Fronted by one of Scotland’s most eloquently expressive vocalists and songwriters, the Paul McKenna Band forge a dynamic alloy of Scottish and Irish traditional roots with contemporary acoustic pop. Over their 15-year career, McKenna’s arresting original compositions have come increasingly to the fore – as heard on their latest album, 2019’s Breathe –powerfully and imaginatively backed by Robbie Greig (fiddle), Conal McDonagh (pipes/whistles), Conor Markey (banjo/bouzouki/guitars) and Ewan Baird (percussion).
Originally inspired by the late-night maelstrom of Celtic Connections’ Festival Club, all-female sextet HEISK deliver a high-octane blend of Celtic and international folk with funk, pop and even disco. Their line-up of fiddles, viola, accordion, electroharp, keyboards and drums has filled dancefloors far and wide, and won glowing reviews for 2021’s self-titled debut album.
Uniting the kindred Celtic traditions of Scotland, Ireland, Northumbria and the Isle of Man, fellow six-piece TRIP’s vibrant vocal/instrumental mix interweaves both contemporary and original material. Tonight’s show launches their debut album, A Drop for Neptune.