This was the fourth year and fourth sell-out for the now annual Gaels le Cheile @ Ceol ‘s Craic concert during Celtic Connections. Gaels le Cheile is a project between Conradh na Gaeilge Glachu and the Gàidhlig Arts group An Lochran, supported by Colmcille funding, that looks to bring together the Irish and Scottish Gaelic communities for culture and social events.
A young Scottish Gàidhlig six-piece, Glè kicked the night off in the CCA with a short set bringing a youthful, modern verve to traditional songs. Next up was the celebrated and award-winning Dublin Sean-Nós singer Róisín Chambers, who now lives in Glasgow. Her set was an absolute treat for any fan of traditional Irish singing as the song choices, such as Caisleán Uí Néill and Casadh and tSúgáin, showcased her amazing voice and her influences from the traditional styles of various parts of the country and masters such as Darach Ó Catháin. Róisín was joined for her last two songs by the Ceoltóirí Conradh na Gaeilge singers and they finished up a great set with a rousing version of Oró ‘Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile. Causeway Trio finished off the first part of the evening with their unique take on Scottish traditional music that showcased influences from jazz, Brazilian and Eastern European music. Playing mainly self-composed tunes, these virtuoso musicians really created something fresh and different.
The evenings headliners, LAS – meaning ‘ignite’ – are truly a Gaeilge/Gàidhlig ‘supergroup’ featuring the many talents of Edel Ní Churraoin, Gráinne Brady and Catherine Ní Shúilleabháin from Ireland and Joy Dunlop and Suzanne Fivey from Scotland. Their varied set certainly lived up to expectations as it was an exhilarating mixture of Irish and Scottish tunes, songs and dance. What really came across, as well as their talent, was their sheer enjoyment of performing together and exploring the shared cultural links across Struth na Maoile. Their first EP has just been released and it’s definitely recommended. All in all a great night. Éire agus Albain abú.