Lost At Sky: Farther and Sun
From the foothills of the Bargy Mountains in Kilkenny, Ireland, come Lost At Sky with their simple but profound songs of life, love, loss and liquor.
The core of Lost At Sky is father-and-son duo Simon and Eoghan Bourke, with other
musicians and voices - many of them family members - added as required. That's
a clever pun up there, by the way, not a typo.
Simon Bourke: guitars, bass, mando, mouth harps, autoharp, voice
Eoghan Bourke: guitars, bass, voice
Simon played back in the day with punk/new wave outfits The Products and The
Possessed and guested with The Derivatives and Contraband. Eoghan was a
founding member of the short-lived Nappy Rash.
When not playing music and writing songs, Simon is mostly preoccupied with cultivating wild, wild whiskers in various shapes and Eoghan is a full-time dad.
Favourite instruments: Simon - 'My current favourite is usually my most recent acquisition,
in this case a beautiful Recording King RD-06-12 12-string acoustic
with a really sweet tone'.
Eoghan - 'My favourite is still the first e-guitar I ever got, a good copy,
manufacture unknown, of a Ricky 330. I'm not as fickle as him.'
The songs, all original band compositions, contain elements of rock, blues,
country, alt.country, folk and, of course, Irish. If there's a name
for that kind of hotch-potch, it's rock'n'roll.
If we were American, they'd probably throw us into that catch-all category
'Americana'. But of course American is just Irish music with the lyrics misspelt.
Lost At Sky says: 'It's all of the above and none. The Bargy Mountains (Sliabh Ui mBairge
in Irish) mark the borders between four modern counties and two ancient
kingdoms and if there's a word to sum up what we are at, it's Borderland.
We are less interested in the crossing-points than the nomansland
between genres. As long as people enjoy, they can call it what they like.
Simon: 'To me, rock isn't a genre so much as an attitude - Asian Dub
Foundation, the Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Jonathan Richman,
Cornershop... different genres, all rock. Bands like The Stones would
have a blues song, then a rock song, then an r'n'b song, then
a country song, then a folk song all on one side of an album.
Genre is just a lazy marketing ploy used by record labels - 'If
you like that, you must buy this'. Now we have micro-genres
so narrowly defined that there's only a single example!
'People sometimes say, "Well, it's not really country, is it?" or "It's not really
folk or rock or whatever". That's okay. Who wants to be
pigeonholed anyway? Pigeons, maybe.
A lot of the songs - for example, Diesel, Sometime Before Morning and Trapped In
The Bottle - are in the trademark 'Sky Shuffle': alternating
cut-time/waltz time. Like 1-2, 1-2-3/1-2, 1-2-3.... But Lost At Sky
says: 'If you want us to play your wedding, we'll do them all in
waltz time. Only oil sheiks and oligarchs need apply.'
Simon says: 'I like songs with a tune - but I like to make noise, too. Kerranggg!'
Simon: 'I'm a firm believer that no one knows what his influences are, especilly
not a confirmed muse writer like me. You write what comes to you, then play it the
way that seems natural. Who can tell what's gone into the mix? When Gustav
Mahler was a kid, he burst in on a young couple engaged in a sex act
that he misinterpreted as an act of violence. Fleeing out into the street
in terror, he ran smack into a military band. In his music, in passages
of great trauma or powerful emotion, military bands suddenly interpose.
THAT'S an influence.
When people say influences, what they usually mean is: bands or artists they
would like to sound like or sound a little like. If someone told me the Skies
sounded a little like The Band or Neil Young, Midlake, Smog, the Palace
Brothers, the Velvet Underground or the Wooden Sky, or if people
said we wrote songs like Gillian Welch, Mary Gauthier, Guy Clarke
or Natalie Merchant, I wouldn't be a bit upset. But the band I'd most
like to sound like is Lost At Sky.