Above the stage at Oran Mor in Glasgow is a painted sign: ‘Let Scotland flourish by telling the truth’. Alasdair Gray painted it there when he heard that the Scottish Government was hosting a summit about nuclear weapons in 2007. The sign remains above the stage where performers will perform Songs for Scotland concert in the auditorium of the Oran Mor in Glasgow on Sept 3rd. The concert will be accompanied by a documentary film, ‘Songs for Scotland at the Oran Mor’; and a downloadable album Bella Caledonia: Songs for Scotland the Album to be released on August 21st.
The lineup ranges from the brilliant Mary Ann Kennedy, to the mighty Proclaimers, Craig and Charlie Reid, to Loki, who, as Vonny Moyes has it, is ‘a rapper who is bricks and mortar to the genre. Producing his first album at just nineteen, phoenixing from the ashes of homelessness, death and substance abuse, his revolutionary rhymes, ruthless delivery, and tireless activism have earned him a spot amongst the country’s most outspoken MCs’.
‘Bella Caledonia: Songs for Scotland the Album’ will include nineteen tracks, in Scots, Gaelic and English variously, and originating in the trad/folk, pop, and hip-hop genres. Featured musicians range from the great and the legendary to rising new voices. Contributors include Iain Anderson, The Proclaimers, Caman, Mary Ann Kennedy, Ewan McLennan, Emily Smith, Loki, Karen Matheson and Capercaillie, Shooglenifty, Kathleen MacInnes, Allan MacDonald, Adam Ross and Randolph’s Leap, James Duncan Beats, Ashim, Eilidh MacKenzie, Stanley Odd, Matt Seattle, Dick Gaughan and Tommy Orr.
The Songs for Scotland Festival at the Oran Mor will be graced by — indeed enclosed within — Alasdair Gray’s superb mural art. Gray’s dictum to ‘tell the truth’ serves as an admonition of the politicians but also a call to our musicians and ourselves.
To buy an album download, go to our Indiegogo page here, until August 25th. After that check Bella Caledonia’s home page.