Issue 5 7/98
Irish/ Celtic music has taken the world over by storm. Bands that reconcile their native roots with traditional sources of Irish music are springing up in continents as far flung and disparate as Germany and Australia. Hailing from Western Australia, Fling are probably the most successful unsigned, independent group in the country.
Watching them play live at Muddy Murphy's pub in Orchard Road, the heart of Singapore's "trendy" nightlife, it's no wonder that this band has earned excellent reviews from the likes of Dave Swarbrick and festival directors around the globe. David Johnson (Lead vocals, guitar) and Jonathan Cope (Lead vocals, cittern, guitar) lay the Australian foundation of the band's music, whilst Ormonde Waters (vocals, concertina, uillean and highland pipes, whistles) and Suzanne Harris (vocals, fiddle) weave in a distinct Irish flavour to the tunes which range from traditional jigs and reels to covers of popular folk favourites like Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" (a track on their latest CD, "Peeler and the Goat") and Mike Scott's "A Man is in Love". Highlights of the evening included a version of The Pogues' "Dirty Old Town" ( "A song that originated in Croatia", joked Ormonde) and "Whiskey in the Jar", all guided by Richard Saunders jazzy, rhythmic bass.
The band's original compositions, though, blend traces of folk, pop and even bluegrass, all set in the contemporary multifarious landscape of Australia. Such tracks include "Three Words", "Nowhere to Here", "Wadjemup" and "When it's too Late". This gives the band a repertoire of melodies and songs that provide their signature blend of Irish/ Celtic traditional music with more contemporary, heart-rending music that reflects the influence of everyday life experiences and encounters in the song-writing process.
Fling's busy touring schedule sees them performing at venues in Australia, China and Singapore, as well as the various folk festivals in the United Kingdom. They are also no strangers to being on telvision, and were awarded the W.A.M.I. (Western Australian Music Industry Award) for 'Best Original Folk Act' in 1997.
If you do only one thing right in your life, go and see this band NOW. And as you leave the pub with the hazy strains of fiddle and pipes still meshing around in your head like some celtic twilight, reeling for more, you'll agree that Fling are definitely a top-class live band in the Irish/ Celtic music scene.
For more information on Fling's tour schedule and merchandise, including their two albums to date, check out their website!
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