The Langan Band
For nearly 15 years now, the three members of The Langan Band have been carving out their own lawlessly virtuosic path of sound; rampaging through the boundaries of conventional genre and cavorting into the territories of wild abandon, purest intimacy, and unconditional musical elation.
The trio were initially brought together by a deep respect of traditional song and music, yet they discovered a mutual love of the evisceration and regeneration of these pieces into provocative and fascinating new compositions, as was recognised by the band winning the prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival at the start of their journey together. This sound and process went on to inform the band’s now mostly original repertoire, and has resulted in a musical experience quite unlike any other.
Ayrshire-born John Langan is found centre-stage, seated on an explosive foot percussion rig of his own devising and fronting the trio with intricate fiery guitar rhythms and witheringly sweet and scathing vocals. To his right stands Alastair Caplin, a classically trained violinist equally discerning in both the London Prog-Folk/Jazz scenes he occupied for years and also the blistering traditional reels and jigs of his native Outer Hebrides. Stage left is the domain of Angus-born Dave Tunstall and his double bass; from here emanates a seductive concoction of eerily-bowed soundscapes, heart-stopping bass lines, and in conjunction with Caplin’s blurred bowing a truly monumental wall of orchestral noise. The sound of the group reaches its zenith when all of these instruments are joined by the three voices singing together in razor-tight harmony to create an absolute cacophony of joy.
Whilst it is possible to see the evidence of influences the band have drawn on and enjoyed (Trad. Scots music, Eastern European Gypsy, Progressive Jazz and American Old-Time to name a few), the true nature of the sound from The Langan Band is best described as un-pigeon-holeable, yet utterly irresistible.