By Jordan Forbes
Always packed with a great line up, Celtic Connections is the one festival to take away your winter blues, and Glasgow was in the mood for a good time as Minnesota 5 piece, Trampled by Turtles brought their brand of infectious folky blues grass to the city’s O2 ABC.
The group led by guitarist and singer Dave Simonett looked overwhelmed as they took to the stage at 8.30pm to thunderous cheers from the crowd, thanks to a great warm up from the impressive Foghorn Stringband.
With their last two albums, 2012s Stars and Satellites, and 2010s Palomino reaching top spot in the US Bluesgrass chart, it was no surprise that the set would lean heavily on them, but they still managed to squeeze in a few fan favourites from their impressive repertoire, even taking a request from the audience. Bloodshot, Alone and Eyes and Midnight on the Interstate saw the band demonstrate their prowess as the finest songwriters around just now, with the crowd singing along word for word, and at times drowning out Simonett’s voice. Chants of Wait So Long from the audience throughout the show had paid off as the band played a rousing performance of it to deafening cheers.
When you have a band that features a banjo, fiddle, and mandolin, you can only expect some interesting jams, and the crowd were treated to exceptional solos from Ryan Young on fiddle, and Dace Carroll on banjo, which sent the already frantic crowd into overdrive, made all the more impressive by the lighting, which you would think would be more at home at The Arches on a Saturday night.
As the night was drawing to a close, the band were saving the best for last with a superb performance of Codeine, from their debut, Songs from a Ghost Town, which got the crowd dancing with each other, in true Celtic Connections fashion.
Celtic Connections is the kind of festival that always guarantees some of the most exciting performances from some of the most exciting bands around, and tonight was no exception. Although we are still in the first month of 2014, reviewers will no doubt be looking back to January when making their top gigs list choice. Outstanding.