Named after a poem about a haunted canal lock, The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock combine elements of the Irish folk tradition with modern experimental rock sounds and have released two albums to date, 2008’s eponymous debut and 2012’s “The Brutal Here and Now”.
“Lockout” is a new large-scale work by The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock about the 1913 Dublin Lockout. For this project the band are joined by an electric guitar orchestra, bringing the unique sound defined by composers such as Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham into the world of contemporary Irish traditional music. “Lockout” is a grand departure for the band, adding epic volume and scale to the band’s blend of contemporary and traditional sounds and a sharper, more political voice which addresses the recent anniversary of the Lockout, and its relevance today.
The 1913 lockout marked a turning point for Ireland as the might of Dublin’s business class waged a brutal war on the working poor, denying them the right to unionise, exploiting them through slavish working conditions, and condemning them to live in tenement squalor. In 2015’s Ireland a similar war of austerity is being waged on the weakest in society through glaring inequality and swelling corruption. While absolving themselves from blame for the wrecking of an economy, the political and financial classes inflict the lashes dictated by the Troika and the glassy-eyed markets. As in 1913 the draining of the lifeblood of a country is personified by a talented ruthless capitalist and media baron, disingenuously preaching privatisation, tax evasion and corruption. We invoke the spirit of Larkin as he invoked the spirit of Desmoulins. “The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise”
“There are melodic echoes of Planxty or the Dubliners here, but matched against a blitz of guitar rock and feedback and a delight in the unexpected…one of the Irish albums of the year” **** – The Guardian
“The Brutal Here and Now is utterly spell-binding…potential Irish album of the year” – Hot Press
“The most inventive, audacious and barnstorming Irish album of 2012…brazen, blazing and brilliant” – The Irish Times
“One of the more intriguing bands delving into the spiritual backwaters of alternative folk.” **** – Mojo
“Ireland’s own Flaming Horslips…sets you jigging, sends you reeling” 7/10 – Uncut
“A spirited attempt at reimagining old music for a new age” – Q
“Powerful and defiantly unique” – Entertainment.ie
“Ireland’s finest example of a modern trad band” – Nialler 9
“This richly rewarding album suggests the spiritual heirs to Planxty and Horslips may have finally been found” – Sunday Business Post