Paul Buchanan lights up Celtic Connections with outstanding performance

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Paul Buchanan performed four songs with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Paul Buchanan made his return to the stage last night (26 January) at Glasgow’s Royal Concert.

The former Blue Nile frontman was part of a performance which celebrated 50 years since the inception of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra who started the night off. They were then joined on stage by harp player Maeve Gilchrist to perform pieces re-arranged by Pippa Murphy. It was then over to the trio of Lau who received a warm reception. After the break, the crowd erupted when Paul Buchanan took the stage - joined by Donald Shaw on piano. He has a special relationship with the Royal Concert Hall as The Blue Nile were the first musical act to perform at the venue back in 1990 with the very first performer being Billy Connolly. It was the first time he had taken to the stage in Glasgow since performing at Celtic Connections back in 2015 when he was part of the tribute night to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Ewan MacColl. He kicked-off his short set with “Mid-Air”which is the title track of his debut solo album released in 2012 which was terrific. The crowd were then transported back to 1989 with an utterly stunning performance of “Let’s Go Out Tonight”. A new song was then sung which totally blew fans away as Buchanan is known for certainly taking his time when releasing albums. You could hear a pin drop in the venue as he performed the new tune which will certainly give people hope a new album could be on the way. To conclude his set, Buchanan performed “Happiness” off The Blue Nile’s 1996 album Peace at Last which was also absolutely outstanding as he was joined on stage by a full choir and orchestra as well as other musicians from the night.

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He looked overwhelmed to by the reaction of the crowd which was summed up when he returned to the stage for an encore after Aoife O’Donovan’s set. As the orchestra likely didn’t have the sheet music to any other songs, they once again performed “Mid-Air” and “Happiness” which were met with an even greater reception. For many Blue Nile fans, it is an absolute treat to hear any song’s performed live by Paul Buchanan as this is not a regular occurrence. He was sensational.

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