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Following a pair of haunting yet accomplished full-lengths, trad/Kraut/proggers The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock have finally completed the studio recording of Lockout, a large-scale historical piece centred around an eighteen-piece guitar orchestra in previous live excursions.
The piece 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.
On ‘Suffrage’, the band are joined by Katie Kim on vocals, marking the 2018 centenary of the women’s right to vote and telling the story of Constance Markievicz, the first British female MP, and the efforts of the Suffragette movement to fed starving workers and families in the kitchen of Liberty Hall, the iconic Irish union building.
Lockout, a work in four movements, strives, in the band’s words, “to reflect the anxiety and anger of then and now, and the cynicism and hope of these times of upheaval”. Streaming below: a live rendition of Movement I of Lockout below, released in 2015 after the piece’s live premiere in Dublin the previous year.
The band performs ‘Lockout’ on March 16th at the Pepper Canister Church. ‘Lockout’ also releases the same day via Japanese label Transduction Records.