I was very much looking forward to this night. One of my favourite Bristol venues playing host to Lynched, a traditional Irish folk band from Dublin. Featuring brothers Ian (Uilleann pipes/whistle/voice) and Daragh Lynch (guitar/voice), plus Radie Peat (concertina/harmonium/bayan/whistle/voice) and Cormac Diarmada (fiddle/voice).
Lynched play a mixture of their own brilliantly crafted songs, along with some traditional British folk songs in their own unique style.
Tonight they start slowly and moodily with a stripped back version of ‘Henry my Son’, the opening song on their Debut album ‘Cold Old Fire’. They follow with a couple of foot tappers from the album, including the great drinking song ‘Salonika’. Radie then sits on the floor to play the harmonium, a suitably haunting sounding instrument for the murder ballad ‘Ana Lee’. Before the interval they play a couple more trad folk songs, both sounding like every other typical Irish trad folk, I’m happy enough with this.
After the break they predictably do what is expected of all folk bands, an anti-recruitment rouser, with the words “Tooral looral looral loo”… of course. Ahhh this is more like it; ‘Peat Bog Soldiers’, an anti-fascist song – I’m more familiar with Punk bands singing about anti-fascism, but this song, with its amazing harmonies, is more suitable for playing to your granny… go on do it! Next they played a number that I am not familiar with, and didn’t catch the name. It was bloomin’ miserable; I loved it! Then more amazing harmonies in ‘Little Tommy Tucker’, before ‘Cold Old Fire’; a song so utterly fantastic that I forgot to take notes.
They could have called it a night at that point, a great finish, but there was more to come. ‘The Irish Jubilee’, I don’t know what on earth it was, it had lots of words and I rather enjoyed it, whatever it was. Radie then sings a stunning version of the old English song ‘The Old Man from Under the Sea’, with the boys providing deep haunting backing vocals. They’ve pretty much covered all bases but one, so of course, they finish with a rousing sea shanty, ‘Billy O’Shea’.
This show was every bit as good as I expected it would be, more so. The sound quality is always good in this old church building and Sound Engineer John Murphy did a sterling job of getting the best possible sound out of a brilliant performance. Go catch this band as soon as you can, they are fantastic! They will change their name to Lankum after the current tour so keep that in mind.
For Lynched news and gigs see their website
Keep an eye on what’s going on at St George’s here