Review: Celtic Connections- Kathleen MacInnes/ Amiina

0586880f-dec3-40b4-91af-a98400fd87c9be189f61-8cf7-47ca-9257-a98f012a5164.jpegThe light of Rekijavik is like the light of Benbecula”.

So says the beaming, friendly Kathleen MacInnes by way of explanation for this almost unlikely Celtic Connections collaboration, between the South Uist folk singer and presenter and the Icelandic avant-garde outfit, whose line- up has changed over the last decade from an all-female act with a fondness for toy instruments and knitting, to a noisier, more post-rock band.

MacInnes has a smoky timbre and big sister warmth, hands dug deep in her pockets as she sways slightly and sings Gaelic songs about faeries, love, loss and even a pretty cover of How Great Thou Art. It feels a little safe though, initially, a bit lightweight.

But it’s when she teams up with the Icelandic band that the show really ignites. The Waves That Bear The Saints, with lyrics by author Alexander McCall Smith is a soothing, but complex ballad to the enduring nature of the elements.

Shimmering neo-classical symphonies ring out when Amiina play their own cinematic compositions, though. Maria Sigfusdottir and Solrun Sumarlioadottir’s elegant strings, and pizzicato uke, electronics and the choppy percussion of Magnus Eliassen blow the cobwebs out of the auditorium, and the audience into the twenty first century. More unlikely partnerships like this, please.

Reviewed at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.



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