Dà Chànan / Twa Leids
A celebration of Gaelic and Scots song.
22 April 2017, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall St. Glasgow
Our Dà Chànan / Twa Leids event was a celebration of the shared roots of Gaelic and Scots song.
Anne Lorne Gillies, the renowned vocalist and folklorist, provided a fascinating introduction to the evening’s theme. Anne illustrated her talk with fragments of historic Gaelic and Scots song ranging from the most ancient surviving Gaelic pieces to the songs of the Jacobites and works influenced by Scott, Hogg and Burns.
Fiona Hunter & Maeve Mackinnon are among Scotland’s most celebrated young traditional singers. The two have been friends since student days but have only recently joined forces to create new arrangements of traditional Scots and Gaelic song. Their set encompassed work songs, love songs, bawdy ballads and laments and included a spellbinding bi-lingual version of ‘MacCrimmon’s Lament’. For this event they were accompanied by tenor guitarist Mike Vass.
Alasdair Roberts and Mairi Morrison released the highly acclaimed Gaelic / Scots album ‘Urstan’ in 2012 (commissioned by Ceòl ‘s Craic). For Dà Chànan / Twa Leids they were reunited with percussionist Alex Neilson and joined by Neil McDermott (fiddle / bouzouki) to re-visit the album and introduce new pieces arranged especially for this performance. Mairi and Alasdair’s voices blended beautifully on songs like ‘Hion Dail – a Horo Hi’ and shone individually on stand-out tracks like Mairi’s haunting ‘Leanabh an Òir’ and Alasdair’s celebratory ‘The Whole House Is Singing’. As on the album, the musical arrangements were exciting and adventurous. Alasdair’s chiming, echoing guitar was perfectly complemented by McDermott and Neilson’s inspired musicianship.
The evening’s performances highlighted the important links and continuing influence which Gaelic and Scots song have on contemporary Scottish culture.