Larrikin Love,Water Rats, London

Folk without the smell of cider
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The Independent Culture

Where did they come from? Where did they go? So asked Rednex - a pertinent comparison for Larrikin Love if you're feeling mischievous - and the answers are 1) Twickenham and 2) all over the place (they recently played to an audience of two in Cork, where the locals are used to their folk music less bastardised).

Larrikin Love, with New York's Gogol Bordello, are floating the idea that "gypsy punk" can mean more than Diamond White cider, dogs on rope and the flipping Levellers.

With his sideswept hair and circus ringmaster's jacket, Edward Larrikin looks like Jarvis Cocker's disobedient stepchild; shamelessly retro ("everything that I adore came well before 1984" is a telling lyric), and not a little camp.

When they're joined by a fiddler called Rodney, the folk element becomes more literal, and they sound like The Pogues. But that's far from the whole story: their sound incorporates skinny white reggae (think The Clash of "White Man In Hammer-smith Palais"), and even glam rock.

It's a heady brew, and an increasingly popular one: the Water Rats is jam-packed, and Edward literally brings the house down (or at least, a light fitting and some loose plasterwork). Next time they go roving into Ireland, they might lure double figures.

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