All posts by yodamo

Teenage Fanclub

SWG3, Glasgow
6th April, 2022

It was a fresh spring evening as I made my way to the immensely popular Glasgow’s SWG3. This relatively new venue plays host as a hub for arts, a night venue and among other things an event space. Its atmosphere was of a fresh and large appeal and there was a feeling of being underground.

The name Teenage Fanclub was in the 1990’s on many people’s lips in Glasgow as a part of the immerging grunge scene that was alive at the time. The band hailed from Bellshill, a town near Glasgow and conjoined in 1989. In their first album called “A Catholic Education” they set the pace for honest and fearless commentary on Scottish culture and about what it was like growing up there. Putting smooth sounds that were part of melting the scene.

When Frokedal Familien took to the stage, we made our way to the front to take things in. Anne Lise Frokedal began to sing with her group who backed her melodies and varying lyrical whims. Coming from Denmark her musical journey has been varied and rich, as she keeps on developing her motives and guitar music sensibilities.

Described as folk/pop her lyrics become more and more about nature itself and how to try to celebrate it. She has produced 3 albums and on her 3rd one called ‘SON’ came her song ‘Flora’, which is a dedication coming from the very heart. With her vocals and guitar at the helm, the soft music was fulfilled by, violin, keyboard along with her sultry, young and beautiful tones to accompany.

Frokedal will be supporting Fanclub for their 2022 tour (which by the way this 6th April gig at the SWG3 kicked off as a tour preview.) So for a few moments the various stage props (gig list and microphone) were positioned in exciting readiness for the pivotal band to come. Though I heard the name Teenage Fanclub everywhere during its early 90’s inception they seemed to be very underground and had what seemed like a cult following surrounding them.

Their journies, as a band and as individuals, over the years give the band an edge of personality offering a many and varied insight into why they were as they were and how things have unfolded. The changing band line ups Teenage Fanclub’s music remains a sound of indie/rock music holding its tones of familiarity for their fans. As I looked round into the crowd to take it all in I noticed many lips syncing the lyrics of both older and newer fans.

Fanclub have produced around 12 Albums in their long 34 year career, from the afore mentioned album “A Catholic Education” brought out in 1990 to the fresh “Endless Arcade” done in 2021. Their selection of songs for this concert scaled back the years of old and favoured songs to their completely new music that is inspiring their tour.

Their remarkable change of members puts great testament to their sound and music that has always been the base of their style and unique sound. Unafraid to rock anthems that bellowed loud enough to reach an arena, they mix the styles of vocals by sharing lead vocals giving their act a great sense of flexibility, as a loud and well accomplished band.

Their popularity grew fast in the early days, not least because of where they had come from. In taking their own music in almost ‘Beach Boy’ like experimentation with their broad Bellshill accent’s. Their songs do their own thing, and their sound has lasted for over 3 decades, and they were obviously still into enjoying themselves.

This was my first visit to the SWG3 scene, brought to life by a Fanclub who are still in love with the music and sound that so importantly happened in a heyday for a great many teenagers back when. I turned up curious for an evening of love of music and entertainment to enjoy.

Daniel Donnelly

Groove Armada & Ewan McVicar: The Last 25 Tour.

The Barrowland Ballroom.

Groove Armada first formed after Andy Cato and Tom Findlay had been introduced by a mutual friend and soon started their own club night in London, called Captain Sensual. This was the birth of one of the most brilliant electronic dance acts on the planet.

By 1997 they had released a few singles, including “4 Tune Cookie” and the song that first brought them minor fame, “At the River”, A song that was included on many chill-out compilations. A lovely tune that was brought to the attention of a much wider audience when Marks And Spencers used it for a prominent advertising campaign.

Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub) was released in 2001 and, as its title suggests, marked a departure from their trip-hop roots to more upbeat music – as demonstrated on the Grammy-nominated single “Superstylin'” Written and sung by MC MAD (Mike Daniel).
Launching Groove Armada to a worldwide audience whose sell-out live performances would become legendry over a 25 year period, further successful albums followed, “Love Box” Again featuring MC MAD on the rather wonderful “I Feel Good” and “Black Light” Introduced Saint Saviour on vocals for the Divine Fave “Paper Romance” The current album, released in 2020 “Edge Of The Horizon” Is still on the Divine to-do list.

Divine has been fortunate to experience The Groove Armada live production thrice before and all three times were a fantastic Good Time party. So as you can probably tell I am more than excited to be attending the opening night of “The 25 Year Tour” Held at the iconic Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, as this might be the last chance we get to hear this amazing cannon of sublime electronica performed live.

