Lankum (formerly Lynched) are no strangers to Glasgow. Back in May 2017 they came into Celtic Towers to play a live session and then walked around the corner to the Kinning Park Centre, where they played – seated and entirely acoustic – to a young, hip, non-folky audience, who loved every second of their music.
Celtic Connections 2018 saw them at Oran Mor (downstairs) playing to a standing audience of youngsters at the front and auld grey heids at the back. Opening the gig was East London 5 piece band Stick In The Wheel with an outstanding 45 minute set of traditional and contemporary songs,jaw dropping instrumental work, fantastic arrangements and awesome vocals. Loved every micro second!
Lankum came on to a stage full of acoustic instruments with the Irish pipes to the fore. They spoke about having made the innocent but disastrous decision to interpolate the well known Ibrox folksong “Simply The Best” into a medley at their first Glasgow gig. Wiser now, they drew on material from their two albums to create a wonderfully paced set.
They told the full story of having just appeared at Shane McGowan’s 60th birthday gig, alongside Johnny Depp, Bono and the President of Ireland. – no less. They then gave us their version of Shane’s The Old Main Drag. Other highlights were Granite Gaze, Cold Old Fire and an encore of the Irish Jubilee. As well as writing great new material,Lankum are serious collectors of traditional music, spending hours at the Dublin Trad archives for new/old songs. They are also able to entertain the broadest of audiences. With a new album on Rough Trade Records, their move towards a wider market seems assured.
Bill Morris/Gavin Paterson