Saturday June 27, 2015
Last night, in the beautiful surroundings of Mackintosh Queen’s Cross, I attended a ‘Recital from the Golden Age’, performed by violinist Feargus Hetherington and pianist Edward Cohen.
A golden age of anything is a period of time looked back on with fond sentiment. For violinist Feargus Hetherington, there was a clear golden age for the violin and piano duo between 1920 - 1939 with many pieces now lost and no longer played in public. Feargus’ goal is to resurrect some of these pieces and bring them, as well as the golden age of violin and piano concerts, back to their former glory. And boy did he ever!
Although not packed out, there was a fair crowd of around 30 at the event which in a way made it feel more exclusive - a sort of private evening with Feargus and Edward as they played their music. The variety of pieces packed out the hour making it seem like much longer in the best of senses. One minute a light-hearted melody which would have been suitable for a mixer on the lawn of the White House and the next a dramatic piece which could have come straight from a black and white tragic film.
The pieces were played with such conviction, as could be seen in the faces of both musicians, filling the small stage space with enough drama and fervour to keep the audience near enough transfixed for the entire performance. It was incredibly impressive to see two musicians hold a group’s attention so completely for so long!
A piano and violin recital is not my usual cup of tea, I’ll admit. However, after the performance tonight, I will seek to try out something of a similar caliber in the future. For any who wish to experience a performance in the Mackintosh Queen’s Cross there is A Piano Recital with Peter Seivewright tonight at 7.30pm with tickets available online and at the door.
Tuesday June 23, 2015
Have you ever wanted to join an exciting flute ensemble? Well now is your chance! The Flute Phonics, an eclectic mix of amateur flautists who play a variety of styles from classical to rock and everything in between, are holding open rehearsals tonight as part of the West End Festival.
The group has two very talented conductors to guide them: Rachel Forbes and Aisling Agnew. Rachel began playing the flute at age 13 and went on to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before becoming a freelance flautist, playing in chamber groups and teaching.
Aisling Agnew, also a student at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, learned the flute with Billy Dunwoody in the 39th Old Boys Flute Ensemble. Since then she has enjoyed a successful international career, releasing multiple records and working alongside various other ensembles including her long-standing flute & guitar duo with Matthew McAllister.
So if you can read music and are at a standard of around grade 3 or above then come along to Hillhead Baptist Church from 7.15-9.15pm tonight and show off your flautist skills! You can find more about the Flute Phonics on their website.
Sunday June 21, 2015
I sing. I love singing. Ella Fitzgerald said that the only thing better than singing was more singing. We can all do it and should do more of it simply because it makes us happy. I have sung previously for Her Maj and the Queen of Denmark. I've sung in the White House for a US President; in Hong Kong for the last Governor-General; in Ottawa for Canada's parliament and Prime Minister. Singing has taken me to the Sydney Opera House and war-torn Jerusalem, and next year, hopefully, will take me to China.
On Saturday, 27th June, I'll pass a glorious Saturday night with the RSNO Chorus singing Durufle’s Requiem in St Mary's Cathedral on Great Western Road, and I hope you'll be able to join us. You won't be disappointed. Religious choral music can deliver unique spiritual beauty far beyond earthly prejudices.
Durufle's Requiem emerged from the embittering stresses and tensions of Nazi occupied Paris in the early 1940s. It was commissioned by the collaborating Vichy government. But its nine short movements were only completed three years after liberation as Paris made peace with itself to regain its place as the city of light and love.
The 100-strong chorus will be conducted by our recently appointed Musical Director, Gregory Batsleer, and accompanied by Steven McIntyre on the splendid St. Mary’s organ. The programme also provides a trio of beautiful motets by Anton Bruckner.
Whatever this wonderful concert delivers, it underscores Glasgow's prestigious legacy in choral singing. The RSNO Chorus evolved from the Glasgow Choral Union, formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel’s Messiah in Scotland. Almost 50 years passed before Scotland’s national orchestra was officially founded and chorus and orchestra still perform The Messiah every year on January 2nd.
Remember there are over 100 choral groups in Glasgow and, in this our 20th Festival, there are around 25 singing groups participating – virtually a whole festival in its own right. Glasgow Youth Choir conductor, Audrey McKirdy, ran a magnificent singing workshop for kids over the first WEF2015 weekend at Hillhead Library. That same weekend the City of Glasgow Chorus, directed by Graham Taylor, performed the Faure Requiem, alongside other choral classics, at Hyndland Parish Church.
The Mackintosh Choir, featuring John Rutter, performed to a standing room only audience on 14th June, and, over the past couple of weeks, we’ve enjoyed Gospel, Russian, Chamber, A Cappella, Barbershop and Evensong, as well as the Harry Ensemble from London ….. and still lots more to look forward to .... just as Ella said. The only thing better than singing is more singing.
