Stunning debut release of Celtic-Punk direct from the Celtic Heartlands. Six tracks from The Ramstampits full of power, originality, melody, anthemic choruses and variation, performed by some of the best Folk and Punk rock musicians anywhere.
The Ramstampits is a bit of a mouthful and a rather odd name for a band until you find out what it means. It’s old Scots for ‘brawling, hoormongering rogues’ and in that case it makes perfect sense! Lead singer Iain fresh from the success he found with his previous band The Placks decided that his, and partner in crime Andy MacChainsaw, next band would all be friends of his. This is after all how the majority of bands start out but things don’t always go that simple. So The Ramstampits begin the rocky road with members/ex-members of The Rumjacks, The Exploited, Sham 69 and The Placks – some pedigree I’m sure we can all agree. With a revolving line up the idea is that whenever they are booked to play their will always be enough of them ready and able to play.
So far the band have played a couple of low key acoustic gigs at festivals, namely Punk On The Peninsula and Rebellion Festival. They were well received at both and more recently got their first airplay on Isles FM in Stornoway in the Western Isles on the Celtic Set show which is also syndicated to Canada and Germany. Singer-songwriter Iain certainly knows his way round the music biz especially the DIY / alternative scenes and he brings some great ideas along. The plan was to record these songs as side 1 of the album and then record gentler tracks for side 2 making one powerful side and one folky side but with the release of Light The Beacon plans for the album have been adapted. With the wait for vinyl releases has now reached 6-8 months vinyl and with an album of new material planned as well it was decided to release an EP and get the name out there among fans of the genre.
Light The Beacon opens with a cover of ‘I Fought The Law’ and we’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for the release of the video so we could publish this review. Well it was certainly worth the wait and one of the best Celtic-Punk videos of the year hit the internet only yesterday. The video is a great romp (not sure about the dreadlocked copper mind!) filmed in the picturesque town of Inveraray at the Georgian Inveraray jail which is now a museum and the song itself is played more similar to The Clash version rather than the Country / Rockabilly version popularised by the Bobby Fuller Four in 1966. The song was written and first performed by Sonny Curtis of Buddy Holly’s backing band The Crickets way back in 1958. ‘I Fought The Law’ is the only cover on Light The Beacon and The Ramstampits intend to concentrate on writing new material in the future. So the rest of the EP is all originals and up next is ‘My Country’ with its old fashioned céilí sample intro and then into a Celtic-Punk barnstormer full of love for Scotland. After several listens there’s not a world of difference between the two! ‘For Land And Girls And Rum’ has a sea-shanty feel to it and an interesting start where the song completely changes tack and just when you’re expecting a bit of Folkiness the song explodes into a Celtic-Punk Rock powerhouse with fiddle, pipes and accordion all pushed to the front. The pace changes again for ‘No Place Like Home’ and again you are taken by surprise by a total about turn within the song. ‘Fourteen Days’ kicks off with some Spanish guitar and a hilarious tale of a trip to Spain that takes in some ace accordion, castanets, Johnny Cash style trumpets and a huge singalong chorus. Love it! The EP ends with the short ‘A Song Of Hope’ and takes the EP up to almost 20 minutes. A song destined to be a end of set classic with its positive message firing out a song of hope. One of those songs in Celtic-Punk that draws us all together before the end of the night and we go our separate ways.