Socialist Worker

Celtic Connections festival celebrates folk legends

by Jimmy Ross
Issue No. 2435

There’s a number of great performances to look out for in this year’s Celtic Connections­, an annual music festival held in Glasgow. 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ewan MacColl.

He was a Marxist and agitator. But MacColl was also a renowned singer and songwriter who wrote lots of political songs. 

He worked with Peggy Seeger—the sister of left wing US folk legend Pete Seeger. 

They were key to the folk revival in Britain during the 1950s and 60s. 

But both were always denounced, because they were seen as being too political. 

There are going to be a number of commemorative events this year.

The official one at the Celtic Connections festival has been organised by his sons, Neil and Callum. 

 A range of artists from different genres will perform some of MacColl’s songs. 

These include the likes of  Kate St John, Dick Gaughan, Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart. 

The other big thing to look out for is the Alistair Hulett Tribute performance. 

Alistair was a socialist and long-standing singer songwriter. 

When he died five years ago, we set up the Alistair Hulett memorial fund. 

It raises money through organising concerts, which is given to different artists.

We gave a grant to the new film Still Ragged, which is based on Robert Tressell’s celebrated socialist novel the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.  

This year’s tribute will include a performance by folk duo James Fagan and Nancy Kerr. 

There are also plenty of other performances for a range of music fans. 

Celtic Connections
Multiple venues throughout Glasgow
15 January to 1 February

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Article information

Tue 6 Jan 2015, 16:34 GMT
Issue No. 2435
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