After winning a Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections 2015, Orkney duo Gnoss (Graham Rorie and Aidan Moodie) returned to Celtic Connections this year, and began their trip by playing two live sets in one day.
On Friday afternoon they took to the stage of the Strathclyde Suite at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for the Danny Kyle Award Winners Showcase; before opening proceedings for The Shee’s Continuum at The Mitchell Library in the evening. There was no lack of energy, though, as the lads opened with a lively fiddle/guitar set, with a smooth progression from sure and steady to fast and fiery they had the audience on their side from the very start.
Undaunted by the capacity crowd at The Mitchell, Gnoss continued to impress throughout the set, at times joined by the guest musicians from their debut album, Gregor Kincaid (Bohdran) and Connor Sinclair (Whistles).
Among the lively jigs, fiery reels and soothing airs the lads proved they’re just as adept when it comes to song writing. Aiden took the lead vocal for Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day (taking a guess at the title, I’m afraid), injecting an unexpected Transatlantic flavour; with a soft slur to Aiden’s vocal and a southern swing in Graham’s fiddle. Another fine vocal came with their rendition of the traditional song Bonnie Glenshee, delivered by Aiden’s soft, light bass vocal.
Despite the fact that Graham and Aidan are currently studying music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland they’re enjoying a good deal of success as Gnoss, having won two Open Stage awards at The Orkney Folk Festival, as well as last year’s award at Celtic Connections. Since that award they’ve performed around Scotland, and made their English festival debut at Folk By the Oak, played Music for Youth’s Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, and supported acts such as Sharon Shannon, RURA, and Seth Lakeman.
Friday also marked the launch of their eponymous debut album, which is sure to help raise the profile of a duo that show a great deal of promise. If the level of skill and creativity that goes into their enjoyable and imaginative live sets is any indication, it must be well worth seeking out.
Review by: Neil McFadyen
Photo Credit: je photographe