- 05 Apr 18
Powerful reflection on Dublin lockout.
Now here’s a rarity: an experimental trad-rock concept album, which in four movements tells the vital historical tale of the 1913 Dublin Lockout. Intrigued? On paper, it sounds like it could be an exercise in well-meaning academic navel-gazing. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth: Lockout proves to be a serious and often extremely powerful artistic statement about a crucial moment in Irish history.
All the elements of Irish folk and protest music are present, but Spook Of The Thirteenth Lock defy genre expectations and drive forward, into fresh stylistic territory. Their music has always had a wonderfully spiky quality. Here, they incorporate walls of noise with a post-punk feel; but there’s also a winning agit-prop element to the performances of vocalist Allen Blighe. According to the band’s press notes, an 18-piece “guitar orchestra” was assembled to create these mesmerising soundscapes.
Collectively, the musicians provide a thrilling melange of tones and tempos to back Blighe’s powerful singing.
In a single track, the band can move effortlessly from porter-soaked trad session to haunting piano melodies. Various tales of tenement life are told in each movement, reflecting the poverty, deprivation, squalor and – crucially – hope for social change, which is at the heart of this saga. For those who like their music with a conscience and a sense of conviction, Lockout is very worthy of your attention.
Record label: Transduction Records
Listen to: 'Lockout: Movement II'