John Francis Flynn + Marlais

silent green presents

The concert is the catch-up date for the postponed concerts on 10.2. and 3.4. Tickets already purchased for one of the two previous dates remain valid.

Often, to imagine Ireland is to fantasise about rolling hills, giants, saints and snakes. As John Francis Flynn says, it involves “a fair bit of paddywhackery and I hate paddywhackery.” The psyche-celtic album artwork for John’s second album Look Over The Wall, See The Sky, hints at this too though: a crystal goblet of luminous green Crème de Menthe resting upon a mossy ledge, perfectly encapsulating this imagined idea of Ireland in a way that is both funny and poignant. But, if you have to imagine Ireland in the first place, then you’re probably not too familiar with its reality: the towering glass giants of Google and Facebook, the unaffordable luxury hotels lining the Liffey amidst a homelessness epidemic and the highest rents in Europe.

On his new single Mole In The Ground, a cover of an American anti-establishment folk song recorded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928, John evokes the rebellious energy he felt in his home of Dublin during a time when it was being “torn to shreds by property developers and vulture funds.” In his rendition, John allows the surrealism of the song to take centre stage, opting to speak rather than sing the words. By taking away its nursery rhyme-like melody, we focus instead on our narrator's stranger fantasies and desires. His voice, too, sits under the ground of the melody, tapping into the song’s dark, hallucinatory spirit: “I don't like the railroad man/The railroad man will kill you when he can/ and he’ll drink up your blood like red wine.”

To listen to this album is to witness history through a modern lens in a trance-like state. As expected, Flynn’s contemporary influences are sufficiently esoteric, from The Heart Pumps Kool Aid by —__–___ to The invention of the Human by Dylan Henner (a concept album about an AI learning to sing). However, he was also inspired by his contemporaries in the traditional music scene in Ireland, many of whom contributed to the album, as well as those outside of it, such as noise-rockers Gilla Band and Rising Damp.

Marlais is a singer, musician and producer living in Berlin whose musical output focuses on the traditional songs from the British Isles and Ireland. His work is situated in the interplay of how to present them in a modern setting whilst respecting the tradition. The efforts of which manifested itself on his third album Stream of Forms which was co-released with Kinship and Treibender Teppich Records in 2022.


Wednesday, April 3 > postponed until 28.11.24
Doors: 7 pm / Marlais 7.30 pm / John Francis Flynn 8.30 pm