Another year and we get to the end of January where Celtic Connections has again whizzed by me and I’ve not gone to see half the things I wanted to. Amongst the standouts in this year’s programme were the weekly Hazy Recollections gigs at the ABC.
Hazy Recollections, as we know it here at Elba, happens every couple of months on a Sunday afternoon and is usually populated by some of the best local indie/folk/roots bands. The thing that stood out with the HR Celtic Connections shows was not only that it was weekly but also the more international make-up of the line up. Local favourites like Julia and The Doogans (no stranger to the good ship Elba) alongside people like Humbert & Humbert, Elba Podcaster AJ Roach and Amelia Curran.
The man behind Hazy Recollections is Findlay Napier, and we caught up with a very busy Findlay ahead of this weekends final Hazy @ Celtic Connections.
For those of us not in the know, please tell us a bit more about Findlay Napier and Hazy Recollections…
At a rehearsal one night Myself, Gillian and Douglas (from The Bar Room Mountaineers) and Blair MacMillan were talking about all the great bands in Glasgow. We felt there were a number of acts whose music met at the boundaries of the indie, folk and roots scenes who were not getting the breaks or exposure they deserved. What began as a one sided all talk and no action rant about the shortfalls of the music industry was transformed by the guys at Vox Populus into an all action positive reality in January 2010.
Hazy Recollections is now about a year old, how did the idea come about and why did you decide to make it an afternoon gig rather than holding it in the evening?
The afternoon gig came about as we had done a few afternoon gigs when touring in Europe and North America. We liked the idea of playing the show then keeping the evening free to chill out. All the shows that we went to like that there was a mixture of all ages, I suppose because there was work in the morning people brought the whole family.
This month HR has become a weekly event as part of Celtic Connections and the line up’s have taken on a bit more of an international feel. How have these gigs been received by the artists and has it inspired you to make future HR events have a less local/scottish line up?
We’ve always wanted to expand and Donald Shaw and the Celtic Connections teams have allowed us to tap into these amazing acts. We knew they were out there but without the weight of a name like that I’m not sure we would have been taken seriously.
The artists have been loving the idea. A lot of them have never played a Sunday afternoon show before so I think they’re surprised when a big crowd shows up to see them. For some bands it strange as they’re not used to silence between songs… people actually listening and really enjoying their music.
You are also the host for the Celtic Connections Late Night Sessions which has seen some pretty special guests this year, what’s been your main highlight?
Fisherman’s Friends last night were great craic. I really enjoyed Aerials Up. If you take a look at my blog, there’s a list of who’s been on. Bettye LaVette’s (fond memories at elba of her appearance at the sadly departed Triptych festival a few years ago) band came down and played a few songs on Sunday night to a hand full of people around 2:30am. They were amazing I wish I could have got them on earlier. I think they were just happy to play. I reckon I could have put them on at 10pm and they’d have played right through. Four of the best musicians I have ever heard… and the first time I’ve heard really good Duane Allman style slide guitar live. The only people I’ve not had at the LNS was Humbert and Humbert who played Hazy on the first weekend their music is beautiful and very moving.
Finally, what does the future hold for Hazy Recollections?
We will keep doing Hazy Recollections. We’re planning a few more through the year and we plan to launch our new record at the next one. I think we’ll move back to Stereo for the next ones as they’ve been really good to us and the layed back vibe of the venue suits the show.
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The final Hazy of Celtic Connections takes place this Sunday at 2:30pm with a line-up including Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers, Alex Cornish, Julia and The Doogans, Amelia Curran and Findlay Napier and the Bar Room Mountaineers. More info here.