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Phil Langran’s songs are a powerful combination of immediacy and slow-burning subtlety. Their melodies instantly take up residence in the mind while the lyrics pack a considerable emotional punch. The songs and lyrics are masterpieces of succinctness – all coming in around the three minute mark – and seem to work effortlessly on several levels, belying the craftsmanship that has gone into their making. Phil is not only a fine musician but also a writer steeped in the poetic traditions of Robert Frost and Langston Hughes. Like all the best songwriters, Phil has created his own genre, where Harlem nights and New York cityscapes rub shoulders with the West coast of Ireland and scenes from Werner Herzog's films, and none of them seems out of place.
Phil formed the Phil Langran Band to record his 2010 album 'Here' bringing together four luminaries of the Midlands music scene to create a unique sound firmly rooted in folk, but interweaving elements of American, Celtic, blues and jazz traditions. Alongside Phil (vocals and acoustic guitar), the current lineup includes Steve Benford (acoustic guitar, vocals), Mark Walker (bass, vocals), Frank McCarthy (electric guitar, vocals) and Pippa Marland (sax, whistle, vocals).
2010 saw the band take to the road, debuting at the Southwell, Moira Furnace and Otley folk festivals, leading to repeat visits to Moira Furance and Otley in 2011, as well as successful performances at folk clubs around the Midlands. The band has quickly gained a reputation for its musicality as well as the warmth and wit of its live performances.
The band will release its new album, ‘Jukebox Lovesongs …’ in December 2011 at Nottingham Contemporary art gallery. The new album features a selection of Phil’s songs alongside further musical settings of the poems of Langston Hughes.