? I’m not sure, but with the threat of getting left behind and becoming even more of an old fossil, I have decided to embrace the whole wide world of social media.
I promise not to post too much random nonsense and add even more cyber world clutter.
My words and musings will be carefully chosen. Enjoy. (I hope).