So on a wet and windy Tuesday, I headed to Scotlands Rock N Roll Mecca. The Barrowland Ballroom. My stagecoach pulled into Buchannon St bus station, It only took an hour, but what a Dreich day it was, pissing it down as I briskly walked to meet my posse at St Lukes. We all arrived at the same time.

Good timing So we gathered, Had some pizza and Coffee in the beer garden, it was covered, but it was chill and Divine was cold and soggy. then the rest of the Aulde Reekie Possee arrived. And we were off for a date with Ewan McVicar and godfathers of happiness, “Groove Armada.”

We collected our guesties. Put my soggy coat in the cloakroom and we were off Ewan McVicar. was warming up the enormous sprung dancefloor perfectly, Thats what I love about the Barrowland Ballroom it was built for dance. Everyone was up for it, The biggest middle age rave that I have ever been to. Ewan McVicar whipped his funky audience up perfectly. Oh yes , I waited a long time for this one, Everyone had, I think this is why everyone was so determined to have a thoroughly good time. This young DJ had his audience in the palm of his hand delivering a selection of Rare Groove, Soul and House. To an increasingly joyful congregation of people. Baby Divine was dancing, my feet were on fire. So Ewan McVicar did a brilliant job, I think his talent is taking him to some brilliant places. Well Done Lad. 5. Stars.

As Ewan McVicar closed his spellbinding set the Groove Armada Stage set came alive. This was the first time that I have had The Groove Armada experience not in a field. Glastonbury, Playground Festival and Lindisfarne too. So it was a Groove Armada first for Divine. Everyone was so happy. As the band took to the stage. Groove Armada live are an incredibly upbeat affair a musical antidote to the oppression of the current time. With shared vocals from three different singers to support the musical alchemy brought to our hearts from the Groove Armada touring band’

Veba a singer with a voice as big and beautiful as the songs that she was singing. Saint Saviour was in her prime form, with a stage presence and power of voice that held the ecstatic revellers and caused nothing but pleasure.

MC MAD (Mike Daniels), The only male voice, unmistakable and equally as exciting a stage presence got everyone bouncing with delight.
Andy Cato and Tom Findlay Electronic Wizardy, Keyboards and Horns
Dorian Dolem on Guitar.
Martin Carling on Drums.

Indeed between them, they brought the hits of groove Armada to life, with a light show that set The Barrowland Ballroom on fire. A cannon of music that can only invoke Good Time memories, The love that the members of Groove Armada have for each other was just lovely. For one night only, singers and musicians took us all to a place of goodness and release. This is why people love Groove Armada. They bring the party to the people.

It was just brilliant. I went in soggy and came out soaking. Girls were bouncing on boyfriends shoulders and the Barrowland Ballroom was full of smiles. Everyone was shaking that ass. It was just totally brilliant. Everything was perfect.

Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

Photography: Raymond Speedie

Sunflower Bean in Glasgow

Glasgow Stereo
2nd April, 2022

Writing is made a pleasure with gigs by artists like Sunflower Bean. The Famous Stereo venue down Renfield lane in Glasgow hosted this 2nd April early spring coming together of all kinds of live songs. The whole experience is owed to very hard working people putting on shows but not every gig will pick you up and spin you round as Sunflower did dressed in capable rocking leather clothing.

This gig was my introduction to the American trio’s UK tour 2022. So to a slowly filling room the first act played some melodic music mixed with loud guitar, and consisted of a two woman duo. They were enthralling in their interplay sharing lead vocals with confidence and ease. The evening was already set to be special as it was a preview to Sunflower’s wider 2022 tour.

Sunflower have a new album coming out in May called “Headful of Sugar” an album that is to be an attempt (succeeding) to take New York culture by the chin and actually sing about sore or hard issues in its contemporary times by exploding into the music world. The new album had come together for the band, their studio and Electric lady (Jimi Hendrix) studios, in New York where things are kicking off for their major tour this year.

Lime Garden took to the stage for what felt like a big invitation to enjoy ourselves. They were very impressive on all their skilful levels not least saying precisely what they want and how they want to. They were really into retro aggressive styles and strong outgoing personalities. Making us in the crowd start to stir and immerse ourselves in the reality of wonderful music and greatly felt and admirable presentation.

The room (a nice space) began to assemble to experience music that would lead into a list of very well placed, entertaining in the fulfilling grip held by Sunflowers growing presence on stage. This essential grip was absorbed in the heartiest, warmest and most welcome reception from obviously diehard fans. The band is committed in their desire to make you scream or play or fight or simply to retrieve yourself from heart break, all very thoughtful and inclusive.

