Another great evening of live music at the Perth Concert Hall at the end of last week and I had been invited to the third and final Celtic Session. I jumped at the chance to spend an evening with Altan and Karen Matheson.
I had had the pleasure of seeing Karen perform at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games closing ceremony and so for me there are many fond memories of a great summer of volunteering. I was really looking forward to hearing her sing live again. Obviously a much loved performer because there was a wide age range of people in the concert hall which was packed.
Karen sang a mixture of songs from her most recent album, a selection of evocative Gaelic music telling tales of her Hebridean roots. Accompanied by piano, cello and a selection of acoustic and electric guitars, each playing it’s part to create beautiful music. I enjoy traditional Gaelic music even though I don’t understand the words and to me it still conveys a message and emotions. Karen, and the musicians playing with her, convey this musical message really well. I enjoyed The Diamond ring song – it’s an up beat toe tapper!
After the interval we were served the delights of Altan, an Irish music group that fuse traditional Donegal fiddling with American roots music.
There are some songs that don’t even need words and we were introduced to a song called The Road Home. I will hold my hands up to admit that I had tears rolling down my face during this song! I think I may have just found a new favourite. I was fighting them back (the tears) but was rendered useless once Ciaran started to play the tin whistle. It’s a good job it’s dark in the concert hall!
There was more interaction with the audience from Altan, tales behind the songs and plugging for the tour later in the year. Some rather comical interludes in typical Irish fashion.
The evening finished with an encore by Altan joined by Karen and the gentleman who was earlier playing the piano (now an accordion). Great up beat songs to finish the evening on a high with some of the fastest fingers on the accordion I have ever seen! Very impressive!
As always the staff at Perth Concert Hall were helpful and friendly – even remembering me and my previous blog review for Breabach. The lack of photo’s in this post is because of how busy the show was – I am aware that people have paid for their seats and they don’t want me wandering around (even at the back) spoiling their evening for images to use on this blog. On previous occasions when I have been the upper part of the stalls seating area has not been in use (curtain drawn) and I was able to stand out of the way. On the upside to this it did mean I could spend more time appreciating the music.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Celtic Sessions series held by the concert hall and having an evening with Altan and Karen Matheson was a great way to end. If you missed out there are many other things going on throughout the year, so make sure you take a look. Thank you to all the staff at Horsecross for your kind hospitality once again.