As part of the IMBOLC international music festival, The Derry audience were treated to an evening of devilish charm and dark reflection when Lankum took to the stage at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin. Lankum are a four piece ensemble from Dublin who are self-described as “the miscreants of folk music.”
While the group have drawn much inspiration from Irish and British folk traditions, it is undeniable that Lankum have created their own distinct flavour within the genre. Historical lyrics mixed with dollops of the band’s punk influences gives urban folk music a fresh and purposeful face that reflects modern Irish social issues while also delving into the mysterious past.
The playful nature of the group between songs warms up the crowd and creates an atmosphere that demands your attention while also removing any formal barrier between performers and listener.
The band consists of brothers Daragh and Ian Lynch, Cormac MacDiarmada and the statuesque Radie Peat. Together they harmonise and then cajole the audience through their supreme instrument playing which includes guitar, uillean pipes, harmonium and fiddle.
The Lynch brothers take turns in introducing songs and singing while interjecting with witty observations and stories from their travelling tours.
The silent Cormac MacDiarmada dazzles with his professional understanding of the fiddle.
Then the glacial Radie Peat provides a piercing, haunting voice which appropriately suits the quartet’s energy along with operating the harmonium and accordion.
Among their repertoire is, Peat bog soldier, an English language cover of a German prison lament from the concentration camps during World War 2.
Little Tommy Tucker produces laughs detailing a Dublin girl’s dealings with a young man’s advances.
The most poignant song of the evening was Granite Gaze, which addresses the issue of abortion rights in Ireland prior the 2018 referendum.
The festivities were brought to a close with a disturbing rendition of The Old Man from Over the Sea which explores a strange night caller’s visit to a lonely country home.
Lankum are a folk band like no other that exists today. They’ve shaken up the Irish music scene to no end. While they have announced no official gigs after May, I advise all music lovers to keep an eye out for their events and go see them before it’s too late!. 5/5
http://lankumdublin.com/ – Official Lankum website
https://www.facebook.com/events/imbolcfest/ven_ture-lankum/252096042134112/ – Facebook event for the gig.
http://imbolcfestival.com/festival/events – Official Imbolc festival website.