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Rid Sonja

Partick Folk Club Aug 28

Partick is a great wee Folk Club.  Held in a church hall on the last Friday of the Month, for 10/11 months of the year (Excluding December), it's the kind of place that attracts it's core audience month after month irrespective of what main act is performing on a particular evening. It's not an expensive entrance fee and it's BYOB alcohol policy means that it's a good evening out with friends without it potentially costing a week's salary.  Then, of course, the piece de la resistance, there's 'Mick's Soup'; a wonderful concoction of meat and vegetables cooked lovingly by the man himself to produce a wonderfully satisfying and tasty Soup of the Evening.  On Friday it was Mick's Lentil soup, complete with peas. Mick always has a twist in his soups, you see..  bom

'Y'uptae' wiz the main act on Friday, but before their first-half appearance we were entertained by Ken Caird and John McCreadie.  (There's a youtube of their performances in the 'Shameless Plugs' forum so you can see for yourself how entertaining they both were, and how appreciated they were recieved by the audience.}

Y'uptae ur essentially an 8 piece Irish dance group and they play Irish and some scottish reels, and jigs extremely well.  They're quite a personable group of young musicians, but, although I found the first instance of being told that 'This is a reel/jig but I don't know its name...' quite charming, by the 17th time of this being explained to me, I found I was becoming bored with the explanation.  Too one dimensional, too predictable and too 'samey'.  And the same could be said for the performance.  While they obviously make an excellent ceilidh band for dancers, they really need to extend and vary their playing styles for a listening audience.  It was a pity, really, because all of those young musicians are, with a bit of instruction and encouragement, could have the makings of an interative, inventive and audacious band.  They just have to realise that musical form can be a lot more fluid than that dictated by traditional ceilidh playing.  

The second part of the evening was started by another fine but under-rated Glasgow musician: Rab McLellan.

This is the second time I've seen Irish dance groups playing a ceilidh set for a listening audience in Partick FC and both times the main problem was not their musical ability but their lack of innovation and inventiveness.  The net result is an almost textureless performance; one devoid of 'light and dark' leaving a feeling of homogenisation and bland 'automatic' playing.

Unfortunately, we left early because we just couldn't sit through one more reel.  Worse still for the band, we weren't the only ones..

For Y'uptae, it's fixable, but they need to get out into the World of Music: a world that doesn't include only ceilidh music and its restrictive forms and rigidities.  I'm not saying that ceilidh music of this sort doesn't have its place, because it obviously does, but it's not the only way to do things.  After all, there were also 3 guitarists playing at this gig, but each one had a different approach and style from either of the others.  Same instrument, but completely different listening experiences for the audience.  With the choice of 8 different insturments in the band, just think what could be achieved.
Onny

It strikes me that when I read the review of the Siobhan Miller gig that some of the shortcomings described might be as a result of their RSAMD 'training'.

Reading that Y'uptae grew out of the St Roch's Ceili Band I wonder if they too suffer from what I've described as the conveyor belt/ production line that so much of modern Scottish traditional music has become.
Ox ya Moron

Onny wrote:
...modern Scottish traditional music ...


Is thur no a term fer phrases like thon?
Rid Sonja

Onny wrote:
It strikes me that when I read the review of the Siobhan Miller gig that some of the shortcomings described might be as a result of their RSAMD 'training'.

Reading that Y'uptae grew out of the St Roch's Ceili Band I wonder if they too suffer from what I've described as the conveyor belt/ production line that so much of modern Scottish traditional music has become.


Yes, I think youre right on both points Onny.  It's the homogenisation of music and it's becoming extremely predictable, boring and far too serious an activity.  I remember when going to a concert consisted of sadness and laughter but, except for the 'old hands' what we get is technically sophisticated stuff that is ultimately soulless and it's a retrograde step in my book.

That's why it was so good watching the three floor spots.  Each one entertained in their inimitable ways, and each performance was the better for it because it meant that the audience was not left feeling that it had just seen three different people do essentially the same song.  The progression of jigs and reels that the band reeled out <gettit  bom > left me feeling that I had heard the same tune (with slight variations) done and re-done for the entire evening.  It wasn't quite as bad as that between the two girls on Thursday, but there were definite elements of it within each girl's own performance.  

zombiehordequislings
Onny

I'm glad you said floor spot. Some lesser mortals might try to call them a gig.
Rid Sonja

Aye, but nanae ae ma pals ur 'lesser mortals' (at least no where floor spots ur concerned) geek

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