Flook: Ancora review – Tour de force return after decade and a half

Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 12:23

   
 

Album:
Ancora

Artist:
Flook

Label:
Flatfish Records

Genre:
Traditional

Sinuous and fleet of foot, Flook’s return to the studio, some 14 years after their last recording is a tour de force.

Sarah Allen’s and Brian Finnegan’s flutes intertwine, DNA-helix-like, as if they’ve never been apart for longer than a hair’s breadth. Ancora (an Italian reference to how they are still learning) is a declaration that a thirst for exploration is still at the heart of what Flook are about.

It bristles with energy that ebbs and flows with an effortlessness that suggests this four-piece band are happy to be back in one another’s company. Ed Boyd’s guitar and John Joe Kelly’s bodhrán are both subtle and unforced, weaving in between the lithe flutes of Allen and Finnegan, knitting the parts into a whole with a languid ease.

The bareboned flute opening the slow air, Ellie Goes West is a testament to Flook’s comfort with getting up close and personal, but they know how to rip it up too, as they do on the seven-minute show stopper, Companion Star/The Crystal Castle.

A raft of special guests (Trevor Hutchinson, Phil Cunningham and many more) lend suitably subtle layers to a luminous reunion.