Celtic Connections is drawing to a close this weekend, but there are still plenty of gigs, concerts and events to enjoy at a multitude of venues in and around Glasgow. One such venue is The Mackintosh Church which is playing host to singer/songwriter Siobhan Wilson. Last summer Siobhan released her album There Are No Saints on Song, By Toad Records and recently completed a successful crowdfunding campaign to fund the recording of the follow up. Tonight her Celtic Connections concert is extra special as she is performing with string quartet The Demi Octet (which feature 2 violins and 2 Cellos).
Jamie Sutherland is the singer with Edinburgh folk/rock band Broken Records. Way back on the opening evening of Celtic Connections Broken Records played a blistering set at The Hug and Pint. The venue tonight is very different, but the emotional and fantastic music remains with Jamie in his solo guise. Jamie Sutherland plays a fine set in of acoustic songs and appears to be a comfortable singer/songwriter even when mentioning that this is only his fifth solo gig.
Despite the promise of new music on the horizon, Siobhan Wilson informs the audience that she plans on playing There Are No Saints from start to finish this evening. She begins with the title track and quickly follows with Whatever Helps – a beautiful and transcendent song about a life in flux. It features the refrain ‘you are haunted by the line in a song’ and this is an apt phrase as Siobhan has a voice that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. When she is accompanied by The Demi Octet, her songs feel even more enchanting, intimate and poignant.
The venue also adds to the atmosphere and the sheer depth of the music. The Mackintosh Church was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1896 and has a dark and gothic feel to it. The overall mood this evening is spellbinding and exhilarating. Siobhan sings in French as well as in English. She sits behind a piano and gives a fantastic rendition of Paris Est Blanche and the result is a breath-taking and serene composition. For the encore Siobhan delves into her back catalogue with a rendition of All Dressed Up and leaves the stage with a standing ovation from the audience, who all just experienced a special performance from an exceptional and unique talent. This truly was an extraordinary and incomparable experience.