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Wow what a night

​Wow – that was some night. Fourteen main gigs, many if not most of them sold out, and a tide of audience appreciation flooding in from across the city; from shows as diverse as modern-day rockabilly ace J.D. McPherson and Scottish folk legend Jimmie Macgregor; gypsy kings Taraf de Haïdouks and Asturian veterans Llan de Cubel, one of Celtic Connections’ earliest visiting acts. It was another busy night, naturally, for artistic director Donald Shaw, including a slot on keyboards in Michael McGoldrick’s magnificent big band up at the Concert Hall, followed by a guest appearance in the aforementioned Asturians’ 30th anniversary concert along at the Mitchell Theatre. McGoldrick, too, featured in the latter show – except he arrived at the venue to find he’d left his flute back at the main hall. You’d think it might be the first thing he’d check for upon leaving the building, being the main tool of his trade and all that; basically the essential reason he’s in Glasgow in the first place – but hey, these things happen. It did, however, require a somewhat rally-driving volunteer to make the return trip between venues in under ten minutes to collect it: asked by what route this record-breaking feat was achieved, our source would only divulge that “there were a lot of lanes involved”.


It was a pretty extraordinary night at the Festival Club, too, with appearances from both Orkney powerhouse The Chair, gearing up for tonight’s big Fruitmarket show, and the all-guns-blazing Treacherous Orchestra, fresh from their triumphant headline slot at the sold-out Concert Hall – for which one intrepid 17-year-old had travelled all the way from Connecticut, after a pal in Glasgow secured her one of the coveted tickets. Irish youngsters Moxie also tore it up at the club, having clearly relished their maiden Celtic Connections to the max, signing off with the declaration, “You’re all a bunch of legends and we love you.” And en route back from the Art School at approximately 3.30am, there was even a wee al fresco session happening on a corner of Renfrew Street to entertain those straggling by: seemed to be making a few quid, too.


There was also a wee sequel to yesterday’s story about the coat that wasn’t stolen from the Festival Club cloakroom: its owner turned out to be none other than a former Concert Hall/Celtic Connections staff member, who’d lost her cloakroom ticket on Friday night, after putting it in her mouth while rummaging for something else in her purse. At the time, apparently, she simply couldn’t understand why her indignant assertion that, “I had it in my mouth a minute ago” wasn’t cutting much ice with the attendant.


It’s a week late, but a rather heartwarming story has reached our ears from those lovely people at the Holiday Inn Theatreland, which as usual is bearing much of the festival’s late-night brunt with positively saintly good grace. Apparently, one of their night staff is a HUGE fan of a duo who featured in last Sunday’s Roaming Roots Revue, but for some reason couldn’t go to the gig. However, the duo in question were staying at the hotel, heard about their fan on the team, and upon their departure left her not only a signed photo, but a promise of two VIP passes next time they’re playing Glasgow or Edinburgh. To say she was made up, apparently, barely touches it.