Plight o’ Sheep The Langan Band
- 1One Whole Year05:27
- 2Leg of Lamb07:38
- 3Come When I Call You06:06
- 5The Bastard Hills of Totterdown08:14
- 6Djelem Djelem08:05
- 7The Drunken Dwarf03:14
- 8Open Your Eyes07:44
- 9I’m Alive08:34
- 10Old Tom’s Waltz / Reel Valencia07:07
Info for Plight o’ Sheep
Plight o’ Sheep is the second full release from The Langan Band, almost exactly 10 years after the critically acclaimed release of their first full album Bones Of Contention. Recorded in Black Bay Studio in the Outer Hebrides, this album is a beautifully crafted distillation of the preceding ten years of huge life events and voracious performing around the world.
Songs like Leg Of Lamb and I’m Alive absolutely retain the infectious energy of the previous album, but numbers such as Sweetness and the Single One Whole Year demonstrate a deeper maturity and empathy in the music that can only come from hard-lived experiences and years of creating music together.
A huge part of the band’s success and appeal over the years has been the sheer density and depth of sound that these three people can create on a stage by themselves; and whilst, with Producer Pete Fletcher, they have availed themselves of all the joys and toys that Black Bay Studio had to offer, the finished album remains very true to the pure live show that the trio perform.
The title Plight o’ Sheep first came into the frame when Alastair and John were walking around the Isle of Bernera (upon which sits Black Bay Studio) on a viciously stormy morning, and remarked upon seeing a particularly wind-blown ram struggling to stay upright in the gale, what a truly miserable existence being a Hebridean sheep must be.
John Langan, guitar, vocals, percussion, accordion
Alastair Caplin, violin, viola, accordion, vocals
Dave Tunstall, double bass, mandolin, small pipes, vocals
The Langan Band
For nearly 15 years now, the three members of The Langan Band have been carving out their own lawlessly virtuosic path of sound; rampaging through the boundaries of conventional genre and cavorting into the territories of wild abandon, purest intimacy, and unconditional musical elation.
The trio were initially brought together by a deep respect of traditional song and music, yet they discovered a mutual love of the evisceration and regeneration of these pieces into provocative and fascinating new compositions, as was recognised by the band winning the prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival at the start of their journey together. This sound and process went on to inform the band’s now mostly original repertoire, and has resulted in a musical experience quite unlike any other.
Ayrshire-born John Langan is found centre-stage, seated on an explosive foot percussion rig of his own devising and fronting the trio with intricate fiery guitar rhythms and witheringly sweet and scathing vocals. To his right stands Alastair Caplin, a classically trained violinist equally discerning in both the London Prog-Folk/Jazz scenes he occupied for years and also the blistering traditional reels and jigs of his native Outer Hebrides. Stage left is the domain of Angus-born Dave Tunstall and his double bass; from here emanates a seductive concoction of eerily-bowed soundscapes, heart-stopping bass lines, and in conjunction with Caplin’s blurred bowing a truly monumental wall of orchestral noise. The sound of the group reaches its zenith when all of these instruments are joined by the three voices singing together in razor-tight harmony to create an absolute cacophony of joy.
Whilst it is possible to see the evidence of influences the band have drawn on and enjoyed (Trad. Scots music, Eastern European Gypsy, Progressive Jazz and American Old-Time to name a few), the true nature of the sound from The Langan Band is best described as un-pigeon-holeable, yet utterly irresistible.
This album contains no booklet.