With their new album all but in the shops the songs they played were of both old and brand new. Taking to the stage the bands intimacy held by their personalities filled the whole room and were as though filling life itself. Impressively intense yet relaxed the expansion was strong and wonderfully rooted. The energy put into the show to delve and confront yet it held a loving care for wide ranging subjects and we saw a compelling importance behind it all of having great fun. The room had filled and bodies were jiving and heads were bobbing.

They had what I can only call an impact, with Nick Kivlen’s guitar solos wildly infusing the loud drum, Olive Faber, and deeply booming bass, lead vocalist Julia Cumming. In a testament to Glasgow this small in numbers gig partied in intimacy and universality.

But this was new music, new and freshly inserted into modern culture both pure and broken down. Holding open a page where the lyrics had the effects of modern life in New York waved not a grim face but instead the night struck the chords of celebration, confidence and bounding faith for their fans and followers. The evening kicked its graces from rock, punk, and alternative Indie music but with a message strong and powerful in an almost unbelievable attack against keeping quite.

Sunflower Bean have a pulsing significance in many ways not least being part of sheer quality in the talents of new and uprising music. Their accomplished work both support the music world and also kicks in its doors and dares it to make better and more powerful stance.

Filled with a fit insight that the wide spread problem of money being harder and harder to come by through work, “Roll the Dice” (an acclaimed Sunflower song) offers a punchy alternative in the idea that attitude itself might be harnessed as a means of taking back control of our own capacity to recreate riches more than enough to live on.
We may thank such ideas brought to us by a most charming New York band that seemed to have love and expression that was a marvel to see. Had a great time, back in a live event, was blown over by this spectacle we could all do with having more of.

Daniel Donnelly

Nitin Sawhney & Natty

Queens Hall Edinburgh

Nitin Sawhney first came to me at the end of the 90’s. when I purchased Beyond Skin, A masterpiece from this young composer deep in Asian mystery and ethnic flavours and spiritual raptures. the perfect blend of world flavours and historical importance that is a thoroughly rewarding journey from start to finish. Divine was hooked. Then when I emigrated to Adelaide in 2000, I found Nitin Sawhney;s first Album “Migration” In a 2nd hand Music shop It was so relevant and the title track and intro. Migration itself. Became a staple in the Divine Chill Cannon. (Have always got 2 copies just in case).

Fast forward a few years and I am going through the throws of a relationship breakdown. Stuck in a cycle of forgiving and self-healing. I bought Nitin Sawhney’s new Album “Human” Baby it was my life story and spoke directly to my soul. Human became my fave music as therapy long-player, Nitin Sawhney got me through a very difficult period of life. Just like Beyond Skin, Human is all killer tunes and melody.

In 2005, I was walking the shadows of marriage end and had returned to Auld Reekie to journey the process. Had seen that Nitin Sawhney was headlining The Big Chill Festival so booked a space in The Big Chills Healing Village. Minky was reading the I Ching and I was on Tarot, Clairvoyance and Reiki. We had a brilliant time The Weather was lovely. It was there I saw The Beat for the first time too. Good Time.

And so for the reason that I visited this lovely festival. Nitin Sawhney’s Closing performance and my first time of seeing this musical master live. One has to remember the political climate at the time, the aftershock of an illegal war and justifiable outrage of what we had just lived through, it was the year of the Tube and bus bombings in London. Tony Blair was losing the plot, paranoid over the mistakes that he had made.

So let me set the scene, it was a beautiful August summer evening, The sun was just setting, lots and lots of happy smiling faces gathered in anticipation of a calling to witness and indeed for Divine it was his first time, to relish this musical mastery. It was because I loved the source material so much. And to hear it performed live for the first time was pure spiritual and musical ecstasy. It was the closing number, a song called The Conference. A Sufi Hymn a voice and tabla passion piece. Performed with big projections of TB on his anti-Muslim tirade, it was such a powerful musical statement, Angels poured into the Auditorium, It was a really important Rock N Roll moment. One where one had to pinch oneself to make sure it wasn’t a dream. After the performance, I looked at a guy and we both just said wow, did that really just happen.

