Firmly resettled into their founding four-piece, Scottish instrumental powerhouse RURA continue to evolve and refine their traditionally-rooted but potently progressive sound, now adding piano to their line-up of bagpipes, fiddle, guitar and bodhran. On their seventh Celtic Connections appearance since forming in 2010, they’ll be firing up new material for 2018’s third album, before heading studio-wards in February. “Moody, earthy, haunting and passionate. . . a band confident in their own identity” (Songlines)
Named for a semi-divine woman/bird hybrid in Asian mythology – embodying female grace and musicality – Glasgow’s newly-formed Kinnaris Quintet are Laura-Beth Salter, Jenn Butterworth, Laura Wilkie, Fiona MacAskill and Aileen Gobbi: a mighty musical force indeed.
It wis grand tae see yet anither concert packit fu tae the gunnels at Celtic Connections. The nicht I wis in the Strathclyde Suite tae see Kinnaris an Rura.
Furst up war Kinnaris wi a rare balance o fiddles, guitar an mandolin an a fine mix o traditional an tunes o thir ain composition. Heighlichts includit Laura Wilkie’s fine smooth fiddlin an Calum MacCrimmon’s reel ‘Pockets’ wi sic a guid groovin lilt tae it, as makit the audience sit up an tak tent. Wi twa fine sangsters lik Laura Beth Salter an Jenn Butterworth in the band, it wis a peety no tae get a few sangs, but fir aw that, this band gaed us a furst hauf o grand muisic.
Rura creepit on tae the stage in the daurk, wi juist the soond o a bass drone. It wis sae verra cool! Thir set wis a showcase o whit will be thir next album ‘In Praise o Hame ’. Their muisic is excitin an verra original an the audience war taein wi it fae the stairt.
The band are aw accomplisht muisicians o the heighmaist order an thae are experimentin wi technology tae bring a new twist tae thir live performances. The licht show wis brilliant an addit yet anither dimension tae the concert experience.
Their compositions are absorbing an really mak ye think and this is a band whae wull tak Scotland’s muisic in directions yet tae be discovirt! Sic a nicht o the maist amazin muisic. I can hairdly wait tae hear mair o it.