The big CC23 event on Thu 26th was the concert in the RCH main concert hall. In my opinion, it was the opening act that stood out.
I think this was the third time I have seen Orkney’s FARA live. They have always been fun and bright but now, with their thid and so far best album, Energy Islands, there’s a new depth to their music and performance.
On faster tunes, the three fiddles and the piano sounded rich and nuanced, like a miniature chamber orchestra. And the beautiful slow pieces, Song in the Night and The Hampshire, got excellent performances. Also worth mentioning are the strong harmony vocals; FARA are as good in singing as they are in playing. A brilliant and very well constructed set in all.
The main show, Celtic Odyssée, presented music from the entire area of Celtic music in Europe, from Galicia to Ireland and the Highlands.
It’s a nice idea and I’m all for educating the general audience about the fact that Celtic is not just IRE and SCO. But with each singer doing just one song (as lead vocalist) and musicians coming and going with each song, it became a bit scattered and lacking intensity, at least to my taste.
This is always a problem with a concept like this and I am not criticizing the performers who did a find job. I was entertained but never really fired up over the proceedings.