Celtic Connections 2023: Phil Cunningham, Session A9

What can you say? It was simply a most enjoyable night at the RCH’s main hall.

Session A9 were as entertaining as ever, with brilliant fiddling from the four-man string force, and Brian McAlpine leading the proceedings from behind his piano and with his seemingly endless cheerfulness and energy – I seriously wondered how he keeps on his piano stool, with all the wild moving he does when playing 😄

Session A9, pic by me

Phil Cunningham: Beyond the Farther Shore was a essentially an all-star band performance of his music to the BBC documentary “The Narrow Sea, The Farther Shore”. We hope to see the documentary one day because the music was absolutely lovely! Phil, with his warm presence, also told some enlightening background stories about the tunes so that even us foreigners got a bit better into the subject matter.

The music is very visual and it was enhanced by real sounds from the documentary: foghorns, waves, men rowing, machines pumping… We’d love to listen to this music more at home but, so far at least, there is no recording of it and none in the making either, if my information is correct ☹️

So, we just have to be grateful to have been there and experienced the music and Phil’s presence. The man is truly precious.

Phil Cunningham and the Farther Shore band. Photo by me

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