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Steve Knightley Blog - Part 1

Mike Harding | 16:40 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I'm very pleased to say my guest blogger for the next week is Steve Knightley - one half of Show of Hands (or one third, these days) and one of the best songwriters these islands have produced.

His songs Red Diesel, Country Life and Roots are, in my opinion, are some of the best new songs to enter the folk canon in recent years.

Take it away Steve!

Steve Knightley writes:

A tale of two cities. Part one - Glasgow.

You develop an instinct for such things, it might have been the weary resignation
of the young Polish receptionist as, one at a time, all six of us in our party
came trudging back to her desk asking to be moved to: a bigger room; one with
running hot water; one with a TV remote control; one with a double bed; one
nearer the ground floor (the lift didn't reach the fourth).

I knew I had problems when the bulb I moved from the desk to the empty socket over my
bed wasn't working, anyway.

We're in Glasgow, one of my favourite cities, for
Celtic Connections, one of my favourite festivals and we are staying for three
days in a huge, decaying Victorian hotel right next to the station.

It's eight o'clock on Monday evening - after a phone call to the charming Alison at the
festival office we are all going to be moved to a faceless, multinational,
supposedly impersonal hotel chain, where George the duty manager greets us like
long lost friends and where everything, well, just works!

A week later now and memories return thick and fast. A virtual sell-out show at the
Strathclyde Suite; the pleasure of sharing a stage with Brian McNeill; overdoing
things with Lau's Aidan after our late-night club set and the sheer joy of spending a few days in a city where the music, the people, the ambience and the alcoholic intake leave you feeling satisfyingly sated.

Oh yes, we heard on the second day that our first hotel had gone into receivership and that Jack Nicholson had indeed been seen in the basement!


  • Comment number 1.

    What I want to know is why the BBC has gone to a great deal of trouble and expense to film great chunks of Celtic Connections and is then only showing it on BBC One SCOTLAND and BBC Two SCOTLAND. The festival is probably just as important as Cambridge and is of interest throughout these isles. Now, it so happens I personally have Sky and can cheat and watch the BBC's Scottish variants that way, but that isn't the case for people on Freeview.

  • Comment number 2.

    Here here Keith. I am one of those with only Freeview TV choices.

    Whilst BBC Alba TV is available on iPlayer I cannot see (or find online) any explanation as to why BBC Scotland TV is not offered as a National iPlayer choice for those of us in England.

    Seems to me illogical when BBC Scotland Radio is available as a National Radio channel on iPlayer here in England.

    So, for me it will be a case of just watching the Videos on the Celtic Connections website for now.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi, I just found this blog so sorry if I'm not doing it right. I'm a massive fan of John Tams and thought you might like to know that he recently got an honorary degree from Derby University. He came along with his wife and daughter and have a very moving acceptance speech which you might want to watch at: http://www.derby.ac.uk/graduation/highlights-2009/videos/john-tams

    let me know what you think, and if there are any more tams fans out there, say hello!


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