I bought Nitin Sawhney’s new release “Immigrants” last week so am just getting into its musical mysteries. From Migration to Immigrants its been a long musical journey. Its why reviewing Nitin Sawhney on Sunday at Queens Hall is so important to me. His work is always vital and relevant to my life ❤

The Last few years have seen an unprecedented level of political confusion and negative representation of immigrants across western countries. These representations are entirely at odds with the historical benefit of migration to Europe, North America and Australasia. As an artist, I have always avoided politics as much as possible. In music, didactic messages very rarely wield the same power as emotional expression. However, I do have one strong belief, that every newborn child is of equal value regardless of who they are and where they come from. It is only the turbulent worlds of politics creed, economics, race, nationality and social disparity that people continue to be devalued and dehumanised.

In 1999, I released an album called Beyond Skin. which was a sonic polemical reflection on nationality, race, religion and identity. I have released many albums since but none of them were as personal nor cathartic as “Beyond Skin” was to create and also to subsequently perform.

This new album, entitled “IMMIGRANTS” was always intended to be a sequel to “Beyond Skin” It is a musical celebration-of Immigrants all over the world and it showcases and features work inspired and contributed to by artists who themselves identify as, are from immigrant heritage or wish to express support of those international immigrants who have found themselves judged or disadvantaged by pure accident of birth “IMMIGRANTS” is an album of unique collaborations with an aim to redifine our perception of identity and the universal language of music.

Nitin Sawhney. (From the Immigrants sleeve notes.)



The audience of tonight’s performance was hugely supportive and appreciative of tonight’s opener. Natty, real name Alexander Akiloe Philip Modiano. A one-man reggae explosion who moved from San Fransico as a child at the age of one-year-old with his parents to live in London. Having started writing songs at an early age, he eventually found himself working in a London recording studio as a tea boy before working his way up to become a sound engineer, working mainly with indie rock acts. He decided to put a 4-piece band together and began playing at open mic nights before launching his own eclectic club night Vibes and Pressure.

With songs drawn from his first two albums “Man Like I” and “Man Like I & I” With a wealth of performance experience including an American tour in support of Ziggy Marley. One could feel and hear the spirit of the great Bob Marley being channelled for the performance. Indeed some of tonight’s audience had come to see and receive the gifts that Natty had to offer. Not so much warming the crowd but indeed, melting them. Just perfect. 5 Stars. ❤


Nitin Sawhney. Composer, Guitars, Keyboards and Vocals.
YVA. Vocals.
Natty. Vocals.
Shapla Salique. Vocals
Ashwin Srinivasan. Flute.
Eos Counsell Violin.
The amazing Aref Durvesh on Tabla’s

After Natty’s brilliant warm-up. Nitin Sawhney took to the stage with his band of accompanying musicians, with Queens Hall being a relatively small venue it was easy to be upfront with an intimate appreciation of proceedings. Nitin Sawhney gave his supporting band members front of stage limelight and each of tonight’s performers beautifully brought a selection of tunes, on the whole from his 1999 epic album “Beyond Skin” and its follow up and most recent release “Immigrant’s” To life.

YVA and Shapla Salique performed beautifully the songs taken from Beyond Skin. songs that were crafted 20 years ago, songs that hold as much relevance now in today’s Brexit Britain as they did pre 9/11. Broken Skin, Homelands and Nadia To a masterclass in Tabla and voice for a perfect rendition of The Conference, with a lesson in how to count to 5 in Hindi. perfectly complimented the new material. Movement 1/Variation 1 with Eos Counsell taking the lead with her beautiful violin. (Divines fave from the new album) and Sawubona featuring Natty on lead vocal. Immigrants is as near perfect as a long-player can be, captivating and relevant. with lyrical dexterity and musical ecstasy. Indeed the jewels contained within are working their way onto my subconscious with repeated joyful plays. Immigrants is becoming as much of a loyal friend as Migration, Beyond Skin and Human. Immigrants live was as near perfect as the recorded source material. But then I didn’t expect anything less.

Words: Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Photography: Raymond Speedie

Tangerine Dream

Assembly Halls, Edinburgh

Tangerine Dream have been a constant musical companion throughout my life, right back to being a nipper when electronic music first fascinated me, My siblings are a decade older than me, so was brought up on a diet of Pink Floyd, T Rex, David Bowie and Tangerine Dream, my big sister’s fella was a big Tangerine Dream fan. He taped me all the early albums, I became an avid collector of Tangerine Dream albums, My fave I think, is Logos (Live Dominion 1982.)

