Fiddlers’ Bid to headline Celtic Connections show

Shetland’s foremost musical export Fiddlers’ Bid are to headline a show at the 18th Celtic Connections festival in January as they prepare to celebrate 20 years together in 2011.

Their widely-praised, award-winning 2009 album All Dressed In Yellow has been a huge success for the seven-piece fiddle group and they will headline at Glasgow Concert Hall on Saturday 15th January.

The show is billed as featuring a few “special guests”, including Japanese folk/pop outfit Humbert Humbert. Support will come from Texan 1930s throwback outfit the Quebe Sisters.

More acts are still to be announced for this year’s festival, which will see 1,500 artists performing in approximately 300 events during the second half of January. Now in its 11th year, Celtic Connections is well established as Scotland’s foremost programme of live winter music and showcases a wide range of folk, roots, world, traditional, indie, Americana, bluegrass and jazz musicians.

The isles’ famous fiddler Aly Bain is the joint director (along with Jerry Douglas) of Transatlantic Sessions, which take place on 27th and 28th January in the concert hall. This year artists and musicians involved in the televised series include Allison Moorer, Julie Fowlis, Ashley Cleveland, Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, Phil Cunningham and Michael McGoldrick.

Fiddlers’ Bid pianist and clàrsach (Irish harp) player Catriona McKay is also on the bill under the moniker Strange Rainbow, a collaboration between herself and Alistair MacDonald, a composer and performer of electro-acoustic music.

Included on the bill are a number of world-class musicians who have visited Shetland in the past, including folk royalty Richard Thompson, his son Teddy Thompson, Crooked Still, Sharon Shannon, Emily Smith, the New Rope String Band and LAU, who were one of the headliners at May’s folk festival.

Highlights of the programme, unveiled on Tuesday, include a special tribute night in the year of Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday, with festival organisers having “assembled an aptly diverse Scottish and international cast of Dylan devotees” including Justin Currie, Tim O’Brien, Justin Townes Earle and Thea Gilmore, with Glasgow’s Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire as the house band for the evening.

Iconic Glasgow group Love and Money are reforming for one night only, while Californian band Grant Lee Buffalo will play their first UK gig in over a decade. There will also be appearances from revered soul singer Mavis Staples and Scots troubadour Dougie MacLean, while The Waterboys, Blind Boys of Alabama, Shane McGowan and BMX Bandits have shows planned.

The festival will be launched with an international collaboration which will see legendary Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain performing alongside traditional musicians from Scotland and Ireland, while as ever there is a strong world music strand.

• Tickets are available now by telephone on 0141 353 8000 or online at, where you can also find full listings of the 17-day festival.


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