A double bill of Mairearad Green & Mike Vass, followed by John Mulhearn performing The Pipe Factory album attracted a large, enthusiastic audience to Drygate at Celtic Connections last night, Friday, February 2. A surprise treat was the addition of Ailis Sutherland who was a second piper for the whole of Mairearad and Mike’s set.
It was a concert full of Highland pipes and bellows pipes, although this was music that would push the boundaries of a more traditional piping audience.
Mairearad and Ailis presented old Gaelic and trad tunes on Highland pipes and bellows pipes. Behind the melody, and sometimes over the melody, Mike provided an extreme electronic fusion of bass, beats and samples that got the feet tapping and some of the audience dancing. The album is available on bandcamp here.
John Mulhearn’s set really put the Highland pipes front and centre. All of John’s tunes were written by himself and inspired by the time he spent living in Glasgow’s Calton area around the Barrowlands. The electronic sounds of Alan Bryden and percussion of Iain Sandilands supported the tunes, and help paint the urban environment of the Barras, but never dominated the pipes and allowed John’s melodic tune writing and playing to shine through.
More information about John and his music can be found here.