Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gaelic space punks v. Tradfest

What was once the Edinburgh Folk Festival has now become 'Tradfest' after a brief stint as 'Ceilidh Culture'. There's probably a fair bit of it that is worth seeing - Gaelic songs and poems from Perthshire don't often get an airing for example. However, far too much of 'trad' music seems to involve... people sitting down to 'enjoy' the often furious dance music of the past and/ or a misty eyed regurgitation of a long-gone culture. The point being that's it's ok to remember the past and learn about our 'tradtional' music as long as the current generation is creating something of its own for the future.

Sometimes, 'Celtic' fests can accommodate alternative music such as Les Ramoneurs who regularly play the Lorient festival in Brittany. There is a a feeling that in Alba such music is looked down upon by those for whom traditional is a profession.

This is probably why we won't see the likes of Basque-language punk-ska band, Hesian, in Dùn Eideann at Tradfest....

Though our nearest equivalent, Oi Polloi, is playing 3 gigs in 24 hours. Most importantly, two of these are in conjunction with the launch of a Gaelic sci-fi novel by Tim Armstrong. Tim once played in trad ground breaking indie-rock band Na Gathan, dabbled in some Gaelic electro-pop and fronted the superb Mill a h-Uile Rud who took their Seattle-based Gaelic punk around Europe with Oi Polloi with a BBC Alba film crew in tow.

One of the gigs is in a Leith Walk record shop and the other is on a boat. Dìreach far out a dhuine... Get your tòn along to one or both of them.

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