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The final day dawns

​By the time we reach the final day, it always feels as though Celtic Connections has both whizzed by in a flash, and been going on for months, while usually straightforward concepts like ‘day’, ‘night’ and ‘morning’ have become strangely elastic and frequently inverted. One poor soul who’s probably feeling even more discombobulated than the rest of us today is young Alasdair Taylor, mandolinist with up’n’coming Highland band The Elephant Sessions, who was merrily enjoying his Saturday night in the Festival Club when he got stuck in the lift. For a full hour – the fire brigade had to be called to get him out. While this might be seen as a cosmic warning not to be so frickin’ lazy and use the stairs, his misfortunes continued after he left the club, and got home to find himself locked out: cue a decidedly chilly and sleepless four hours sitting in his car, until he could rouse a flatmate to let him in. Let’s hope tonight makes up for it.

Rather more kindly treated in the small hours was the gentleman who’d fallen asleep in his seat in the lobby of the Holiday Inn. Politely shaken awake by the staff attempting to clear the bar around 4am, he couldn’t remember his room number, so someone took his key to check it at reception – only to find that he was in fact staying at a different Holiday Inn, towards which he was helpfully directed.

The festival will certainly be finishing on a very happy note for Kris Drever, who has landed himself an additional support slot this evening. After the festival received confirmation that tonight’s scheduled support for Calexico, the maverick singer-songwriter BC Camplight, couldn’t make the gig due to visa problems, Drever’s now opening the show instead, for a band he’s “loved since I was 17”, in the exceedingly fine company of guitarist Ian Carr and bassist Euan Burton.

Big congratulations to the six Danny Kyle Open Stage contenders who made today’s final cut, from a total field of 73 acts over the duration. They include Greenock singer-songwriter Shelagh McKay Jones and two Glasgow trios: the somewhat misleadingly named (given that they’re all in their 20s) Granny Green, with the wonderful line-up of trumpet, accordion and tuba, and the concertina/fiddle/guitar combo Talisk Music. Newcastle six-piece Pons Aelius take their name from their home-town’s original Roman settlement, while Orkney fiddle/guitar/vocals duo Gnoss are in their first year at the RCS. Lastly, from Ireland, Four Winds are a trad/contemporary quartet citing influences from Planxty to Pink Floyd, Brady and Irvine to Elvis. We look forward to seeing them on the main programme next year.

There isn’t much that can dissolve the traditional – if frequently tongue in cheek – rivalry between Scotland’s two biggest cities, but Celtic Connections does it for BBC Radio Scotland’s Edi Stark, who tweeted earlier today: “Nobody loves living in Edinburgh more than me but in January I belong to #Glasgow @ccfest Fantastic as ever.”