The only time I have seen them Live was at Bradford St Georges’s Hall back in 1986. Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Paul Haslinger brought the music of Tangerine Dream Alive that night and it was awesome. So am deeply versed in the classic Retro music of Tangerine Dream The likes of Stratosphere, Rubycon, Phaedra, Live Miles, Tyger and Exit and of course my favourite Logos. The Music of Tangerine Dream has been a constant life companion. Then when Edgar Froese ascended and Klaus Schultz, retired, I thought that was it for Tangerine Dream live.

So when I got wind that a new incarnation of Tangerine Dream had evolved from the Electronic Ambient grandmasters, whose music had been passed on to a new generation to be reproduced in a contemporary style.

The new incarnation of Tangerine Dream are Thorsten Quaeschning, a young synth wizard and musical prodigy who began his Tangerine Dream Journey as part of the road crew for tours and the live Tangerine Dream Experience. becoming part of the band in 2005, Thorsten is the longest-serving member of TD and was gifted with the mantle of creative and musical director by The tangerine Dream Grandmaster Edgar Froese in 2013. just 2 years before Edgar would ascend to the Heavens leaving this Electronic Legacy in safe hands to be gifted to future generations of Synth lovers everywhere.

Hoshiko Yamane, is a Japanese Berlin-based classically trained violinist and composer. She has been a member of Tangerine Dream since 2011. The only lady musical genius to become a touring band member and musical collaborator in the bands long history of metamorphosis.

Ulrich Schnauss has been replaced by Paul Frick, & with such sterling musical influences, I think one could agree that it is the fresh young musical talent breathing new life into the classics that brought me here. Indeed keeping the (Tangerine) Dream Alive.

Having been getting more and more excited for tonight’s performance as the weekend progressed, I hadnae seen Ginga for ages, my poetic sparing wizard brother up from the Galloway to join me on tonight’s Tangerine Dream Mission. After a heartwarming dinner and catch up, We headed for the 26 bus into town on a cold and frosty March evening where we caught up with Raymond Speedie who was on photograph duties.

The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh I have always loved, my first time was March 1996 when I was working a Mind Body and Spirit event as a Clairvoyant and Spiritual Healer. I had some deep spiritual experiences and fell in love with marble pillars, sweeping staircases and diamante chandeliers. a building that is steeped in history and always filled with Angels. A venue just perfect for Tangerine Dream. I did think for a minute about how they would fit the full production into the Assembly Rooms. But the creative genius behind the show did a sterling job.

We found our seats and settled in for the experience that was unfolding, On a backdrop screen a rainstorm was being projected and a quadraphonic Soundsystem the sounds of the rainstorm (Enough to make anyone feel wet) As the venue began to fill up, I couldn’t help noticing that the audience were all old school Tangerine Dream fans. Brought up with the classic albums from the 70’s. It was a funny thing that the audience were older than the band members on stage and old enough to be their grandparents. How would they like the new psychedelic techno-infused take on The Grandmaster’s vast body of work released over a 51 year period?

I snapped up the new Tangerine Dream album. Raum at the merchandise table, & its playing as I write this (its awesome). Have a listen !

This new incarnation of Tangerine Dream took to a stage filled with analogue and digital synthesizers, as a large projection of the Stratosphere LP cover and an indication of the opening piece, the lightshow was fantastic and an excitement filled the Assembly Rooms. Our seats were had perfect stereo separation and The tangerine Dream Experience came into full effect. The Young Masters had their audience, in the palms of their hands.

I was particularly interested in how the Violin prodigy Hoshiko Yamane would fit in with what had previously been, before her arrival, an all-male band. Her electric violin and effects bound the musical chemistry together perfectly. Oh yes the Electro Synth Prodigy’s have made Tangerine Dream accessible to new generation of this amazing cannon of groundbreaking music.

There is an interesting moment of serendipity. As Tangerine Dream had been performing for about 20 minutes, I couldn’t help thinking how much The Electronic Ozrics and Silas And Saki were like the new incarnation of Tangerine Dream and how much they have in common, Just as I was thinking this, the Electronic Ozrics and Silas and Saki who had been the last band that I reviewed at Bannerman’s in Aulde Reekie a few weeks ago. came and sat in the empty seats next to me. Good Time Divine. A creative penny dropped and I could see how The Ozric Tentacles and Tangerine Dream were coming together for future collaborations. Oh yes a moment of Rock N Roll History taking place in the seats next to me.

