An audience spanning generations filled an Lanntair last night (Friday, July 18th,) for a long awaited night of music by the Mischa Macpherson Trio and the Rachel Newton Trio.
It was the Mischa Macpherson Trio who opened, the new young band having won the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, who seemed at home on stage from the off.
Mischa, a stunning vocalist, played her Clarsach harp along with Innes White’s guitar played with amazing technical proficiency. Trio regular Conal McDonagh was unavailable on the night, but his absence wasn’t felt as Scott Wood stepped in with his pipes and whistles to complete a young trio of exceptional Celtic musicians.
The audience were instantly enraptured by the blend of slow melodic tunes performed by Mischa and Innes and upbeat, tempo-pushing numbers, between Innes and Scott.
With the bar set high Mischa encouraged a bit of participation from the audience, saying: “It’s a very easy chorus, if you’d all join in and then I’ll give you a mark out of 10.”
To the audience’s credit the joint chorus was a wonderful backing to Mischa, a compliment to the great reverence that music is afforded by the Gaelic culture.
Mischa was then joined on stage by an old friend from her time at the Nicolson Institute, Christina Macleod, who performed amazingly on the auditorium’s piano for a packed house.
The end of the set was met with an indefatigable chorus of applause and whistles for an encore, to which Mischa sang a last song backed by Innes on the piano.
The stage was set, and the second half of the evening was another captivating display of Scottish music.
The Rachel Newton Trio saw Rachel, with vocals and harp, accompanied by James Mackintosh on percussion and Lauren MacColl on the fiddle.
The trio played a selection of Rachel’s own tunes, many from her upcoming album, ‘Changeling’ due for release in September, taking inspiration from Gaelic folklore, from which the audience were left spellbound by the haunting melodies and enchanted by Lauren’s fiddle.
Once again an audience who didn’t want the night to end called out for an encore once more, to which Rachel responded with a solo vocal performance, bringing the night to a bitter-sweet end.