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LIVE REVIEWS
Famous Celtic Duo's Sellout Gig Wows Opening Night Audience
Eden Court, Inverness - 3rd November 2007
thisisnorthscotland.co.uk (Press & Jornal)
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Legendary ambassadors of Scottish traditional music Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain reopened Eden Court to an appreciative capacity crowd.

The pair were the last act to appear at the theatre before it closed prior to its redevelopment in 2005, and they returned to the place they refer to as their "home gig" with a selection of old favourites and new tunes.

The duo have achieved legendary status individually, and in their 20 years playing together. Billy Connolly once said about Bain: "He didn't become good. He arrived good."

But despite the accolades and the star status, their ease with the Inverness audience was obvious, and their relaxed banter gave the 850-seat theatre the intimacy of a much smaller gig. Saturday night's programme rounded up music from Shetland to Sweden via New Orleans and Lousiana, and as ever gave more than a nod to the influence of Fergie Macdonald.

Along with many old favourites such as La Bastringue, Sarah's Song, The Mouse in the Cupboard, Bonaparte's Retreat and Flett for Flotta came Cunningham's haunting and moving air A Bright Star in Cepheus, composed for his late brother Johnny.

If ever proof was needed that the pair have reached new heights of sensitivity and emotion in their playing, this was it.

If the evening hadn't been so celebratory and upbeat, there wouldn't have been a dry eye in the house.

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