LIKE so many of us, Brian Finnegan experienced what he describes as “a bit of a wobble” when the effects of a global pandemic hit and the world effectively went into lockdown.

“That was early on but then I just got busy,” said Brian, one of the four members of Flook, the Anglo-Irish supergroup of instrumentalists who have a date at Bury Met on Saturday afternoon.

“I managed to record a solo album in 2020 and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done that if we hadn’t been in lockdown. For a start 24 other musicians were involved in it and I know that many of them would have been too busy had things been normal.”

The enforced break from touring actually came at a good time for Flook.

“In a way it worked for us I suppose,” said Brian. “We had spent a year writing our album Ancora and then had a full year of touring with it before we had to stop. It had been a pretty busy couple of years and we’ve all got young families so it was a great opportunity to spend some time at home with them although I think now they are lighting candles that the gigs will go ahead because they’re all getting sick of the sight of us.”

Flook are a real powerhouse quartet featuring Brian on Whistles and flute, Sarah Allen on flutes and accordion, Ed Boyd on guitar and John Joe Kelly on bodhrán.

Originally formed in 1995 when the line-up included Michael McGoldrick. who left in 1997 to join Capercaille, Flook have picked up numerous awards for their blend of folk, roots and tunes inspired by nature.

Lockdown wasn’t the first time the band faced some time apart. In 2008 they took a four year break after an extensive touring schedule and family demands began to take its toll.

“We’d just put out three albums pretty much back to back,” said Brian, “and we felt we didn’t just want to churn out something and keep playing, It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time although contrary to what some people thought we didn’t split up or call it a day.

“There was always a likelihood we would play together when the time was right.”

That time came when Brian was invited to do a solo show.

“I just thought ‘who would I like to play with me?’ and I called the guys up and it was like we’d never been apart,” he said.

Ancora, the band’s first album in 15 years quickly demonstrated they had lost none of their creativity, being nominated for a number of awards and winning a whole new audience.

And now they are back out live - something which Brian admits is an experience he has missed.

“It’s impossible to create that same exchange between musicians online,” he said. “There is little voltage in anything I’ve seen online. With a really great band, everything needs to fizz. People in the room need to feel they are engaged deeply and that the whole experience is slightly mysterious and wild. A live show is visceral and raw so doing anything online is a bit soul destroying.

“I play music because it comes to me and I feel deeply about it but it’s not just for me, it’s for others. I feel so blessed doing it. When you get people in a room and you feel their level of involvement it’s so powerful. You can see people open up; it’s like for a moment you have unlocked something in them and that’s what we have all missed.”

Flook. Bury Met, Saturday, February 5. Details from