Folk: Modern slant on Celtic folk tradition

Folk band Lankum, appearing at The Greystones
Folk band Lankum, appearing at The Greystones

Traditional folk music from Ireland and Wales is on the bill on consecutive nights at the Greystones next week.

Lankum, a four-piece group from Dublin, who combine four-part vocal harmonies with arrangements of uilleann pipes, concertina, Russian accordion, fiddle and guitar, appear next Wednesday (May 3).

Their repertoire spans humorous Dublin music-hall ditties and street songs, classic ballads from the traveller tradition, traditional Irish and American dance tunes and their own original material.

Anchored by brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch, they used to be called Lynched but opted for a diplomatic name change. Their new name comes from an Irish ballad, False Lankum.

The band was nominated for three awards at the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Calan, who are at the Greystones next Thursday (May 4), are attracting attention for their lively updating of the folk traditions of Celtic Wales.

The five-piece play fiddles, guitar, accordion, harp and bagpipes, often to a driving beat.

Audiences can also expect a bout of clog dancing from champion dancer Bethan Rhianon, who sings in English and Welsh.

Performing reels, jigs and hornpipes alongside haunting traditional songs, Calan are credited with introducing a new generation of music fans to traditional Welsh music since the release of their debut album in 2008.

They are on tour in support of their fourth studio album, Solomon, and likely to raise eyebrows not just for their dynamic instrumentation, but also for their striking dress sense and presentation.

Country blues duo Hat Fitz and Cara follow on in Sheffield 11 on Friday, May 5.