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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Dec 2019 > wild rovers

wild rovers

Abandon all your preconceptions. Irish anti-folk heroes Lankum are tearing up the rules of traditional Irish music. Garth Cartwright travels to the Emerald Isle to discover why new album The Livelong Day is a timeless psych-folk masterpiece in the making

Soft autumn sunshine illuminates Dublin, making the Irish capital appear warm and welcoming. “Dublin’s fucked,” says Ian Lynch, Lankum’s piper, quick to disabuse Long Live Vinyl of our illusions. “It’s become one of the world’s most expensive cities to live. I’m homeless.” Registering our look of shock, he adds, “actually, I’m living with my parents ’cos I can’t afford to rent.”

Cormac Mac Diarmada, the band’s fiddle and viola player, nods and says, “I’ve had to shift out of the city to Sligo.” Radie Peat (concertina, harmonium, bayan accordion, piano, harp) observes, “the government needs to stop doffing the cap to big corporations, such as Google, Facebook, Shell, as these companies base themselves here to avoid paying taxes and are full of highly paid executives who force up the price of property. It means anyone who isn’t part of the corporate structure is priced out of Dublin.” Daragh Lynch, guitar and piano, says, “they tell us how strong the economy is – then why is it so difficult for ordinary people to survive here?”

Hearing Lankum rage against the machine might be a surprise for some who expect Irish folk musicians to play up to stereotypes of lush countryside and pining for the Emerald Isle. Not this quartet. Lankum grew, they note, out of Dublin’s DIY punk scene, fusing with its traditional sessions. Across two albums, they have gone from manufacturing their own CDs and playing at squat parties to being one of Rough Trade’s signature bands while winning wide international acclaim. Now, with album number three, The Livelong Day, Lankum have created psychedelic folk at its most stunning, an album of epic textures and wild atmospheres.

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About Long Live Vinyl

The Clash, Gang Of Four, Buzzcocks, The Pop Group… 1979 was a hell of a year for music! Our epic cover feature tells the true story behind one of the most influential albums of all time, London Calling, as a new deluxe 40th anniversary reissue is unveiled. We also speak to a host of bands who wouldn't have existed without The Clash's revolutionary masterpiece. In other 1979 news, we've rounded up the key members of the post-punk movement that shaped one of British music's greatest years to tell us why it was so special and dig out some of the essential records from the final year of the 70s. Elsewhere, we count down the 40 greatest double albums of all time, London Calling included – from Tago Mago to Daydream Nation via Songs In The Key Of Life and The White Album. How many have you got? Talking of great classic albums, we take an in-depth look at Gene Clark's lost masterpiece No Other, finally given a reissue by 4AD this month. And our packed interviews section brings you chats with ELO legend Jeff Lynne, rising Irish folk heroes Lankum, indie veterans Stereophonics and Tindersticks as they tell us about their new albums. If all that's not enough you'll find a host of new release and reissue reviews from the likes of Nick Cave, The Rolling Stones, Prince, R.E.M., The Who, FKA Twigs and Michael Kiwanuka, as well as the latest turntable reviews. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers.