Back in August I wrote a blog (read here) about a couple of gigs I done with The Routes Quartet at AIYF. One of these gigs involved a collaboration with Ceòl Mòr, a music group which ran every year at the festival. Unfortunately this project will be no more and so Dave Francis, it's coordinator arranged for a Ceòl Mòr gig at Celtic Connections 2016. The concert took place in the afternoon of the final Saturday of the festival.
Playing at this were some of the most recent Ceòl Mòr participants along with some alumni of the course, and Routes for the final three numbers. We really enjoyed playing with the group one last time, and it was lovely to catch up with everyone again!
At the end of July, The Routes Quartet performed a couple of concerts as part of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival.
On Thursday morning we got up bright and early and made our way to the university for a rehearsal with Ceòl Mòr, with whom we were collaborating with at the concert the following night. Ceòl Mòr is a music group which runs every year at the festival, consisting of young adults who come from Scotland, and all over the world to take part. They spend the entire week working hard rehearsing material with the tutors, and this material is performed on the final night. Usually the bill is split between Ceòl Mòr and a folk group, with all participants joining together at the end for a few tunes/songs, and this year Routes had the pleasure of performing with them! The tutors working with the youth group this year were Dave Francis (guitar/song), Hamish Napier (piano), Laura Wilkie (fiddle) and Michael Ferrie (guitar/percussion).
We also joined in with voice in a beautiful rendition of The Northern Lights of Aberdeen, led by Dave. It was a very productive afternoon and quite intense!
We were treated to fantastic hospitality from a local man organising the gig, Lachlan, and his family, and after a wonderful dinner, we made our way to Auld Clatt Kirk (Old Clatt Church), the venue.
The group played a range of tunes and songs, rooted in Aberdeenshire tradition, and there was a story or two narrated by Dave, with sound effects from the band; overall a very enjoyable performance. After the break it was time for Routes to perform. We played a 40 minute slot, consisting of seven of our favourite sets. The performance was met with great enthusiasm from the audience and we were delighted with the response. Once our last set was played, we were joined on stage by Ceòl Mòr for the final performance. We really enjoyed the night overall and it was an absolute pleasure to be taking part in the festival.
Our next gig will take place in Stirling, as part of the fringe festival, on September 19th at Cowane's Hospital.