The whole performance was wonderful visiting past lives and current incarnation edging closer to a dance enthused psi leanings. to enthuse a new generation with the ever-evolving Electronic Genius that is Tangerine Dream

After the gig I said to the Ozrics Leader, You Guys have a lot in common. then Silus Neptune smiled at me, Ozrics leader said indeed yes thats why we are here. I smiled a beaming smile. Another Divine Scoop. I cannae wait to see Tangerine Dream, The Ozrics, Silas and saki on the same festival lineup, Dancing free in a field, grass under my feet Oh yes I have a good feeling about this. Its coming ❤

Five Well Deserved Stars For A life-changing Performance.
Ladies And gentlemen, Tangerine Dream. Awesome Stuff.

Words: Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Photography: Raymond Speedie

Silas And Saski & The Electronic Ozric Tentacles

Aulde Reekie
Friday 18th Feb 2022

Back in Feburary 1992, when I was going through the mental and emotional crisis that would awaken me to my true healing path. A beautiful friend called James Pearson was working in a record shop in Leeds and he gave me three CDs, By a band that I had never heard of before called the Ozric Tentacles. Thats when Erpland, Pungent Oflugentt and Strangitude came into my life, (I love you my old friend ❤ ) It was the same year that I listened to my calling to be at Glastonbury Festival, hitched down from Bradford and under the fence.

That’s when I fist saw The Ozric Tentacles full band ensemble. Perform this new magical music that had recently become part of the Divine cannon. It was a magical experience and very much the soundtrack to my early 90s life. I saw the Ozric live lots after that between 92 and 95 and have always made sure I saw them perform at all the Glastonbury;s that I attend while working in the Healing Fields. Also the Ozrics techno offshoot Eat static, I have always loved and always bring them into the mix when Divine DJ’s, Eat Static performed at Eden a few years back when they did a set in The Vishnu Lounge. Brilliant stuff as always. However the last time that I saw The Ozrics full Band Experience outwith Glastonbury festival was at Queens Hall in Bradford in Feb 95, There is always an orchestra of musicians packing the stage, because The Ozric Tentacles are a big band.

So when my lovely friend Stacey Hayes told me that the Ozrics were performing Bannermans in the catacombs of The Cowgate in Aulde Reekie’s Old Town, I thought Aye right how they gonna get the Ozrics Orchestra on stage at Bannermans. Its a small venue. Then I learned it was a stripped-down techno-infused Ozric Tentacles taking the stage for the first time in Edinburgh, Indeed, how could I have possibly missed this one?, The Ozric Tentacles are intrinsic on my spiritual path, I have come a long way since 1992, when The Ozric Tentacles taught me that it’s perfectly respectable to be a Wizard. This was the last night of Master Wizards Ed Wynne and Silus Neptune The genius behind The Electronic Ozric Tentacles UK tour. Performance artists are always at their best on the last night of a tour, because they are so well-rehearsed. Exciting Stuff ❤ And what a scoop.

The first act of the evening, Silus And Saski took to the stage of a packed to rafters Bannermans. The husband and wife duo captivated. with a multi-instrumental dance Spiritual performance. That immediately grabbed the attention of the Audience, This was really really special, I knew it would be, Silus is the Keyboard Wizard behind the Ozrics and Eat Static so as you can imagine just how good this was going to be. Saski is a Spiritual Healer and it really shone through and with the voice not far removed from Kate Bush, Saskis dance style is very similar to Ms Bush’s too and to be able to sing so beautifully with total soul. Wow, we were blessed by the best.

Silus Neptune is one part of The Electronic Ozric Tentacles joined by Ed Wynne the grandmaster and Visionary behind The Ozrics massive repertoire Along with Saski on Flute and more delicious vocals. This trio of Cosmic Psychedelic Divine heroes took the capacity audience on a journey to the Spiritual Realms and back again. A 90 minute set bathed in moving morphing psychedelic patterns the Cosmic Masters had the capacity audience in the palms of their hands as they treated us to Psi infused renditions of the Ozric Tentacles cannon drawn from over thirty years of successful live and recorded work at one point while Saski played the flute she took the form of Krishna a spellbinding example of performance art and musical production.

Classic and contemporary Ozric pieces were represented seamlessly to create the best club night in the solar system, as one can imagine, there was nae much room to dance I managed an hour at the front (Ish) totally transfixed before I retreated back to find space to dance to this electronic brilliance.

Climaxing the performance with Sploosh this was the best Rave any of us had been to in years. Indeed we were blessed by this master class of having a thoroughly Good Time and all in the catacombs of Edinburgh’s Old town. A suitable venue to end a UK wide tour. For one night only, Avalon came to Edinburgh. What a brilliant night.

