New Release & Video: James Yorkston – The Irish Wars Of Independence

Photo Credit: Ren Rox

As this year’s winter began to recede, James Yorkston released his new album The Route To The Harmonium. His first solo album since 2014’s Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society, it was produced by Yorkston alongside his longtime collaborator David Wrench

As he heads off to play a string of shows in Europe and ahead of a headline UK tour in May, Yorkston shares the new video for album track ‘The Irish Wars of Independence’, directed by Yorkston himself…

One of the three spoken word pieces on the album, ‘The Irish Wars of Independence’ is not directly political, though politics and religion are both on the receiving end of Yorkston’s tongue. “I was not caught up in the Irish wars of Independence,” he deadpans, at the thrum of the song’s opening. “Except by the noose of a religion, hung around the neck of a gullible schoolboy”

Elsewhere, the song explores his many boyhood summers in West Cork, looking back on what he calls ‘the dream of childhood’. It’s first person, hypnotic, and sounds like non-fiction – though listeners would be wise to avoid literal interpretations. The playful, the imaginative, are always present. “When I was a child, I met the devil in Ireland / Did I ever tell you that my love? / It may just explain my transitory ways”. In that line, many possibilities lurk and that is one of Yorkston’s great skills, to be able to portrait a character, a life, in a single line

Upcoming James Yorkston live shows as follows…

3rd April – Unter Deck, Munich
4th April – Heimathafen, Berlin
5th April – Pygméteatern, Stockholm
2nd May – Summerhall, Edinburgh
3rd May – Òran Mór, Glasgow
4th May – Airdrie Town Hall, Airdrie
5th May – Waiting Room, Eaglescliffe
6th May – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
7th May – Islington Assembly Hall, London
8th May – Reading Arts Centre, Reading
9th May – Gallery, Milton Keynes
10th May – Dukes, Lancaster
11th May – Old Cinema Launderette, Durham
13th May – Louisiana, Bristol
14th May – The Moon, Cardiff
15th May – The King’s Arms, Manchester
16th May – Trades Hall, Hebden Bridge
22nd May – Johnstone Library, Johnstone
23rd May – Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine
24th May – Tolbooth, Stirling