Scorpion Jack is a hi-energy acoustic folk rock duo with an amazing magnetism that draws people in from near and far to hear their original sound and insightful music. David Preston writes songs covering a wide spectrum of topics, emotions and ideas, while Rohan Young fits David’s every musical nuance with his world class bodhran drumming skills. They have an intuitive bond on stage and can break out into an improvised number with humor and intelligence at any moment. Their almost fraternal link empowers their music and emanates into the audience endearing them to the crowds they assemble.
Their songs traverse a wide terrain from matters of the heart, through historical fiction and to dimensions unconsidered. ‘Ulster Cycle’ takes an educated and entertaining glimpse into the ancient times of Gaelic warfare; war paint, fierce warriors, and passionate battles all in an endless ancient cycle still leaking into today’s hearts and minds. ‘News’ collects images of today’s world spinning out of control right under our noses. ‘It’s the light’ speaks from a clouded world of rain, damp and dreary about the appreciation of the light we so often take for granted and embraces it into deeper human meaning. ‘Constantly burning’ delves into a spirit on perpetual fire, relentlessly searching a release for the reckless abandon of explosive destruction.
Watching these two perform the music they have created together, one would never guess the opposite nature of their backgrounds. Rohan was brought up in West Belfast, a staunch Republican community, and David is from a Unionist area. Scorpion Jack is a perfect example of the power of a shared aspiration and overcoming everything to achieve it. Their partnership grew from their innermost similarities; a love for organic sound and an ability to channel distilled truth. Their music questions the world around them, explores the emotions of their time, shows the possibility of the future, and reflects the presence of an uneasy undercurrent running just below the surface of Northern Ireland itself. Scorpion Jack is Belfast born and bred and represents a new perspective on what this city could become when people look collectively towards the future instead of wearily at each other.