I loved the quiet, beautiful harmony singing with which Ian and Daragh Lynch began the set’s opener, Henry My Son. And I loved the delicate, pretty fiddle work of Cormac Mac Diarmada that started to build the sound of that song. I loved the strange, attacking sound of Ian’s pipes, and Radie Peat’s tatty, blaring melodeon, but also the lightness and deftness all of the band played with. That they understand the value of light and shade was illustrated perfectly by The Old Man From Over the Sea: a grotesque tale told for the most part in an amusingly studied fashion, it became a raucous knees-up in just a few instants.
I liked the way Ian sat with his shoes and socks off and his jeans rolled up like he was about to go for a paddle. (I’m not sure where one can paddle in Aldershot, but as far as I could tell there was no practical reason for it.) I liked the way Radie (another from the Sandie Shaw school of footwear) unstarrily clambered down on to the floor to crouch over the harmonium (it may have been a shruti box) for a couple of songs. When you can sing like that, you’ve no need to stand and ‘project’ – her voice made the chairs in the back row rock even when their occupants couldn’t see her.
And it wasn’t just Radie’s voice that I loved. Everyone could sing. And though I hate to be the guy who says “I love your accent”… those lovely Dublin brogues felt made to be wrapped around songs both reserved and robust, including one I didn’t know that had “at least a million” words. How everyone stayed on the same script for that one is beyond me.
I loved that Lynched are fans of the long, quiet and drone-y songs that a lot of bands wouldn’t be brave enough to play live. Everyone loved shouting out “fresh fish!” during Sweet Daffodil Mulligan, but the band’s willingness to whisper through a lengthy, engrossing Turkish Revelry as well really made my heart sing.
I liked the group’s easy manner. They seemed to be having fun, chatting gamely about the negative Twitter response they got for their appearance on Jools Holland’s show (“The Corrs have let themselves go”), pondering the role of Manchester as a ‘natural enemy’ city and relating the stories behind their songs. Speaking of which, these were great. I liked the wisdom of Cold Old Fire, the somehow cheerful desperation of Salonika and the bizarreness of Father Had a Knife.
I liked support act Thom Ashworth’s take on Tyne of Harrow, too. He did some tuneful and percussive looping with his electric double bass (and some Flea-esque funky shenanigans with his acoustic) and sang lustily over the top. He was a bit nervous – but apparently it was his first solo gig, so you can’t blame him for that. Tom forgot to introduce himself on stage, and afterwards lots of people were asking him, so I think it’s safe to say you were a hit, Tom.
Lynched’s tour continues. Click here for dates