After the performance, I headed to the merch table and bought the new Ozrics album “Space For The Earth” And Silus And Saski’s EP “The Power Of Three” ( New Ozrics Mix coming soon) Ed Wynne and Silus Neptune were stood in front of me, I was a bit starstruck ater such an amazing experience, the only words I could muster were “Thankyou” Even now while writing this I find it hard to express the gratitude I have for The Ozrics and all that they have brought to my life. For Divine it’s been a thirty-year journey of growth a development. When the student is ready, the master will appear.

Good Time Divine ❤

Words: Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

Photography: Nita Wings

Sian with Michael McGoldrick Quintet and Leyla McCalla

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Celtic Connections
5th Febuary, 2022

The Sian and Michael McGoldrick evening was very well fitted at the New Auditorium space at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. It would be an evening of collaboration brought about for the Connections. Michael and Sian are well known Scottish musicians so the Gaelic celebration carried on in these cold days.

Leyla McCalla took to the stage and began her soulfully endearing set of self composed music chosen to cast the evening away. Her talents include singing and Cello among other things and her style showed itself with influences of all kinds. We could but delight in its firm tempos and rigid castings, something liken of nature itself and even putting wisdom to sound! We found her so beyond in her graces that outperformed her actual youthful age as she brought her whole self to the stage.

When the quintet got to the gig it was to reiterate the stories and songs traditionally carried by the music at hand. The triumphantly Scottish sounding qualities had been vitalised by the inspired choice of support act. So we were again treated to the resplendent and always with a good sense of reality of a show to play with. The deep sense of this music resounds with flute and pipe instrument’s that had the room reverberating and gave connections that whistled along in styles, giving out the strength in the vibrant importance of Traditional Scottish music that implores its roots.

The ensemble had musicians brought together for a very tightly played and loosely given return to the stage. Selected were a group who so flexibly played as if they had been together for years. And the placement of songs that came from the McGoldrick ensemble levelled the evening in the inheritance to the yearly Connections.

So melodic was this music; that has been part of the Scottish and Gaelic music scene forever, capable to just enthral our happy ears to listen and also enjoy the rich sight in front of us. The quintet’s unfailing sound has been described as in likeness to Crosby, Stills and Nash but they had their own musical feet to plant. And again each of the group onstage shared many years of playing live behind them as they grow in stature. Well known for their flute based and whistle based songs written to the heights of its craft.

This music offered a many facetted host of connections between modern and traditional but the magic through the ages has lost none of its appeal and relevance for the Gaelic side of Scottish heritage. And it is in evenings like this, brought about by the Celtic Connections that we can really value in their advances on the world stage.

And with that enhanced revelry the music remained beautiful and still very sound. For though the themes tell of long remembered heart ache of the land, the spirit itself is high and welcoming. In their self titled album brought out in 2020, produced by the well known Donald Shaw, the power and prestige offers a kind of listening that is full of every wonderful and awakening aspect of this music.

What a great vehicle music is from these artists point of worldwide view, and how well that music endows all of its expression’s! All of which includes enjoyment in their musical universality and tendencies in its appeals, with its greatly varied original tracks.

It was another ever so relaxed atmosphere that was great about the occasion and of the mood of the festival itself. The organisation seems to go without a hitch as when the musicians take to stage in confidence with the kind of bonding that travels the room immediately. It is very much a pleasure to be part of, assured as we were of quality, the talented tales expressed in music by ever so experienced artists.

It makes of January a different experience, as it flows from show to show. And the music holds a light to its roots with a plentiful display always straight from the heart. The evenings act was an exploration and experiment of the sound driving every thought through with extended flute to harry the story with beauty and a great identity.

The warmth, welcoming and intimate revelation on show was lapped up and dearly held by the audience in a timeless tract that offered time out from the weather outside. The sense of well-being carried through the room from start to finish. And we were all again left with great thought and great times at heart. This is no exaggeration get on down to a Connection gig and you’ll see just what I mean.

Daniel Donnelly

Celtic Connections Digital Pass 2022: Dùsgadh / Anoushka Shankar’s Orchestral Qawwali Project

What to do with Celtic Connections 2022 Festival Pass, which gives you 12 hours of streamed musical action. Last year the idea of a digital festival was pretty much the only way to keep the Celtic Connections alive, but it was done so well that it should hopefully remain a major part of the festival from here on in. Not everyone can get to Glasgow & on the day I was meant to go myself, storms prevented my leaving the Isle of Arran, but luckily I had my pass.

