Issue 7 12/98

FolkWorld Live Review

A Flook Shot

At the Boat Race in Cambridge (UK)

By Kathy Tan

Flook!, Press photo This Irish music band used to be a three piece flute ensemble, who captured the hearts of the audience with their perfect interweaving of melodies and tunes.

The recent change in the line-up though, has seen the introduction of new Flookist John Joe Kelly, whose virtuoso on the bodhran adds just the right touch to the band’s new direction of music, as he drums out the pulsing heartbeat of each jig and reel. Guitarist Ed Boyd was also in top form, doing that frantic triple time strumming which is the soul rhythm of Irish/ Celtic music. Brian Finnegan uncannily resembled the father of all flautists, Pan, as he mesmerised the audience with his flute/ whistle playing, whilst Sarah Allen completed the line-up on accordion, flute and whistle.

Much of Irish/ Celtic music incorporates strains of Jazz and World music, and tonight Flook! played a mixture of traditional and more improvisational tunes. ‘Flutopia’ was a highlight of the evening, as was the four-piece set of tunes written by ex-member Mike McGoldrick, who is now involved in Capercaillie. The final number had a distinct Middle Eastern ring to it, and John Joe’s bodhran solo was received by cheers and whistles from the audience.

Having played at several international festivals in countries such as Canada, Denmark and Germany, these musicians are no newcomers to the scene. They have only released one album so far, but already their reputation has become established amongst Irish/ Celtic music circles. At last year’s Cambridge Folk Festival, the old line-up received a great response from the crowd.

Flook!, Press photo My money, though, is on the new line-up drawing an even larger crowd of devoted Flook! fans, as John Joe’s sensitive bodhran playing compliments the trills from Sarah’s and Brian’s flutes and whistles perfectly. This is certainly an Irish music band that exploits the husky timbre of the flute to create spell-binding music that lingers in your mind long after the encore has been played.

An act definitely well worth catching live. Watch out too for their new album due out sometime around Christmas.

Visit Flook!s new homepage at!

For bookings and information contact Kieran Gilmore @ Moving Arts, 26 Stranmillis Road, Belfast, BT9 5AA, Northern Ireland. Telephone/ Fax: 01232 224374

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