Meet trad’s new supergroup
LAPD – aka Liam O’Flynn, Andy Irvine, Paddy Glackin, Donal Lunny – are charming a whole new generation, and breathing fresh life into traditional music
“The reason why there isn’t more focus on LAPD is because the gigs are seriously spaced out, so we rehearse for each gig as opposed to a tour,” believes Irvine. “If we did record an album, it would be a serious investment of time and energy and we would be eager to follow that up by touring.”
As things stand, there’s an abundance of other projects taking up their time. Lunny talks about an album of Irvine’s songs he wants to do, as well as “a huge amount of material” from last year’s Irvine birthday shows at Dublin ’s Vicar Street to be mixed and mastered for a DVD release.
Then, there are the ghosts in the machine in the shape of old bands and continued mutterings about reunions. “It’s very, very difficult,” says Lunny. “A good comparison would be the Luas line. It was the old Harcourt Street line until it closed down and people then built houses along the track. Then, they had to buy it all and dig it all up to put the Luas down, but they did it.
“It’s the same with people’s lives because they solidify into different patterns so you have to find and make time to put a band back together again. It’s really complicated. We had to plan Planxty a long way off to make that work. People ask a lot about the Bothy Band and it would be a matter of the right moment, which has never presented itself. But who knows? The door is still open.”
Irvine finds that there are just not enough hours in the day anymore. “Time is the problem. When we were younger, there was a lot of time to do things. Now, that’s not the case. I’m a bit older than Dónal and I’ve reached the age where my mortality is within sight. I don’t want to be on my deathbed wishing I had done something. Yet I am my own worst enemy, I don’t get the stuff I want to do done. Hopefully, there’s lots more to come.”
The joy, though, remains in the playing, in getting up on a stage and getting carried away by the music. “As soon as you get out there and the pipes and the fiddle start off something”, says Irvine with a twinkle “it’s just magic.”
yyy LAPD play the Westport Festival (June 30th), Cambridge Folk Festival (July 26th), Wrecking Ball Weekender, Kilkenny (July 28th), Féile an Phobail, Belfast (August 3rd) and NCH, Dublin (August 17th)