I watch’d & rewatch’d a couple of shows, the first being Anoushka Shankar’s Orchestral Qawwali Project. She is the world-renowned heir to her father Ravi Shankar’s iconic legacy, a sitar player and composer, she has spent her career mixing her own Qawwali heritage with a great variety of styles including flamenco &electronica, collaborating with such diverse luminaries as Herbie Hancock, Patti Smith, Joshua Bell and Sting.

On this occasion she has bedded in with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, which perfectly accompanined each Qawwali as it started gently & then slowly ramp up the vibes into a hypnotic reverie energizing musician & audience alike. Epic vocal sweeps from Abi Sampa, the UK’s first female qawwal, Amrit Singh’s tabla, hand claps & modern orchestral arrangements full of swirling strings together offer’d a soul-stirring & intricate journey thro Anoushka’s ouevre. A wonderful experience!

My second show was a multi-media collaboration between Scottish BAFTA-winning animator Cat Bruce, & Highland five-piece Breabach, call’d Dùsgadh (awakening). Created during the lockdown, when artists were straining to at least create something – I composed a musical myself, about Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow – something really beautiful arrived on the planet.

Its essentially a tradional Scottish folk tale set to wild celtic strains & bi-lingual narration by Margaret Bennett. You get the choice of either Gaelic or English, & despite knowing nothing of Gaelic, I preferr’d to listen to the piece in the language which sat more naturally with the music. This consisted of material from Breabach’s eagerly-awaited seventh album, due in spring 2022, as they continue to hone and develop their music’s brilliantly dynamic dialogue between tradition and modernity.

Damian Beeson Bullen

Gnoss: The Light of the Moon and Mairi McGillivray

The Mackintosh Church, Celtic Connections
3rd Ferbuary, 2022

Does it get better than last night’s concert held at the wonderful Mackintosh Church in the Springbank area of Glasgow? A venue of many years now the former church has a bar and is nicely prepared for gigs with the original seats and stage where an alter would have been. But it came to my attention that Church of Scotland buildings don’t have one.

Gaelic tradition was on the tongue of both performances by support act; Mairi McGillivray and the upcoming legends that are Gnoss. Their name translates as Knowledge of spiritual matters, a very philosophical sounding name and indeed they celebrate it through their very Celtic tunes, instrumental and vocal.

Mairi’ vocals went to bring the occasion into line to retell stories that she sang so personally of terrific passages in history where as she said herself greed was often the instigator of. I thought myself transposed by these stories and found a lot to be gained from the honesty pouring out of melodic flourishing and thrilling, unbelievable notes.

The mood of music was more than enhanced by the flexibility of performers who easily swapped instruments and even acts that had the ever present Celtic closeness between them as they shone forth and shared its power and in the case of Gnoss it’s supra happiness. 

My own interests were sparked as I saw and heard the rich and benevolent songs, even the view alone fixed a determined atmosphere and I couldn’t help but become very curious about Gaelic life in Scotland. So the far reaching yet traditionally based movement of sound was appropriated by the success of bands like Gnoss or singers like Mairi, and a key thing is in winning awards. In 2015 the Danny Kyle Award was given to them, the award for dedicated Celtic roots are a team for the advancement and popularising for this music and from the culture itself.

Gnoss were to play the entire song list from their star filled album ‘The Light of the moon’ not to be confused with ‘by the light of the silvery moon’. There were 4 musicians from the travelling band but the evening was to welcome 4 others to help fill the much enjoyed music in these restricted days. We may all reflect on the magnitude of organisation found in the hardships and obstacles that Covid has implemented in its restrictions. But had it not jumped into these waters we could have been without the festival for another year.

It is the live act trying to return that has this feeling of triumph for the gigs of this year’s Celtic Connections festival 2022 also dealing with a lack of staff. But maybe the magnitude of gratefulness is giving a special light for everyone to bask in. The relaxed performance, hung on the band and special guests cool, groovy, smiling and happy interactions also held the feeling of incredibly strong roots as they planted their feet or sat on a comfy couch.

The sound made by the ensemble was so revering, endearing as they loved just entertaining, with a wholly accomplished unbroken, unfaltering rhythm that followed just about every instrument as each took lead. 

All of the things were there happening as we sat in chairs to just soak it in. Gnoss are one of the more revered and famous of the Celtic traditional music scene. And they are very happily involved in reviving it by just being brilliant. These young men and woman had not a shred of nerves but certainly shredded into their instruments all of which brought something of a phenomenon. Let’s hope their music will ring in many places around the world, they are good enough and more than ready for it. 

Reviewer: Daniel Donnelly

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