Dublin experimental folk-rock band The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock expand to an 18-piece electric guitar orchestra on their third album Lockout.
Named after a poem about a haunted canal lock, The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock trace a line from the Irish 60’s folk revival through progressive, kraut and post rock, winning them acclaim from all quarters. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2008, followed by The Brutal Here and Now in 2012 and have toured Europe, Japan and the US. Lockout is a grand departure for the The Spook, adding epic volume and scale to the band’s unique sound and a sharper, more political voice.
The album tells the story of the 1913 lockout, the struggle of Dublin workers against exploitative working conditions led by Jim Larkin and James Connolly’s ITGWU union. At its height over 100,000 Dubliners endured food scarcity, with employers refusing to follow government recommendations for a fair compromise. They successfully broke the strike, starving employees back to work, and refusing to reinstate those whose jobs were taken by ‘scab’ labour.
Inspired by the recent centenary, Lockout combines elements of Irish traditional music with a powerful wall of electric guitars, creating a dramatic sound which climaxes with Jim Larkin’s immortal call to arms: “The great only appear great because we are on our knees: Let us arise!”.
On “Suffrage”, the band are joined by Katie Kim on vocals as they mark the 2018 centenary of the women’s right to vote. The song tells the story of how Constance Markievicz, the first female MP, and the Suffragette movement fed the starving workers and families in the kitchen of Liberty Hall, the iconic Irish union building.
Lockout gives insight into the state of the Ireland today in the decade of centenaries in which it de ned its independence. It strives to re ect the anxiety and anger of then and now, and the cynicism and hope of these times of upheaval.
“There are melodic echoes of Planxty or the Dubliners here, but matched against a blitz of guitar rock and feedback and a delight in the unexpected...one of the Irish albums of the year” - THE GUARDIAN
“The most inventive, audacious and barnstorming Irish album of 2012...brazen, blazing and brilliant” - IRISH TIMES
“The Brutal Here and Now is utterly spell- binding...potential Irish album of the year” - HOT PRESS
“One of the more intriguing bands delving into the spiritual backwaters of alternative folk - ****” - MOJO
“Ireland’s own Flaming Horslips...sets you jigging, sends you reeling - 7/10” - UNCUT
“Powerful and defiantly unique” - ENTERTAINMENT.IE
“Ireland’s nest example of a modern trad band” - NIALLER 9