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Celtic Connections review: Tim Edey & Ed Boyd - Glasgow Art Club

  • by SUE WILSON
 

WITH its intimate, cabaret-seated venue lending this gig the feel of a particularly graciously-accommodated folk club.

Tim Edey & Ed Boyd

Glasgow Art Club

* * * *

It was a chance to get up close and personal with two outstanding instrumental duos – especially in the case of Shetland fiddler Chris Stout and Glaswegian piper Finlay MacDonald, who opted to showcase their classic Scottish pairing of musical weapons without amplification.

The result was a thrilling, often jaw-dropping synthesis of raw, visceral energy and sublime finesse, encompassing extended solo passages to spotlight each player in turn, among a wealth of fiendishly intricate, implausibly fast duetting and duelling. While the bulk of the material – much of it original – was Scottish or Shetland in origin, it was brilliantly suffused with wider influences, from Breton to Balkan, resounding through a panoply of arresting harmonic hues and rhythmic variety.

Originally and erroneously billed to appear with Ed Boyd – who was in fact playing a different Celtic Connections gig the same night – guitarist and button accordionist Tim Edey was ably flanked instead on a second six-string by fellow Kent native Peter Gazey.

Edey’s boundlessly inventive approach on both instruments, weaving in a prodigious profusion of ornamental and improvised flourishes, has seen him fondly described by other musicians as a complete nightmare to record with, because he never plays anything the same way twice.

In a live context, though, the same trait means that every item in a set sounds freshly created each time, adding further superabundant variety to a repertoire that ranged masterfully across Celtic, world and jazz territories.

Sue Wilson

 

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