Lankum are a four-piece traditional folk group from Dublin, Ireland, who combine distinctive vocal harmonies with arrangements of uilleann pipes, whistles, concertina, accordion, fiddle and guitar. Their repertoire spans humorous Dublin music-hall ditties and street-songs, classic ballads from the Traveller tradition, traditional Irish and American dance tunes alongside their own original material.
Having spent the last number of years performing as ‘Lynched’, the band decided that they would no longer continue with the name and their new band name comes from the ballad ‘False Lankum’, as sung by the Irish Traveller John Reilly Jr.
The band was originally formed as an experimental-psychedelic-folk-punk-duo by brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch in the early 2,000’s, and has since progressed through a number of incarnations.
As their interest in traditional music and song grew, the brothers began to attend sessions around Dublin, where they formed friendships with Cormac Mac Diarmada and Radie Peat, amongst a whole host of impressive young musicians. When Ian began work in the Irish Traditional Music Archive, after completing a folklore masters, he had the rare opportunity to record in the ITMA studio with friend, colleague and in-house technician Danny Diamond, whenever a spare evening presented itself, so he and Daragh asked Cormac and Radie to provide some backing vocals and instrumentation on “one or two songs”.
Their debut album ‘Cold Old Fire’ was released in 2014, and although fundamentally an album of traditional Irish song, heavily influenced by Irish legends such as Frank Harte, Planxty and The Dubliners Official, subtle traces of the group’s collective influences can be detected, from American old-timey music, ambient techno and psychedelic folk, to black metal, punk and rock n’ roll. 'Cold Old Fire' achieved enormous success in the UK folk charts in the wake of the bands first live TV performance on BBC’s Later with Jools Holland. Since then Lankum have gone on to play some of the major fesitvals in Europe and the UK.