The definition of folk music is increasingly hard to pin down in an age of anti-folk and psych-folk and whatever other folk you care to mention. Fling live in simpler times, playing what folk music used to mean: the music of your forefathers. The Irish band are steeped in the tradition of their homeland and, as our panel found out, also know how to knock out a mean tune.
Louis Gilbert: This Irish fusion folk band, play traditional music with traditional acoustic instrumentation with penny whistle leading most of the songs. There are jolly foot stompers that you could imagine soundtrack The Commitments and more plaintive ballads that paint pictures of a more rural Ireland. Their gyspy folk sound could be warmed to by those who enjoy Beirut and want to understand more of the tradition of that music.
Alice Sage: As they create fiddle-and-drum folk, Fling is an apt name for this band. Streets of Vigo jumps about in a fashion encouraging mad flailing dance while slower, softer tracks like Foregone Conclusion are a drunken, melancholy wander home. The music is a gentle concoction of strings, airy winds and big drums, with the instrumentals are pure class. On the occasions where they sing, such as on The Mountain, their voices bring a slow-dance Nashville edge, which is both compelling and emotive – with slow, sing-along harmonies. I highly recommend downloading the two tracks available – hopefully that’ll give them the means to put some more up!
Ian Parker: I have to admit Irish fusion folk is not my specialist subject, so I’m not going to offer up a technical analysis of what Fling are doing here. I can just tell you straight up that it sounds like a good degree of fun. From the pounding Streets of Vigo to the more gentle Foregone Conclusion there’s a wide range of moods, all delivered with the traditional fiddles and whistles of that distinctively Irish sound. It’s not something I’d listen to every day, but it’s impossible to deny this is carried off with aplomb.
Check out Fling here.