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Join The Langan Band in the Fox & Firkin Garden to celebrate their new album ‘Plight O’Sheep’, with a performance from the band themselves, alongside Ríoghnach Connolly &Ellis Davies, Mesadorm, Wanton String Band and Blind Yeo, plus DJ sets from Fire in the Mountain Soundsystem.
The Langan Band
For nearly 15 years now, the three members of The Langan Band have been carving out their own lawlessly virtuosic path of sound; rampaging through the boundaries of conventional genre and cavorting into the territories of wild abandon, purest intimacy, andun conditional musical elation.
The trio were initially brought together by a deep respect of traditional song and music, yet they discovered a mutual love of the evisceration and regeneration of these pieces into provocative and fascinating new compositions, as was recognised by the band winning the prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival at the start of their journey together. This sound and process went on to inform the band’s now mostly original repertoire, and has resulted in a musical experience quite unlike any other.
Ayrshire-born John Langan is found centre-stage, seated on an explosive foot percussion rig of his own devising and fronting the trio with intricate fiery guitar rhythms and withering flysheet and scathing vocals. To his right stands Alastair Caplin, a classically trained violinist equally discerning in both the London Prog-Folk/Jazz scenes he occupied for years and also the blistering traditional reels and jigs of his native Outer Hebrides. Stage left is the domain of Angus-born Dave Tunstall and his double bass; from here emanates a seductive concoction of eerily-bowed soundscapes, heart-stopping bass lines, and in conjunction with Caplin’s blurred bowing a truly monumental wall of orchestral noise. The sound of the group reaches its zenith when all of these instruments are joined by the three voices singing together in razor- tight harmony to create an absolute cacophony of joy.
Whilst it is possible to see the evidence of influences the band have drawn on and enjoyed (Trad. Scots music, Eastern European Gypsy, Progressive Jazz and American Old-Time to name a few), the true nature of the sound from The Langan Band is best described as unpigeon-holeable, yet utterly irresistible.
“Extraordinary” - The Times
“Boundlessly inventive” - R2 Magazine
“Fallen angels pursuing demons ... a compelling take-no-prisoners style” - The Scotsman“
Conventions are abandoned with a recklessness that borders on the insane ... That a few guys from Glasgow could conspire to create such an immense sound between them is not unprecedented, but to achieve this with such lyrical and instrumental flair is a rare, rarething” - Folk Radio UK.
Plight O' Sheep
Plight o’ Sheep is the second full release from The Langan Band, almost exactly 10 years after the critically acclaimed release of their first full album Bones Of Contention. Recorded in Black Bay Studio in the Outer Hebrides, this album is a beautifully crafted distillation of the preceding ten years of huge life events and voracious performing around the world.Songs like Leg Of Lamb and I’m Alive absolutely retain the infectious energy of the previous album, but numbers such as Sweetness and the Single One Whole Year demonstrate a deeper maturity and empathy in the music that can only come from hard-lived experiences and years of creating music together.
A huge part of the band’s success and appeal over the years has been the sheer density and depth of sound that these three people can create on a stage by themselves; and whilst,with Producer Pete Fletcher, they have availed themselves of all the joys and toys that BlackBay Studio had to offer, the finished album remains very true to the pure live show that the trio perform. In a similar vein to their first album, the composition of the melodies, lyrics, andtunes falls mainly to singer/guitarist John Langan and fiddler Alastair Caplin, with bassist Dave Tunstall then joining the process with his considerable musical weight as the trio then brutalise and manipulate the pieces into their final forms.
The title Plight o’ Sheep first came into the frame when Alastair and John were walking round the Isle of Bernera (upon which sits Black Bay Studio) on a viciously stormy morning,and remarked upon seeing a particularly wind-blown ram struggling to stay upright in the gale, what a truly miserable existence being a Hebridean sheep must be.The release of the album is preceded by the release of the Singles One Whole Year (written by John Langan, arranged by The Langan Band) and Leg Of Lamb (written by Alastair Caplin, arranged by The Langan Band).