The paper is a quick review of the annual Mid Winter Scottish and Irish music Festival and Fair stepped in its 19th anniversary this year and celebrated through rocking musical performance at Valley Forge Convention Center. …
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None of the audience expressed concern or disgust over this sudden technical catastrophe as within that deemed darkness “Brother” and “Albannach” two of the much celebrated bands started blazing their acoustic guitars to keep the crowed entertained and that worked at its optimum level. Soon the light came back and the Seven Nations by that time started to set the stage on fire. In its earlier days when Kirk McLeod and Neil Anderson initiated the band, Seven Nations gained substantial popularity and interest among its audience. However it seemed that they have lost their way afterwards, though in this concert the band seemed rejuvenated with the inclusion of Victor Gagnon who gave an inspired performance with his fiddle. The performance that came out of the Seven Nations was a mix of old and new scores. When Seven Nations was refreshing my memories, I was missing Neil Anderson who was the co founder of the band, yet no longer associated with it. However he was not far away, his new band Rathkeltair was performing on the immediate second stage. Neil as all know is an immensely talented music performer who steals all the attention when he is on the stage. However, his performance in his new band Rathkeltair marked the re birth of a new Neil who knows how to blend with his associate musicians. Again the maestro gave his master stroke when he used his pipes to insert his whistles at the right places that only he is capable of. Those whistles gave a strange essence to the entire musical ambience and rescued the band from being reckoned as any other band of our genre. Through out the performance Neil was like a musician who believes in team work yet who knows when to lead. Again the visual impact that Neil left on the audience by playing two instruments simultaneously was a joy for ears as well as eyes. After a brief pause Albannach occupied the main stage and that for good reason and outcome. This is a pure rock band and comprised of pipe and drums. Jamesie and Jacquie at bass drums, Colin at snare and drum kit, Aya at bodhran and tambourine and Donnie with his bagpiper gave us a musical treat. The wild and erratic energy that the band filled the room with goes well with their tattoos. Sometimes it seemed that some of them might fall of the stage as they were shaking vigorously while playing their drums. The occasional long and lone snares that Colin was leaving through his hands mesmerized the audience and make them question themselves that whether his drum sticks are really attached with his fingers. Albannach all over kept the hall rocking and dancing and the entrapped energy of the audience occasionally came out with gigantic roars that might risk ones ear drums or even might led to cardiac arrest for the faint hearted. The two stages side by side and challenging each other in every step almost turned the audience into a tennis ball. After finishing with Albannach, the crowed headed to the second stage to witness the performance of Annalivia. The four performers of the group with the absence of Stuart Kenney who plays bass and banjo were bit quite comparing the previous performances yet even they reflected substantial talent through their music. Vocalist and Guitarist Liz Simmons, Brendan Carey and Emerald Rae on fiddle and the later one also on vocal and vocalist and guitarist Flynn Cohen presented a polished performance with folk flavour. Before the audience can finish with the band they have to rush back to the main stage to witness Paul McKenna band
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