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Celtic Connections - from the comfort of your own home!

Mike Harding | 15:48 UK time, Friday, 23 January 2009

I must be one of the luckiest blokes in the world, in that I not only have a job I really enjoy (i.e. playing folk music on the radio to people who actually want to listen!) but that doing that job, I often get to go to interesting places such as Washington DC, San Diego, Sidmouth and Glasgow.

I'll be in Glasgow next week for the Celtic Connections Festival, one of the great folk festivals of the world. For three weeks the city becomes a magnet pulling in some of the greatest folk artists on the planet and, though I've been going there for years now I never tire of either the city or the music.

I do pace myself these days and am no longer the silly chap that stayed up all night playing the banjo in the Ailsa bar with several other barmpots. ­If I'm still up at 3 a.m. nowadays the gorilla comes and takes me to my room. (It's the gorilla that comes into your room and throws all your clothes all over the place after you've piled them up all neat, he also doesn't flush the toilet, leaves a half eaten pizza on the dressing table and leaves the radio switched on to Radio 4 so it suddenly wakes you up at 6 a.m. with an extra loud version of the farming news.)

This year the bill looks quite amazing. You'll find a superb set of videos on the BBC Celtic Connections website of great performances by people like ENSA, Cara Dillon, Jayme Stone & Mansa Sissoko and loads of other great acts.

Even if you can't be there, thanks to the wonders of the internet and public service broadcasting you can be there in spirit, and furthermore people from all over the world will be joining you to log on and watch. What an amazing thought - in a way we truly do live in a global village!

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