A few weeks ago, there was a 60th birthday party for Shane McGowan in Dublin. Bono, Sinead O’Connor, Glen Hansard and other Irish stars performed his music, and the President of Ireland gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Another slightly less familiar (at least in the U.S.) name performed — Lankum. They played The Pogues song “The Old Main Drag.”
Lankum is a Dublin-based four-piece that combines distinctive four-part vocal harmonies with arrangements of uilleann pipes, concertina, accordion, fiddle and guitar. Rough Trade released their album Between The Earth and Sky a few months ago, and it became one of the best reviewed folk albums of the year with numerous accolades, award nominations and glowing coverage. Although an acoustic group whose repertoire is fundamentally based on traditional song, influenced by legends such as Frank Harte, Planxty, The Dubliners and the Watersons, subtle traces of the group’s collective influences can be detected, ranging from American old-timey music to krautrock and drone.