RSNO Chorus performs Maurice Durufle's Requiem at St Mary's Cathedral, Great Western Road, Glasgow on Saturday June 27th.
Liz Scobie, Festival Chairman
Saturday June 20, 2015
Iain has dazzled audiences at many festivals and music venues around the UK with his multi-styled guitar playing from the Royal Concert Hall to the SECC. One reviewer even want as far as to say, “One of the best Guitarists I've ever seen, Iain combines an astonishing talent with a huge range of musical tastes - and a refreshing lack of self-importance”.
So head on down to CC Music tomorrow (21st June) for a special performance by an astonishingly talented guitarist featuring special guests. Supported by song writing brothers ‘King of Birds' and the soulful and majestic 'Chloe Marie'.
To see Iain perform his famous "Weejie Jig" click here.
Saturday June 13, 2015
With eight awards in 3 years, including the recent British Country Music Award's (BMCA) for ‘Entertainer of the Year’ and 'Female Vocalist of the Year,’ Raintown are fast gaining the reputation as one of the hottest Country acts not only in the UK, but in Europe too.
They have a successful first album under their belts so it hopefully won’t be long until the second! Until then however, come witness a stripped back acoustic performance at CC Music on June 14th at 2pm supported by local blues duo ‘Elemental and Ayrshire singer/songwriter Scott Nicol.’
Friday June 12, 2015
“I have been acting for several years and am also a professional magician. I decided to write this one man play after the death of my father. It's inspired by the relationship I had with my father which was fragmented somewhat by a battle with mental illness. It is a black comedy or a tragicomedy. There is much to chew on in the piece with regards to mental health and attitudes towards it however, there is also a lot of humour in the piece as it largely revolves around the family chip shop and highlights many of the quirks of a Scots-Italian upbringing.” – Lorenzo Novani
Last year saw the magician perform with “Mysitc” – street magic designed to not only amaze (which it did) but to evoke thought. One reviewer described the event as “a skilful weaving of poetry and prophecy” which means his return to this years’ festival is most anticipated!
Tickets for tonight’s show are available on the door at Siempre Bicycle Club for £6.
Thursday June 4, 2015
It’s so great to be involved this year in one of the West End Festival ‘Parade Day’ events and to help support new music in Glasgow and I'm really excited to be able to showcase some of the amazing talent which has recorded at our Boombox Studios over the past year.
The outdoor Stage at the Hill is a great new addition to the festival and provides the perfect platform for new acts of all genres to receive fantastic exposure and the opportunity to play in front of a great Glasgow crowd amidst the magical parade day atmosphere….and best of all it is Free to Enjoy for everyone!
Some of the One’s To Watch include electro pop outfit "100 Fables". The New wave influenced sound and energetic performance by their lead singer, Lyndsey Liora, is not to be missed…imagine The Cars meets The Killers. Excited to hear 100 Fables' new single ‘Future Girl’ & young R&B Pop singer Ryan Alexander will also be debuting his fantastic upcoming single ‘Ain’t Got You’.
For fans of The Vamps, McBusted & 5SOS, all female band The Cassettez are a must watch with their catchy punk pop tunes and mega stage vibes! The Cassettez went down a storm at last years Total Access Live festival alongside Ella Eyre, Pixie Lott, Foxes & Rizzle Kicks and are lined up for more amazing summer festivals this year leading up to the release of their first single ‘Zombie disco’.
Acoustic acts include Singer/Songwriter 'Toni Etherson’ who will be performing some tracks from her upcoming debut Album ‘The Brightside’ and the talented young ‘Josh Breaks’ will be debuting some of his fantastic songwriting and heartfelt vocals.
London based R&B singer "Scarlet Baxter", who has been tipped for the top by BBC6 & Hard Rock Rising, will be performing her recent soundcloud smash ‘Down With It’ as well as new single ‘Cruel Love’. Scarlet has been compared to a female Sam Smith.
Another act I’m excited about is "Lucia Fontainé"…Lucia’s soulful husky tones, delivered with a retro punkness of some of the great bands from CBGB’s 1977, and tracks such as ‘Bored Of The Radio’ and ‘Queen Of Everything’, have attracted huge excitement from major record labels & cool indie labels alike.. . Lucia performed earlier this year with legendary Glaswegian Film Composer, Craig Armstrong, and she will also be supporting current chart toppers ‘Sheppard' on the 17th June at The Oran Mor.
The event isn’t just all about the new artists though…Glasgow’s "TJ Bilham", who has recently supported Rebecca Ferguson & the legendary Tom Jones, will be performing in his unique Bublé-style, some tracks from his upcoming album and Scotland’s favourite Rockabilly band, "The Tennessee Hotshots", are headlining the show at 7pm. Their Rock'in classics & massive fanbase will be sure to get the whole street jiving to a close!
