Towersey legends return for a very special and rare appearence. We are delighted to welcome Flook back to our Big Club Stage.
The flutes of Brian Finnegan and Sarah Allen, the guitar of Ed Boyd and the bodhran of John Joe Kelly weave and spin traditionally rooted tunes into the breathtaking sound of the groundbreaking band Flook. This group possesses a rare blend of fiery technical brilliance, delicate ensemble interaction and a bold, adventurous musical imagination.
Though their first release, Flook! Live! (1997), was already heralded as "the ultimate modern flute album" by The Irish Times, Flook only properly burst onto the international music scene with the release of their debut studio album, “Flatfish”, in 1999. This album introduced master bodhran player John Joe Kelly to Flook's line up of flutists Brian Finnegan and Sarah Allen and guitarist Ed Boyd. Flatfish was hailed as "stunning", "remarkable" and "little short of miraculous", but it was Flook's live performances that really captured the hearts of those who watched and listened; the rapport between these four musicians, the sheer enjoyment they developed in playing together, was commented on by audiences and critics alike. "Rubai", released in 2002 and nominated for BBC Folk Album of the Year, was universally applauded by both journalists and fellow musicians and cemented Flook's reputation as one of the most exciting and innovative bands to emerge from the English/Irish folk scene, and they went on to win the coveted award for Best Group at BBC Folk Awards 2006.
There is no shortage of virtuosity amongst the members of Flook, but the unique impact of this band stems from the wholly intuitive, almost symbiotic, exchange between the various flutes, frets and skins.
Flook announced that they were taking a prolonged pause from live performance at the end of 2008, but, due to overwhelming popular demand, they are now back together and playing some carefully selected concerts around Europe and further afield. Catch these rare shows while you can!
You've described Towersey as one of your favourite festivals - what is it about the festival you so enjoy?
Sarah: Towersey has always been the friendliest of festivals. We’ve been coming since we started playing music together as Flook, and some of us before that - including me with The Barely Works - so much fun! - so we’ve seen it through the ages - from when we were younger and wanting to party more, to now when we might come with our families in tow. It has something for everyone, and always a great and varied line-up.
What can audiences expect from you guys at Towersey this year?
Sarah: The audience can expect a lot of their old Flook favourites, and also some new tunes. There’ll be a good mix of up tempo jigs and reels and slow reflective tunes, all given the Flook treatment - super tight rhythm section and those all familiar flutes and whistles working overtime over the top.
Are there any acts on the Towersey bill you'd like to recommend or are keen to see? http://www.towerseyfestival.co m/lineup/artists
Brian: The line-up for Towersey this year is super-hot, so many great acts over the weekend. We're very excited to see Foy Vance and his band, his new album The Wild Swan is fantastic and he's a neighbour of mine! Vera Van Heeringen is another songbird that we love and are looking forward to catching at Towersey, she's been honing her own lovely songs since stepping aside from The New Rope String Band. Andy Cutting on his own, a force of nature!
It's 20 years on from your first album, Flook Live! - are we about due a second live album? Or any other Flook release?
Brian: We've dipped our toes into the studio world again, just ideas for now, finding the frequencies so to speak. The one thing that we're all 100% in agreement with is the desire to be creating new material, we're very hungry for that. It may take a little while to craft, but there will be a studio album coming as opposed to a 'live' album.
What's the band's (and your) plans for the coming year ...?
Brian: We have shows planned this coming year with Flook in far flung corners like Germany, Belgium and Russia, as well as a return to Orkney and to Ireland. We made a conscious decision to focus our music on special invitations to places and festivals that we either loved playing previously, or, have always wanted to play. We're all involved in different diverse musical partnerships outside Flook, Ed plays with Lunasa, John Joe with Zakir Hussain's Masters Of Percussion, Sarah was busiest of all at the start of this year, appearing at Celtic Connections Festival in three different ensembles including The Unusual Suspects. And I play with a giant of Russian music, Boris Grebenshikov, and recently collaborated with Ed Sheeran on his album 'Divide'. Still, it's amazing how familiar it feels it get back to Flook after time apart, like the best friendships, we take up exactly where we left off.