Illustration from Fréamacha na hÉireann by Aodmain MacGríogóir, 1906

I’ve been meaning to write something about the ridiculously talented Irish folk group, Lynched, for some time; fortunately Britain’s Guardian newspaper has got there ahead of me. The band was formed in the early 2000s by Darragh and Ian Lynch as a folk-punk duo until joined by Cormac Mac Diarmada and Radie Peat, eventually becoming a distinctive vocal quartet supported by the píobaí uilleann (uilleann pipes), concertina, Russian accordion, fiddle and guitar. Since then they’ve been touring the music circuit in Ireland and overseas with their modern and occasionally very urban take on the Anglophone ballad tradition, giving a real edge to some older compositions whose contemporary inspirations have been long lost to memory (their version of the widely variant Anglo-American folksong, “The Old Man from Over the Sea”, is particularly effecting). Wider recognition seems to have only come with the release of their eclectic second album in 2014, “Cold Old Fire”, and an appearance on the BBC’s “Later With Jools Holland” in the UK. The latter illustrates yet again the utter paucity of platforms for Irish musicians to gain attention for their talents at home. It is only when foreign critics make murmurs of approval for some artistic endeavour emanating from this island nation that our domestic arbiters of taste pay attention.

So here are some samples of a band who are so damn good that I took the unprecedented step of actually buying their 2014 album, and not acquiring it for free through other more, er, technological means…

8 comments on “Irish Folk Band, Lynched

  1. Never have I heard Ireland so clearly. Thank you

  2. Excellent musicians who have been part of a loose collection of young musicians playing in sessions with gigs here and there for about a decade. I used to join them with percussion and the occasional song for a period in Devitt’s in Camden St. and in The Thomas House in Thomas St; to hear them even from the street outside used to lift my heart, no matter how shitty the day at work or otherwise had been. I still hear Cormac from time to time in the Sunday session in Bowes’ and his sister, although not in this group, is an impressive singer too.

    What is different about this group from their milieu I think is the combination of excellent instrument playing, excellent singing and a strong interest in and respect for the origins, background and meaning of the song they have collected for their repertoire.

  3. May I reblog this for Rebel Breeze and if so, how do I do it? D

    • Absolutely, no probs on that. I believe it is the “Reblog” button beside the “Like” and share buttons under the post. It should be visible if you are signed in to WordPress.

  4. ar an sliabh

    Very theatrical. Very talented.

  5. There are many reasons I enjoy following this blog and now you’ve just given me another one. What a great find! CD has been ordered, music is on its way.

  6. Great group, had the privilege to hear them at a few sessions. Thanks for posting.

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