Collect ‘Free Entry’ Wristbands from The Hill bar, 94 Byres rd, for access to the main outdoor stage area.
Wednesday June 25, 2014
Thursday 26 June, 7pm, £16
Celtic Kisses, Slaps 'n' Tickles: Award winning Diva, Terry Neason, performs a roller-coaster collection of Celtic and Country songs, poems, wit and wisdom. As well as originals, includes classics, ballads and belters.
"Fantastically talented; her voice is rich, versatile, huge, raw and quiveringly beautiful." - The Scotsman, UK *****
QMU: Jim’s Bar
Tetra, All She Knows, Friends of Ours, Miles End
Friday 27 June, 7pm, £10
A four-piece alternative rock group who hail from Glasgow create a combination of heavy riffs, catchy melodies and interesting harmonies set to have you bobbing your head and singing along.
Having played in many venues throughout Glasgow already including King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Broadcast and Buff Club they are growing their fan base and starting to get their name out there. Keep your eyes, and more importantly your ears peeled.
Jasmine with Martin Reilly
Saturday 28 June, 7pm, £10
Appearing with her fantastic new band, this songwriter from Glasgow sings with a dynamically powerful yet delicate voice that is mature for its age.
Romi Kadri from Interscope sang his praises of the talented melody maker saying she has a "great voice", and Alan McGee at 359 Music said he "loves it".
Check out www.pmmusic.co.uk for details of other shows we are doing in QMU: Jim’s Bar during the festival.
Monday June 23, 2014
This Sunday (29 June) we're wrapping the festival up with our FREE closing event at the Kelvingrove bandstand!
It will represent the community of local musicians that WEF has previously used over the years at the free stages in Kelvingrove Park on Parade Day.
Excitingly, it will also see the bandstand being used once again during #WEF2014 for a line-up of varied bands.
If you can believe it, the bands have some unexpected members; former MSP Pauline McNeill, rugby legend John Beattie, and Michelle McManus (Honest Sam and the Dealers).
Local bands also have the chance of performing at the closing event. Michael Dale, festival director, explained the process: “We have also opened up a slot during the day for ‘amateur’ local bands to play. Bands which are interested in playing and are available, will enter a mini competition to win a slot.
Take a look at the line up below:
1pm - Pauline McNeill Band
1.45pm - L'Acoustica
2.10pm - Hat Trick
2.35pm - Community Choir
3pm - Mugen Taiko Dojo
3.40pm Possible competition winners
4.15pm - John Beattie Band
5.15pm - Honest Sam and the Dealers
6pm - FINISH
How to enter the competition
Entries of videos and Sound Cloud links along with a covering email should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to show us what you can do.
Bands must also answer the following question: What does the West End Festival mean to you? Entries should be sent by 12pm on Wednesday 25 June and chosen band(s) will be notified by Friday, 27 June.
Twitter: #WEF2014 @westendfest
Wednesday June 18, 2014
Websters is home to four musicians this week as part of the WEF regular - The Acoustic Affair. Take a look at what's on and don't forget to use #WEF2014 when talking about events online. Enjoy!
Rab Noakes: from Nashville to Muirend, Stripped
Wedneday 18 June, 7.30pm, £16
An evening of great songs drawn from an eventful 40+ year long career in the music business working with some of the great legends including Gerry Rafferty. He will be joined by a fantastic backing band formed for the evening which includes well known musicians Emma and Jill.
“It was an excellent show from one of this country's finest songsmiths” The Herald Jan 2014.
Thursday 19 June, 7.30pm, £12
A classically trained cellist and songwriter from Paisley, he studied at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC and, although based in UK, he frequently tours North America.
In 2011, he opened for Jack Bruce at the Queens Hall (Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival) and recent live appearances include O2 ABC Glasgow, CCA, The Spree festival and he has also featured on Paul Jones on BBC Radio 2 and a live session the Culture Show on BBC Scotland.
Friday 20 June, 7.30pm, £16
John Muir was an American hero, born in Scotland. He was to become known as the father of the American conservation and the founder of their wonderful national park system. As a long time admirer, Jimmie leapt at the opportunity of a recording trip to San Francisco, the Napa valley, Muir’s home at Martinez, Yosemite national park and the Sierra Nevada.
Come along to hear Jimmie’s stories and see some great images all presented in a relaxed and humorous style; truly one of our Westend treasures !
Saturday 21 June, 7.30pm, £16
Brought up immersed in the musical traditions and culture of the Gaels, both Scots and Irish, Dick Gaughan has been a professional musician and singer since January 1970, and made his first solo album in 1971, No More Forever. He was an early member of the Boys of the Lough and the now legendary Scottish folk-rock band, Five Hand Reel.
In December 2009, Dick was honoured by being inducted into the Scots Trad Music Hall of Fame and he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Radio 2’s annual Folk Awards ceremony.