Live Review
Celtic Connections 2008
Strathclyde Suite, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

"The Herald" Jan 2008

Star Rating: ****

There are no half measures with Dick Gaughan. What you see is what you get. And what you get is one of the cornerstones of modern traditional music.

Deeply committed to the causes in which he believes, he spat out his opposition to injustice, war and poverty, his belief in "independence for England" and his love of Scotland. Billed as his sixtieth birthday party, he explained that his actual birthday is in May. "Still, if it's good enough for Lizzie Windsor ..."

Showing no signs of ageing, he gave the crowd most of their favourites, apart from Freedom Come All Ye, which "we don't all know". Perhaps the best of the night was Pete Seeger's anti-war anthem Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, with Gaughan snarling the lyric and the notes cascading from his guitar with an almost manic intensity.

Joined on stage by John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick and John Doyle, who had earlier opened the show, Brian McNeill on guitar and violin and Patsy Seddon and Mary McMaster on shimmering harp and superb vocals, Gaughan took his leave with, if not in, Geronimo's Cadillac and received a well-deserved standing ovation. A true force of Scottish nature.

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