Jack Bruce with Lau and Friends

Celtic Connections 2012 review

published: Fri 27th Jan 2012

Jack Bruce

Thursday 19th January to Sunday 5th February 2012
various venues, Glasgow, Scotland, Scotland MAP
various - from FREE to around £30
daily capacity: 25000
last updated: Mon 9th Dec 2013

Jack Bruce
One of the unique selling points of Glasgow's Celtic Connections festival is the unlikely partnerships and alliances it can give birth to. This year's most tantalising and potent strange encounter is the collaboration between Jack Bruce, bass player from sixties supergroup Cream, Scottish traditional music alchemists Lau, and modernist chamber ensemble Mr McFall's Chamber. The project is a spin-off from a BBC Scotland programme documenting Bruce's life.

For the first three numbers, Bruce seats himself behind a grand piano modestly positioned stage left and opens the evening with a set of downbeat traditional songs. Despite his years he still has a strong slightly operatic baritone voice and his piano playing is a reminder of his early classical training. The LAU trio of accordion, guitar and fiddle serve only as background accompaniment so far, so it's a relief to band and audience alike when Bruce straps on the bass ("my other piano") and hammers out the opening riff to 'Sunshine Of Your Love', at last giving the LAU boys the space to show what makes them such compelling visual and aural live performers.

Frustratingly, the tempo is immediately brought back down as Bruce returns to the piano for renditions of Robert Burns songs. Appropriate enough as this is Burns' Night, but you couldn't help thinking there must be more original and passionate interpretations of Burns being performed elsewhere at this festival.
Bruce is undoubtedly a master multi-instrumentalist commanding huge respect, however, the opportunity to truly collaborate with the innovative and exciting talent of Lau wasn't fully realised tonight.

The documentary will be screened on the BBC Scotland in the Spring.

Jack Bruce

review by: Douglas Coulter

photos by: Douglas Coulter

Thursday 19th January to Sunday 5th February 2012
various venues, Glasgow, Scotland, Scotland MAP
various - from FREE to around £30
daily capacity: 25000
last updated: Mon 9th Dec 2013


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