Stand and Stare at Celtic Connections

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A musical, dramatic and literary event with connections throughout the Highlands and islands and beyond will take place on the evening of 29th January as part of this year’s performances at Celtic Connections.

At 8pm at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, a gathering of writers and musicians will pay tribute to the lasting influence of the original ‘supertramp’, Welsh poet WH Davies, and, in particular, his poem, ‘Leisure’, its well-known opening lines providing the title ‘Stand and Stare’ for the entire production.

Led by well-known Inverness musician, Liza Mulholland from the group, Dorec-a-belle, the musical element of the evening will also comprise a number of well-known individuals.

They contain such performers as Charlie McKerron from the band Capercaillie, Elephant Session’s own Alasdair Taylor also from Inverness and – all the way from Canada – the musician Christine Hanson who has played at a number of similar events on both sides of the Atlantic.

They will be assisted in their endeavours by the wonderfully talented Gaelic singer, Kathleen Macinnes, whose voice has graced several TV programmes and even an occasional Hollywood film, such as ‘Rob Roy’, in the past few years.

On the literary side of the production, there will be the Welsh poet, Gillian Clarke who was – until recently – the National Poet for Wales and has been awarded the Queen’s Medal for poetry. She has even been a guest on the famous BBC Radio 4 programme, ‘Desert Island Discs’.

In addition, there is Ayrshire’s Gerry Cambridge, known for his skills with the camera and harmonica, as well as his poetry and Donald S Murray, whose connections are both with his native isle of Lewis and his current residence in Shetland.

Part of his contribution links both these and other island groups, such as Orkney, the Inner Hebrides and those in the Firth of Clyde in a sequence that focuses on the ferry networks and the ‘ships of fools’ that travel back and forth there.

Among other talents on display are the acting abilities of David Walker from South Uist, one of the most gifted actors in Scotland, whether in Gaelic or English, Eileen Scott who grew up in Benbecula and the fabulous work of Doug Robertson whose illustrations form the backdrop to some of the poems.

“Stand and Stare will be a unique and dazzling blend of talents, a treat for the eye, ear, mind and heart,” Liza Mulholland declared: “We hope as many as possible come on Sunday evening to the Royal Concert Hall to savour it.”