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The Chieftains

The Chieftains
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Ken Windsor 27th Jan 2010, 13:06, said:
CELTIC CONNECTIONS FESTIVAL. Tuesday 26th January, 2010.

The chance of seeing Irish legends The Chieftains with US musician Ry Cooder and Mexican 5 piece Los Cenzontles perform together was a mouth-watering prospect in itself. What they actually gave us was a show to rival anything I have ever seen at this prestigious Glasgow venue.
The variety of music presented ensured that there were no "flat" moments in the show, with countless guests being invited to join them onstage in an absolute riot of world music and dance.

Did I mention dance? Well, the stepdance pairing of Canadians Jon and Nathan Pilatzke were joined for numerous numbers by world Irish dancer Cara Butler and they thrilled the crowd with their personal interpretations of both traditional and modern material.

Los Cenzontles performed several numbers of Mexican origin and also introduced their own mini dance troupe who were resplendent in colourful Mexican costumes. The blend of Irish and Mexican music actually worked so well - with both genres complimenting rather than competing with each other.

Ry Cooder himself played a rather background role in the proceedings, forsaking his electric guitar to concentrate on acoustic backing and a couple of vocal numbers. This might have upset some fans who had come to see a man who has been quoted by Rolling Stone magazine as one of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." - but for me it did not detract from a show which just kept throwing surprises at you at every turn.

The finale was amazing - with a the 15 plus "Scottish Power Pipe band" joining the main artists and all the guests on stage. The dancers then appeared and descended into the auditorium, leading members of the audience in a dance right around the auditorium and back again onstage.

A truly unforgettable night - and another success for the organisers of the Celtic Connections Festival.

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