Check out our top tips for who is gonna smash it and reign supreme in 2018!
Brighde burst onto the scene in 2016 winning the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. Since then she has been entertaining crowds up and down the country and throughout Europe on some of the biggest stages in Folk Music including Celtic Connections, HebCelt Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival as well as being nominated in the Up and Coming category at the Trad Awards. We're really hoping for an album containing some 'Serious Piping' sometime soon. As well as her own solo work, Brighde has partnered up with Ross Ainslie for an exiting new project which you can check out at Celtic Connections.
Live: January 20th | Celtic Connections with Ross Ainslie | The Mitchell Theatre
February 3rd | Celtic Connections LauLand | CCA
Charlie Grey & Jospeh Peach
Charlie and Joe's versatile and energetic sound saw them progress all the way to the final of the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. These two spent the majority of last year on the road with other musical pals and duos touring here, there and everywhere. Alongside Hecla, these two had the time of their lives last summer performing as part of the Féis Rois Up and Coming Ceilidh Trail which included stops at Cambridge Folk Festival and Festival Interceltique in Lorient. These boys already have an album and an EP under their belts so there is plenty of music to get your ears around.
Live: Nothing we can see so far, but.. we wouldn't be surprised to see them pop up somewhere over the course of Celtic Connections.
After expanding from the original duo of Aidan and Graham in 2016 Gnoss are ready to take the folk scene by storm in 2018 after being nominated in the Up and Coming category at the Trad Awards. With a debut EP/Album (as a four piece) on the way following the success of singles The Silver Fox and the catchiest song ever Waves and Tours already booked in Scotland and Denmark if you're not listening to Gnoss in 2018 you must be living under a rock. We're just as intrigued to find out what the craic was that resulted in this photo. (see above) We reckon Connor wasn't very happy about it.
Live: Nothing that we can see yet... but we reckon they'll be making a few appearances at either the Late Night Sessions or the Festival Club at Celtic Connections
Combining intricate, driving tune sets and stunning Gaelic song Hecla are one of our top tips for 2018. Having already smashed support slots with the likes of Mánran and Ímar and performing at Cambridge folk Festival and Festival Interceltique as part of the Féis Rois Up and Coming Ceilidh Trail it is clear that this trio are the real deal. With only four tracks online just now we are really hoping for some recorderded material in 2018. Once you've checked out their Soundcloud go and buy tickets for their gig at Celtic Connections. Go on!!
Live: 20th January | Celtic Connections | The National Piping Centre
A group that are doing something totally different Inyal are definitely ones to watch for 2018. Their unique blend of traditional tunes and Gaelic melodies infused with beats and delicate synths is truly something fresh on the scene and resulted in the band being nominated in the Up and Coming category at the Trad Awards. I can't quite put into words how excited I am for a stunning debut album to arrive in just a few months. Cool and Moody Trad Music at its best.
Live: Nothing that we can see... but it would be a crime if this fab quintet weren't to play the Festival Club at some point
They may be the newest act to feature in this wee list but Ali Levack and Pablo Lafuentes new endeavour, Project Smok packs quite a punch. The duo's debut Album was released in 2017 and also featured the masterful Bodhrán skills of Martin O'Neill and adds to Scott Woods already very impressive collection of work to be recorded at Oak Ridge Studios. We wouldn't be surprised to find out that there will be some more recorded sounds to be released later on this year due to the objectives and potential of this project. Their debut Album Horizons is available in all the usual places but make sure to check out their show at Celtic Connections.
Live: 27th January | Celtic Connections | The National Piping Centre
Bursting onto the scene just last year this Glasgow based band are fast making a name for themselves. With Influences from Gaelic, Scots, English, Manx and Irish Traditional Music you'll find it very difficult to resit the toe tapping when listening to these folks. With a debut EP expected fairly soon...ish we are very excited to hear what is to come from these troops. Until then check out their Celtic Connections show. Pronto
Live: 20th January | Gaels Le Chéile @ Ceól's Craic Celtic Connections | CCA
Hats off to Bodhrán extraordinaire Craig Baxter who appears on this list not once, but twice. Oan Yersel!