A blend of old and new

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Folk-rock group Trembling Bells team up with Mike Heron of Scottish folk legends The Incredible String Band for their first fully collaborative concert tour The Circle Is Unbroken.

The show, which debuted to glowing reviews at Celtic Connections in January, celebrates psychadelic rocker Mike Heron’s legacy in his 70th year.

The Incredible String Band’s singer-songwriter Heron is marking his 70th birthday by setting out on tour with the Glasgow four-piece — and long-term collaborators.

The dates follow a series of previous work between the two, beginning with the ISB night A Very Cellular Song at the Barbican in 2010 and running through further shows and a 7” of Heron’s Feast Of Stephen.

The The Circle Is Unbroken tour also celebrates the release of ISB’s Live At Fillmore East, 1968 through Hux Records earlier this year, and will take in both well-known and rare material from the band’s catalogue.

The concert highlights their musical sympathies, as they exchange material in an evening comprised of classic String Band songs, and the contemporary tunes of the Bells.

Trembling Bells’ Lavinia Blackwall’s soaring vocal style has drawn comparisons to Sandy Denny, and she took part in the recent tour The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny which was televised by the BBC.

This tour follows on from the release of Trembling Bells’ acclaimed collaborative album and tour with Bonnie Prince Billy’s The Marble Downs on Honest Jon’s last year. 

Scottish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mike Heron is best known for his work in ISB, which built a considerable following, particularly within the British counterculture in the 60s and 70s.

In support is Shelagh McDonald, who made two admired albums in the early 1970s and then disappeared for 33 years.

Now she is back making live appearances that prove her musicianship and charm have not diminished with the years.

As cult figures go, few come with greater credentials: a wonderful singer, guitarist and songwriter, her two LPs (The Shelagh McDonald Album from 1971 and Stargazer from 1972) were among the jewels of the early 70s folk-rock era.

Shelagh made her first official public appearance after more than 40 years away this year, delighting the crowds with a reprise of her much loved version of Let No Man Steal Your Thyme.

Tickets for the gig at Oran Mor tonight (Friday)are available from www.ticketweb.co.uk, or from behind the bar. Doors open at 7pm.