Manran & Moxie

Celtic Connections

City Halls, Glasgow,

28th January, 2022

Manran translates into English as ‘melodic sound’ and for tonight it was main act of a Celtic Connection’s gig at the Old Fruitmarket in the Glasgow City Halls. As I stepped in to the hall it dawned on me that I was in for a great performance to come. I made my way up to the balconies that are on three sides of the hall.

The view from up high gave the spectacle a whole new light. Enter ‘Moxie’ the support band. ‘Moxie’ are a group who are touring worldwide with their magical vibrant music. They plugged the show immediately with the many fusions of sound and style and aspect. The place was pretty much packed on the ground level and the energy that the band was stirring up reached right across to the back of the hall where a voice without a mic could travel adding to the close bonds evident in the mood of the evening.

In their short performance they had warmed everything up perfectly for the Gaelic Band known as ‘Manran’ to take to the occasion. Their new, old and accomplished varying of different styles came together in Scottish folk music offering volumes of techniques skills. After ‘Moxie’ sang their own songs with ambient vocals, thumping rhythms and fantastic beats. The hall blew up to Manran’s traditional manic speed Gaelic music that was full of changes and instrument swaps with ease and certain naturalness.

 The electric vibe of ‘Manran’ flowed from their tight adherence created after good years of success in touring, recording  and bringing the music to a wide range of fans who were there for this concert. And the energy and tempos were appreciated with roaring and whooping gratitude from the crowd.

The five person act stood in a row at the tip of the stage for some numbers and dispersed sporadically for others. In changing the set up the vocal and instrumental input of songs had the strong thread of Celtic sounds behind it but the songs were so varied in their individual content covering oceans of tempos, and meanings. With for example love at their heart and loneliness the music swelled making soft expressions and then firing into cult like and determined jigs to revel and stir ourselves with wondrous dancing.

On the very lively, welcoming note the gratitude poured out of every corner of the hall. Set to entertain and even enthral its audience with a party of many, there was a great closeness at the vibrantly beating heart of the occasion. If you get the chance and have never heard them before, you would not be disappointed by the vibe and will be thrilled at the entertainment.

Daniel Donnelly

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