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A lively start to the day!

​There was a very special treat in store for the primary-aged audience at today’s final Education Concert of Celtic Connections 2015. After impressively lively sets (for that time of the morning) first of all by drumming group Rhythm Wave, and then the ever-wonderful Blazin’ Fiddles – warming up for their big With Strings Attached show back in the Concert Hall tonight – an already über-excited crowd witnessed the world première performance by Funbox, the new children’s entertainment troupe starring our very own Festival Club host Kevin Macleod. Also featuring Singing Kettle colleagues Anya Scott-Rodgers and Gary Coupland, it’s due to launch officially with a tour in April, but as MacLeod observed, “1700 kids shouting their heads off makes for a pretty good warm-up gig.” He was also hugely touched that the current Funbox crowd-funding campaign, to record a DVD, owes much of its success to existing young fans pledging their pocket money (aaww) – and at the time we spoke, with him en route to get set up at the Art School, also a mite befuddled, having spent the interim hours poring through promotional designs for T-shirts, mugs, beanie hats and the like. We’re sure he’ll be fully back in sparkling host-with-the-most headspace by 10.30 tonight, though.


Also earlier on today, the festival’s chief workshop organiser, Caroline Hewat, boarded a bus from Inverness to Glasgow for the final weekend’s programme, to find that around 20 of her fellow passengers were also workshop students, all heading for Finlay Allison’s Ukulele School. At the time of Hewat reporting this by text to our source, an on-board session/sing-song seemed imminent, and, as yet, the ukulele squad hadn’t had their wine confiscated.


Inadvertently omitted from yesterday’s bulletin; overheard in Folktown on Wednesday night, during a conversation between two Glasgow musicians about their favourite Danish festival: “No, no – that was the Tønder you woke up in the living-room, wrapped in a curtain.”


A nice quote, too, from US singer-songwriter Amy Speace, making her festival debut in support of Drew Holcomb at the Art Club: “Thank you all so much for coming – if I wasn’t me, I’d be at somebody else’s gig tonight.”


And a very interesting chat in smokers’ corner outside the Holiday Inn, with a lovely lady from Manchester who turned out to have been selling merchandise for Tweedy up at the Concert Hall. To while away his two-hour set – being unable to hear it at the stall out in the foyer – she’d spent the time reading Homer’s Odyssey, being halfway through a Classics degree with the Open University, and there ensued an excellent if unexpected discussion, also involving Kris Drever and soundman Alan MacKinnon, about various literary masterworks including War and Peace and Ulysses.


One last quote for today, from a Scottish linchpin member of the Transatlantic Sessions’ house band, on entering the Piper’s Tryst for a quiet dinner after eight hours’ intensive rehearsal, to find an early Capercaillie album (he’s previously played with the band) emanating quietly from the restaurant’s sound system: “Is this music inside my head, or can you hear it too?”