Breabach @ Old Fruitmarket

Should really have got my couple of bits from Celtic Connections up much quicker. Here’s the first.

It’s a late night at the Old Fruitmarket as headliners Breabach don’t take to the stage until well after 11 when most other Celtic Connections gigs are finished.
The crowd have been well entertained as they waited. First up was Maoris Waoira. Frontman Horomona Horo is dressed in traditional Maori clothes as the played songs from their latest albums to the enjoyment of the crowd. What really mesmerised all watching was the traditional Haka the trio performed as a finale. Something us Scots are more used to seeing before being beaten by the New Zealand All Blacks.
Next up was Alan Kelly gang. Hailing from Galway they performed a great mix of Irish tunes and were joined on stage by Eddie Reader for a song. They definitely succeeded in getting the crowd warmed up for Breabach.
By the time Breabach begin the seats that had been despaired of earlier, the Old Fruitmarket and Breabach being more suited to standing concerts, were more welcome. There wasn’t much time for sitting around though as Breabach are well known as being a very lively band.
They certainly didn’t disappoint in that tonight with their powerhouse sound, lead by pipers Calum McCrimmon and James Duncan McKenzie, quickly energising the crowd. They storm through various sets of jigs and reels from their back catalogue.
Cast your mind back 6 months or so and Breabach were doing something very different as part of Boomerang which was a collaboration between Breabach and musicians from New Zealand and Australia. It was part of culture 2014 to celebrate the commonwealth games. As Horo is here tonight they are able to recreate acouple of tunes they worked on Together. “Horo loved the Gaelic songs because we say his name so much.” Joke Breabach as he leaves.
The audience are encouraged to join in some simple lines on Gig Face by Calum McCrimmon. He later turns out to be Breabach’s answer to Michael Flatley when he joins fiddler and Stepdancer Megan Henderson in some surprisingly good step dancing .

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