Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Chris Stout and Catriona McKay

Kirkmahoe Concerts, Kirkton Church, 28 May 2011

Fresh from international touring and buoyant with the success of their latest album, ‘White Nights’, these fine purveyors of the fiddle and harp thrilled the packed audience at Kirkton Church on the final Saturday of the D&G Arts Festival.

From the prolonged applause as they came on stage to the cries for more at the end of the second set, the music was scintillating, varied and superbly delivered. Abstract improvisational pieces, jazz inflected and eastern influenced phrasing and diligent nods to the classical tradition made this a concert that had it all. But at its heart was the traditional music of the Shetland Islands, here given a contemporary twist and taken to new limits.

 The communication between the two performers was breath taking. The playing was fast but never furious, always inventive and at times heart rending with emotion. Highlights included Catriona’s haunting composition ‘Missing You’, Chris’s ‘Michaelswood’, as well as traditional reels and jigs and tunes from Wales and Ireland. Truly a ‘white night’ to remember.

The Kirkmahoe Concerts go from strength to strength and continue at Dalswinton Village Hall at 7.30pm on 2 July when ‘indie folk trio’ The Geese take to the stage. Tickets from Thomas Tosh and the Midsteeple or call David Clark on 01387 740045.

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