They may not make many live appearances, but when one of Falkirk’s most enduring bands graces the stage they do so in style.
The Pearlfishers, who have been creating their unique brand of lush harmonies and carefully crafted songwriting since the early 1990s, are appearing at Celtic Connections this month.
It follows the release earlier this year of a new CD ‘Open Up Your Colouring Book’ which was well received.
On the back of that the band was asked to play at the famous winter festival by its artistic director Donald Shaw, who suggested they make it “an extravaganza”.
The result will be a show that incorporates not only the full band but also a multitude of musicians they have been collaborating with – including a string octet, along with the bewitching voice of Glasgow singer Pauline Alexander and fingerstyle guitar from Paisley’s Edwin Gallacher.
Lead singer David Scott said: “The Pearlfishers are basically a revolving door but we do keep working with the same musicians, so the people who play on the records come and play when we do a live show.”
Having been involved with Celtic Connections often over the years, David knew the show was going to be something special.
“The thing about Donald [Shaw] is that he is an enthusiast about music. He has never had a narrow focus on traditional music. The emphasis is very much on the connections and the way in which music cross fertilizes.”
While David – who is also a broadcaster and producer – has never stopped writing and preparing songs even when the band has been relatively quiet, he has been busy lately.
He runs the University of the West of Scotland’s Masters degree in songwriting and performance – one of only two such courses in Scotland.
Although he once studied graphics at Falkirk College and went on to art school, his education was interrupted by his blossoming music career.
“To get the chance to go back and enjoy all that has been wonderful,” he said. “We have excellent students and while it takes up a lot of time it’s more than worth it.”
While his career in the music business has proved his longevity, his video for the song ‘The Last Days of September’ shows he hasn’t lost his touch as an artist either.
And local readers will enjoy it more than most. The quirky animation shows several Falkirk landmarks and David would be interested in knowing who can spot the most.
There will be a pair of tickets to his Celtic Connections show for the winner, so email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers. .
The Pearlfishers and Pauline Alexander & Edwin Gallacher play on January 16 at 7.30 p.m. in the Mitchell Library. For tickets visit www.celtricconnections.com.