ILK are an exciting new super-group playing with Cucina Povera and performance artist FKA Twigs tomorrow – 30th April at Nice’n’Sleazy. We spoke to ILK about their formation, taiko drumming and what’s next!
How did ILK come about?
Georgie McGeown, Alison Roe and Jer Reid (who had met as members of Glasgow experimental taiko band Issho) got together to jam, decided to make a project out of it, then invited Ali Begbie (dawson, sumshapes) and Rafe Fitzpatrick (Tattie Toes, Alasdair Roberts) to join.
Were the songs improvisational at first?
Some songs came about through improvising together, others developedfrom rhythms, melodies or riffs brought to the group by us individually. And each song still contains sections which are improvised by one or
more of us.
You describe yourselves as “a band with taiko at it’s heart”, what drew Alision and Georgie to learn Taiko drumming?
Alison saw a Japanese group playing taiko in the Edinburgh festival and was basically blown away and wanted to try it. She then came across a full-time taiko group (Mugenkyo) in Lanarkshire the following year, joined them and went on tour. Georgie’s first taiko encounter was an odaiko (a massive taiko) she saw in a shrine in Tokyo on a trip to Japan which made a big impression on her, and she then took taiko classes once back in Glasgow. Both of them were smitten from their first beat on a taiko, and were drawn to its energy and power, the visual ‘shapes’, and the shared intensity of taiko group playing.
How can people get jnvolved with Taiko in Glasgow?
Georgie is currently giving taiko classes in Glasgow – find out more at taiko.scot/taikotronik or find “taikotronik” on facebook.
What’s next for ILK?
Writing more music! We’ve been busy building a practice room which has taken up quite a bit of time but good to have a base for writing. Festivals in the summer and some wee tours in UK and not UK in the autumn hopefully. And getting merchandise – latest ideas are Ilk tea towels and gravy boats.