Event Review: Talisk @ Kings Place (London; Saturday 29th October 2018)

Rapidly on the ascent of UK folk music scene over the last few years, Talisk have won a bunch of awards and conquered European audiences to become one of the Scots’ icons of folk music. Their non-stop touring has brought them in front of faithful fans and curious audiences through remarkable management networks and a variety of platforms and festivals, including Cambridge Folk Festival, Denmark’s Tonder, Celtic Colours, Celtic Connections and live sessions on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Scotland’s folk programs.

Talisk consists of Hayley Keenan on the fiddle, Graeme Armstrong on the guitar and Mohsen Amini on the concertina – nominated as 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year and 2018 BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year. Their folk musicianship is incredible, forging and permeating each song’s essence and resonance in the room.

On the 29th of October, Kings Place welcomed an almost fully seated room, providing the performance with upscale acoustics that simply dropped anchor into empowering the room’s sound with the folk power of music. Talisk surely need to craft each tour’s performance with professional yet friendly spoken intros flowing into each song, literally one after another, with a solid stream of techniques and strong interplay between the single musician’s temperament. They like giving special attention to the original pieces’ introduction. They adore merging stories of spontaneous happenstances into the performance setlist, and it works wonderfully; their performance is genuinely fun, besides at times the album’s rendition being stunted.

Despite riding waves of media attention and merchandise commerce, Talisk are nevertheless bringing people together into a section of Scottish and Irish folk music heritage revival on an international scale, rejuvenating this music world’s audiences as well as keeping the music industry’s interests alive long enough to feed them with opportunities to some, and bring inspiration to others..


Photo ©: Samuel Hurt