The revered Scottish folk trio’s first record in a decade, Plight o’ Sheep, is now releasing May 12, one week later than previously announced. The Langan Band, composed of singer John Langan, fiddler Alastair Caplin and bassist Dave Tunstall, have been wowing audiences for the last fifteen years with their idiosyncratic blend of avant-folk music. The upcoming album, as authentic as it is boundlessly inventive, beautifully captures the spirit of their countless performances that have seen them win the hearts of so many fans and hone their craft over these years. The music speaks of their lived experience, and skillfully displays the sheer density and depth of the sound achieved by these three people, whether on stage or on record. The band are bringing the Langan experiences to festivals and venues during their Spring UK tour, which includes a special Day Festival celebration at the Fox & Firkin in South London.
Addressing the lengthy gap between 2013’s critically acclaimed Bones Of Contention and Plight o’ Sheep – no small amount of time in the music industry – singer John Langan explains it all to us: “It’s incredible how fast a decade can pass and how much life can be squeezed into those ten years” and into these ten masterful tracks. After releasing Bones, getting married, having kids, getting divorced, breaking an arm, and living his life trying to make ends meet, John found himself unable to focus on music, all the while hearing “snippets of ideas for songs […] rolling around in [his] head, begging for some time and space to be worked on and heard.” Beginning 2020 with a new agent, an Australian tour and a “lucrative summer planned on [their] return, a funny wee virus [came] along…and we all know what followed.”
Come the summer of 2022, with the support of a new agent, Creative Scotland, and the crowdfunding of over £10,000 from their loyal fans, the band encamped to Black Bay Studio, located on the isle of Bernera in the Outer Hebrides, to get started on a new album of original material. Produced by Pete Fletcher and recorded almost entirely live, Plight o’ Sheep serves as a wonderfully crafted, sonic distillation of these past ten years and as well as a yearning for the journey ahead. From the raucous energy of ‘Leg Of Lamb’ (2nd single) and ‘Bastard Hills Of Totterdown’ to the romantic romper ‘One Whole Year’ (1st single) and the aptly rousing ‘Sweetness’, these tracks cover the full breadth of The Langan Band’s alchemical creativity and passionate songwriting.
“Recording at Black Bay was an absolute joy. The fact that it was residential and in such a beautiful and remote place meant that we could be completely immersed in the process with zero distractions, apart from the poor weather-beaten sheep bleating outside our bedroom windows.” These sheep are owed some credit for the album, with the eureka moment coming when Alastair and John walked around the isle of Bernera 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.”
Artist’s website: https://www.thelanganband.com/
‘One Whole Year’:
Album Launch Tour 2023
12th May – St Luke’s – GLASGOW
13th May – Skye Live Festival – SKYE
20th May – The Jam Jar – BRISTOL
21st May – Cornish Bank – FALMOUTH
26th May – The Tolbooth – STIRLING
27-28th May – Knockengorroch Festival – NR DUMFRIES
3rd June – Blue Lagoon Festival – PEMBROKESHIRE
4th June – Fire In The Mountain – ABERYSTWYTH
10th June – The Fox & Firkin Garden – LONDON, Album Launch Day Festival
14th July – HebCelt 2023 – STORNOWAY
22nd July – Doune The Rabbit Hole – STIRLING
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