FolkWorld Live Review 01/2005 by Kathy-Ann Tan
So much has been written about this band that I hardly know where to start myself. As you can read elsewhere on the Folkworld website, this band are a huge favourite with our reviewers, and they were even invited to play at our editor Michael Moll's wedding earlier this year. In the last 9 years (the big "X" (thanks Ed!) comes next year, and boy there will be some partying to match!) Flook! have leapt from strength to strength; their musical development has seen their tunes become tighter, more solid, while still leaving room open for improvisation.
About 7 years ago I saw this band play in a small cosy venue in Cambridge, U.K. called the Boatrace (which has now been converted into a very posh winebar, thanks again Ed!). It was a very different set-up back then; flautist Michael McGoldrick was still in the band, and the amazing bodhran player John Joe hadn't joined it yet. The gig in the Boatrace was a great success; the audience were mesmerized, and I rushed out to the shops the next day looking to buy my very first Flook! CD. Seven years later, therefore, it was with a nice warm feeling of anticipation that I headed into Flook!'s gig, this time in a *really* small and cosy venue called "Club Bistro" in Kirchheim unter Teck.
And I wasn't disappointed. I guess it wasn't for nothing that Flook!'s CD "Rubai" was voted "Album of the Year (2003)" and Brian Finnegan, "Male Musician of the Year" in LiveIreland.com and the Irish-American News. The current line-up, as they have been playing for the last 6 years or so, is: Sarah Allen on flute and accordion, Ed Boyd on guitars and bouzouki, Brian Finnegan on flute and John Joe Kelly on bodhran. The gig in Club Bastion was just as mind-blowing as the one I attended seven years back. The band played a mixture of old and new tunes, including "Wrong Foot Forward/ Apollo Bay Reel/ Cats of Kamazine", "Beehive", "Gordon Duncan's" and the "Dub Reel". I particularly enjoyed the new (and "new new"!) sets from the band, especially "Son Ar Rost/ John's Jig/ Mes Malaprop" and their newest set of reels, "Padraig's New Reel" and the rather dubiously titled (or maybe not!) "The Feckin' Inn", named after one of the hotels that the band have stayed in while touring around Europe. The first piece played in the second half of the gig was "Flutopia", which cast a new light on the "breathy" version played at Flook!'s early gigs; John Joe's bodhran and Ed's skilful guitar certainly added that extra bit of "oomph" to the piece, although, from pure recollection, I enjoyed the early version immensely too!
All in all, a wonderful evening of music, wit and good vibes all round, at a venue to match. I look forward with eager anticipation to the release of Flook!'s next CD, available sometime in spring 2005- Folkworld fans, you'll be the first to know, I promise, so keep checking back for updates!
Visit Flook! at their website - www.flook.co.uk - and drop them a line, or join their mailing list to be posted for concert dates, new releases, and more!
Photo Credit: Flook at Michael's wedding May 2005, photo by J Moss
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