I caught the joint Strathclyde Police Pipe Band and Bagad Cap Caval concert last Saturday afternoon at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. While most people were out and about, doing their “messages”, their Saturday chores – maybe even their washing – I, along with almost 1300 other people, sat and took in a concert. If it wasn’t for the hard truth that I was in Glasgow on vacation time I’d have almost felt guilty sitting around mid-day when there was Saturday work to be done. The concert started at 12:30 pm. A few minutes earlier and the concert may’ve been billed a morning wake-up.
I’ve complained about this before but I’ll say it again: Celtic Connections programmers could do more to showcase pipe bands. One simple way would be to schedule one of the festival’s primo concert events – “the pipe band afternoon” – in the evening. Around the world, afternoon shows, or “matinées”, are rightly seen as the cheapie alternative for ticket buyers. It’s at matinées that understudies get their shot at having a run-through performance and errant kids and frugal seniors have their look-in to a live show.
Evening performances are always the main event.
Speaking from years of experience attending Celtic Connections shows, it really is the pipe band – and piping, for that matter – that distinguishes this festival, no matter how many Nordic Rasta-country tabla players slotted in their programme.
PS. A fantastic and entertaining display of sophisticated muscianship from the Strathclyde Police and Cap Caval bands.
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