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What day is it...anyone?

​Well, the final festival Friday certainly looks to have gone with a bang, as last night’s round dozen main shows scored an impressive sweep of sellouts, and a torrent of rapturously appreciative online responses. “Don’t think I’ve ever seen @jamthrawn be so good!!” exclaimed a happy James Grant fan, following his performance at Mackintosh Church, while another happy customer brooked no qualification in his verdict of Blue Rose Code’s gig: “Best. Show. Ever.” From the Afro Celt Sound System (“Blinding gig”) to Emma Pollock (“stunning”); RANT (“superb”) to Rura, Aoife O’Donovan and The East Pointers (“fabulous”), the closing weekend of Celtic 2016 clearly got off to a suitably climactic start – and it’s far from over yet. And for the benefit of the self-confessedly “dizzy” folks at the Scottish Music Centre – aptly in the thick of it all – who earlier tweeted “What day is it. . . anyone?”, we’re fairly sure it’s now Saturday.


In amongst all the positive feedback, though, our audience nonetheless like to keep us on our toes – and we do pride ourselves on attention to detail, so one patron’s request, regarding some venues’ use of the Celtic Connections compilation CD as pre-show/interval music, that the sound engineers start playing it in the middle, as he was fed up hearing the first few tracks, has duly been taken on board.


Assuming it is in fact Saturday, that does mean tomorrow is your last chance to browse the music and craft stalls in the Concert Hall, if you haven’t already, meanwhile soaking up the buzz of the two-day Song School taking place this weekend – look out, perhaps, for an impromptu finale performance - plus the Danny Kyle Open Stage final: feel that energy and tell yourself you can make it through one more night (though perhaps that ultimately depends on how the rest of this one goes. . . We don’t get the sense that it’s likely to be a quiet one).


If you fancy some informal music don’t forget the Friends of Plockton Music school sessions at Waxy O’Connor’s either, continuing tonight until midnight, while tomorrow’s last hurrah runs 3-7pm.


The freelance Celtic Connections team member whose responsibilities include artist hospitality and backstage riders, a gentleman in his 30s, has been kept so busy over the last fortnight or so that even shaving had gone by the wayside. Determined to face the final weekend with a fresh face, however, he finally rid himself yesterday of the resulting festival beard – only to find that the fresh-faced effect was even greater than anticipated, as he was subsequently ID-ed twice while buying supplies of beer.


Following yesterday’s reports of a major bomb scare and full evacuation at a school in Nebraska, where the offending suspicious package turned out to be an accordion – which also recalled a near-identical incident in Missouri a few years back – we can only be thankful, given our musicians’ tendency to be somewhat distracted – that Glasgow’s polis are somewhat less trigger-happy when it comes to unattended musical instruments, or by this stage of the game, the whole city centre would likely be in full lockdown.