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Review: Joana Serrat, Celtic Connections | The Fountain
Celtic Connections is widely known as a festival renowned for its collaborative spirit celebrating cultural exploration, and in that vein this was a gig that did not disappoint. The evening began with sweet, melancholic Scottish ballads from Aberdeenshire folksinger Iona Fyfe, who, although wryly remarking at one stage that you’d think that she would run out of sad, long wistful songs to play, sang beautifully and soulfully throughout. While it’s true that we may never run out of ballads, we do not always hear them as beautifully performed. This was followed by Noah and his backing band who channelled the sun-drenched Americana of old with tales of heartbreak, pain and the lost romanticism of youth that brought to mind Ryan Adams’ early material. Next up was Scottish singer songwriter Mark McGowan, all swagger and flat cap, whose voice was like a young Fionn Regan mixed with Tallest Man on Earth and who played the guitar with a kind of wilful defiance that produced a captivating set full of humour and energy.