Meet the father of anti-folk

The Paddy Garrigan Band who are playing at The Yorkshire House on Friday 25th May, from left, Paddy Garrigan (guitar), Darren Leadsom (bass) and Ben McCabe (drums).
The Paddy Garrigan Band who are playing at The Yorkshire House on Friday 25th May, from left, Paddy Garrigan (guitar), Darren Leadsom (bass) and Ben McCabe (drums).

THE man dubbed “father of the New York anti-folk scene” makes a much anticipated appearance at the Yorkshire House in Lancaster tomorrow night.

Renowned singer-songwriter Lach, credited for launching the careers of Beck, Regina Spektor and The Moldy Peaches, recently released his sixth studio album, and will be performing songs from this, as well as his extensive back catalogue, at the Parliament Street venue.

The anti-folk genre was born out of artists being unable to gain gigs at established folk venues in Greenwich Village, New York, including Folk City and The Speakeasy.

Lach said: “I started the scene in the mid-80s as a rebellion against the lame so-called folk scene that had congealed in the West Village after Dylan went electric.

“We were as inspired by The Clash, The Pistols and The Jam as we were by Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, and Bob Dylan.

“But the folk hierarchy would have nothing to do with our punky, scruffy lot.”

Soon after, Lach started The Fort, an after-hours club, on the Lower East Side, after a booker at Folk City told him his music was “too punk”.

The Fort’s opening coincided with the New York Folk Festival, so Lach dubbed his own event the New York Anti-folk Festival.

He ran the esteemed open mic night Antihootenanny, and the New York Anti-folk Festival long outlived its counterpart.

A review in The Guardian said: “Think battered acoustic thrashings, think sarky, smart-mouthed wit and wisdom but most importantly think Lach.”

Lach’s new album Ramshackle Heart was recorded in Cornwall, through Edinburgh-based independent label Song, By Toad Records, home to King Creosote.

Lach is supported by Lancaster acts Paddy Garrigan Band and Rat Bit Kit for Lancaster-based ECP Promotions.

The former features Paddy Garrigan on vocals, guitar and mandolin, Ben McCabe on drums and vocals and Darren Leadsom on bass and vocals.

Paddy said: “We are very proud to be supporting the “father of anti-folk”.

“We’ve benefited hugely – if somewhat indirectly – from Lach’s musical adventures and discoveries.

“What can the audience expect from us? We have songs about all the usual rock-and-roll subjects: inertia, what happens when old punks don’t like the X Factor, demented Lancastrian street-calls of yesteryear, what happens when you die, and so on.

“We’ve no idea what might happen next. Last week, we invented Mandolin Dub.

“This sort of thing happens a lot – I’m hoping for a drum-and-bass sea-shanty in the near future but it’s so hard to predict these things – and we’re trying to create an environment where it can happen more.

“It’s a bit like a zoo, but with songs. And less manure.”

Entry is just £5, and doors open at 7.30pm.

As if that wasn’t enough prestige for the venue, Radio 1’s newest darlings The Feud play a high-octane dance/rock set on Saturday night, with support from The Dark Con of Man. Entry is free.

If you’re going to have an all day and into the nighter at a brewery, with live music, you might as well call it Glastonbrewery. It would be rude not to.

Henceforth the first Glastonbrewery takes place at the Lancaster Brewery site at Lancaster Leisure Park in Wyresdale Road on Saturday, raising funds for the Bay Aqua Therapy Charity.

The event starts at midday, with chilled out sounds, food stalls, and kids activities, before the grandparents arrive to pick up the young ’uns and the music is ramped up a few gears in the evening.

Bands and artists include Flux Capacitor, from Philadelphia, USA, Marina Zettl, from Vienna, Idol Minds, Solid Silver, Cry Baby Aeroplanes, Scarred ID, Amy-Jo Clough, Off The Rails, Gruffalo’s Child, Dan Bridgewood-Hill, James Geary, The Fuzzy Trees, Alfresco and Zolero.

Flux Capacitor and Marina Zettl are currently on tour with Ben Ruth’s CME Artist Services, and play other gigs in the city this week (see guide).

Ben said: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Marina Zettl at the Lancaster Music Festival and can attest that she’s not only say a charming person but her act is simply gobsmackingly good.

“And so adding Vienna trip-hop jazz to a simply ballistic instrumental funk outfit from Philadelphia is something I’m particularly looking forward to!”