A right Carry On at Celtic Con­nec­tions

The Oban Times - - Letters -

I WOULD like to start this week’s col­umn by wish­ing read­ers of the Glas­gow Let­ter all the very best for 2017.

Jan­uary is al­ways a mas­sive month for Glas­gow as the city is trans­formed by the Celtic Con­nec­tions fes­ti­val which be­gins this year on Thurs­day Jan­uary 19 with an open­ing night con­cert in the Glas­gow Royal Con­cert Hall, with Laura Mar­ling and the BBC Scot­tish Symphony Or­ches­tra plus spe­cial guests.

I am look­ing for­ward to in­clud­ing de­tails of the what is on at the fes­ti­val over the com­ing weeks, and hope­fully man­ag­ing to take in a cou­ple of con­certs.

The tal­ent on dis­play at the fes­ti­val is al­ways awe­some; but it is the craic in the evenings af­ter the con­certs that makes Celtic Con­nec­tions so unique. With so many mu­si­cians from around the world gath­er­ing in one city, and usu­ally in the same ho­tels, the ses­sions are not sur­pris­ingly fear­some!

One must be care­ful, how­ever, when par­tak­ing in the joy of a Celtic Con­nec­tions af­ter-party that one is not spot­ted by jour­nal­ists, who are al­ways keen to re­late tales of mis­chief and non­sense!

Last year, for ex­am­ple, I was walk­ing to the Hol­i­day Inn with a big group of folk in the small hours of the morn­ing when I spot­ted in a newsagent’s win­dow a huge, cud­dly teddy tiger. In the spur of the mo­ment, tak­ing leave of my senses, I de­cided to buy it (for a ridicu­lously ex­tor­tion­ate price) and take it to the party.

As we ap­proached the Hol­i­day Inn, two pipers in our group de­cided to strike up and pipe us into the ho­tel bar. As soon as we all en­tered the bar, an im­promptu strip the wil­low be­gan. With nowhere to put my tiger, I elected to dance the Strip the Wil­low with it.

As Burns would say, the night drove on with sangs and clat­ter, and even­tu­ally I awoke in my bed later that morn­ing with this great big teddy tiger ly­ing com­fort­ably on my couch. I sud­denly re­alised I had parted with my cash too eas­ily whilst in good spir­its, and felt so daft at hav­ing lum­bered my­self with this use­less tiger.

At ex­actly this point, the phone rang. It was my aun­tie. “Did you get the tiger home safely?” she laughed.

It turned out my ap­pear­ance with the tiger the pre­vi­ous night had been doc­u­mented in The Herald that very morn­ing!

They say that no pub­lic­ity is bad pub­lic­ity – but don’t ex­pect to get away with any­thing at Celtic Con­nec­tions!

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