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FLOOK - Haven

FLOOK - Haven
Flatfish 005CD

This album has been released to coincide with Flook's tenth anniversary tour, and it bears all the hallmarks of a band who are remarkably at one with themselves. The interplay of the core band members is both intricate and powerful, and the extra frisson of the guest musicians is gobsmackingly good.

With Sarah Allen's flutes and accordion, Ed Boyd's guitar and bouzouki, Brian Finnegan's flutes and whistles and John Joe Kelly's bodhran and mandolin, you would expect fireworks, and when Ewen Vernal, Seckou Keita, Leon Hunt, Padraig Rynne, Catriona McKay, Andy Davies and Mark Tucker add their various contributions, the whole package just soars to unbelievable heights. The whole performance is a masterclass in interaction between instruments which allows all to have their place, so that whilst the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, all of the parts are still easily discernable.

The level of technical excellence is well-matched by the sheer enjoyment that comes across of musicians having a great time and not really noticing that they can play the fingers off all comers. The exuberant fire and drive of the up-tempo tracks is offset by the hauntingly lyrical finishing On One Beautiful Day to emphasise the depth of musicianship.

This is quality of the highest type.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 66 of The Living Tradition magazine.