The sounds of Scotland
Sway to the lilt of Celtic folk tunes at Bandra Fort with UK supergroup Kan, which performs tonight as part of British Council's Folk Nations
Whether you’re a recently-enamoured Mumford & Sons groupie or a long-time fan of the whistle and fiddle, Kan’s upbeat sounds are likely to get you into a jig just the same.
Formed about three years ago, the UK supergroup consists of ace fiddler Aidan O’Rourke, flautist Brian Finnegan, drummer James Goodwin and young guitarist Ian Stephenson. At the gig, the band will perform songs from their album Sleeper as well as new stuff that they’ve been working on for their upcoming album. “Over the past year, we’ve been writing and sourcing new material,” reveals Finnegan, who is also thrilled to be hosting a workshop organised by the British Council in partnership with NGO Songbound for underprivileged children. “We’ll go to the workshop with a piece that we’ve written and performed. Then we’ll talk about the instruments — about whether they’re traditional or modern, where they come from and different styles. If the kids want to play an instrument, we’ll encourage them to come and play the flute or whistle or guitar or drums,” he explains.
O’Rourke, who believes that folk music is at an all time high in Scotland, Ireland and England, is glad that the net is spreading wider. “You hear a lot of folk music on mainstream radio now. If someone who likes Mumford and Sons gets deeper into folk music then great. I know a lot of purists would like the music to remain as a museum piece, but I think it will always evolve,” says the fiddler.
The members of Kan had been aware of each other’s music before they officially got together in 2010. “Brian collaborated with me for the Celtic Connections festival. It was a piece called Sirius which became my first ‘solo’ album. I became his huge fan and decided to work with
him closely,” recalls O’Rourke. “Meanwhile, Brian and Ian were performing together and Jim was occasionally standing in for John Joe Kelly in Brian band Flook. They then formed a trio. I was asked if I’d like to get involved in late 2009. We got together in Ireland for some rehearsals and now, we are getting ready to tour India,” he exclaims.
While O’Rourke has in the past collaborated with Trilok Gurtu and Shankar Mahadevan, and Finnegan with Rajendra Prasanna and Sunil Kant Gupta, the group claims they’d love to do team up with other Indian musicians. “My collaborations with Prasanna and Gupta were inspiring experiences for me. I would love to do collaborations with the Indian flute maestro Shashank, I think he’s amazing,” says Finnegan, crossing his fingers for a successful trip to India.
WHEN: Today, 7pm
WHERE: Bandra Fort, Amphitheatre