Top score for Glasgow binmen

Another couple of additions to festival line-ups, most imminently that of the wonderful Cape Breton fiddler Colin Grant and his island compatriot, guitarist and composer Scott MacMillan, as opening act to the Campbells of Greepe show at the CCA tomorrow night. The pair are primarily in town for Sunday’s feature-length première of the Skye Bridge tolls documentary An Drochaid/The Bridge Rising at the GFT, with MacMillan having written and Grant performed on the film’s soundtrack, together with Mary Ann Kennedy – hence the Campbells connection – and other leading Scottish artists. With the score soon to be launched as an album, our Canadian visitors will be performing in a few excerpts ahead of the screening, but are looking forward to cutting loose tomorrow with a blast of their own tunes: Grant was last seen heading for tonight’s session at Waxy’s to warm up.   

Also just announced, the cumbersomely-monikered but criminally catchy Dundee supergroup Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward and Fisher will be joining the Jamaican/Gallic super-duo of Winston McAnuff & Fixi at the Arches on Saturday 31st. After winning rave reviews for their self-titled debut album in 2012, and the Scottish Variety Award for Best New Band last year, their artfully crafted, richly harmonised mix of folk, country, rock and even hip-hop continues to evolve by leaps and bounds - as showcased on their brand-new EP AMWWF – together with their reputation as one of the best live acts on the circuit.   

With over 200 international music-industry delegates having converged on Glasgow for Showcase Scotland, from dozens of countries including Argentina, Pakistan, Jordan, Cuba, Bangladesh, Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, China, Jamaica and Thailand, as well as this year’s partner countries India and Australia, getting them all oriented and acclimatised to the hectic, sprawling maelstrom that is Celtic Connections in full swing can take a bit of doing. Hence there being a sizeable team on hand from the British Council, to chaperone and help them get their bearings, one of whom got a call the other day from a couple of delegates saying they were lost, but being helped by two nice policemen: could the BC staffer speak to said polis and explain where the delegates were meant to be going, so that the necessary directions could then be pointed out? The phone was duly handed over, only for the voice on the other end to explain that he and his mate weren’t policemen at all, but bin-men (in hi-viz jackets) who – in typically Glaswegian fashion – had stopped to help our overseas friends get where they were going, including lending the phone on which the call had been made.   

For the many friends of Shetland’s Davie Henderson currently missing his inimitable presence in the thick of the Showcase throng, there’s a chance to share a toast to his memory this Sunday afternoon (26th) at 3pm in one of his favourite Glasgow howffs, the Pot Still on Hope Street: we’ll hope to see you there.