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The Freedom Spark

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Album Review

The band known as Larrikin Love, consisting of brothers Edward and Micko Larrikin together with rhythm section Alfie Ambrose on bass and Coz Kerrigan on drums, released their debut and what would prove to be their only album, The Freedom Spark, in the autumn of 2006. It was quite a mixture: on the one hand, there was a set of upbeat happy-sounding songs — some ska, some Brit-pop, some pop-punk — using fiddles and banjos to give a folky feeling somewhat similar to what the Pogues had done throughout their career; and on the other hand, the lyrics contained in these songs spoke of despair and the darkest, most depressing thoughts imaginable. Possibly the most infectious and happy melody could be heard on the track "Happy as Annie," but the lyrics tell the story of coming across a rape victim wearing a straw hat and only later, having examined the girl in more detail, coming to the conclusion that she isn't sleeping, but dead. The song "Six Queens" deals with transvestite prostitution, and there is a sense of dissatisfaction with society in general — especially on the track "Downing Street Kindling," in which a promise is made to tear down the door and set fire to the prime minister's residence, with the claim that "England has nothing more to offer me." There are echoes here of the Sex Pistols' "no future" from "God Save the Queen," but with far less anger. If one can imagine a song with elements of the Pogues and Roger Waters' Pink Floyd thrown in, there is the final track, "A Burning Coast," which veers between these two extremes. By 2007, Larrikin Love had announced they were splitting up, which was a shame, as it would have been interesting to see how they might have developed.


Formed: 2005 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Delivering an aggressive brand of folk-rock that recalls the brash energy of the Pogues with a musical accent more contemporary British than traditional Celtic (laced with traces of ska, calypso, and punk), London's Larrikin Love also embraced a variety of poetic lyrical structures (Oscar Wilde and George Orwell were often cited as influences) while offering enough rock action to make them critical favorites. Formed in 2005, Larrikin Love were launched by siblings Edward Larrikin (singer and lyricist)...
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The Freedom Spark, Larrikin Love
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