Belfast Telegraph

Traditional aristocrats LAPD reel off a super showing

By Michael Conaghan

A Celtic super-dupergroup emerging from the mere supergroups that were Planxty, Moving Hearts, and the Bothy Band, LAPD are traditional music aristocracy personified.

Liam O'Flynn, Andy Irvine, Paddy Glackin and Donal Lunny have combined their considerable talents in a series of concerts that have been labelled 'extraordinary'.

On Saturday night a patient Feile audience, having endured torrential rain and the perils of a gently sloping floor between them and the bar, welcomed the band onstage a mere two-and-a-half hours after the tent doors flapped open.

They opened with the statuary set of reels, sounding simultaneously rootsy and shimmering, a characteristic which was to define their music for much of the set. But it was in songs of exile where they found their strength early on, particularly on the ballad Indiana, sung beautifully by Andy Irvine.

The nagging sense that this was music made for a more intimate venue was constantly undercut by the band's superb playing, with Liam O'Flynn's pipes predictably much to the fore. But they meshed together vocally as well, sharing lead singing duties, but with harmonies as sweet as REM's, particularly on songs like closer The Blacksmith.

An overgenerous allotment of time given to support act Grainne Holland might have left some feeling slightly shortchanged, but an affecting moment when a silhouetted couple danced in front of the stage told you everything you needed to know about the enduring power of this music.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph