Author Archives: The Don

EP REVIEW: LIDDINGTON HILL – Edge Of Insanity (2023)

High adrenaline Celtic-Punk and Alt Rock from the South West of England’s latest band to take notice of – Liddington Hill.

From around the South-Western town of Swindon in the leafy county of Wiltshire, Liddington Hill have marched a peculiar road to this their new EP. Starting off as a sometimes twee / sometimes eclectic /  sometimes downright strange Folky band but with obvious Punk-Rock influences. Basically the sort of band that is perfect to play support to Ferocious Dog and bands of that ilk. Formed in 2015 playing traditional Celtic and English folk songs around their local area they took their name from an ancient hill in Wiltshire. As is the usual way musicians came and went leaving their influences behind allowing Liddington Hill to soak it all up. You can hear and download a selection of their old songs for free from their web-site and track their progression to today’s EP.
Edge Of Insanity begins with the opening track ‘In Rosie’s Room’ and like all the songs here tells real stories of real people. Post-Punk choppy guitars and feedback while they sing about a mid 19th Century prostitute in gold rush America that tried to steal from a gold mine with her lover. Musically they hint at it as ‘Celtic-Grunge’ and truth be told the Celtic-ness side of things is fairly thin though that’s not to say it’s not f’ing brilliant! Shades of Post-Punk and Anarcho-Punk all over ‘Keep Hold Of Your Heart’ as Liam lets rip with the vocals with screams and shouts that strike fear into the listener as the song is from the perspective of an inmate in a sanitorium. ‘Caped In Black’ sees Liddington Hill slowing it down but they remain just as heavy. The ‘black’ in the title is coal and tells of the 1966 Aberfan disaster where the slag heap from the local coal-mine slid down the valley covering the village including the school. 116 children and 28 adults were killed and believe me this song portrays those numbers and the tragedy in a very angry and very appropriate way.

The dark themes continue with the first single to come out from the EP ‘Maid Of Mayhem’. Telling the tale of American serial killer Aileen Wuornos who murdered seven and was executed in 1991. The tune is straight up dark as well with menacing guitar and a wonderful fiddle accompaniment. The female vocals from new bassist Alannah take this song in another direction, more Gothy-Folkish than Celtic-Grunge. The EP comes to an end with ‘Lipstick’ and the story of the infamous Chicago ‘Lipstick Killer’ of the 1940’s. Back in 1946, 17-year-old William Heirens was arrested for attempted burglary. Held and questioned for six days straight without his parents for four and a lawyer for six he confessed to three murders while under the influence of illegally injected sodium pentothal, popularly known as ‘truth serum’ as well as threats and actual violence. William would go on to serve sixty-five years in prison before he passed away in March 2012 aged 83. The music is plodding in a good way with the story shouted out with fiddle giving the story and tune some definition.

Liddington Hill say “Liam, for some reason became inspired after reading about a few serial killers and the reasons behind such terrible actions. So he wrote a few songs and we put some together with a couple of other heart-wrenching songs we’d written.”  Definitely a band to follow and catch live. The music veers all across the various Punk-Rock genres while cherishing their Celtic-Folk roots and trying something different… and it works.

Get Edge Of Insanity

Contact Liddington Hill  WebSite  Facebook  YouTube


There’s six men in Birmingham / in Guildford there’s four / who were picked up and tortured / and framed by the law / and the filth get promotion / while they’re still doing time / for being Irish in the wrong place and at the wrong time


 March 24, 1930 – May 27, 2023

Last week saw the sad death at 93 of Hugh Callaghan, one of the Birmingham Six wrongly jailed for IRA bombings in 1974. Back then he was one of many who made up the huge Irish community in England. Their numbers were massive and concentrated in most of England’s big cities. They arrived with the prospect of work and a better life the reason for their exile from home. Hugh led a ordinary working class life like the majority of the Irish over here, with his wife Eileen and their daughter Geraldine in a small terraced council house, working as a welder, visiting the pub and watching Aston Villa. Then on November 22nd 1974 all would change forever as he was arrested at his front door in the Erdington area of Birmingham, swept away and for the following few days he was severely beaten, scared out of his wits, tortured and deprived of food and sleep until he was forced to sign a false confession.

“I was threatened with snarling police dogs… The interrogators did not ease up… threats interspersed with a kick or a hit around the head. I was told the others had all implicated me. I was deprived of sleep and food. By the following afternoon I was a broken man. I signed the confession — I would have signed anything to get them off my back.”

Raised in poverty in the small Catholic enclave of Ardoyne in Belfast he came to England in the late 40’s in search of work and settled in Birmingham. Like many immigrants the Irish did the jobs the English didn’t want to do and in Birmingham it was that Irish labour that built not only it’s most famous landmarks, Spaghetti Junction and the Rotunda but also many canals, roads and railways in the city. 

Oh farewell you streets of sorrow
And farewell you streets of pain
I’ll not return to feel more sorrow
Nor to see more young men slain
Through the last six years I’ve lived through terror
And in the darkened streets the pain
Oh how I long to find some solace
In my mind I curse the strain
So farewell you streets of sorrow
And farewell you streets of pain
No I’ll not return to feel more sorrow
Nor to see more young men slain
There were six men in Birmingham
In Guildford there’s four
That were picked up and tortured
And framed by the law
And the filth got promotion
But they’re still doing time
For being Irish in the wrong place
And at the wrong time
In Ireland they’ll put you away in the maze
In England they’ll keep you for seven long days
God help you if ever you’re caught on these shores
The coppers need someone
And they walk through that door

You’ll be counting years
First five, then ten
Growing old in a lonely hell
Round the yard and the stinking cell
From wall to wall, and back again

A curse on the judges, the coppers and screws
Who tortured the innocent, wrongly accused
For the price of promotion
And justice to sell
May the judged be their judges when they rot down in hell

May the whores of the empire lie awake in their beds
And sweat as they count out the sins on their heads
While over in Ireland eight more men lie dead
Kicked down and shot in the back of the head
(Terry Woods and Shane MacGowan – 1988)


On Thursday, November 21, 1974, two bombs exploded at the Mulberry Bush pub, at the foot of the Rotunda, and at the Tavern in the Town, in New Street, in Birmingham at 8:25 PM and 8:27 PM. The explosions would kill 21 and injure 182 and responsibility was taken by the Provisional Irish Republican Army. A third device, outside a bank in Hagley Road, failed to detonate. Six men were arrested that night, Patrick Hill, Gerry Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, Billy Power and Johnny Walker in Lancashire and Hugh Callaghan back in Birmingham. All were Roman Catholics and from the north of Ireland and had lived in Birmingham since at least the 1960’s. Five of the six left Birmingham on the evening of the 21st before the explosions to travel home to Belfast to attend the funeral of James McDade, a Provisional IRA member who had been recently accidentally killed planting a bomb in Coventry. In November 28, 1974, the men now known as the Birmingham Six appeared in court after being remanded into custody. They all showed clear signs of severe physical assault and ill-treatment. Fourteen officers would be charged and acquitted of their beatings and later a civil claim for damages in 1980 for the Six against the West Midlands Police was struck out.

The trial is held in June and the Six are found guilty of murder and sentenced to twenty-one life sentences each. In 1976 their first application to appeal is dismissed. Their second, in 1991, is allowed because of new evidence of police fabrication and suppression of evidence, the confessions are revealed to have been forced and the debunking of forensic evidence causes the Court of Appeal to announce the convictions are unsafe and unsatisfactory and on a glorious day in March day just before St. Patrick’s Day the Birmingham Six are set free having spent almost 17 years in various prisons.

The Birmingham 6 on the day of their release. From left to right – John Walker, Paddy Hill. Hugh Callaghan, Chris Mullin (author and prominent advocate of the Six), Richard McIlkenny, Gerry Hunter and William Power, outside the Old Bailey in London in 1991

The bombings occurred at a time of escalation in the war in the north of Ireland. Just 2 years on from Bloody Sunday and the State sanctioned massacre of 13 people on the streets on Derry by the British Army. Bombings and murders were commonplace and the decision was made by the IRA to bring the war to the mainland. Public buildings like the Old Bailey and the Houses of Parliament among others were targeted and pub bombings would claim the lives of five in Guildford in October, 1974. As in Birmingham the Police were under enormous pressure and soon arrested 4 innocent people, Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Paddy Armstrong, and Carole Richardson, who again as in the Birmingham 6 case would be sentenced to life imprisonment and released decades later, despite it being clear that they were innocent. During their time in prison the men were routinely assaulted. Hugh would reveal

“I got some beatings in there from the screws. The other prisoners didn’t like you because they knew what you were in for.”

He had hot tea and cans of food thrown in his face and all Six were segregated for their own protection. All the time the only people to back them were the Irish community and their newspapers. Ignored by the wider media and the left the murmurs in the places where the Irish met, in the pubs and churches and social events were of the innocence of the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four. Campaigns started led by the Irish community over here and eventually the case began to gain notoriety and not before time the case had become clear as a great miscarriage of justice. Scared of people losing faith in the country’s institutions of law and order the British government decided that to keep these innocent men in jail was worth it. Lord Denning during the civil action in 1980 brought by the Six infamously said

“If the six men win, it will mean that the police were guilty of perjury, that they were guilty of violence and threats, that the confessions were involuntary and were improperly admitted in evidence and that the convictions were erroneous. That would mean the Home Secretary would either have to recommend they be pardoned or he would have to remit the case to the Court of Appeal. This is such an appalling vista that every sensible person in the land would say: It cannot be right these actions should go any further”

He would later go even further and say

”If the six had been hanged, we shouldn’t have all these campaigns to get them released”.

After his release Hugh Callaghan moved to London, and published an autobiography, Cruel Fate in 1994. He was involved in various Irish organisations and was an enthusiastic member of the Irish Pensioners’ Choir, performing with them many times including at the London St. Patrick’s parade. His wife Eileen died in 2014 and Hugh is survived by his partner, Adeline Masterson, and his daughter Geraldine. A statement announcing his passing from family friends said “He was a man with astonishing strength of character. Despite the profound injustice he endured, he was not bitter or angry, but joyful and always ready to sing. His party piece was Danny Boy, and his voice was magnificent and strong right to end, with the last day of his life spent with his beloved Adeline, singing to the nurses in hospital but we know the last years of his life were full of love, singing, dancing and Irish music. We will continue to try and live the values of forgiveness and gentle optimism that Hugh taught us.”

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam


If June be sunny, harvest comes early, June damp and warm does the farmer no harm.

in this month’s Odds’n’Sods all the news fit to print on what’s going in our wonderful Celtic-Punk world. From the scene’s biggest and well established bands to those just starting out it’s all in here!

We had a great night out watching THE MARY WALLOPERS playing their final date of their UK tour last month and what a lovely surprise to see legendary Pogues blow-hard Spider Stacy coming on to play a wild ‘Holy ground’ with the Dundalk bhoys.

There’s a couple of different tracks floating round on You Tube from popular Californians THE PROVOS set at the Constellation Room during St. Patrick’s weekend but ‘From Hell To Sea’ is my favourite. New single due out later this week. Really fallen for this band!

CHEERS! Celtic Folk-Punk band brewed in Pilsen in the Czech Republic. The track comes from their new release ‘Flowers In Rye’ – out now.

Still footage appearing from around St. Patrick’s Day and here’s fifteen minutes of the BRICK TOP BLAGGERS playing live at the St. Pat’s 2023 Fremont St. Experience in Las Vegas.

The brilliant new Galician Celtic Celtic-Punk band TECOR SOCIETARIO live in Sala Capitol, Compostela, on February 4th with a new song influenced by Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Our Land’.

Hungarian Celtic-Punks THE CRAZY ROGUES recorded a live session at the Hungarian National Library for the HUN State TV Channel 2. It premiered on TV a couple of weeks ago and is fantastic. Sad news for the band and their fans is that Laszlo, the long-time singer of the band, has decided to move onto pastures new. His decision is amicable and he will return as a guest in the future. The new singer is already up and running!

JESSE AHERN has been over to these shores a couple of times of course the last being the support to the Dropkick Murphys and The Rumjacks and on his new single he’s roped in over all talented bastard Mikee from The Rumjacks to produce and direct the video. The track is from his forthcoming album Roots Rock Rebel – out September 15. Pre-order at

More amazing traditonal Hungarian Celtic-Folk-Punk from a great band JOLLY JACKERS that we have featured several times over the years.

Italian Celtic / Irish trad. Folk band PATRICKS knocked out a great version of ‘I’ll Tell Ma’ last month. I may have heard it a 100,000 times but theirs a very good reason why its so popular… its because its a brilliant song!


DROPKICK MURPHYS – Live At Ryman Auditorium

BRAVE THE SEA – Lady Death


BEYOND THE LAMPLIGHT – Don’t Forget to Leave It All Behind

MERRY HELL – Let The Music Speak For Itself

NO MURDER NO MOUSTACHE – There’s A War Going On For Your Mind

Remember we can’t review it if we don’t hear it!

NORTH ALONE are a Folk-Punk/acoustic band from Osnabrück, Germany who have been together just over 10 years and have a new EP out.

WAYNE BRERETON is a Folk and ballad singer-songwriter from Co. Offaly in Ireland. He cites Luke Kelly, Shane McGowan, Sean Keane and of course his multi-talented father as his biggest influences for the crafting of his own style. Wayne is a Gaelic Speaker with a great love for Irish culture, songs and ballads. Pre-order his new album The Robin’s Call via the Bandcamp app.

London alt-folk band LOCKS new single ‘Jars’ is out now taken from their forthcoming EP Tall Tales.

Award winning North- West of England Folk-Rock 8-piece MERRY HELL came from the embers of the much loved Folk-Punk band The Tansads, developing a life and feel all of its own. Through twelve years, six albums and hundreds of gigs they have released Let The Music Speak For Itself a 28 track Greatest hits of sorts. As they say

This collection does not represent the beginning of the end; it represents the end of the beginning…

An ‘eclectic’ (I think the word is!) cover of The Pogues ‘If I Should Fall From Grace With God’ by THE WIGGINS which is essentially Jon Read over there in Houston, Texas. I love it!!

THE TENBAGS are a Folk-Punk outfit hailing from Birmingham, with original boozy Brummie ballads and traditional woozy wailers. Their first release since since the Bags O’ Craic album in 2019.

Welsh one-man-band NO MURDER NO MOUSTACHE have a new album out on May 26. Anti-establishment Punk Rock with Celtic influences. Sometimes acoustic, sometimes not, always #punk.

We’ve been doing this now for nearly 10 years and in that time we have covered 100’s of bands and musicians but still plenty of bands have passed us by. We can’t see everything after all so this column is to remind us of bands that never made these pages at the time but deserve another mention. These hopefully come with a free download like today so you can help yourself to some free music. Last month we had the music of Folk-Punk band Tail Light rebellion and today we go to the where they began their musical adventure in the Celtic-Punk band THE SWAGGERING GROWLERS. A traditional Irish Folk-Punk band based in Boston, Mass. Infusing the spirit and the tradition of Irish session players with the fire, intensity, and heart of Boston Punk and Hardcore, and tempered with the earnestness and soul of American Folk and created an unforgettable musical juggernaut. Here is Outlaw Waltz the last of their three studio albums but all are available here as ‘name your price’ downloads.

With the demise of the four piece Wolfe Tones and the inevitable split into two bands and while both offer a great night out we can’t recommend DEREK WARFIELD AND THE YOUNG WOLFE TONES enough. Power, passion and history with their charismatic leader. Playing the 229 on Great Portland Street on Friday 2nd June. The 3rd sees SKIMMINGTON RIDE play McCaffertys in Seven Kings. American political singer-songwriter DAVID ROVICS is supported by ROBB JOHNSON at LARC in East London on the 8th and Trad band FLOOK are at the Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith on June 10th. Fast-paced trashgrass and blues band from Colorado the TEJON CORNER STREET THIEVES are at the Islington Assembly Hall supported by AMIGO THE DEVIL on Thursday June 22. The following day on the 23rd is the world’s #1 Pogues tribute band THE POGUE TRADERS live at Mill Hill Golf Club. July 18th sees Scandinavian Celtic-Punk pirates YE BANISHED PRIVATEERS at The Black Heart, Camden and the following day American Folk-Country-Doombilly band the HEATHEN APOSTLES play The Lexington in Kings Cross on Wednesday 19th July. The founders of Alt-Country THE LONG RYDERS are coming back to these shores this month with a full Europe and UK tour. RETURN TO LONDON, London’s 25th Festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance is between Friday 27th – Monday 30th October 2023 at The Crown Hotel (Cricklewood) and other local venues – The postponed MR. IRISH BASTARD UK tour is back on and during November they will be heading to Brixton (22nd), Southampton, Bridgwater, Manchester and Edinburgh. Can’t wait! One more thing we saw the OLD TIME SAILORS recently and they were incredible. A 17-piece band playing Irish Folk and sea-shanties half theatre and half the best music show you’ll see all year. Check their Fan-Page on Facebook for gigs near you. They literally play everywhere. I saw them in Guildford and they had driven down from Scotland the night before and the next day theu were heading to wonderful Doncaster to play for my Mammy… and others!



American Celtic-Rock / Punk band BRAVE THE SEA on tour in the UK and playing London for the first time supported by London-Irish Folk-Punker ANTO MORRA and GREENFORD BHOY playing all your favourite Irish rock rebel late into the night or until we are asked to leave! Support to be confirmed soon but we promise it will be a packed show. Entry is free but their will be a whip round – as you can imagine getting here from the States as a DIY musicians isn’t cheap. Live at The Bird’s Nest, one of the last standing live venues in SE London and one of the best. Located at 32 Deptford Church Street, Lewisham, London SE8 4RZ. close to New Cross and New Cross Gate tube stations so easily accessible from across London.

All money we raise from our merch we put back into the Celtic-Punk scene so if you like what we do then you can support us by checking out our online store and buying something. The Harp’n’Bones design is back in all sizes and also on black or white shirts. Also we have the last few remaining polo shirts, nifty woolly hats and Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer shirts that we need to get rid of. Click the link below for the full range of all our other tatt. Shirts, badges, stickers, flags, CD’s and fridge magnets – all the discerning Celtic-Punk fan could ever need! Help keep Punk Celtic!

Facebook is rubbish and I can’t wait to see it go broke and a return to the era of paper flyers and fanzines. It has a stranglehold on all forms of expression that is far from healthy. If you are thinking of leaving and still want to keep up with us you can do via the London Celtic Punks group on the phone app Telegram. Similar to What’s App but completely free from outside interference. Join us on Telegram, don’t miss a single post and even receive the odd exclusive and special offer!

Some new London Celtic Punks merch. The LCP ‘Tricolour Skull’ mug is back after a couple of years. Available for a tenner in the UK (£20 EU) with free badge / coaster/ sticker.  I nearly fell over when I found out its £20 to post to the States but there you go if you desperately want one it’s £30! The ‘Celtic Punks’ metal badge is selling well only a handful left and available for just £5 – UK and £7 – EU post-paid and we’ll throw in a few stickers and a button badge too. For further overseas contact us and we’ll work it out. Also if you want to add more merch from the store above contact us. It helps us out if you buy from Paypal (friends & family) for these items to 

Even though we hate it Facebook does supply the (very) occasional ray of sunshine so a shout out to some good friends of ours over on Facebook. The Dropkick Murphys – Fan Page and the Celtic Punk,  Folk And Rock Fans are two of the best music forums on FB let alone Celtic-Punk. Ran By Fans For Fans just like you and me. Like and join in the fun!

With the sad demise of The Celtic Punkcast over there in Oz we have thrown in our lot with the good folks over at MacSlon’s Irish Pub Radio. Check them out for all the best in Celtic-Punk, Irish Folk and Rock. They also have just about the biggest selection of shirts and hoodys and all sorts of other gear over at the shop.

There are around 600,000 Irish living in Britain, the true figure, if we look at those who are first and second generation, is probably something like 10% of the population of this country – some 6 million people and nowhere is it greater than London and THE KINKS are representative of those numbers.


New single from one of Celtic-Punks brightest ‘young soul rebels’ – Shanghai Treason – announcing their forthcoming second studio album for later in the year.

According to critics Celtic-Punk is a bit samey and we’d be lying if we didn’t admit there was a grain of truth in that! Still we love it and I suppose you do too as why else would you be here? Every now and then a band comes along and blows your mind and Shanghai Treason were one of those bands when they arrived unannounced on the Celtic-Punk scene back in late 2019. Instant fans we had to wait till January 2022 for their debut album to land and what an album it was. Landing Debut Album Of The Year for 2022 as well as top ten in the best album of the year in a year when most of the scenes big hitters also put out albums. Quite an achievement! Having supported the likes of Ferocious Dog, Stiff Little Fingers and the Buzzcocks they completed an extensive tour of the UK and Ireland with The Rumjacks and just recently another one with Hayseed Dixie. ‘Pallbearer’ is the second single (following on from ‘The Lighthouse’ that came out a couple of months back) from the guys new album that is due out in September 2023.

On Pallbearer, singer Sam Christie says

“We’re outrageously excited for this one, it’s a deeply personal heartfelt song about grief but is at it’s core very much an optimistic celebration of life, It’s also the first time I think the accordion has really got to shine on one of our singles, the video features live footage from our performance at Northern Kin Festival back in April”

Now no one could ever accuse Shanghai Treason of ever covering yer typical Celtic-Punk themes. No songs of excessive drinking or emigration but instead we get intelligent, thoughtful, passionate and even poetic. Take a look below at the first few lines of ‘Pallbearer’ and then tell me these guys are not among the finest lyricists in Celtic-Punk and marry that to the music and you’ve got a band that are at the very top of their game. 

Recorded by Tom Wright at The Keystone – Yellow Arch Studios Sheffield * Label – Black Dingo Productions * Publisher: Kycker * Filmed by: Popp Tones

As the hearse it weaves it’s way down the desolate bay, I try to see the poetry in this
But the tears of my loved ones and the sounds of the guns, they further fog the mist
And I, recall being here, some eight years ago, laying your dear wife to rest
but today is your turn, I try to stay strong but i’m a wreck, i’m a shell, i’m a mess
They call for Pallbearers, They call for the brave, willing and strong
But i can barely stand, I’ve been winded man, I’ve been cast adrift so long, cast adrift so long
*Cancer it will steal, indiscriminately, from rich man and poor man alike, although it stubbed out your light, won’t let it tarnish your memory, we drink to your legend tonight
They call for Pallbearers, They call for the brave, willing and strong
But i can barely stand, I’ve been winded man, I’ve been cast adrift so long, cast adrift so long
I’m a wreck, I’m a shell, i’m a mess but i’m doing my best
Gunna buckle up my belt, gunna button up my vest and i’ll carry you to your final rest
They call for Pallbearers, They call for the brave, willing and strong
But i can barely stand, I’ve been winded man, I’ve been cast adrift so long, cast adrift so long

Contact Shanghai Treason Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  YouTube

EP REVIEW: MELMOR – Dremmwel du (2023)

For the new release from the legendary Breizh band Melmor- who first merged Breton Celtic Folk and Punk-Rock – we are pleased to have a great guest reviewer in Irminsul from the Hawaiian Celtic band The Kona Rogues.

One of my favorite moments in music is not when convention is breached, but when it is smashed on the floor into a million pieces so hard that a new thing is born. That’s exactly what I got when I first got into the newest release “Dremmwel Du” from Bretagne Celtic hardcore punk act MELMOR.

Originally formed in 1993, MELMOR comes from a part of the world and culture which is not always given its proper due when it comes to music. Celtic Breton music is a thing, to be sure, but not a lot of listeners connect the dots when they hear the term. Breton (Brittany, France) is actually the birthplace of the British culture. Founded by Brythonic Celts, one of their tribes – the “Pritani” – made their way across the channel and settled on what is now the main British Isle. The “P Celts” as they came to be known, were the seeds of the Welsh and Cornish peoples, and with them came all the cultural flair, swagger and emotion of the Bretons.

When I cranked up “Dremmwel Du” (“Black Horizon”) I was certainly not missing any of the elements of Celtic hard core punk. The crunchy, driving guitars. The breakneck speed drums. The anguished, Banshee with a sandy voice vocals. But the first track “Horizon Noir” took a unique turn with the entry of the violin. Not just any violin, but one juiced on jet fuel. And, Christ on a pogo stick, it was so in sync with the driving band that it felt like it was always meant to be like that. I have played with a lot of violinists (fiddlers, if the term suits you) of all kinds and rarely do you find a player able to make his instrument not just settle into the chaotic frenzy, but appear to LEAD it. “Black Horizon” grabs you by the hand and kicks your backside down that path with the power and madness, oddly structured in a way that shows more control than most. Tasty breaks, so that you’re not lulled into an unbroken chain of double kick beater fuzz. Places to take a breath, and dive back in. “Horizon Noir” lives up to its name, as you definitely get the feeling you staring into one.

“C’hoar Vihan” (Little Sister) starts you off on a single note rail, joined by some breathy chants of an almost Gregorian nature. The signature lyric violin kicks in, with a hook that will have you till the end of the song. Drifting into an expanse of tribal drums, it takes a detour setting the stage for the vocal to firm up into more melodic consistency; then again blasting out to frantic nature of the song, joined nicely by a reprise of the chantlike backing vocals. This one is very pleasing, it has an attitude that shows off their dexterity as musicians to go along with the high octane expectations of the genre. With the kick off of “Une dernière larme” (“One Last Tear”), I definitely got the sense of a nod to the Irish. Or did The Irish get it from them? I’ll not get caught up in that chicken and egg, but something about the lilt and memorability of the violin, you could come away with humming this tune and never forget it. Tastily punctuated by some Hey Hos (always a crowd pleaser, from experience) we get treated to some more choral type vocals, which show off the band’s vocal credibility without losing the urgency built up by the other tracks. What comes clear at this point, also, is that this band’s sound is tighter than Scrooge McDuck’s wallet. The benefits, no doubt, of being in the swim for so many years.

I had a hard time with the translation of the final track “Ghast!”, because I got that it could be “Ghost”, “To Frighten” or even “Prostitute”…so with apologies to the band I’ll have to plead ignorance on that note. It blasts out of the gate definitely sounding like a familiar Celtic traditional. It felt like a four-on-the-floor morphing of a slip jig, which is usually in triple time. No small feat, if that’s what it was. But no matter, it’s another great track by MELMOR, showing us how easily they slip from the hard core into the traditional, back again, and then mixing the two.

In all, MELMOR should be regarded as one of the greats of this game. Not just because they have this unique sound down so tight, but that they have definitely earned their stripes being around and kicking for over 30 years. Most importantly, they haven’t sacrificed two elements which are so vital to Celtic hardcore and punk: Life, and yes, even fun. Honestly, there are times you can’t tell whether these guys are funning around or being deadly serious about what they are doing. Or, maybe doing both brings the message out. Because, in the tongue of their births ,

“Etre c’hoari ha fars, e vez lavaret ar wirionez da galz”.

“Between playing and joking, you tell the truth to the world.”

(You can stream / download Dremmwel du via the Bandcamp player below)

Download Dremmwel du  Bandcamp

Contact Melmor  Facebook  YouTube

Our thanks to Irminsul  for the knowledgeable review. We hope to read more from his pen in the future. You should look up his excellent band The Kona Rogues – Rock/Punk fuelled Celtic roots music taking rebellion to a whole new level. They are just about the only Celtic-Punk band with a harp in the scene and the only Celtic-Punk band on the whole island of Hawaii. Their debut album Batten Down The Hatches reached a very respectable #16 in the Best Celtic-Punk Album of the year and is available to download or stream from Bandcamp.



Edinburgh Celtic-Punk band The Gallowgate Murders have made a new video for the standout track from their debut EP Dead, Gone And Living On.

Directed and Edited by: Sergio Cosme * Assistant Director: Penny Skanborg * 2nd Assistant Director: Lucia Ransolo * Stage Lights and Venue Manager: Matt Justice * Music production and master: Matt Harvey at Maybank Studios, Glasgow

Recorded at La Belle Angele and Bannermans

I remember a time on a wet stone cobble street 
(Do or die!) 
A gathering each night of the worst kinda bastards you ever will meet
(Hopes so high) 
A hole in the wall hung a banner that we call home
(We kissed the sky) 
Smacking a stack of the black with a man on his throne
We ain’t gonna change!
Gone away, those days are gone 
But the memory still lives on. 
We’ll never forget and there’s no regrets 
‘Cause only the bastards sing this song!
A bark at the bar would let everyone know 
(Brothers in arms) 
The dogs were about for a shout and the kitty would flow 
(The streets were ours) 
And on a Saturday night, when everyone closed their doors
(We’d stay for hours) 
The rockers, the punks and the drunks went to Studio 24
We ain’t gonna change!
Gone away, those days are gone 
But the memory still lives on. 
We’ll never forget and there’s no regrets 
‘Cause only the bastards sing this song!
Wherever you may roam 
Keep to heart your home. 
Make those friends that fight until the bitter end, 
Dead and gone and living on they’re always in your soul!
The booze and the sway and the chance to get laid in an Opium haze
(Danced all night) 
The cobble and stone and the blood crack and bone that would ruin your day
(Fall or fight)
The Banshee would scream and we’ll listen till she called her last
(We lived life right) 
And we’ll keep going strong on those bleak streets that paved our past.

You can stream Dead, Gone And Living On (including ‘Only The Bastards’) and download the EP via the Bandcamp player below)

Contact The Gallowgate Murders  Facebook  YouTube  Bandcamp

ALBUM REVIEW: EAST RIVER RATS – The Year Of The Rat (2023)

Nova Scotia has a special place in Celtic music and especially in Celtic-Punk. Just last week we reviewed the new album by Brad Lannon and today we have another band from the same place the wonderful East River Rats and their second album The Year Of The Rat.  

East River Rats are a seven piece Celtic band from the northern shore of Nova Scotia, Pictou County. Pictou is the 6th biggest county in the province with a staggering 50% of Scots descent and a further 20% of Irish descent making this a real part of the Celtic nations. The band were founded by Brian MacKenzie in 2016 expect sing along vocals, guitars, bagpipes, mandolin, accordion, tin whistle, bass and drums all coming together to create a unique high octane style that combines elements of traditional Scottish Celtic rock and gritty Irish punk. They released their debut album When The Cats Away back in 2018. It passed us by at the time but the sadly missed web-site Celtic, Folk Punk And More described them as

“the latest addition to the Celtic rock lineage from the Maritimes. The band is proud of their Scottish heritage and they have been able to establish their own identity as a Celtic rock band rooted on the tradition.”

The twelve track album is available as a ‘name your price’ download meaning you are free to download for as much as you would like to.

Got to come clean and say that we haven’t a lot of information on the band but we’ve been listening to the album for a while (it came out on St. Patrick’s Day) and we’ve really enjoyed it. The Year Of The Rat kicks off with their theme tune and ‘East River Boys’ is a happy, jolly ode to the boys home town while the pipes are out and blazing for ‘Smoke And Cheap Whiskey’ and a catchy rocking number with clear but grizzly vocals. ‘Teigh’s Way’

The Year Of The Rat shows a band that can play totally accessible music that would still appeal to both Punks and Folkies and the East river Rats can both turn it up and turn it down to please both. It could be argued that they would fall into ‘Celtic-Rock’ rather than ‘Celtic-Punk’ but that’s not a distinction we make much of here. Being so close to the sea it’s no surprise to hear a few songs of the sea and ‘Kings Navy’ is one of the highlights here. Again superbly catchy and great lyrics to boot.

Next up is the lead single for the album and one of the more punky tracks ‘Red Roddy’. Chugging guitars and gang vocal chorus and some excellent piping combine for a bloomin’ great song that was accompanied by a great video too. It was directed and edited by Danny Harvie and shot by Danny and Mat Brennan. Another oceanic song now with ‘Maritime Man’ and much more in line with what we would associate as a sea-shantie. ‘All The Way To Amerikay’ is a fast and raucous romp telling of our ancestors long and arduous journey ‘cross the broad Atlantic. It’s often forgotten that many Scots made the same journey as the Irish and for much the same reasons too with hundreds of thousands arriving in Canada since the late 18th century.

‘Way She Goes’ and ‘Mudder And The Neighbour Lady’ don’t stray too far from their acceptable formula. Now these guys look like they know their way round a good auld drinking song and they don’t come more blatant than ‘Pissing In A Kilt’ which is packed with good advice for potential kilt wearers. ‘One More Drink’ is another album highlight and is of the kind that Celtic-Punk bands excel at. An introspective look at ourselves, warts an all. At nearly five minutes long it never gets too much. The curtain comes down with what is described as a bonus track, ‘Last Night’. Just voice and acoustic guitar tell of the night before and the antics of what they got up to. A fitting end to a great album that after all the raucousness fits in absolutely perfectly.

(The full East River Rats 80-minute set from the Wharf Rat Rally House Party from Friday September 4th 2020)

Twelve original tracks which they are to be applauded for. The music was written, arranged and performed by East River Rats with lyrics by Brian MacKenzie and Caleb MacIvor. The album was mixed, engineered and produced by Mark Cosh at the local Shoebox Studios, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

(You can stream / download Year Of The Rat via the Bandcamp player below)

Get The Year Of the Rat  Bandcamp

Contact The East River Rats  Instagram  Facebook  YouTube

ALBUM REVIEW: THE POGUES – The Stiff Records B-Sides 1984-1987 (2023)

Hey it’s a new Pogues album.Well not quite but almost!!

A collection of Pogues non-album B-sides from the bands tenure on the famed Stiff Records label including greats like ‘A Rainy Night In Soho’ and ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’, as well as lesser know greats like ‘Shanne Bradley’ (B-side to ‘Fairytale Of New York’), and a whole host of trad Irish Folk covers like The Irish Rover and Mountain Dew both featuring The Dubliners and ‘The Parting Glass’, ‘Whiskey You’re The Devil’, ‘Muirshin Durkin’ and ‘The Leaving Of Liverpool’ amongst others. 

Pressed on vinyl for the first time exclusively for RSD 2023.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you’re a record label and you want to sell records that to mine the vaults of the music you already own the rights to is a cheap and easy way to do it. It’s been seventeen years since The Pogues released an original studio album (and twenty-three since they did one with Shane at the helm) but the releases continue to trickle out with various live and greatest hits albums over the years. At least 2020 saw something with a bit of originality with the BBC Sessions 1984-86 Record Store Day release capturing The Pogues in their early days at their most energetic and vibrant. So is their much left to mine?

Well it seems not with the release of The Stiff Records B-Sides 1984-1987. Of course the music is immense and anything that gets you listening to The Pogues again is worthwhile but why is the whole Poguetry In Motion EP included, especially as it received its own Record Store Day release back in 2015. As far as I’m aware everything here has been released before though perhaps maybe not on vinyl. The sound quality is superb and at around fifty minutes I’m sure the decision to make this release a double vinyl wasn’t influenced by the chance to charge upwards of £50 for it. The album sleeve features a nice photo of the bhoys and ghirl but with what looks a lot like a photo shopped Andrew Ranken! Needless to say the music is fantastic and I bet there’s plenty bands who would love to have A let alone B-sides of this quality. From ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ that backed their debut single to the Irish Rover single of 1987 with the Dubliners it’s all incredible stuff so it is at least a great place to have these songs together… and of course the door is left ajar for a further collection of B-sides right through to Hell’s Ditch and the Shaneless years.

Record Store Day is now into it’s 16th year of promoting and celebrating independent music and record shops and now back to a single day again, April 22. More details from and for a full list of exclusive, limited-run, RSD First releases with participating record stores in both the United States and the U.K.

Side A
1. ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ (Eric Bogle)
B-Side of ‘Dark Streets Of London’ (Stiff Records BUY 207, Originally Pogue Mahone PM-1)
2. ‘Repeal Of The Licensing Laws’ (Spider Stacy)
B-Side of ‘The Boys From The County Hell (Stiff Records BUY 212)
3. ‘The Parting Glass’ (Trad, Arr. Pogues)
B-Side of ‘Dirty Old Town (Stiff Records BUY 229)
4. ‘A Pistol For Paddy Garcia’ (Jem Finer)
B-Side of ‘Dirty Old Town’ (Stiff Records BUY 229)

Side B
1. ‘Whiskey You’re The Devil’ (Trad, Arr. Pogues)
B-Side of ‘A Pair Of Brown Eyes’ (Stiff Records BUYIT 220)
2. ‘Muirshin Durkin’ (Trad, Arr. Pogues)
B-Side of ‘A Pair Of Brown Eyes’ (Stiff Records BUYIT 220)
3. ‘The Wild Rover’ (Trad, Arr. Pogues)
B-Side of ‘Sally MacLennane’ (Stiff Records BUYIT 224)
4. ‘The Leaving Of Liverpool’ (Trad, Arr. Pogues)
B-Side of ‘Sally MacLennane’ (Stiff Records BUYIT 224)

Side C
1. London Girl (Shane MacGowan)
2. ‘A Rainy Night In Soho’ (Shane MacGowan)
3. ‘The Body Of An American’ (Shane MacGowan)
4. ‘Planxty Noel Hill’ (Jem Finer)
1-4 Poguetry In Motion EP (Stiff Records BUY 243)

Side D
1. ‘The Irish Rover’ (feat. The Dubliners) (Trad, Arr. The Dubliners, The Pogues)
The Pogues & The Dubliners – The Irish Rover (Stiff Records BUY 258)
2. ‘The Rare Ould Mountain Dew’ (feat. The Dubliners) (Trad, Arr. The Dubliners, The Pogues)
The Pogues & The Dubliners – The Irish Rover (Stiff Records BUY 258)
3. ‘The Battle March Medley’ (Terry Woods)
B-Side of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ (Pogue Mahone Records/Stiff Records NY 12)
4. ‘Shanne Bradley’ (Shane MacGowan)
B-Side of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ (Pogue Mahone Records/Stiff Records NY 12)

RSD (Record Store Day) exclusive release * Released 22/04/2023 * Catalogue Number 0190296503221 * Limited to 6500 copies on black and green marbled vinyl *

Available from Rough Trade * Banquet Records * Juno Records among others. Search on e-bay for availability and to price check.


The new second solo album from Nova Scotian Brad Lannon taking time off from highly thought of Celtic-Punkers Black Matilda. 

Back in 2021 we featured the self titled EP from Black Matilda. Based in the Celtic heartland of Nova Scotia in Canada (go read that review for some history on the region and it’s links to Ireland and Scotland). The EP would later go on to land a #10 in that years Best EP of the the year and, even better, the runner-up spot in the Readers Choice best of 2021.

Black Matilda accordion player Brad Lannon has struck out on his own here with this years Dark Waters a follow up to his debut album Batten Down The Hatches from 2020. Ten tracks that Brad wrote entirely during February of this year.

It’s a little self-challenge that encourage you to write and record music in the month of February. Nothing like a deadline right? I try to do it every year, often times coming no where close to finishing the 10 song or 35 min requirement. Usually you’ll find something in there that’s a gem though. Which is where a few of the Black Matilda songs came from.

Kicking off with the short intro of ‘Hi’ before ‘Underneath The ‘Ol Blind Tree’ and it reveals itself to be gentle wistful Folk music akin to the likes of Papa M or whatever Will Oldham is up to. ‘Footprints’ brings in piano and at 5 and half minutes is Dark waters epic. Next is ‘At The Dusk Hour’ and somewhat surprisingly the accordion is not loud in the mix which is a shame as I’m a accordion nut but it’s catchy and laid back with a multitude of instruments all complementing each other. Now a instrumental and ‘The Wild Wind Blew’ sounds like a track we can expect to be given the Black Matilda treatment in one way or another. Of course being a Nova Scotian the ocean is a theme that comes up again and again and ‘Calm After The Storm’ is a nice wee ballad giving Brad a chance to air that accordion as well as vocal chords!

(Their are no videos of Brad playing any of the songs here so here’s Black Matilda with their incredible video to ‘I Must Sail Away’ from their debut EP which was created by Brad!)

‘In The Tick Of It’ is over in pretty much a flash and the piano led ‘Night In The Woods’ is a creepy number that’ll give you the shivers before another instrumental, this time the piano led ‘Go To Bed Out Of it!’ that leads us nicely into the final song ‘Am I Dreaming?’. Recorded at home with friends popping by from Black Matilda the ideas for the songs came from Brad’s recent time spent in the back woods.

“I find it great for self-work especially during stressful times where I can just hang out in nature and enjoy the many deer paths. You know, using the forest as a mental health tool. Which is all great until you encounter an evil being of sorts! haha”

Black Matilda were a band that I was expecting BIG things from and then the blasted Covid came along and Canada like everywhere else went insane. Brad informs me they are back with new material and have already trialled it at gigs and gotten a fantastic response so already looking forward to that forthcoming studio album but Dark Waters is a very interesting ride through the creative spirit and it’ll be interesting to see how and if these songs end up for Black Matilda.

(You can stream and download Dark Woods via the Bandcamp player below)

Get Dark Woods  Bandcamp

Contact Brad Lannon  Facebook  YouTube

ALBUM REVIEW: MADIGAN’S WAKE – Madigan’s Wake (2023)

Australian Celtic-Punk rules so it does!. All of it is bloody brilliant so it’s great to see Melbourne band Madigan’s Wake just  release their debut album.

Brace yourselves… these Folk-Punk folk are here to stay!


Over the past 12 months Aussie Celtic punk band Madigan’s Wake have been building momentum and giving us a snippet of their story-telling no-nonsense in your face tunes. After releasing three singles that have been played in Ireland, England, Germany, Canada, USA and Indonesia, and building an energy fused live show, they have finally released their debut album and it packs a punch! Released on St. Patrick’s Day through their record label and management, Headstone Records (One. Be Productions), it is a gem and promises to set Madigan’s Wake among others as one of the most exciting emerging bands within Celtic punk.

The album, which was recorded at Headstone Records in Melbourne and produced by Brent Quirk and mastered by Tony ‘Jack the Bear’ Mantz from Jack the Bear’s Deluxe Mastering, features 15 songs, 11 of them originals that are full of stories about growing up in an Australian/Irish family and drawn from Irish history. The album cover is the Madigan name coat of arms with the eagle symbolising power and strength. This pretty much sums up the album.

(Recorded live at Headstone Records in December 2021 by video producer Cameron Galea)

The album begins with a bang with the first song being their debut self-titled single – Madigan’s Wake. The song is an ode to singer and mandolin player (Albert) mother’s family. A tough, rough, working class family who lived in a pre-gentrified poor inner suburb of Melbourne. It also reveals the way the Madigan’s, and the Irish, deal with death, an often taboo and sombre topic, the memories of how the Madigan’s welcomed and celebrated death. One last party for a loved one who had departed.

Madigan’s Wake left to right – Rob ‘the Rat’, Albert, Nick, Tim, Elly.

The second song jumps out of the blocks at a blistering speed – Orangemen’s Day. Albert was born into an Irish Catholic family on the biggest Protestant day of the year resulting in his great grand-mother refusing to talk to him. Albert’s comment here is:

“As if it was my fault, like I planed the whole thing in my mutinous pre-born state”.

The song however has nothing to do with the 12th of July but rather is a celebration of his mother, Patricia Mary Madigan taken to soon. The third song, and the third single from the album, is – Thunderbolt (The Gentleman Outlaw), written about bushranger Frederick Ward who roamed New South Wales in the late 19th century. An energetic fast-paced song that combines Australian and Irish folk and punk. The violin and mandolin sound like they are frantically dancing jigs with each other as this song unfolds.

Next is the song – Before the Devil Knows I’m Dead. Written by Albert after he had a night terror. Again, the violin and mandolin weave a tapestry of frenetic sounds that carry this song to its huge ending. This song was also the band’s second single. This is followed by the wild toe-tapping song Got to Let You Know, written and sung by Albert’s brother Damian that tells the story of lost love and separation. One of the great features of this album is that it also highlights the band’s ability to play traditional Irish jigs in their own unique chaotic way. To showcase this they recorded back to back jigs – 40 Pound Float and The Wind that Shakes the Barley.

As the album hits the half way mark it reveals the three most powerful and emotional songs on the album, the haunting traditional Irish rebel song – Foggy Dew, and the epic Irish Convict Bastard followed by She Won’t Be Coming Home Anymore both Madigan’s Wake originals. The band’s unique punk style of Foggy Dew builds steadily until it explodes into a furious pace after the fourth verse. Irish Convict Bastard was inspired by reading books about the Great Famine and a painting by artist George Frederick Watts. In particularly the painting titled The Irish Famine (sometimes known as the Irish Eviction) is a result of Watts disgust and indignation felt towards the appalling social conditions in Ireland and their devastating impact on the poor and vulnerable. The painting explores the dignity taken from the poor, and it imposes on us, in their name, the moral claims of justice. Between 1845 and 1852, the blight on potato crops in Ireland resulted in the death of a million people, and the emigration of a similar number. Absent landlords living comfortably in England combined with the punitive effect of the Corn Laws caused unprecedented misery and deepened the already simmering hatred for British rule. The song also explores the unjust punishment of those starving who stole food to feed their families, and the mistreatment that continued in Australia as convicts deported never to see their families again.

The Irish Famine, George Frederick Watts, 1850.

She Won’t be Coming Anymore, pays tribute to a much loved mother and incredibly strong woman, gone all to soon after she battled with mental illness. It is also a song of lament and confession for not understanding the complexities of mental illness until it was too late.

As the album begins to draw to a close it relaxes once again into its fast paced punk nature. Wild Goose Chase is a foot stomping jig written by the Madigan’s violin player Elly D’Arcy. Mary from the Dairy is a crazy fun-loving song that blisters through its short two minutes. The chorus invites audience participation and has become a crowd favourite at their gigs. It is inspired by a nonsensical poem that Albert’s grandfather Thomas Patrick Madigan would often tell “Mary from the Dairy got kicked by a hairy”. It is also about one of his crazy old great aunties who used to terrorise her local community. Willie Wagtail and the Bee was written after a boozy afternoon watching a Willie Wagtail and a Bee interact. The result is the soundtrack Albert heard in this head whilst watching it….maybe stop drinking guys!!!…or maybe keep drinking!!! The song is a chaotic fast-paced jig the Madigan’s have come up with here. Bessie Where’s Your Husband continues the hectic, manic feel that is most of this album, and this songs seems to be have been recorded in a pub. This song is the inspiration of Albert’s brother Gerard. The final song on the album is the Madigan’s version of the traditional Irish folk song Black is the Color. Stripped back to just guitar and vocals and sang by Elly with her beautiful and haunting voice.

Madigan’s Wake debut album doesn’t mess around and it’s well worth listening to and can be purchased on Spotify. They will be in the UK early next year, so get ready for them to explode here.


Get Madigan’s Wake

Contact Madigan’s Wake Facebook  YouTube  Instagram


The band that first merged Breton Celtic Folk and Punk-Rock Melmor

You got to love the Celtic-Punk scene in Brittany. The connection with the old and ancient music of ythe land is special and the Breton Celtic-Punk story began with Melmor. Formed in 1993 in St-Brieuc (named after a Welsh monk) a city in the Côtes-d’Armor area of Brittany they sang mostly in their native Breton language though sometimes also French. Like many of their Irish contempories they started off covering songs by Folk legends in their case the remarkable Alan Stivell. A masterful Breton musician and singer, songwriter, recording artist and Celtic harpist he is credited from the early 1970’s as being responsible for the revival in interest in the Celtic harp and Celtic music as part of the ‘world music’ genre. Soon though they would add Punk to the mix and are now known as the “precursor of Celtic punk in Brittany and France” taking Hardcore Punk and adding traditional violin and Breton tunes. They released a demo Dans Ar Marmouzig in 1995 followed by the 4-track Punk Noz EP in 1997 which was sadly the year they split up leaving much more than just a couple of short releases behind. A live album would follow in 2010 and they would go on to reform in 2016 with two of the original band members and began to play live in Europe. Since then four record labels combined to release an extended vinyl version of Punk Noz with the songs from the Demo and EP and four live songs.

Breiz Dishual – Free Brittany

Unlike the rest of France, Brittany is Celtic. The Breton language is closely related to Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Cornish. Historically, most of what is now France formerly spoke another Celtic language, Gaulish, which was eventually supplanted by the Latin vernacular of the Roman conquerors. Both Breton and Gaulish are members of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic language family though the Bretons are descendants of refugees who fled Celtic Britain to escape the Anglo-Saxon invaders of the fifth century CE. For centuries, Breton was marginalised, as nobility and later the city dwellers adopted French as their everyday language, with Breton remaining the language of the peasants and artisans. In an attempt to build a centralised nation-state, the French government suppressed Breton, pejoratively referred to as patois. Efforts have been instituted to promote the use of Breton in the schools, media, and other areas of public life. Hopes for its future are further raised by the fact that the study of Breton is gaining popularity as an academic subject.

(You can stream / download Gast via the Bandcamp player below. The track is available for just a single dollar so support Celtic music in the heartlands.)

Download Gast  Bandcamp

Contact Melmor  Facebook  YouTube


Solo musical performance artist Auld Haggis MacMurray plays, writes, sings, records original songs in everything from 60’s Ska to 60’s Surf Rock and has now released an authentic Celtic rocker with some warm, heart lifting powerful lyrics for the Celtic people and their friends.  

This is turning out quite the moment for solo artists in the Celtic-Punk scene. Just in the last twelve months we have had London Celtic Punks writer Ray Ball, The O’Maolegain Rake both from the States and Brigade 77 from Sweden all with releases that sound like they have even more members than The Pogues. Today we can add to that list Potbelly MacKraken who performs under the name of Auld Haggis MacMurray. Now one of them may or may not be his real name but similar to the guys already mentioned he plays a multitude of instruments including 6-string and tenor electric and acoustic guitars, baritone ukulele, banjolele, bagpipes, tenor saxophone and vocals but not here and not all at once.

Potbelly takes up the rest of the story here for us

It’s basically about my year in Scotland, 2014 – 15, so a true story, every word of it, down to the cutting myself after slipping in the mud while hiking up the Salisbury Crags in Edinburgh. Wrote the tune probably in 2017 or so after I got back to California where I’m from; I used to perform it locally acoustically before gov. killed my performing career with its 2019 law trying to stamp out independent contractors and then with their COVID tyranny. Finally got around to recording it in the present version this last month; took a few nights to get it all down. It’s home recorded and self-produced. I’m a one-person band and do all the writing, playing/recording, mixing/mastering and artwork myself, as I’m a multi-instrumentalist. So I’m completely self-produced and independent, owning everything I do, tho I hardly make any $ off music as a result. I have Tourette’s Syndrome, so performing has always been hard for me and it’s why I tend to do everything myself as I gotta do take after take after take cuz my Tourette’s constantly interrupts while I’m recording, so I just do it all myself so I can do it my way, the way I’m able to with my disability. So Potbelly is Auld Haggis MacMurray, and both are me. Anyway, hope that suffices.

Well, I’ve never been to Ireland, 
but to Scotland I have been, 
I imagine the two are similar, 
with their cold wet wind and rain 
Green rolling hills and mountain crags 
Cold ocean fronted towns 
For once you’ve been to one of them 
You’ve been there all around, oh…. 
My mother’s side’s from Scotland, 
East Lothian side they ran 
From Clinton & Cramond towns 
My family once began 
They moved to grand America 
For a free and prosperous life 
For America had freed herself 
From the English chains and strife 
Oh the Celtic lands of the Ires & Scots 
And the Welsh and Cornish, too 
Each different in their culture 
But united in their view 
For all have a common history 
They’re all now conquered lands 
And from their English overlords 
Their freedom they demand 
I went back to that old country, 
To the place where lived my kin 
Of ancient times and centuries 
Where my bloodline did begin 
‘Twas heart warming to see the land 
Where my Celtic line did toil 
Under cold wet English tyranny And in that muddy soil 
I walked her grassy rolling hills 
And I viewed her frothy shores,
I studied at her uni, 
in Edinburgh’s core I behold her Celtic beauty, 
It seeped into my blood 
For I cut myself on a rainy day 
When slipped in her wet mud 
Oooh, the castles and the crofts, 
The trees covered in moss 
Peat water flowing everywhere. 
Wild weathered covered mountains 
Spilling rain on down, 
To the green, green rolling hills below. 
 So a year I spent in Scotland, 
 And I traveled all around 
From Avoch and Inverness To Skye and Glasgow ground 
I’ll miss the pies and pasties, 
And the haggis most of all 
But my heart lies back in California 
And back to her shores I fall. 

(You can stream or download The Auld Celtic Lands for just a measly single dollar via the Bandcamp app below)

Contact Auld Haggis MacMurray  Facebook  Bandcamp  WebSite

ALBUM REVIEW: THE TOSSERS – The Tossers (2023)

The World’s Loudest Folk Band

One of the first and most enduring bands on the Celtic-Punk underground, Chicago’s The Tossers are back with a ‘new’ album of classics, standards and originals that mix the attitude and swagger of Punk Rock with a muscular but respectful approximation of Irish traditional Folk music. 

It’s been six years since the last Tossers release and for them that is a loooong time. The new album unoriginally titled just The Tossers came out in February to highlight their 30th anniversary concert dates and as such is a very welcome return for what are a Premier League Celtic-Punk band.

The Tossers come from Chicago. In fact they come from the South of Chicago. This is the area that the huge Irish Catholic community had traditionally called home since the 19th century. From just a few hundred in the 1830s, by 1860 Chicago had emerged as the fourth largest Irish city in America and was estimated at nearly 300,000 by 1890. Unlike their counterparts in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, however, Chicago’s Irish grew up with their city and exerted an influence out of proportion to their numbers. The immigrant history of Chicago of course doesn’t just stop at the Irish with Poles, Germans, Bohemians, Lithuanians, Italians, and Slovaks all having been led to the Midwest as well looking for a better life in  the land of opportunity. While most Irish-American families in Chicago are three are four generations deep, plenty of Chicago’s Irish have immigrated fairly recently and the Irish still lead the way in the amount of foreign born residents with many arriving in the 1980’s and 1990’s due to recession back home and Chicago’s strong links to back home.

The south side of Chicago had, and still does, a tough working class reputation and it was there that a 18 year old hard luck kid called Anthony Duggins from the south side of town began playing traditional Irish folk music in the neighbourhood pubs. It wasn’t long before he was joined by his brother and best friends and before long they had moved on from playing covers from the likes of Christy Moore and Ewan MacColl and were playing Anthony’s original compositions. They soon became The Tossers taking their name from the slang for worthless British coins in Sean O’Casey’s play The Plough and the Stars. The coins became useless after the southern Irish Free State won independence from Britain, and started to print it’s own currency.

The new album begins with one of the originals here and ‘Americay’ takes yo right back to the last time you listened to The Tossers. Perhaps nothing new but a joyous and raucous celebration of the Irish in America. The Tossers can lay claim to being the most obvious band to carry on The Pogues torch and their worth to the Irish community is massive. Anthony’s distinctive vocals and American Irish brogue dominate the music which is some feat as they are are correctly labelled ‘The World’s Loudest Folk Band’. Next up is one of the many re-recordings here, ‘D’ampton Worm’ is a song from the north-east of England telling of the legend of the giant white worm-like creature that lived in the caverns beneath the Lambton Estate in County Durham. The song first appeared on 2001’s Communication & Conviction and so maybe an unusual song to bring back but still a gem. The Tossers write some fantastic lyrics and though they often touch on serious subjects they do know their audience well and love dropping in a good auld drinking song. ‘Buckets Of Beer’ is from their aptly titled debut album We’ll Never Be Sober Again from 1996. A fast crowd pleaser with an easy chorus to singalong to with a subtext of five guys robbing a bank with the bucket being the spoils of the robbery.

(live recording of Tossers classic ‘Siobhan’ and ‘Buckets Of Beer’ at the the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana the day after St. Patrick’s day 2023)

So the first three songs have all whizzed by in just over six minutes so time for a bit of an epic and one of a handful of songs that is guaranteed to get the audience going. For a band that channels The Pogues so well they handle ‘Dirty Ol’ Town’ with ease. Anthony’s voice always conveys total conviction in every thing he sings and he gets the emotions of the song over in a way that not many are able. Ewan MacColl was said to be unhappy at Shane’s version so I hope he’ll find peace with The Tossers. Seemingly desperate to cover every ‘Celtic-Punk base’ as fast as possible they now throw up some trad with a upbeat ‘Fermoy Lasses / Sporting Paddy’ that has been and gone in 99 seconds!

(The Tossers live at The Grog Shop, Cleveland, Ohio on March 5th 2023)

‘Aye Sir’ is another track cut from their debut album and the ultimate tribute to the waster’s life!

“Well, I’ll go off and get real famous just like my brother Seamus
The people I got to see’cause the world is at my feet
I don’t need you assholes standing
Standing in my way
For I’ll get drunk and probably knock you down”

One of the first songs that Anthony wrote and The Tossers performed he says

“it’s about a young Irish sailor, and every fantastically juvenile verse is followed by an equally childish shout of “Boozer, Hookers, Aye sir.” (Let’s face it, there will always be prostitutes, sailors and marines.) This song not only reminds me of a time in history, but also of my own childhood innocence, ignorance and adolescence.”

A new song follows and ‘Irish Blood’ tells the tale of the American Irish all within three minutes. One of the startling things here is when compared to the songs from the very very beginnings of The Tossers it is clear they have have lost none of their energy and vim and play at a pace that you’re mammy would think was impossible! Another Pogues classic pops up next and once again ‘Paddy On The Railway’ shows the lads ability to remind you so much of The Pogues without it ever crossing your mind that they are ‘copying’ or aping the London Bhoys. ‘Paper And Pins’ is another taken from Communication & Conviction and a very clever song about a man courting a lass and the twists and turns in the courtship. The album ends with three stonewall classics of Irish Folk all done absolutely brilliant. ‘Rocky Road To Dublin’, ‘Tell Me Ma’ and ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ may have all been recorded countless times and played live to infinity but as I’ve said The Tossers make everything sound new and vibrant especially the uncredited ‘Maidrin Rua’ intro to ‘Tell Me Ma’.

So kind of a strange album to release John over at Shite ‘n’ Onions Celtic-Punk web site reckons “it’s a self-finance, stop-gap release to support the bands 30th anniversary tour” which is probably right and while we would have loved to hear more new material it is still a pleasure to get anything from The Tossers. With their 30th anniversary dates over the word is that they are writing and recording for a full length studio album so keep your eyes peeled for that and enjoy this while you’re waiting!

Get The Tossers

Contact The Tossers  WebSite   Facebook   YouTube  Instagram


in this month’s Odds’n’Sods all the news fit to print on what’s going in our wonderful Celtic-Punk world. From the scene’s biggest and well established bands to those just starting out it’s all in here!

We start off this month with some footage from deepest South London just a couple of weeks ago. BRYAN McPHERSON came over from Boston for a couple of gigs (and some other stuff to be revealed shortly!) and here he is playing the massive epic ‘American Dream’ from his award winning last album, the Ted Hutt produced How To Draw Everything

Now a homegrown band from Oldham RUN OUT THE GUNS. They perform Irish Folk with no airs or graces, no pretence, just fine quality musicianship and raw enthusiasm. Here they are performing a brilliant ‘Drunken Sailor’ at The Bank Top Tavern, Oldham at the end of March.

HAPPY OL’ McWEASEL are a seven-piece Irish Celtic Punk band that formed in Maribor, Slovenia in 2007. It’s been an incredible eight years since Heard Ya Say! so about time they followed it up!

DROPKICK MURPHYS continue to churn out the new music and I for one am constantly surprised at how it is. This week they released a single with the Violent Femmes taken from their album Okemah Rising due out May 12, 2023. Preorder and Presave

I was too pissed and missed the last train on St. Patrick’s day night after watching Neck here in London so missed the DROPKICK MURPHYS live stream from Boston so if anyone can point us to it anywhere on the net???

New York Irish band THE NARROWBACKS are cut from the same cloth as London’s Bible Code Sundays and represent their community in song.

JOHNNY KOWALSKI has done a solo album Out Here Forever more Folky than the usual Folky-Punky ‘ness of his usual band Johnny Kowalski And The Sexy Wierdos.

South-West English band BLACK WATER COUNTY put out a superb acoustic unplugged version of ‘Rise And Fall’ from their album Taking Chances.

Irish band THE ELECTRIC WEDNESDAYS put out ‘Shipping Up To Drogheda’ this week and they call it Raucous Rock n Roll! and I can’t disagree with that!

London bluegrass outfit THE HACKNEY HILLPICKERS playing ‘I’ve Waited As Long As I Can’. Filmed end of last year at honky tonk bar The Dukes Of Highgate, London by Bopflix.


RUN OUT THE GUNS – Powder And Shot


FEROCIOUS DOG 10 Year Anniversary


DIASPORA – Home At Last



DORTHIA COTTRELL – Death Folk Country

NORTH ALONE – Ohne Jacke Raus EP

Remember we can’t review it if we don’t hear it!

We would love to review SLOPPY BUT LUCKY a Irish-American Folk-Punk band from Topeka Kansas and they have released an album Four Leaf Failure but it’s only available on streaming services. These guys are unique within the Celtic-Punk scene in that they don’t get paid for gigs and donate any fees to animal charities hence they don’t want to spend money getting physical copies of the album done. A truly marvellous and wonderful thing to do. Now at over $20,000 since January 2021 their is a list of who they have supported over on their Facebook page. So like them anyway on FB and Instagram.

SHANGHAI TREASON new single ‘Pallbearer’ will be out next month! Outrageously excited for this one, pre save it ‘ere: 

The MISPLACED PUNK SHOW is a radio show / pod-cast we listen to and they did a special St. Paddy’s Day edition featuring 45 minutes of out of this world Celtic-Punk. Give it a listen at

MELMOR formed in 1994 and are one of the most important Celtic-Punk bands in Brittany who sung in both Breton and French. They played their last gigs in 1999 and in 2005, a double live CD and DVD was released. In 2016, they reformed with two originals members and since then played in France and Germany. In 2019, four French labels released a vinyl LP featuring all their studio materials and some live songs and then last month they put out a new song. 

The fourth solo album from Dublin’s multi award winner DAOIRI FARRELL, in his own words, ‘combines the rawness of my first album, the impact of my second album and the beauty of my third album.’ Crafted and honed over two and a half years, it is the work of a mature artist who has succeeded in taking on the challenge of recording a completely acoustic album that heads deep into the heart of the songs.

Ex- Dropkick Murphys founder Rick Barton’s band CONTINENTAL had a new 8-track EP out on St. Patrick’s Day that we missed. Continental mix it up, from Country through to Powerpop and Blues through to Punk but always very very good.

DIASPORA are an Irish trio from Ballaghaderreen playing a mix of originals tunes and their own take on traditional ones. Having spent their entire lives abroad they are happy to be finally back home in Ireland. Two tracks from their new album are available to hear below.

DARIUS KOSKI guitarist and songwriter of the US Punks The Swingin’ Utters as well as the Celtic-Punk band Filthy Thievin’ Bastards has a new 2-track single out.

2022 saw Folk-Rock legends FAIRPORT CONVENTION celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of their 1970 album Full House (though two years late thanks to Covid!) with the original line-up of Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol, Dave Mattacks and Dave Pegg (with Chris Leslie filling the shoes of the late great Dave Swarbrick) at the bands Cropredy Festival where the show was recorded and has just been released as Full House for Sale.

PINT KILLERS are a Street Punk band from Boston, Massachusetts with Mark Doherty, Bill Jolliemore and Johnny Fencer formerly of The Pug Uglies together to play Punk in their own style with anthems about celebration, drinking, friendship, and brotherhood. Their debut album The Dirty Dozen was released in 2018 but has only just been downloaded onto Bandcamp.

We’ve been doing this now for nearly 10 years and in that time we have covered 100’s of bands and musicians but still plenty of bands have passed us by. We can’t see everything after all so this column is to remind us of bands that never made these pages at the time but deserve another mention. These hopefully come with a free download like today so you can help yourself to some free music. Today we revisit TAIL LIGHT REBELLION from Kenosha, Wisconsin. An amalgamation of roots music genres, incorporating styles from Irish, Slavic, Canadian, and American folk music. Started as a one man band, this project blossomed into what is now a folk dance band that has been called a melding of Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen and The Pogues. Broken is their third album from 2016 but all their release are available for free over on Bandcamp as ‘name your price’ downloads. Next month we will feature the band that Tail Light Rebellion started in THE SWAGGERING GROWLERS.

LANKUM play the Barbican Hall, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS on Thursday 4th May. DAOIRI FARRELL plays Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG on Friday May 5th. Also on the 5th is the gig of the month with the marvellous HUNGRY GRASS and NECK playing The Birds Nest in Deptford for the landlord Joel’s birthday. Trad meets Celtic-Punk and one not to be missed. Its free in but buy him a drink ok! Trad band LUNASA are at ICC Hammersmith, May 12-13. THE OLD TIME SAILORS at the Holroyd Arms in Guildford on Friday 12th. 17 accomplished musicians playing Irish Folk, Bluegrass, and so much more. Not seen them before but heard great things and Guildford is just a short hop on the train from London. The utterly amazing and fantastic and amazing THE MARY WALLOPERS play Kentish Town Forum on Saturday 13th May The following day is HOTHOUSE FLOWERS at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on the 14th. With the demise of the 4 piece Wolfe Tones and the inevitable split into two bands and while both offer a great night out we can’t recommend DEREK WARFIELD AND THE YOUNG WOLFE TONES enough. Power, passion and history with their charismatic leader. Playing the 229 on Great Portland Street on Friday 2nd June. FLOOK at the Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith on June 10th. The marvellous CROCK OF BONES play the Crouch End Festival on Sunday 9th July. American Folk-Country-Doombilly band the HEATHEN APOSTLES play The Lexington in Kings Cross on Wednesday 19th July. The founders of Alt-Country THE LONG RYDERS are coming back to these shores this month with a full Europe and UK tour. The postponed MR. IRISH BASTARD UK tour is back on and during November they will be heading to Brixton (22nd), Southampton, Bridgwater, Manchester and Edinburgh. Can’t wait!

LONDON IRISH RFC are on the verge of their best finish in the league in over a decade and can make the Play-Offs if their great form continues. Join the London Celtic Punks and support the lads! Tickets and details.

All money we raise from our merch we put back into the Celtic-Punk scene so if you like what we do then you can support us by checking out our online store and buying something. Just this month we helped get Bryan McPherson over from Boston, Mass. to play a few gigs on these shores. All the merch we sold at the gigs went directly to Bryan but we are back to square 1 again so please check out the site. The Harp’n’Bones design is back in all sizes and also on black or white shirts. Also we have the last few remaining polo shirts, nifty woolly hats and Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer shirts that we need to get rid of. Click the link below for the full range of all our other tatt. Shirts, badges, stickers, flags, CD’s and fridge magnets – all the discerning Celtic-Punk fan could ever need! Help keep Punk Celtic!

Facebook is rubbish and I can’t wait to see it go broke and a return to the era of paper flyers and fanzines. It has a stranglehold on all forms of expression that is far from healthy. If you are thinking of leaving and still want to keep up with us you can do via the London Celtic Punks group on the phone app Telegram. Similar to What’s App but completely free from outside interference. Join us on Telegram, don’t miss a single post and even receive the odd exclusive and special offer!

Some new London Celtic Punks merch. The LCP ‘Tricolour Skull’ mug is back after a couple of years. Available for a tenner in the UK (£20 EU) with free badge / coaster/ sticker.  I nearly fell over when I found out its £20 to post to the States but there you go if you desperately want one it’s £30! The ‘Celtic Punks’ metal badge is selling well only a handful left and available for just £5 – UK and £7 – EU post-paid and we’ll throw in a few stickers and a button badge too. For further overseas contact us and we’ll work it out. Also if you want to add more merch from the store above contact us. It helps us out if you buy from Paypal (friends & family) for these items to 

Even though we hate it Facebook does supply the (very) occasional ray of sunshine so a shout out to some good friends of ours over on Facebook. The Dropkick Murphys – Fan Page and the Celtic Punk,  Folk And Rock Fans are two of the best music forums on FB let alone Celtic-Punk. Ran By Fans For Fans just like you and me. Like and join in the fun!

With the sad demise of The Celtic Punkcast over there in Oz we have thrown in our lot with the good folks over at MacSlon’s Irish Pub Radio. Check them out for all the best in Celtic-Punk, Irish Folk and Rock. They also have just about the biggest selection of shirts and hoodys and all sorts of other gear over at the shop.

Back in time to my youth when things were much simpler and everything especially music and football were much better and before the inspirational WOLFE TONES split into two different bands. Here’s their sublime ballad celebrating the 1st of May.

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EP REVIEW: SABAUDIA MOB – Sabaudia Mob (2023)

Celtic-Punk Rock – Made in Savoy in the Western Alps. The debut release from Sabaudia Mob.

A new band from France this three track EP was released into the Celtic-Punk world with little to non fanfare at the end of March and only came to our attention by pure luck. Not a great deal of information on the band is available so feel free to check them out yourselves at the links below. The self titled EP begins with the famous trad Irish instrumental ‘The Morrison Jig’. The song is named after the Sligo-born, Irish-American fiddler James Morrison, who recorded it in the 1930s. Tom Carmody, who played accordion in Morrison’s band, tells this story of its origin

(You can stream or buy Sabaudia Mob via the Bandcamp app below)

In the olden days of cassettes I suppose this EP would have been labelled a ‘demo’ and as such is a great way to announce the band to the world. At 7 to download for three songs it is perhaps a little (!) ambitious to charge so much but it’s well worth a listen and a look forward to what they have planned for the future.

Get Sabaudia Mob  Bandcamp

Contact Sabaudia Mob  Facebook




Everybody wants to be JOHNNY CASH!

This collection of Johnny Cash inspired contemporaries throbs with the man in black’s very particular brand of swagger and soul. Featuring contributions from the likes of underappreciated Rockabilly, Country and Honky Tonk, it’s a wild, irresistible musical ride, full of Cash-tastic rhythms and attitude. 

A perfect way to describe Country music legend Johnny Cash is that he was a force of nature – part rocker, part rebel, part gospel crusader – and his influence was as immediate as it was profound. Just as early Country hero Hank Williams inspired an army of sound-alikes, so too did the Man in Black. Today as part of our Classic Album Review series we present this collection of Johnny Cash inspired contemporaries that comes with a free download for you to hear it in all it’s glory. The album throbs with swagger and soul and features contributions from eighteen legends of their own time but now sadly slipping from the public consciousness. The likes of underappreciated West Coast rockabilly Bobby Wayne, Honky Tonk colossus Sleepy LaBeef, Hillbilly Country star Durwood Daly and Oklahoman Melvin Nash. It’s a wild, irresistible musical ride, full of Cash-tastic rhythms and attitude.

Songwriter. Six-string strummer. Storyteller. Country boy. Rock star. Folk hero. Preacher. Poet. Drug addict. Rebel. Saint AND sinner. Victim. Survivor. Home wrecker. Husband. Father. Son. and more…

The album was released in 2017 on the German label Trailer Park records and then later the same year on the US label Southern Routes. It came with a gate fold sleeve and was limited to 500 copies which have long sold out. You may still find it but good luck getting at a reasonable price. it was created thanks to an idea from Mark Lee Allen, a meticulous British vinyl collector, Rockabilly expert, author and musician, living in the USA since the early 2000’s, who along with Bob Perry also produced it. Liner notes were contributed by Mack Stevens,  Johnny Sea and Avery Powell.

Track Listing

Bobby Wayne – Big Train
Jim Nesbitt – Working All My Life
Johnny Doe – Devil Train
Johnny Sea – My Baby Walks All Over Me
The Tar Heal Drifters – Long Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man
Bill Compton – Iron Man
Ernie Barton – The Battle Of Earl K. Long
Durwood Daly – That’s The Way It Goes
Wes Buchanan – Only Fools
Wayne Cross – Stranger In Black
Sammy Julian – Lead Guitar Man
Travis Pritchett – Whipping Tree
Melvin Nash – True Lovin’ Woman
Wayne Calvert – Southbound Train
Johnny Nelmes – Mr. Freight Train
Curtis And The Melody Cowboys – Mr. Blue
Sleepy LaBeef – Ridin’ Fence
Circle K Wranglers – The Cash Song


You can ‘watch’ the album via this You Tube playlist but beware a small handful of songs have been deleted for some reason.

for more like this…

ALBUM REVIEW: THE GO SET – The Warriors Beneath Us (2023)

The seventh full-length album from Victoria-based Celtic-Punk band The Go Set. The release follows on from their London Celtic Punks voted #1 double-EP ‘Of Bright Futures’ ‘…and Broken Pasts’ from 2020.

The existence of London Celtic Punks is down to two bands, Flatfoot 56 and The Go Set. Playing in quick succession back in 2007 they both played here in London at the famous Hope And Anchor pub in north London and received a pittance for their troubles. Their was obviously a market for Celtic-Punk in the city where it started and a bunch of us at the gigs thought we could do a better job at putting these bands on than those whose only purpose was to make money out of them. So sixteen years later we are still doing it and we’re happy to say we have put on both The Go Set and Flatfoot 56 in the years since and look forward to again at anytime!

Twenty years is quite the landmark for any band but not many still have the power and energy that they started out with. Formed back in 2003 in Geelong, a port city in the southeastern Australian state of  Victoria by lead singer-songwriter and guitarist, Justin Keenan, and bass guitarist, Mark Moran. The Go Set have gone on to record eight studio albums and have done extensive tours of Australia, Europe, the UK, New Zealand, Japan and the United States. As Justin states

“We have done it the hard way. I don’t know a band that has slept on as many floors as we have. We have done 1500 shows and played in 27 or 28 different countries, and you are always building from scratch every night when you do that.”

The album kick’s off with the insanely good ‘West Into The Sun’ which was also the album’s first single to be come out. A story of the British navy press gangs that took young men from the streets and villages to fight in foreign wars. Recruitment was hard as everyone knew the conditions on board ship were terrible at the best of times and especially at times of war so the solution was the press gang. A group of 10-12 men would roam the streets searching for ‘volunteers’. Men were knocked unconscious or threatened with violence to coerce them into joining the fleet. From the first bars and the magnificent sound of Lachlan’s pipes you know you’re in for something special. ‘Take Me Home’ follows and whereas the opening song demonstrates their Celtic-Punk side here you hear something different. It’s still unmistakably Go Set but their influences are varied and always make for an interesting ride. On ‘Horizons’ Justin sings a true story of change and of a young couple leaving their country town. The Go Set don’t mind being one of the more serious bands in the Celtic-Punk and although they are not adverse to a song about drinking they always leave you with a lot more than just a hangover. ‘Opportunities’ was inspired by a chat between Justin’s 21-year-old son and his grandad and then it’s the albums BIG song ‘The Warriors Beneath Us’.

“It is about those long-forgotten people of long-ago conflicts who gave their lives to build the things that are part of our lives today. History helps us understand the present and have a more enlightened perspective on the future.”

The second single to come out and and the title tracks from the album their is just something about Australian Celtic-Punk that resonates with people. They just seem to capture the spirit of the past and the beauty of the present.

“They are living in the streets, of the cities and the towns 
They are the long forgotten breeze, they are the long forgotten sound 
They are our fury and our fight, they are never stepping down 
They are rising up inside us from the bones deep underground”

‘Drink To The Night’ starts off with the murmur of a bar and Justin gently sings about much more than just drinking and about the solidarity and camaraderie you find in a bar and in the friends you make there. The next two songs, ‘Raise Your Hands’ and ‘Broken Bones And Hearts’, take us on a road trip about the realities of a Rock’n’Roll life and the sacrifices that have to be made… and be grateful these guys and others do.

“All those shows we have done around the world, being away from those you love, that can be really hard on everyone. Broken Bones and Hearts is about lost time, the strain on friendships, relationships, while you are pursuing this way of life.”

The Go Set have always championed the working classes and their struggles. It helps I suppose that they are from the class they sing about unlike some soft handed radicals who these days have thrown in the towel and adopted liberal identity politics. ‘We Got The Numbers’ is about the power and importance of being in a trade union, inspired by Aussie dockers rising up to protest the sale of Australian iron to Japan before World War II. Don’t think there’s a better Celtic-Punk band out there for this kind of song. It was looking up previous appearances on this site of The Go Set I saw something I hadn’t remembered I’d written. Basically I wrote that even though (or maybe it’s because?) I’m an auld Punk rocker and love the rowdier side of Celtic-Punk when it comes to The Go Set I actually like their slower stuff the best. This only made sense to me when I heard the next track ‘Tomorrow’. Without doubt for me the finest song here. A beautiful ballad about the hopelessness of war and the bravery and tragic deaths of young men many miles from their homes that brings a chill to the bone.

Justin’s has Irish and Scottish heritage through grandparents on both sides and like many of us grew up hearing traditional Folk music at home. Where once we would rebel against the olden’s music by getting into Punk their was a point where we realised their wasn’t much between them. Certainly in England in the Punk years the most rebellious (and dangerous!) thing you could do was go to a Wolfe Tones gig. With us nearing the end ‘Gallows Bay’ is a folk tale dedicated to Scottish resistance. Naturally the pipes are loud on this one and the curtain comes down on the album with its only cover a fantastic spirited version of one of The Pogues most under rated songs ‘Sunnyside Of The Street’. Recorded in one take it’s a brilliant way to end things with a song that most Pogues fanatics would agree is one of their best.

Sounding as good as the first day they set foot on a stage The Go Set continue to squeeze out the sparks from where Rock’n’Roll collides with Celtic Folk. Big guitars, big beats, irresistible choruses and important words and message for us all the while retaining the timeless spirit of the band’s Celtic roots. The final word here I will leave with Justin who sums up the appeal of Celtic-Punk perfectly.

“It always interests me that a kid from Germany or the Czech Republic can connect with our music as deeply as anyone else. There is something primal and invigorating about it that appeals across borders.”

Buy The Warriors Beneath Us

Contact The Go-Set  WebSite  Facebook  Twitter  YouTube 

(Go Set founder Justin Keenan caught up with Paul Cashmere of recently for a informative interview below that is well worth checking out)


The new single from The Bad Rats, a six piece Celtic Punk band from Cannock in the West Midlands. They play their own original material as well as classic Irish Folk songs in their own Punk Rock style!

A band that will be new to audiences down here in London The Bad Rats have in fact been going since 2009. They have suffered in common with many a Celtic-Punk band several line up changes over the years and did in fact even pack it all in for a short time. They released a handful of tracks including their brilliant debut album ‘Broke’ back in 2013. They are back now with a stable line up and even managed to get into the recording studio. ‘The Ship Is Sinking’ is the follow up to their previous single from last year ‘Drink It Up’Over the last fourteen years The Bad Rats have performed all over the UK alongside bands such as Skinny Lister, UK Subs, The Anti-Nowhere League and The Wurzels and we are looking at getting them to play that there London town sometime.

“As with pretty much all of our songs, they are mostly about drinking alcohol and this one is no exception. Written by Leigh Bucknall, this is the song that is credited to getting the Bad Rats back together after a year break… Leigh demoed a number of new songs during the lock down and sent them to the other guys. They were that good, that it wasn’t long before the lads were back in the studio rehearsing and recording.”

All we need is a bottler of Tequila, 
So we can dance our troubles away, 
We go down swinging, 
the ship is fucking sinking 
And we’ve been drinking since yesterday

You say I don’t need a drink to be a fuckin asshole, 
Well hey brother I learned that from you, 
We’ll go down to hell, 
I’m gonna give it you Satan,  
I’m about ready to pay my dues
We got whiskey and vodka and all kinds of Lager, 
Rum and Tequila and Guinness and more, Shandy and Brandy, 
I love em all the same, and when I get to hell I’m gonna drink a little more
All we need is a bottle of tequila so we can dance our troubles away, 
We’ll go down swinging, 
this ship is still sinking and we’ll keep drinking for ever and a day

Get The Ship Is Sinking  Spotify

Contact The Bad Rats  Facebook  Bandcamp  YouTube


Boston-born folk-punk singer Bryan McPherson sings dusty, dirty and downtrodden songs about the people living in between the cracks and crevices.

Bryan arrives in these shores in the next few days and don’t miss this opportunity to see one of our favourite artists live. Here we present a retrospect of his career to date with selected songs and albums.

Bryan McPherson has never let go of his desire to be vulnerable with his listeners. Wedgewood (released in 2015) is an angry record, a searing criticism of the American government fueled by the Occupy movement and filled with a passionate impulse to burn the whole damn thing to the ground. Yet the album opens with “Born on a Highway,” a plaintive heart-on-your-sleeve ballad where Bryan acknowledges the transience of life and affirms to be “a willing participant of an incredible dream.” Even amid incredible disillusionment, he seems to be saying there is hope for tomorrow.

Bryan grew up in Dorchester, a working-class neighbourhood in Boston, where crime was high and music venues were nonexistent. Armed with a guitar and an opinionated mind, he began writing songs as adversarial as they were melodic. With nowhere to perform, Bryan headed to upper-class Cambridge, where his edgy, plain-spokenness contrasted wildly from the more flowery, contemplative singer-songwriters. He stuck out like a sore thumb and audiences  didn’t know how to feel about him. But one thing was clear. Bryan fell in love with the directness of folk music.

In 2006, the anti-folk scene was bubbling up in New York. Bryan admired the lively experimentation and how musicians were challenging the norms of conventional songwriting. But their overall sarcastic presentation didn’t jive with his intense sincerity. He wanted more than to get a rise out of people; he wanted to be heard. A year later, back in Boston, he found a music scene that appreciated his aggressively tender style of folk music: the punk scene.

(Kelly Thomas was a mentally ill, homeless man beaten to death by the police in Fullerton, California. The police were found “Not Guilty”, despite having the obvious crime on video and audio. Kelly can be heard pleading for his last breaths and screaming out that he was sorry.)

“I came across the shocking audio and video of one of the most obvious cases of police brutality and murder I have ever seen. I wrote this song. I worked on it the following day and recorded it in the hut this morning and afternoon. It’s the least I can do in telling this story. You can listen below. Rest in peace Kelly Thomas.”

In Boston, it was just Bryan, his guitar, and whatever happened to be on his mind at the time. He was known to jump on dive bar tabletops and rouse the patrons from their drunken half-slumber with a deafening tenor and some seriously pissed-off political lyrics. The punks were starting to notice. Locally revered street punks The Ducky Boys and Celtic Punks The Dropkick Murphys became fans. Local producer Hendrik Gideonse wanted to produce him. The resulting album, Bryan’s raw debut Fourteen Stories, was released in 2007. Suddenly people were showing up at the dive bars to see him play.

​Rather than bask in his growing local popularity, Bryan moved west, landing in Berkeley, California. It had been a few years since Fourteen Stories, and he was sitting on a batch of powerful new songs that resembled a manifesto for a better country. The world was currently experiencing festering unrest that would soon coalesce into the Occupy movement. Bryan began recording during this climate. On the opening track he sang, “if there’s one thing I know, the god that I know, knows no creed, no class, no nation.” While recording American Boy, American Girl (released 2012), the Occupy movement exploded. Fed-up Americans were echoing much of what he sang about on the album.

Equipped with some solid songs and running on a season of protesting, Bryan hit the road, ready to confront the public with meaningful performance. One night in Pasadena, the audience walked out just a few minutes into his set. The bartender turned up the house music while he was still playing. No one was interested in his meaningful performance. Undeterred, he joined the crowd outside and sang in their faces while they smoked cigarettes and chatted about their dead-end jobs. No matter where they looked, he was there, singing his punk-gospel melodies, winning them over with vulnerability and persistent, patient confrontation. From then on, Bryan would often get up and sing at people to shake them out of their ruts. Audiences frequently thanked him after shows for forcing them to be present. When it came time to work on Wedgewood, he thought back to his many hours with Occupy Oakland and the anger he was witnessing across the country. Fury mixed with a deep longing to fix systemic problems inspired his songwriting. Wedgewood was the result, capturing the moment’s rage and foretelling the coming polarising times that would soon overtake US politics.

Help Bryan out on tour by buying a new ‘2 Birds’ t-shirt. All sizes from Small to XXLarge available. Will be posted out asap.

After the ferocity of Wedgewood, Bryan felt like he needed to take a step back. Anger was negatively impacting his relationships and sense of well-being. He started conceiving his next album, How To Draw Everything, using songs he’d put on the back burner because they were too sensitive and didn’t fit tonally on previous albums. But that project was sidetracked when Bryan decided to take a look back at his life. He re-recorded a batch of old songs from 2001 off of an old demo—the first he’d ever written. These personal portraits revealed an image of a frustrated young man struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, trying to find his identity in a world that didn’t understand him. Now almost two decades sober, Bryan wanted to share the beautiful struggle found in these songs. He titled the album Kings Corner (2019), which was named after the street corner he and his friends hung out on, growing up. 

Afterward, he returned to How To Draw Everything, but with a plan to make it sound brilliant. He enlisted notable producer Ted Hutt, who has worked with Flogging Molly, Gaslight Anthem, The Violent Femmes, and won a Grammy in 2015 for his work on Old Crow Medicine Show’s Remedy. However, at this point tensions in the country had worsened. Everyone hated each other. Bryan felt more determined than ever not to contribute to the “Us vs. Them” attitude that overtook the nation. In 2020 he wrote the 15-minute-long song “American Dream,” which chronicles his years on the road, visiting every corner of the country and meeting good people wherever he went. It’s an optimistic song, much like 2012’s “No creed, No class, No nation,” which insists that good outweighs the bad no matter how imperfect the country is, and there is power in recognising our similarities.

In the Spring of 2021, after a long, grueling year of ironing out arrangements during lockdown, Bryan hit the studio with Ted and an all-star cast of top-notch musicians, including ex-Dropkick Murphys’ Marc Orrell, Dustbowl Revival’s drummer Josh Heffernan, remarkable violinist Chris Murphy, who has worked with everyone from the Waterboys to Mike Watt. In addition to the powerful “American Dream,” he recorded several emotive tracks. “Lightning Lullaby” is a unifying anthem that speaks to the power of music in connecting people during times of struggle. “Sweet Kari” is a gentle folk song about finding peace after moving on from lost love. “Alameda Street” captures the excitement and confusion of running around LA, trying to figure out what to do with your life, and what lies deep in your heart. 

How To Draw Everything isn’t just Bryan’s latest record; it’s a whole new beginning for him as an artist. On the meditative “2 Birds,” he muses, “There’s something about the sky that makes me grateful to be alive.” From the perspective of age comes a spiritual death of what was, and in its place, a re-discovering of peace, country, and self are found. Hope finally outweighs despair and can be reclaimed, like a child wondering at the seeds of a dandelion. Bryan defies us to admit hope was there all along.


Words can’t describe how happy we are to be able to put on BRYAN McPHERSON. Eight years on from his first and only visit to these shores it’s been a long time coming. Born and raised on the mean streets of Dorchester, a blue collar working-class Irish-American Catholic neighbourhood in Boston, that was also home to half the members of the original Dropkick Murphys. He was inspired at a young age by the raw energy and angst of Punk Rock, as well as the lyrically driven American folk songs of the early 1960’s. His first performances were street corners, house parties, and subway stations in Boston’s inner city. In 2001 he burst onto the acoustic music scene, he has played the length and breadth of North America and was recently spotted opening up for the Dropkick Murphys’ at their famed St. Patrick’s shows in Boston. This is passionate, acoustic-punk from the heart. Street life, politics, addiction and moments of beauty, anguish, clarity and dissent litter the alleys of McPherson’s songs. Recently he was awarded the #1 Folk/ Roots Album Of 2022 on the London Celtic Punks web-zine. The words are as honest as they are urgent…every second counts!
He is supported on both nights by the London Irish Punk Folker – Anto Morra. A staple of the London Irish music community sightings of Anto have been restricted die to the lockdown but pleased to have him trod the boards for us again with his extra special brand of Punk-Folk.
Bryan is playing two nights for us the first at The Bird’s Nest. One of the great last standing live venues in SE London and one of the best. Located at 32 Deptford Church Street, Lewisham, London SE8 4RZ. close to New Cross and New Cross Gate tube stations so easily accessible from across London.
The following night sees them take the stage at The Lamb, 73 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NF. Ph. No. 020 8390 9229. Just a couple of minutes walk from Surbiton station only 20 odd minutes from London by train and walking distance from Kingston it promises to be a fantastic night.
Entry for both shows is free but their will be a whip round (as you can imagine getting here from the States as a DIY musician isn’t cheap) and every single penny from London Celtic Punks merchandise on the night will go directly into Bryan’s pocket.

ALBUM REVIEW: THE KILMAINE SAINTS – Same Again Tomorrow (2023)

Same Again Tomorrow is the new full length album from Kilmaine Saints. Featuring thirteen songs of high energy Celtic Rock and Punk, this album is a statement from a band taking their sound to the next level.

It’s been an incredible six years since The Kilmaine Saints released their last studio album Whiskey Blues & Faded Tattoos. I say incredible as it doesn’t seem that long at all especially as they are a band that have never been far from my play list at home ever since I heard their brilliantly titled 2010 debut album The Good The Plaid And The Ugly, complete with tartan cover. Same Again Tomorrow is their fourth full original album and seventh release overall. Easily one of the better known Celtic-Punk bands outside the ‘big guns’ they have played hundreds and hundreds of shows across the States at pubs and festivals from New Jersey to California, several critically acclaimed releases,especially here at London Celtic Punks, national and international airplay and an ever-expanding and extremely loyal fan base, it’s no wonder even those outside the Celtic-Punk world are starting to take notice.

The Kilmaine Saints was the brainchild of two members of Harrisburg Pipe & Drum band and like many a devious Irishmen before them they were formed with the idea of playing a solitary St. Patrick’s day gig and after playing and taking the free beer on offer and a fair amount of beer tokens the guys realised their could be more to it with the help of fellow members from the pipe band and other notable musicians from the area, they realised the locals were crying out for a band full of Irish swagger, Scottish pride, and whiskey. Since 2009 they have entertained with blistering, high-energy live sets that have their fans singing along, stomping their feet, lifting their pints and shouting for more.

The album kicks off with ‘Fanfare’ and unsurprisingly for guys who met playing bagpipes the pipes are to the fore from the very first bars. It’s very much what to expect from The Kilmaine Saints. Powerful Irish based Folk music complete with pipes and mandolin and intelligent clever and often witty lyrics. The opener is pure instrumental magic that the guys now open their live sets with while the next is title track ‘Same Again Tomorrow’ and Brendan Powers distinctive vocals lead the song through a tale of a bar that many of us call home. ‘Siobhan’ is a fast rocker of a song. Fiddle led and with great lyrics about a feisty and fiery Irish-American lass that Erich said about writing it

“When this song comes on the jukebox I want all the women to jump out of their seats and all the men to cross their legs.”

You can always find a few interesting covers on a Saints album and no exception here with The Animals ‘House Of The Rising Sun’. The kind of song you’ll know even if you think you don’t it’s had a few covers over the years but here it’s played fast and reverential and no doubt it’s a fear crowd pleaser. Completely going back on what I said earlier they did in fact release a mini album of acoustic versions of older songs back in 2020 called Off The Wagon – Acoustic Sessions and that featured a couple of new songs which appears here, ‘Off The Wagon’. The tune flits from Disney favourite to Irish jig and back in just over two minutes and is typical Kilmaine Saints. These guys can write a serious song and have done many times but its the love of a good time that dominates and their sense of humour shines through here. ‘McGowan’s Wake’ also appeared on Acoustic Sessions and carries on the humour but in a bitter sweet tribute to the Godfather of Celtic-Punk that imagines Shane asking the Kilmaine Saints to pay their wake when he finally leaves this mortal coil. It’s an incredibly moving and beautiful song and if Shane is reading this then their is no better band to do it.

‘Throwin’ Hands’ is pure Celtic-Punk heaven with bagpipes, fiddle and mandolin leading in a song about honour and respect and never walking away without giving it all your all. The sounds of a bar and bodhrán light up the start of ‘The Plight’ in a catchy humorous number about the plight of the drinking class as Oscar Wilde would have said. While the ‘new’ Irish middle class pour (!) scorn on the drinking culture of the poor I dare say you need a drink a lot more if you been working outside in all conditions or in a factory than if you been leaning over a computer. ‘Nomad’ is another fast upbeat number while the guys give us a history lesson of Irish-America in ‘Rally ‘Round The Flag’. Now as i already may have hinted I love bloody love a good drinking song but bands like this really tell their history well.

“They sent us to the big war 

To remind us what we’re fighting for 

In the wood the call the Rogue Bouquet our blood it stained the ground 

The screams of death were all around 

Souls were lost and never found 

Entombed in peace for eternity within the trench they held their ground”

The song is about the famed Fighting 69th Regiment formed in New York City initially as a State Militia unit. It served with distinction in every major campaign since the Civil War. Facing them in battle, Gen. Robert E. Lee was responsible for giving them their nickname when he referred to them as “That Fighting Sixty-Ninth.” Brendan says

“I loved the reference to their bravery during the Civil War, and loved the use of their battle cry.  I wanted to add more to their story. I referenced a poem called the Rogue Bouquet by Joyce Kilmer.  Sadly he was killed during the battle of Rogue Bouquet Wood during WWI.  His Poem was read during the funeral of the fallen soldiers in France.”

As I’ve often said a great Celtic-Punk album needs a couple of things. Drinking songs, emigration songs and a nice bit of trad are some of them and a good ballad is also one of them and ‘State I’m In’ is it. The song is twelve years old and Brendan had written the lyrics without a tune in mind and then for Same Again Tomorrow it just came together as a real team effort. A beautifully sad song about love and loss and again absolute classic Kilmaine Saints that could be my favourite here. Nearly time for the curtain call and ‘Undivided’ is an anthem for all of us that are sick of divisiveness. Too many people are focused on what makes of different and when will we realise we have way more in common than not. A great song that leads us into the 13th track and as we came in we go out with an outstanding instrumental. ‘The Blood Of Cu Chulainn’ is utterly fantastic tune and Gary’s fiddle leads us out magnificently.

(The opening hour long set from The Kilmaine Saints at Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe Pennsylvanian on March 11th 2023)

A brilliant album from the Kilmaine Saints that comes as no surprise to me in that everything they have ever released is brilliant too! Most of the recording process was done in the DIY style, utilising home studios (drums were recorded at The Kaleidoscope in Lancaster, PA) and guitarist Erich led production and mixing while the final mixes were mastered by Mike Monsour at Axis Audio- Nashville, TN. Their sound combines the usual elements of what we like here at London Celtic Punks – traditional Celtic music with Punk and harder edged rock, but not many in the Celtic-Puink do it as well as The Kilmaine Saints do. Many bands songs are based on the same formula of fast-paced energetic instrumentation with powerful vocals but The Kilmaine Saints just do it better than the vast majority.

Buy Same Again Tomorrow (Pre-Release. Out April14th) FromThe Band

At current rates you would have to listen to Same Again Tomorrow 513 times for them to earn $20 from Spotify. It’s cool to bash Spotify, but while their pay structure is questionable, they spread the bands music to a huge audience they wouldn’t reach otherwise. So keep streaming, but if you want to support The Kilmaine Saints and other artists you love, buy their directly from the band when possible.

Contact The Kilmaine Saints  WebSite  Facebook  Bandcamp  YouTube  Instagram


Three piece power Rockabilly trio with a heavy Punk edge and Celtic influences from Southern California.

Hailing from Los Angeles, California The Rocketz may be a surprising addition to these pages but being someone who grew up listening to hi Mammy playing the Dubliners and Elvis and so I always had a soft spot for R’n’R, a soft spot that has grown and grown over the years. To be honest I hadn’t heard of The Rocketz till yer man Tony sent over this single for us to check out. After listening to it and deciing I loved them I looked them up and found out they had only just visited these shores and I had missed them! They blend Rockabilly with Rock’n’Roll with more a small dose of Punk Rock attitude. Fronted and founded by the always animated, always passionate, throaty, raspy vocals of front man, Tony ‘Slash’ Red-Horse with his son Anthony Drinkwater on drums. The trio sometimes becomes more and sometimes less but they are sustained by the live performance and in common with bands within the Celtic-Punk scene their studio recordings do not, can not capture their magic.

Straying a bit away from their usual fare The Rocketz new single is a beauty. Rock’n’Roll mashed up with Celtic music. A long time ago the term Shamrockabilly was invented, I think, by the fellow US band Craic Haus. They have appeared on these pages in the past and just like The Rocketz I missed them when they played in England and they consist of a father and son! ‘I’ll See You Again Someday’ is a cracking song of self discovery. You need to be happy yourself before you can make someone else happy. It was written by Tony Red-Horse and fellow Celtic accessories Danny and Dylan Oberbeck of Craic Haus helped out on tin whistle, banjo and mandolin with backing vocals from David Irish and Aaron Martinez (Moonlight Trio/ Abby Girl and The Real Deal)

Recorded at Pot Of Gold studios by David Irish * Artwork- Nick Feratu

Pack up my bags, I’m out on my own, leavin the Lass and my happy home
Where I end up, I just don’t know but I’ll see you again someday!
I might take a bus, I might take a train, walk in the sun or the pouring rain
Where I end up, I just cant say but I’ll see you again someday!
Oh! Don’t hang your head for me, Oh! There’s a whole world waiting for me!
Don’t worry, Lass, I’ll see you again someday!
I’m just a man who needs to find his way, so I can make you happy someday
When that time comes, I just can’t say, but I’ll see you again someday!
I’ll sail on the seas gonna hunt for pearls, take my time, I’m going to see the world
When I’m done I’ll return to you, Girl, and I’ll see you again someday!
Oh! Don’t hang your head for me, Oh! There’s a whole world waiting for me!
Don’t worry, Lass, I’ll see you again someday!

Get I’ll See You Again Someday

The Rocketz  Facebook  WebSite  Instagram

ALBUM REVIEW: FIRKIN – Spice It Up! (2023)

Hungarian Celtic-Punk legends and trailblazers Firkin release their seventh studio album.

Pretty much a year to the day when their last single came out Firkin have released their new album Spice It Up! Moving on from the, amicable, loss of singer Andy to be replaced by a good friend of the band for many years Ákos. Not be the first time Firkin have changed singers but the spirit of the band outlasts any individual members and a whole new era began with the aptly named single ‘Still Alive’.

One of the most prominent and internationally well known European Celtic-Punk bands Firkin formed in 2008 in the Hungarian capital of Budapest by expert flutist PJ. Since then they have put out dozens of releases and toured pretty much every inch of Europe, including playing a stunning one-off show, that we’ll never forget, in London on New Years Eve 2015. Now on their third vocalist after Barna left in 2014 and then Andy they have risen to the challenge using the change in personal to their advantage. With more than 700 concerts in 17 countries they have had gold albums, been nominated for a Hungarian Grammy Award, their song ‘Focimese’ became the official song of the Hungarian football team for the 2016 UEFA Championships and these are just a small selection of highlights in their illustrious career. With Covid closing down the music industry for a couple of years it’s taken some bands a while to get back on their feet but Firkin have constantly looked to the future and currently they are working on a symphonic orchestral production as well as a full length children’s theatre due to premier next year. 

So time to review Firkins new album, their seventh. Released on St. Patrick’s day just gone and the album begins with the superb and catchy ‘The Drunken Angels’ Club’ and the guys don’t just deliver a great opener but a very clever one about an unsuspecting bar and a message that you don’t need alcohol or drugs as a solution to the problems of life.

“Little did I know, One day the innocent cherub, Would end up in, The Angels’ Club”

The album has twelve songs of which four are covers beginning with the next three and a tremendous Celtic-Punk re-interpretation of the sea shanty ‘Santiana’. The song dates from at least the 1850’s and is inspired it is thought by events during the Mexican–American War. This is followed by ‘Donald MacGillavry’. Now some trad Folk songs are ripe for beefing up a bit with electric guitars and drums and this is one of them. Keltikon released a great version a few years back which I’m sure helped put the song on a few bands radars. Firkin’s trademark flute gets the song moving and Ákos voice is strong as well as his accent! A song that links the Scottish and Irish Folk traditions. This is followed by another cover and ‘Step It Out Mary’ is an old traditional Irish song about a beautiful girl called Mary whose father is one day asked by a wealthy countryman for her hand in marriage. She was promised all the gold and silver she could ever want and a wedding date was set. Mary though was not interested and at around midnight on the day of her wedding she was found dead drowned with her lover in a nearby stream.

‘Still Alive’ came out April last year and announced Ákos arrival in the band and a fresh start for Firkin.  The video would garner six international film awards, including Best Music Video at the London Independent Film Awards and six other nominations. They speed it right up for ‘Ticktack’ and here the undercurrent of Metal is very obvious but at all times it never overpowers Firkin’s music. That they can play relatively heavy music while remaining totally accessible it some achievement. PJ gets to show off his considerable talent next in the amazing ‘Haiku’. An instrumental of modern day Irish Folk with drums clashing and drums crashing. Again its heavy background is disguised just enough to make you not realise you’re banging your head along to it! They slow it down for ‘How We Love’ an acoustic number where Ákos vocals shine accompanied by plaintive fiddle and acoustic guitar. The first single released to announce the imminent arrival of the album was ‘For A Life’. A song where you can sense the relief at the end of the pandemic and a chance of a fresh start. The excellent video was supported by the Hungarian National Cultural Fund and directed, photographed and edited by Köge.

We are nearing the end and the last of the covers is ‘Finnegan’s Wake’, a raucous Irish-American song which tells of a hod-carrier named Tim Finnegan, who was born “with a love for the liquor” who falls from a ladder and breaks his skull and is thought to be dead until he is revived at his wake meaning whiskey was the cause of both his death and resurrection! The song was first published in New York in 1864 and perhaps is best known as a staple of both the Dropkick Murphys and the Dubliners although it’s never been quite played like this with a smoky backroom jazzy opening before it erupts into the song so beloved by many. ‘Stir It Up!’ is a lively Irish rocker and pretty standard Firkin while the curtain comes down on Spice It Up! with ‘The Boys Are On The Loose’ and there’s an old Hungarian saying ”Only the Donkey drinks alone!”. A fantastic Celtic-Punk anthem to see us out. Fast and furious and one to beat up the floor to that includes the line that many of us utter to ourselves “Ooo, I’ll never drink again… Only this weekend”.

A great album and a great return to form for Firkin and demonstrates Ákos has slotted in perfectly. For those new to the Celtic-Punk scene it may surprise some that Hungary is pretty damn famous for it’s Celtic-Punk. The scene there is one of the best in Europe and it’s my ambition to get over there and sample some of it live. It’s no shock that all the bands in the scene pay homage to Firkin for their inspiration and help and with their incredible work ethic it surely won’t be long before they achieve international glory. 

Get Spice It Up!  GoldRecords

Contact Firkin  WebSite  Facebook   YouTube  Instagram


The new 3-track single from Czech Republican Celtic-Punkers Foggy Dude takes one of their earliest numbers and turns it into a mini concept album. Needless to say it is up to their usual fantastic quality.

Blessed with possibly the best name in Celtic-Punk Foggy Dude formed in the Summer of 2017 in the Czech Republic capital of Prague. Their earliest days saw gigging round the local student and Punk at mainly the Vagon Rock club, 007 club Strahov and, what would become their spiritual home, the Block 10 Pub. A few years later they may no longer be students but they can still be found hanging around the pubs of Strahov. The original eight piece slimmed down to seven when their singer left but they decided not to replace him and now share vocal duties among the band. A very novel and commendable approach. They have become one of the busiest bands in the scene with it always seeming they have released something new and along with their always interesting and fun videos Foggy Dude have become one of the bands in the scene to watch.

Foggy Dude from left to right : Petr – Drums * Štofi – Electric Guitar * Max – Bass * Joe – Acoustic Guitar * Cába – Mandolin * Jirka – Accordion / Tin-Whistle * Ilia – Violin *

The EP kicks off with ‘Fight Pit’. It’s actually one of the bands oldest songs but this is the first time it’s been recorded it in a studio. It first appeared on the bands live Pub 10 EP in 2020. The story is very simple – fighting in a pit for your life, and re-enacted below on video with stickmen! Deciding that their was a story to be told here the guys have written a mini-concept album and wrote two more songs to continue the story. Basically one story in three parts / songs.

Get in the fight pit 
Fight for your life kid 
Bring in your cleaver 
Take down the deceiver 
Sweat blood pride death 
Fight or loose yourself

Slow down your heart 
Keep in your breath 
Bring down your knees 
Dodge the blow from the left! 

Get from the floor 
Pick up your head 
Focus once more 
Fight is not over yet 

Opponents wait 
No time to waste 
Fetch on your fate 
Get on with your move 

The left flank is free
Hit him with the knee
Pull down his head
Finish him break his neck
The bastard won’t die
He still crawls around
Grab on his blade
Shove it down to his throat
Blood covers the floor
He sinks to the ground
The crowd cheers out loud
You’ll live another day
Celebrating five years together as a band they wanted to do something special and it is certainly a novel idea. Taking an old song and adding something new to it. All three songs on the EP use similar harmony, same type of instrumentals and the way the lyrics are written is also the same yet manages to be three distinct songs, that can be played just on their own or together. The saga continues with ‘Fight’s Not Over’ and in the pit, our hero rises to glory until he meets his match and an unlikely friendship forms amidst of a brutal death and life fight. They decide that rather than fight they will escape together in a classic Folk-Punk tune.

Finally we reach the end of the saga and the third and final track is, appropriately, ‘End Of Fight’. The two protagonists find a home in a land of ales. You saw them fight for their life in the pit, their rise to glory and then their escape from the clutches of oppressors. They decide to remain in their new home and drink beer forever and give the saga a (very!) happy ending.

Recorded by Kryštof Skřipec * Mixed and mastered by Kryštof Skřipec * Produced by Foggy Dude *  Camera by Lukáš Nesvadba * Artwork by Drunken Joe *

Stream it on Spotify

Contact Foggy Dude


The debut album from New York’s The O’Maolegain Rake.  Oi-rish? Working Class Celtic? Sloughter Ska? Folk Punk? Whatever…

Written, played, recorded, mixed, mastered and produced by a soul individual.

O’Maolegain, a “celtified” surname derived from half-historical, half fictitious origins and the term “Rake”, used in a historical context, is a term short for “rakehell”. A man who was habituated to immoral conduct, wasting his fortune on gambling, drink, women and song.

Bejaysus their is some talent knocking around in the Celtic-Punk scene and while this isn’t the first solo album / one man band we have featured here it is most definitely one of the best and technically able. After many years playing different genres in many different bands Mad Dr. Scotty B., otherwise known as The O’Maolegain Rake, has put his considerable talents to good use and made an album that encompasses everything that passes for modern day Celtic-Punk. From trad Irish to plain auld Folk to fast and furious Punk Rock it’s all here and a bit more too.

Unsurprisingly Scott has played in several bands over the years playing several genres and so whether he’s playing Folk, Rock, Punk or a combination of all three his experience and expertise shines thorough. The album begins in traditional form with ‘Calling All Celts’ an emotional bagpipe led instrumental lament that feels like a real call to arms. This is followed by another (almost) instrumental ‘Craic For The Masses’ and a  conglomerate of Celtic Bluegrass Punk and what have you. The song is meant to inspire the freedom to let yourself go at gigs. As Scott says in the album notes “If you didn’t come here to enjoy yourself, why expect others to do it for you?”.

Title track ‘The O’Maolegain Rake’ is next and slows it down with a tale of regrets while ‘Johnny 2-Pints’ tells of a wee poor unfortunate who couldn’t hold his beer.

“One pint for Ireland and one pint for me, Two pints is all it takes to be drunk as can be”

Time for something serious and a real slice of history in ‘Auld Gallows Road’ in a tribute to James Halligan and Dominic Daley, accused, tried, convicted and hanged for a crime they had nothing to do with. Their only guilt being Irish Catholic immigrants in a land of intolerance. A beautiful song followed by some more Irish history and the album mentions piracy and the sea several times beginning with a suitably rowdy a cappela ‘Anne Bonny’ about the exploits of the infamous 18th century female Cork born Irish pirate. The theme continues with ‘Maggies Mutineers’ and the sound of seagulls that soon rages off into proper auld Celtic-Punk territory with the ship being used as a metaphor for something else I get the feeling Scott wants to get off his chest! ‘Paddy McLaughlin’ tells of the canal barge that use to sail up and down the Erie canal. A place where the souls and bodies of untold amount of Irishmen perished building. It was said the death rate was so high that the digging of graves was almost as big a job as digging the canal.

“It could hold six tons of old shotguns, Seven tons of cotton so pure,
An eight-ton crate of building freight, And nine tons of bourbon liqueur”

I’ve been friends with Scott on Facebook for quite a few years now and enjoy his commentary on life. In fact its very similar to this album with a mix of humour, history and level headed common sense politics. The catchy foot-tapper Celtic-Ska ‘Anthem’ is him explaining it’s time to stand up and say enough is enough. We’re back to some oral history now with the ballad ‘A Song For Jane McCrea’. Jane was killed in July, 1777 in Fort Edward, New York by an Indian serving in the British Army expedition during the American Revolutionary War. Her death aroused anti-British feeling and helped sway opinion and stir action in the colonies toward independence. The last of the shanties with ‘The Sea And I (The Mariner Pt. 1)’ giving an idea of what being a sailor might have been like in the olden days. This is ….to be continued. Only a couple of songs left and ‘Huntersland Road’ a very strong folky acoustic instrumental  that leads into the awesome last track, the appropriately named and beautiful ‘Last Round’.

“So pour out my last round when I am gone, Raise your voice strong in song and sing along, And fertilise the ground with my last round”.

The O’Maollegain Rake left to right : Rakish O’Maolegain – Acoustic guitars * Rover O’Maolegain – Banjo * Ramble O’Maolegain – Mandolin * Rebel O’Maolegain – Irish Bouzouki * Rollie O’Maolegain – Bodhran * Reeds O’Maolegain – Pipes * Riot O’Maolegain – Bass * Ruín O’Maolegain – Electric Guitar * Rage O’Maolegain – Drums * Reject O’Maolegain – Face Noises *

Several of the songs here last five and six minutes but the beauty is that they don’t seem so long. In fact I was quite surprised when I looked it up as I had no idea! Scott seems unsure of what to call this is it Oi-rish? Working Class Celtic? Sloughter Ska? Folk Punk? but to me it sounds like good auld Celtic-Punk. The best Celtic-Punk always has a few influences chucked in sometimes they are expected and sometimes not and coupled with his always interesting lyrics and strong vocals and musicianship this is an album that any band would be proud to have put out.

(Stream / download It Had To Be Done via the Bandcamp player)

Download It Had To Be Done  Bandcamp

Contact Scott on Facebook  The O’Maolegain Rake Facebook


The year is flying by and as usual March was a fantastic month for Celtic-Punk fans. Some big hitters released their first albums in ages and here’s your chance to catch up with some of them and the others in this month’s Odds’n’Sods. All the news fit to print on what’s going in our wonderful Celtic-Punk world. From the scene’s bands big and small, established or just starting out it’s all in here!

We start this month with one of my favourite Celtic-Punk bands. The new single from ‘Yorkshire Banjo Punks’ SHANGHAI TREASON is The Lighthouse and is taken from the bands upcoming second album.

THE RUMJACKS newly released video of ‘Tell Me What Happened’ off their Hestia album. Shot and edited by Mike in Reggies, Chicago.

THE TOSSERS have a new album out and it’s imaginatively called The Tossers… A mix of auld songs, some interesting and unusual covers and a smattering of some effing brilliant new songs including this the opening track. True heirs to Shane MacGowan’s legacy.

THE LONGEST JOHNS are a Bristol based, acapella folk music band, born out of a mutual love of trad folk songs and shanties. They rock maritime songs alongside the more unusual and less traditional folk tunes. Here’s the lead single from their new &-track EP.

The reb’s are sung loud and proud in NYC with THE IRISH MUTTS giving it plenty live down at the Bungalow Bar last week in Rockaway Beach, NY.

Dutch band MAGGIE’S FLOCK released a great new single dedicated to St. Patrick’s which we somehow missed for the last Odds’n’Sods but here it is!

SELFISH MURPHY formed in 2011 in Transylvania, Romania and until then Celtic / Irish Punk-Rock was unheard there. These folks are real trailblazers! In 2016 the band re-located to Budapest in Hungary where i’m hoping to see them soon!

London Irish Folk and Americana band FOLLOW THE CROWS released ‘Don’t Mind The Rain’ at the beginning of March and accompanied it with a rather good video too.

Bit of a slog at over three hours long but watch the official live stream as the New York Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment once again leads the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade as it marches down midtown Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in New York.

THE GO SET – The Warriors Beneath Us

THE LEVELLERS – Together All The Way


FLOGGING MOLLY ‘Til The Anarchy’s Restored (EP)

THE TOSSERS – The Tossers

UNCLE BARD AND THE DIRTY BASTARDS – These Are The Days – Live In France

CRUACHAN The Living And The Dead

LANKUM – False Lankum


DAOIRI FARRELL – The Wedding Above In Glencree

THE KILMAINE SAINTS – Same Again Tomorrow

THE MUCKERS have started a kickstarter to help fund their next album. You’re invited to help out this amazing band by donating to get the ball rolling! They are offering all sorts of limited-release bonuses to folks who help fund their trip to the studio.

THE KILMAINE SAINTS have a new album Same Again Tomorrow out on April 14th. Six years on from Whiskey Blues And Faded Tattoos it’s their fourth studio album We’ll be on it as soon as it comes out as we bloody love them!

One of the best new bands around are FOGGY DUDE from the Czech Republic. They make great videos and brilliant music and even better for us all is that all their music is available for free download on the Bandzone site here

Our good friend CALLUM HOUSTON – Made in Bretagne. Inspired in Ireland – has just released a seven track mini album of acoustic alternative Folk Rock. Accompanied by his friend and regular contributor Alban Bauduin. Pub Poetry is available for download.

THE HEATHEN APOSTLES have a new single out and also announced a whole bunch of live dates for the UK.  ‘Gothic Western Haunt’ is from an episode of the animated series “The Goodbye Family”, which made the Top 10 animated series list of 2022 from Vulture magazine.

“This is our newest labor of love: “Green Willow”. Sea shanties, war chants, wassail songs, songs of the sea, and even an Irish-rock rebel tune. Enjoy, eh!!”

So went the announcement for THE DREADNOUGHTS new download album Green Willow. Head straight to song 5 for the best version of ‘The Foggy Dew’ I’ve heard in an age!

Rising Of The Doom the 3rd full length studio album from NYC’s the TEMPLARS OF DOOM has been released this week on vinyl but is also available for download.

We’ve been doing this now for nearly 10 years and in that time we have covered 100’s of bands and musicians but still plenty of bands have passed us by. We can’t see everything after all so this column is to remind us of bands that never made these pages at the time but deserve another mention. These hopefully come with a free download like today so you can help yourself to some free music. Today is the turn of American Celtic-Folk-Punk band BOGTROTTERS UNION from Nevada. A variety of old and popular Celtic tunes reorganized by the band including an amazing version of the Wolfe Tones ‘A Song Of The Celts’.

Totally out of the blue we found out that THE YOUNG DUBLINERS are hitting London at The Hootananny in Brixton on Wednesday 5th April supported by rowdy London Irish Folk-Punks ARSE CRAIC. Saturday 8th April sees THE MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG live at the Powerhaus. THE LAGAN of-shoot SUCKIN’ DIESEL are playing The Lamb in Surbiton (see below for directions) on Thursday 13th April. Great venue that’s always free entry. With the demise of the 4 piece Wolfe Tones and the inevitable split into two bands and while both offer a great night out we can’t recommend DEREK WARFIELD AND THE YOUNG WOLFE TONES enough. Power, passion and history with their charismatic leader. Playing the 229 on Great Portland Street on Friday 2nd June. American Folk-Country-Doombilly band the HEATHEN APOSTLES play The Lexington in Kings Cross on Wednesday 19th July. The founders of Alt-Country THE LONG RYDERS are coming back to these shores with a full Europe and UK tour.


Words can’t describe how happy we are to be able to put on BRYAN McPHERSON. Eight years on from his first and only visit to these shores it’s been a long time coming. Born and raised on the mean streets of Dorchester, a blue collar working-class Irish-American Catholic neighbourhood in Boston, that was also home to half the members of the original Dropkick Murphys. He was inspired at a young age by the raw energy and angst of Punk Rock, as well as the lyrically driven American folk songs of the early 1960’s. His first performances were street corners, house parties, and subway stations in Boston’s inner city. In 2001 he burst onto the acoustic music scene, he has played the length and breadth of North America and was recently spotted opening up for the Dropkick Murphys’ at their famed St. Patrick’s shows in Boston. This is passionate, acoustic-punk from the heart. Street life, politics, addiction and moments of beauty, anguish, clarity and dissent litter the alleys of McPherson’s songs. Recently he was awarded the #1 Folk/ Roots Album Of 2022 on the London Celtic Punks web-zine. The words are as honest as they are urgent…every second counts!
He is supported on both nights by the London Irish Punk Folker – Anto Morra. A staple of the London Irish music community sightings of Anto have been restricted die to the lockdown but pleased to have him trod the boards for us again with his extra special brand of Punk-Folk.
Bryan is playing two nights for us the first at The Bird’s Nest. One of the great last standing live venues in SE London and one of the best. Located at 32 Deptford Church Street, Lewisham, London SE8 4RZ. close to New Cross and New Cross Gate tube stations so easily accessible from across London.
The following night sees them take the stage at The Lamb, 73 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NF. Ph. No. 020 8390 9229. Just a couple of minutes walk from Surbiton station only 20 odd minutes from London by train and walking distance from Kingston it promises to be a fantastic night.

Entry for both shows is free but their will be a whip round (as you can imagine getting here from the States as a DIY musician isn’t cheap) and every single penny from London Celtic Punks merchandise on the night will go directly into Bryan’s pocket.

Our gig last month with The Whipjacks was a great success and great fun but now we are broke again! All money we raise from our merch we put back into the Celtic-Punk scene so if you like what we do then you can support us by checking out our online store and buying something. The Harp’n’Bones design is back in all sizes and also on black or white shirts. Also we have the last few remaining polo shirts, nifty woolly hats and Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer shirts that we need to get rid of. Click the link below for the full range of all our other tatt. Shirts, badges, stickers, flags, CD’s and fridge magnets – all the discerning Celtic-Punk fan could ever need! Help keep Punk Celtic!

Facebook is rubbish and I can’t wait to see it go broke and a return to the era of paper flyers and fanzines. It has a stranglehold on all forms of expression that is far from healthy. If you are thinking of leaving and still want to keep up with us you can do via the London Celtic Punks group on the phone app Telegram. Similar to What’s App but completely free from outside interference. Join us on Telegram, don’t miss a single post and even receive the odd exclusive and special offer!

The response to the new London Celtic Punks badge has been amazing. Not surprising really as they are just about the nicest bit of merchandise in Celtic-Punk if you ask me! Comes with butterfly clip and made in Ireland (Guaranteed Irish!) available for just £5 – UK and £7 – EU post-paid and we’ll throw in a few stickers and a button badge too. For further overseas contact us and we’ll work it out. Send to Paypal (friends & family) to

Even though we hate it Facebook does supply the (very) occasional ray of sunshine so a shout out to some good friends of ours over on Facebook. The Dropkick Murphys – Fan Page and the Celtic Punk,  Folk And Rock Fans are two of the best music forums on FB let alone Celtic-Punk. Ran By Fans For Fans just like you and me. Like and join in the fun!

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EP REVIEW: GREEN ASHES – Cannery Row (2023)

Drawing from the ashes of their ancestors and modern music alike, Los Angeles based Green Ashes new EP Cannery Row is original Folk-Rock music for fighters and lovers.

We only recently found out about Green Ashes when we featured them as our ‘Blast From The Past’ on last months Odds’n’Sods – Celtic Punk Round Up. The feature is usually reserved for releases that we missed first time round and the bands are usually long split up so I was a bit surprised to find out after downloading Sean, the bands five track follow up to their 2011 debut album .​.​.​And You’ll Put Your Boats To Sea that they were very much still together even if it was a whole decade between Sean and this months release of Cannery Row. 

Green Ashes are based in Los Angeles, California and have for over a decade been entertaining LA’s Irish community with high energy Irish Folk and Celtic Rock. Clearly influenced by homegrown musical forms including Bluegrass and Americana they are famous for turning up one night with acoustic guitars, mandolins, banjos and upright basses and then the next night everything is turned up to 11 with Stratocasters and Fender Twins blazing.

Green Ashes left to right : Mark Serridge – Bass * Jeff Zemina – Banjo / Guitar / Vocals * Patrick Murphy – Vocals / Guitars * Rich Silva – Drums * Samantha Rawlings – Violin / Vocals *

One of the hardest working bands in Los Angeles they’ve played pubs, cafes, weddings, special events, ancient cruise ships and have become regulars on many of California’s Irish music festivals.  Playing St. Patrick’s Day at the Irish Times venue in Culver City for over 10 years and CBS News even called Green Ashes gig at Irish Times “one of the best bets for live music on St Patrick’s Day”.

So their first release since Sean sees Green Ashes make a subtle yet significant move away from traditional Irish music to a truly authentic sound. The EP which had been delayed thanks to the Covid pandemic is named after the place the band played their first gig in Redondo Beach in 2009. Cannery Row consists of three originals and a fiery take on a traditional Irish rebel song that begins with ‘Forevermore’. The first thing that struck me was the vocals and how typically Irish-American they sound. I’m looking forward to seeing the Young Dubliners here in London soon and Patrick Murphy’s raspy definitely is reminiscent of Keith Roberts in the afore mentioned band.The music is mostly acoustic and has a certain grit despite being polished (nut not over produced). The recording is excellent with the fiddle out front but not dominating. ‘Just One’ is more upbeat and the obligatory drinking song is a right foot tapper. With Country influences sneaking in and name checks for the lovely Tullamore Dew ans the even lovelier Pogues tucked inside. ‘Roses’ is the last of the originals here and a sweet ballad with lilting fiddle and a swirling sound that gives emphasis to Patrick’s vocals. The EP ends with probably the best Irish rebel song to be given the Celtic-Punk treatment. Their really is no rival. An upbeat war tune with a classic singalong chorus and a song that is designed to only be sung while waving your fist in the air. ‘Come Out You Black And Tans’ has been around fro decades now and perfectly sums up the War Of Independence to free Ireland in 1919-1921. Great to hear some new material from Green Ashes and that their sound has been allowed to develop in a different direction from what was expected.

(You can stream / download Cannery Row via the Bandcamp player below)

Buy Cannery Row  Bandcamp

Contact Green Ashes  WebSite  Facebook  YouTube


The PoguestrA are back for the first time since the Summer with a song close to the hearts of the London Irish community especially. ‘London You’re A Lady’ one of the highlights of The Pogues fourth studio album Peace And Love. 
The PoguestrA are a group of musicians united by a love of The Pogues playing together remotely. Listen on as they continue their quest to cover all our favourite Pogues songs!
It was thought by most reviewers and indeed most fans too I suspect that the album overall was disappointing compared to their three previous masterpieces. It is unfair to compare to those albums as time would tell and many of these songs would become both firm fan and live favourites. I think though that no song on the album resonated with their huge London Irish following as ‘London You’re A Lady’.

Phil further recalled in an interview on

“The band was going through a very volatile period at the time, people were having domestic issues; Darryl and I witnessed the Hillsborough Disaster” – in which where 94 people were crushed to death at a football match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in April 1989 – “and it has to be said that Shane – indeed, the whole band – was in better shape when we recorded the demos than when we cut the album. By then, disillusion, not to mention various drug cocktails, had set in.”

Peace And Love was released on 23 July 1989, and reached a very respectable #5 in the UK charts, eventually going gold. We leave the last word to the sadly missed Philip Chevron.

“In the event, I think Steve was trying to make a record as much for our record companies as for The Pogues. In an ideal world, these are not incompatible goals, as If I Should Fall From Grace previously proved, but I think this one collapsed under the weight of expectation as much as it suffered from our own flawed humanity. Yet, amazingly, it’s still a great album, however flawed. Besides, what else was there that month – the new Rick Astley?”

Ah, London, you’re a ladyLaid out before my eyesYour golden heart as pulsingBetween your scarred up thighs
Your eyes are full of sadnessRed buses skirt your hemYour head-dress is a ring of lightsBut I would not follow them
Your architects were madmenAnd your builders sane but drunkBut amidst your fading jewelsShine acid house and punk
You are a scarlet lady
Your streets run red with bloodOh, my darling they have used youAnd covered you with mud
It was deep down in your womb my love
I drank my quart of sinWhile Chinamen played cards and draughtsAnd knocked back Mickey Finns
Your blood is like a river
Its scent is beer and ginYour hell is in the summerAnd you blossom in the spring
September is your purgatory
Christmas is your heavenWhen the stinking streets of summerAre washed away by rain
At the dark end of a lonely streetThat’s where you lose your pain‘Tis then your eyes light up my loveAnd sparkle once again
Musicians: Daniel Al-Ayoubi: Mandolin (Germany); Juan Brown: Tin Whistle, Vocals (Shetland Islands); Brandon Caylor: Mando-Guitar (California); Giacomo Chiaramonte: BanjoBass (Italy); “Virginia” Bill Francavilla: Mountain Dulcimer (Virginia, USA); ChrisGoddard: Fiddle (England); MattGoddard: Drums (England); Mark Hamilton: Guitar (Canada); Robin Hiermer: Vocals (Germany); Marc Hoper: Vocals (Germany)/Jeff Ingarfield: Vocals (England); Sean Larkin: Harmonica (England); Dave Keating: Mandolin (Chicago, Illinois, USA); Heather Macleod: Harp (Isle of Arran); Mattia Malusardi: Bouzouki (Italy); Vince Martini: Bass (California); Rick Nuttall: Vocals (England); Moisés Álvarez Rodríguez: Ukulele, Fiddle (Spain); Greg Roe: Irish Bouzouki (Santa Cruz, California); Daniele Rubertelli: Accordion, Vocals (Italy); Marcel van Bergen:Guitar (The Netherlands); Paddy Vervoort: Vocals (The Netherlands).
Audio and video editing by Marc Hoper. Released on St. Patrick’s Day 2023.

If you are interested in joining the PoguestrA for future songs then get in touch with the gang viaYouTube orFacebook

You can hear more about the recording of ‘London You’re A Lady’ and The PoguestrA over at Toooaloo Radio where they just released an interview with Marc Hoper of An Spiorad, Whiskerlad and The PoguestrA chatting about such stuff!

EP REVIEW: THE MIGHTY McGUIGGANS – Every Day Is Almost St. Paddy’s Day (2023)

Mighty McGuiggans Fort Wayne, Indiana combine lively Irish fun with original compositions and some well trod covers.
Gritty, real and beautiful, like a single malt scotch or a fine stout. Raucous drinking songs, beautiful ballads, hilarious songs that tell a story and some pirate tunes to boot!

We were delighted to hear from American Irish Celtic-Punk band The Mighty McGuiggans in the run up to St. Patrick’s Day. They had a new release coming out and thought we would like to review it? Well we never say no so checked through the internet and soon found a whole host of live clips from several recent live shows that fair blew our socks off. With a live set that brings in some classic Celtic-Punk from scene favourites Flogging Molly, The PoguesDropkick Murphys, etc. alongside their own material they have seen their popularity grow at home and now hopefully with their debut EP fans will arrive from further afield. So with St. Patrick’s Day 2023 now just a drunken haze its time to look forward to next years… and remember next year it’s a Saturday!

The Mighty McGuiggans left to right : Jesse Evans – Whistles / Melodica / Backing Vocals * David Coleman – Drums * John DeGroff – Bass * Shawn Browning – Electric Guitar / Acoustic Guitar /  Backing Vocals / Lead Vocals * Tommy Myers (front lower) – Accordion / Mandolin / Whistles /  Backing Vocals * Mark Turney – Lead Vocals / Ukulele *

While it was London Irish psycho-ceilidh rockers Neck who said that “every day is St. Patrick’s day” The Mighty McGuiggans proclaim “Every day is almost St. Paddy’s Day!” with us all having something just around the corner to look forward to! At the centre of The Mighty McGuiggans’ sound is songwriter, and possibly the only Celtic-Punk frontman to play ukulele, Mark Turney. He has led the band for over a decade and instrumental in evolving the bands sound from acoustic-based Irish Folk to a full-blown electric Celtic-Rock band. He has been accompanied since the earliest days by multi-instrumentalist Tommy Myers, Jesse Evans who plays assorted wind instruments adding much of the ‘Irishness’ with his knowledge of reels and jigs, John DeGroff on bass, David Coleman on drums and guitarist and singer Shawn Browning, as Mark so eloquently puts it, “Shawn adds the balls to the band.”

The EP opens with ‘Boys Have Gone The Knuckle’ and though the version above differs considerably from the one on the disc it’s still a decent version which shows what a great live show they deliver. With samples from the likes of JFK, the war-monger George Bush, the class clown Don Lemon among radio ads and static the song erupts into fast, catchy Irish Folk-Rock. Almost entirely acoustic its great fun altogether with a sound that reminds me a little of Swedes Finnegan’s Hell. Next up the fellas ‘pirate’ it up with ‘Pass Around The Rum’ not so fast but just as catchy and a nice touch with the ‘Swallowtail Jig’ in the middle.

The first song to be released from the EP was the triumphant ‘The Day I Beat McKluskey’ back at the end of January. A raucous Irish romp telling the tale of a bully getting their just deserts with a real funny twist at the ends that made me howl with laughter. A catchy as hell chorus that by the end of the first time you hear it you’re singing along with!

“It’s a drop of the pure for courage, & it’s Sláinte one & all!
I hit the bully on the nose, & made the bully fall.
The day I beat McKluskey, I could hold me head up high;
It’s a day that I’ll remember well until the day I die.”

Among all the mad as hell Celtic-Punk I hear I love a ballad. To be a world class Celtic-Punk band you need to be able to crank out a decent ballad (and also give it some trad. Irish too) and ‘Devil’s Drink’ is a wonderful song with a touch of darkness like a really good pint of Stout. The EP ends with the EP’s title song ‘Every Day Is Almost St. Patrick’s Day’ another belter of a song that ends the release with a smile.

“Every day is almost St. Paddy’s Day;
It’s really not so far away,
So let’s raise a pint, and keep sorrow at bay!
Every day is almost St. Paddy’s Day!”

The Mighty McGuiggans are a fantastic addition to the American Celtic-Punk scene with everything that makes the scene over there so good. A mix of story telling and uplifting good time music to leave your sorrows at home and simply have a great time. This EP concentrates on their fun side and their is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

(You can stream / download the Every Day Is Almost St. Paddy’s Day EP via the Bandcamp player below)

Download Every Day Is Almost St. Paddy’s Day  Bandcamp

Contact The Mighty McGuiggans  Facebook  YouTube   ReverbNation


German Celtic-Punkers The Feelgood McLouds are back with a new single – Back In Life – means not just back in life but back on stage, in the clubs, in the backstage rooms and the cramped tour bus together dancing and partying. The world is sad enough so escape with The Feelgood McLouds into their wild Celtic-Punk world for a short while. 

After two successful albums and an EP, with thousands sold and millions of streams, after more than 150 concerts at home and abroad, the Feelgood McLouds are back on the road again. Mixing Irish Celtic traditional’s with raucous Punk-Rock sing-a-longs. Sometimes with a edge, sometimes with a good dose of humour, sometimes against thirst but always with a catchy tune. Since 2015, the six Saarlanders have been touring Germany and other European countries with the aim of placing messages in the often monotonous world of Irish Punk-Rock. Anyone can write about ́s singing, dancing and drinking but to connect this at the same time with the serious, the not-good, the bad, the hatred, war, oppression without being too pointy finger hectoring is what distinguishes The Feelgood McLouds from most bands in the scene. With imminent news due soon that will please fans remember their line:

“we don ́t care who you love – as long as you love someone from the bottom of your heart!”.

The Feelgood McLouds from left to right : Ben - Guitar * Schirra - Bass * Benni - Banjo / Accordion * Günther - Vocals * Woll - Accordion / Flute / Bagpipes * Matze - Drums *

Producer and Editor: Christian Schneider

Back in town again we wanna make you sing along 
Back on stage again come on help us sing this song 
The world is bad enough and tomorrow’s time to cry 
Tonight is the night there’s no need to wonder why 
Hey, Hey, Hey …sing along 
Ohhh, suffered for so long 
Time to leave behind and try to get along
Ohhh, too many tears were cried
Too many laments sung and too many last hoorays for far too many died 
Back in life again, all sorrows left behind 
Back in love with life to forget the daily grind 
The world is bad enough and tomorrow’s time to cry 
Tonight is the night there’s no need to wonder why 
Back, Back, Back, Back in life

Download Back in Life

Contact The Feelgood McLouds  WebSite  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube


St. Patrick’s Day Blessing On You

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

(ban-ock-tee na fay-lah paw-rig ur-iv)

Ireland has three official patron saints. They are Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and Saint Colmcille yet it has always been Saint Patrick that has captured the Irish people’s imagination. Born in Wales (or possibly Scotland) when he was fourteen he was captured during a slave raiding party and taken to Ireland as a to herd and tend sheep. At the time, Ireland was a land of Druids and pagans but in his adopted country Patrick turned to God and would write later

“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”

Patrick’s captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain and he was reunited with his family. A few years after returning home, Patrick saw a vision he described in his memoir

“I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: ‘The Voice of the Irish.’ As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea-and they cried out, as with one voice: ‘We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”

The vision prompted his studies for the priesthood. He studied under St. Germanus and was ordained a bishop and sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. Patrick arrived in Slane, Ireland on March 25, 433. There are several legends about what happened next, with the most prominent claiming he met the chieftain of one of the druid tribes, who tried to kill him. After an intervention from God, Patrick was able to convert the chieftain and preach the Gospel throughout Ireland. There, he converted many people -eventually thousands – and he began building churches across the country. He often used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity and entire kingdoms were eventually converted to Christianity after hearing Patrick’s message. Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, travelling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461. He died at Saul, where he had built the first Irish church and he is believed to be buried in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick.

For our annual St. Patrick’s Day post we feature a Celtic-Punk band that we love and recommend you listen to and today it is the turn of The Pikeys. Sixty odd minutes of full on Irish Celtic Rock’n’Roll recorded live on January 14, 2023 at the 10th Annual Irishpalooza at Harlow’s in the guy’s home town of Sacramento. Formed back in 2010 by Ben and Mike after listening to Ronnie Drew and Black Flag through the bottom of a whiskey bottle. They sing about going to war with the English, murder and drinking, traditional Irish songs about drinking, war with the English and murder, unexpected covers about murder, drinking and war with the English and even some acapella sing-a-longs about murder, war and drinking with the English. The Pikeys were born of Punk Rock and Irish whiskey.

Since this concert after thirteen years at the helm Mike sadly decided to leave the band. Carrying on The Pikeys without their friend didn’t seem right so the Bhoys decided the best thing to do would be to change their name and they are now known as The Pint Thieves. Don’t worry though it’s the same songs about drinking, war with the English and murder!

The Pint Thieves  WebSite  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

“No enemy speaks slightingly of Irish Music, and no friend need fear to boast of it. It is without a rival Its antique war-tunes, such as those of O’Byrne, O’Donnell, MacAlistrum and Brian Boru, stream and crash upon the ear like the warriors of a hundred glens meeting; and you are borne with them to battle, and they and you charge and struggle amid cries and battle-axes and stinging arrows.”

Thomas Davis. 14 October 1814 – 16 September 1845


Not even full-scale Russian invasion can stop Celtic-Punk!. Check out the absolutely brilliant new Celtic-Punk release from O’Hamsters out of war torn Kyiv. 

O’Hamsters are back. Perhaps surprisingly considering that their country is the middle of a war having been invaded. Fresh from last years fantastic album From Green Hills to Raging Sea. An album that would feature in the London Celtic Punks Top 30 albums of 2022. Songs about Ireland, women, alcohol, football hooligans, pirates and genitalia, reflections on the war and the brotherhood and unity of the Celtic-Punk scene all play out on this great album. You can stream or download the album for just $7 with all money raised going to HMV.UA – the team of volunteers headed by the band’s friend Alex Sedov helping the army of Ukraine.

We chatted briefly to Anton from O’Hamsters (their is no ‘The’) who said the track grew out of a rehearsal jam and all it took was about fifteen minutes. At first, at first it wasn’t even considered worthy enough to be included on From Green Hills To Raging Sea but time is a great healer and now the guys reckon it’s one of the best songs they’ve ever written… and they are not wrong! The final part of the track is a stoner riff – quite atypical for O’Hamsters.

The plot of the song is based on a real incident that happened in a soviet forced labour camp in the 1950’s. Three prisoners escape from a prison located in the desert, they walk for miles and miles through the desert without food and water and then two of the fugitives turn on the third and decide to kill him with the aim to drink his blood. However, when they kill their accomplice, his blood immediately coagulates due to the heat, dehydration and hunger and so the murder turns out to be meaningless. In a real-life case that took place in what is now Kazakhstan, two fugitives who were experienced criminals stabbed a Ukrainian accomplice to death, even though he had promised them that they would find a water source very soon. The killers then reached the source just a few minutes later. In addition to frontman Anton’s voice you can also hear the vocals of the well-known Eugene Tymchyk from Ukrainian bands Septa and The Nietzsche. O’Hamsters were looking for someone to record this track for a very long time, and Eugene helped us a lot, and asked to send their gratitude to him via our pages.

O’Hamsters from left to right: Anton Skvortsov – Vocals / Acoustic Guitar * Ruslan Viter (down) – Guitars * Andriy Ganzevych (up) – Mandolin / Tin-Whistle * Volodymyr Mazur – Accordion * Denys Zhukowsky – Drums * Maksym Sokolov – Bass *

As for our plans – they’re kinda blurry right now because of russian invasion and war which tends to exterminate any plans at all; the only thing that helps musicians and bands to do anything in Ukraine is the bravery of out Armed Forces. We’re having a Saint Patrick’s Day gig in Kyiv in a couple of weeks, that’s all we know now.

We would also ask you to help Ukraine to defeat russian invasion and support Ukraine

Contact O’Hamsters  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube  Bandcamp


The best Celtic-Punk bands in Italy are heavily influenced by Trad-Irish-Folk and Bards From Yesterday are one of the best around at the moment. With such an authentic sound Ireland’s homegrown bands are green with envy!

With the release of their debut EP (EP)Demia in 2021 Bards from Yesterday stormed onto the international Celtic music scene. Heading straight to the top of the Folk/Trad Best Of chart for 2021 London Celtic Punk have been waiting impatiently for the follow up ever since. The new single from the five young talented musicians from northern Italy who  make up the Italian Celtic-Rock band Bards From Yesterday is ‘The Muddy Road To Axa Briga’ and these guys just love Irish music!

Bards From Yesterday from right to left: Mattia Gavin – Guitar / Vocals * Geppo Mastria – Bass * Luis Vásquez Vargas – Wooden Flute * Giovanni Davoli – Uilleann Pipes / Tin Whistle * Glauco Guala – Drums / Concertina *

The track is a set composed of three tunes with the first jig ‘The Road To Axa Briga’, the second ‘Dancing In The Mud’ and the last jig called ‘Raindrops Jig’. All three of the tunes are composed by Giovanni Davoli and arranged by the band themselves. The inspiration for the set came from one of their gigs at Axa Briga Festival in Northern Italy. At that time one of the members was working for a TV show and had the chance to ‘borrow’ (ahem!) one of the production’s tour buses to get to the gig. When the band arrived everything was fine, they sound checked, helped themselves to a few drinks and some food and then got on stage to play. Three songs in and an almighty storm kicked off. Rather than spoil the night as you would imagine the gig actually got even better. The crowd and band ended up covered in mud as well as every single cable, microphone and instrument… and the bus! While the rest of the band had no option except to clean the instruments and then the bus Giovanni the piper just sat drunk on a bench playing some tunes for the ladies and waiting for the last raindrops to fall.

A truly wonderful piece of Irish music and the joyful sound is replicated throughout the video too as Bards From Yesterday can’t conceal their happiness while playing. The video was directed by Lorenzo Testa of the utterly brilliant, and well on their way to be legendary, Uncle Bard And The Dirty Bastards in the small village of Ameno in the Italian region of Piedmont, north east of Turin. Every year the village hosts a great festival of Celtic, Traditional and Folk music. The audio was recorded by Maurizio Cardullo (Folkstone) at Crono’s Studio in Milan and at Bonsai Studio in Brovello Carpugnino by Federico Gibelli. The guys have a full length studio album out later in the month titled Many Miles From Land. Ten mostly original tracks of marvellous, modern day traditional Irish Folk.

Contact Bards Of Yesterday  WebSite  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram


One Islander, one Newfoundlander, two Miramichiers and one party just waiting to happen!

There’s not too many places where Irish culture has left such an indelible mark as Canada’s New Brunswick. Such a place where Celtic music is already thriving throws up another great band and though new to us Raglan Road have already established themselves in the hearts of the provinces Celtic music fraternity. Here they release the first single from their forthcoming new album.

New Brunswick is located on the eastern coast of Canada. It is bordered on one side by Maine in the United States and on the other Quebec and has more than sixty lighthouses would you believe. Don’t be surprised to find a fellow Celtic-Punker if you’re ever visiting as about 42 per cent of New Brunswickers can trace their heritage to Celtic origins. This includes both francophones and anglophones, with ancestors hailing from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany. Those immigrants washed up on Canada’s shores escaping hardships and oppression mainly during An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger) in 19th century. The ‘famine’ of 1847, in particular, drove one of the largest waves of immigration into the province’s history. The undeniable spirit and resilience of the Celtic people allowed them to establish strong roots in their adopted home, and the culture is still alive and thriving today.

Raglan Road from left to right: Corey MacDonald – Drums * Jason Martell – Rhythm Guitar / Vocals * Jamie Craig – Bass / Keyboards / Vocals * Gary Gosse – Lead Guitar / Mandolin / Vocals *

With members from Prince Edward island, Newfoundland and Miramichi city Raglan Road have supported many of the scene’s biggest and favourite bands that have passed through their region and have become one of the most talked about acts in eastern Canada. Starting off as a duo with Jason Martell and Gary Gosse they were joined by Corey MacDonald and Jamie Craig of The Durty Nellys and soon released their thirteen track self titled debut album to much critical acclaim. A winning mixture of Country influenced Celtic-Rock originals and traditional’s as well as a couple more modern Irish rockers.

Rollin’ out on Saturday

The lads just called, they’re on their way

We’re getting’ on the go tonight it seems


No fancy drinks or pricey grub

We’re headin’ down to the Irish Pub

Tonight my dear we’re blowin’ off some steam


We saddled up boy to the bar

The lassie sets a row of jars

Says “What’s your poison?” like she doesn’t know


No wine or shots and nothing pink

There’s only one choice for the drink

The only thing to get us on the go


Pour it black! (Pour it black!)

Pour it black! (Pour it black!)

Ahh from St. James Gate right to my hand

Pour it black! (Pour it black!)

Pour it black! (Pour it black!)

Well a pint of plain is your only man

A pint of plain is your only man


It’s clear this evening won’t be cheap

The boys already six pints deep

And not a sign that they’ll be slowin’ down

Out in the streets they watch the fights

But back inside the band is tight

We might just drink this pub into the ground


Two more hours its getting hazy

MacDonald’s eyes are getting lazy

He always seems to get a second wind

Another round and then one more

I think they wanna lock the door

We might commit all seven deadly sins

(You can stream / download the debut album from Raglan Road via Bandcamp below) 

Contact Raglan Road  Facebook  Twitter


If ever their was a time when we should have a Celtic History Month in schools then March would be it with the patron Saint’s of Cornwall, Wales and Ireland all in the next few weeks. That it will never happen will surprise no one.

Hers is this month’s Odds’n’Sods. All the news fit to print on what’s going in our wonderful Celtic-Punk scene. From the scene’s bands big and small, established or just starting out it’s all in here!

The top two Celtic-Punk bands both have new material out with FLOGGING MOLLY beating the Murphys to the punch with a new EP out ‘Til The Anarchy’s Restored’ which will be available March 10, 2023. As well as the title song it includes two live favourites recorded at Electrical Audio. Buy/stream at

Lots of news from the THE DROPKICK MURPHYS camp this month. They released a new video for ‘Never Git Drunk No More’ featuring Nikki Lane their final music video from This Machine Still Kills Fascists, the Murphys album featuring the lyrics of Woody Guthrie. They also announced last week.

“Keep an eye out for another full length album of DKM/Guthrie tunes…the final instalment of our collaboration…coming this spring”.

Okemah Rising comes out May 12 on CD, LP and on streaming services worldwide. You can pre order CD and vinyl now direct from the DKM web store. For those who order the vinyl, we’re also kicking in a free 7″ recorded live in Nashville. Finally they announced a live stream of their St. Patrick’s Day show from MGM Music Hall Boston. Check in at midnight UK and Ireland time and look up the Facebook event for regional times. 

Ace Canadian Celtic-Punks THE PEELERS released ‘Stick and Move – Spike O’Sullivan’ from their album Down And Out In The City Of Saints. Song written by D. Barton, filmed by The Peelers, Produced by D. Barton with additional footage provided by Terry McMahon from ‘The Prizefighter’.

RAISE YOUR GLASS are a cracking Celtic-Punk band from Brazil. ‘Suck My Pipe’ is the first single from the bands forthcoming third EP.

The full live set from international Celtic-Punk giants THE RUMJACKS recorded live at Wembley Arena on January 21st 2023. We were all there dotted around in different places!

Old school London Punk band DISSENT have a acoustic version of their last single out now. You can tell they are old-school as none of them went to university or have posh accents.

Canada’s THE STAB ROVERS always put out interesting videos evoking glorious visions of the past and ‘Grandma’s Kitchen’ is no different. 

German band TIR NAN OG new single ‘Firestorm’ cam out in mid-Feb to promote a whole load of gigs so check their Facebook page for dates. 

THE WHARF RAT REPUBLIC are a new band from Edmonton in Canada. They played their first ever gig at the end of January and looking forward to doing it all again over St. Patrick’s weekend.

More footage from a new Celtic-Punk band’s first ever gig this time THE TOSHERS from January 2023 at the Wild Rover in Aachen, Germany. Their a new band so hit them up on Facebook and Instagram and let’s get them growing!

SWAINN perform ‘Dark Angel’ live at the Rebel Lounge in Phoenix, Texas on December 23rd 2022.

Not a lot of videos out this month but a fair bit of live footage including HEADSTICKS performing ‘Wishing’ as part of their Almost Acoustic set at Nottingham Rough Trade last month.

All girl French Celtic-Punk rockers TOXIC FROGS new single ‘Go Back Again’ taken from the album My Lucky Own. Video directed by @fatcutproduction and @julienrealeproduction. 

When Iain left The Placks it didn’t take him long to gather some great musicians around him who share his vision of what a Scottish Celtic-Punk band should be and sound like. So it was that THE RAMSTAMPITS started. They just released their second video (starring a great friend of ours!) of the track ‘No Place Like Home’ from their almost sold out ‘Light The Beacon’ EP. It’s not up on You Tube yet but can be viewed on Facebook.

THE POGUES have a new album out! Well not really but a double album titled The Stiff Records B-Sides 1984-1987. A collection of The Pogues non-album B sides from the band’s time on the famed Stiff Records label. This collection will be pressed on vinyl for the first time exclusively for Record Store Day 2023. More details from here

The MISPLACED PUNK SHOW is a new music podcast playing Punk, Ska, Surf and great bands from Bandcamp with a random sprinkling of Celtic-Punk!

THE TOSSERS – The Tossers

FIRKIN – Spice It Up

CARROTTE – Glouton Gluten

RUSSKAJA – Turbo Polka Party

THE PRIVATEER – Kingdom of Exiles

SKALD – Huldufólk

Remember we can’t review it if we don’t hear it!

Psychobilly has a lot in common with Celtic-Punk both take a old genre and inject it with loud and noisy Punk music. Psychobilly is a potent brew of classic Rock’n’Roll and Punk and some of its best bands can be found on Diablo Recoirds. One of these was CELTIC BONES made up of an assortment of Irish and London Irish rockers date from the early 00’s.

Spanish Celtic-Folk band DEIRA have a new album out called Alba and the title track is available for name your price download. 

BEAU JAMES WILDING has a new single out packed with Folk-Punk attitude. The vocals are gritty, earthy and brilliantly dirty. Bringing in Celtic influences and re-imagines them in a head-on collision with a heavy rock backbone. Direct and takes no prisoners.

SHANGHAI TREASON have a new single ‘The Lighthouse’ will be released on, surprise surprise!, on March 17th! Pre-save here 

10 years on from it’s release FEROCIOUS DOG have re-mastered and re-released their debut album as a double CD including their Live At Leeds Academy orchestral set. Release is March 31st and you can order it via now.

THE TOSSERS have a new album out now. A bunch of old songs and Irish Folk favourites set to get the blood pumping! You can hear a preview here at 

We’ve been doing this now for nearly 10 years and in that time we have covered 100’s of bands and musicians but still plenty of bands have passed us by. We can’t see everything after all so this column is to remind us of bands that never made these pages at the time but deserve another mention. These hopefully come with a free download like today so you can help yourself to some free music. Today is the turn of GREEN ASHES who launched into the Los Angeles Irish community in 2009 with one goal: blowing the roof off a pub on St. Patrick’s Day. With depth, range, and brazen musicianship, the band’s music is steeped in raw emotion and runs the gamut from fierce rebel songs to soulful ballads. Drawing on their own Irish-American heritage and diverse musical roots. Following the exit of their lead singer, Sean Lee, this, their second CD was named in honour of their former lead singer.

So slap bang in the middle of the month and a brief respite from Lent is St. Patrick’s and London turns green. Here’s the pick of what’s happening over the weekend. Friday 17th is actually St. Patrick’s Day something that is not always clear from the gig advertisements I see. On St. Patrick’s day we’ll be heading off to see London-Irish psycho ceilidh band NECK doing a couple of sets for free at The World’s End in Camden. Just up the road expect a righteous ruaille buaille from SKIMMINGTON RIDE at the Dublin Castlle. The excellent and great bunch of Folk-Punk folk CROCK OF BONES are at Shortlands Tavern in Bromley. PerKELT play at the Magic Garden,  Battersea Park Road, London, SW11 4LG. Superb Trad band FOUR MEN AND A DOG are playing the 17th and the 18th at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith. The highlight of the day mind is in Amsterdam where FEROCIOUS DOG are playing with cracking Dutch band THE ROYAL SPUDS! The following day sees DAMIEN DEMPSEY at the Electric in Brixton. He has many who try to copy him but there is only one! The BIBLE CODE SUNDAYS are playing several gigs around London the pick of which is Saturday 4pm at the London Irish Centre in Camden alongside the Ireland v England 6 nations game. Not heard a great deal out the CLAN OF CELTS but hopefully this will all change after they announced a headline afternoon gig at The Dublin Castle kicking off at around 2pm. Sunday 19th sees London Irish at home in Brentford in the Premiership Rugby Cup Final, in which they take on Exeter Chiefs. With general admission pricing at £15 for adults and £5 for kids tickets – cup final rugby doesn’t get any cheaper than this! The 25th sees the official end of St. Patrick’s with the annual St. Pats game at London Irish. Always a great day out and with the Bhoys doing better than they have in years the Play-Offs are a good possibility.  

Other non-St Pat’s live news London-Irish Celtic-Punks THE LAGAN have a home game at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston on Saturday 11th March. Tickets have sold out but 30 will be on the door first thing on the night.  Saturday 25th March is STIFF LITTLE FINGERS at the Roundhouse in Camden. Saturday 8th April sees THE MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG at the Powerhaus. With the demise of the 4 piece Wolfe Tones and the inevitable split into two bands and while both offer a great night out we can’t recommend DEREK WARFIELD AND THE YOUNG WOLFE TONES enough. Power, passion and history with the charismatic leader. Playing the 229 on Great Portland Street on Friday 2nd June. American Folk-Country-Doombilly band the HEATHEN APOSTLES play The Lexington in Lings Cross on Wednesday 19th July. The founders of Alt-Country THE LONG RYDERS are coming back to these shores with a full Europe and UK tour.

All the concerts announced by Emerald Events – London last month have been postponed.

Winner of #1 Folk /Trad / Roots 2022 album of the year – Boston born LA based BRYAN McPHERSON is touring the UK and Ireland in April. It is still in the planning stage but he will be playing the London area on April 20 and 21. Thursday 20th he will be at The Bird’s Nest in Deptford with Anto Morra and a t.b.c. and the following day in South-West London venue and supports t.b.c.

Our gig last month with The Whipjacks was a great success and great fun but now we are broke again! All money we raise from the merch we put back into the Celtic-Punk scene so if you like what we do then you can support us by checking out our online store. The Harp’n’Bones design now is back in all sizes and on black or white shirts. Also we have the last few remaining polo shirts, nifty woolly hats and Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer shirts we did rid off. Click the link below for the full range of all our other tatt. Shirts, badges, stickers, flags, CD’s and fridge magnets all the discerning Celtic-Punk fan could ever need! Help keep Punk Celtic!

Facebook is rubbish and I can’t wait to see it fold. It has a stranglehold on all forms of expression that is not good and it’s no surprise to see people leaving in droves. Don’t despair though if you are one of them as you can keep up with London Celtic Punks posts via group on the phone app Telegram. Similar to What’s App but completely free from outside interference. Join us on Telegram, don’t miss a single post and even receive the odd exclusive and special offer!

The response to the new London Celtic Punks badge has been amazing. Not surprising really as they are just about the nicest bit of merchandise in Celtic-Punk if you ask me! Comes with butterfly clip and made in Ireland (Guaranteed Irish!) available for just £5 – UK and £7 – EU post-paid and we’ll throw in a few stickers and a button badge too. For further overseas contact us and we’ll work it out. Send to Paypal (friends & family) to

Even though we hate it Facebook does supply the (very) occasional ray of sunshine so a shout out to some good friends of ours over on Facebook. The Dropkick Murphys- Fan Page and the Celtic Punk,  Folk And Rock Fans are two of the best music forums on FB let alone Celtic-Punk. Ran By Fans For Fans just like you and me. Like and join in the fun!

‘Denis ‘the Menace’ Irish Punk in London 1996 a clip from the 1996 documentary ‘Charlie Harper, 20 Years of Chaos’ directed by Mads Astrup Rønning. Don’t think I crossed paths with this chap. Think I would have remembered him!

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A free collection of over twenty Irish rebel songs from some of the Celtic-Punk scenes best bands. Ancient, modern and contemporary. The tradition goes on.

Just in time for the beginning of the most important month in Celtic culture we’re delighted to bring you this new compilation. Twenty-one bands from across the world celebrating Irish resistance to foreign rule. Featuring modern day classics as well as songs that stretch right back in time to the days when to have been caught reciting them by the authorities would have led to execution or banishment. An important part of Irish culture these songs labelled ‘Rebel Songs’ are first and foremost Folk Songs. These songs travelled not only from one end of the country to the other but the four corners of the earth would resound to them. Some of the songs here were written by Priests and school teachers but most were written by people who were classed by the British as illiterate peasants and carried by labourers and the poor working class, moving from district to district and country to country looking for work and respite from oppression. Tailors, shoemakers, dockers, miners… songs written by ordinary people for ordinary people and there lies the secret of their popularity and why they were sung whenever and where ever Irish people met. Know full well though that these songs are not aimed at anyone personally. The older songs tell of wrongs done and battles fought many many years ago and are of important historical significance. Others are more contemporary and these songs too carry on the traditions of rebel songs and will do as long as injustice continues. Immerse yourself in these songs and enjoy them and even the most English among you will, once they know the facts, and the words, join in with a hearty “Up The Rebels!”.

The Gentlemen 🇺🇸 – Come Out Ye Black And Tans
Templars Of Doom 🇺🇸 – H-Block Escape
The Gobshites 🇺🇸 – Give Ireland Back To The Irish
In For A Penny 🇺🇸 – Easter Mourn
The Tan And Sober Gentlemen 🇺🇸 – Follow Me Up To Carlow
Black Irish Texas 🇺🇸 – Join The British Army
Tullamore 🇮🇹 – Mairéad Farrell
Sons Of O’Flaherty 🇫🇷 – The Fields Of Athenry
The Dead B-Specials 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 – Take It Down From The Mast
Auld Corn Brigade 🇩🇪 – Broad Black Brimmer
Hudson Falcons 🇺🇸 – 6 + 26 =1
The Lucky Pistols 🇺🇸 – God Save Ireland
The Larkin Brigade 🇺🇸 – Sean South From Garryowen
The Fisticuffs 🇺🇸 – Young Ned Of The Hill
O’Hamsters 🇺🇦 – Erin Ga Bragh
Kilmaine Saints 🇺🇸 – Go On Home British Soldiers
Jasper Coal 🇺🇸 – The Merry Ploughboy
Drunken Fighters 🇪🇸 – The Big Fella
The Bleeding Irish 🇺🇸 – The Uprising
St. Bushmill’s Choir 🇺🇸 – The Foggy Dew
Larkin 🇺🇸 – On The One Road

Each track contains lyrics, the history of the song and band information and album links.

The album is available as a ‘name your price’ download which means you are welcome to download the compilation for free. In fact we would love you too but if you insist on leaving a donation then there is an option for that too but please within reason! We would be far more happier if you chose to share the link and let others know of it. An absolutely massive thanks to all the bands featured. Thanks you for your permission to use the songs. Each and every one of you we owe a debt of enormous gratitude for doing your bit to keep these songs and traditions alive. If you would like to be featured on a follow up volume then drop us a line.

“The Irish people will only be free, when they own everything from the plough to the stars.”

— James Connolly


Always wonderful news to hear that Celtic-Punk is thriving in the Celtic nations. This time in Galizia with the amazing Tecor Societário preparing for the release of a new album.

Tecor Societário were founded in 2017 in the capital of Galizia, Compostela. From the start the band played a mixture of both Punk and Folk with the emphasis on performing their own songs and popular traditional Galician tunes. A well trodden path for many Celtic-Punk bands from across the world. Their first release came a year later with the three track EP Velhos Contos in 2018. This was followed the next year with their debut album Caça Maior. So with the delay suffered by the Covid pandemic it has taken them till now to follow it up with the new single ‘Vai por Vós’ which signals the release of their follow up album due late in the year. The new video for ‘Vai por Vós’ has been produced by the well known Galician producer Pixelinphoto and includes original material, recorded by the news organisation Galiza Contrainfo, that gives context to some of the social conflicts the band wish to help publicise.

Tecor Societário left to Right: Ares – Drums * Marcos – Electric Guitar * Xabi – Acoustic Guitar / Vocals * Roi – Accordion * Iago – Bagpipes * Cipri – Bass *

Celtic-Punk is where traditional and modern music meet. The sounds and melodies of the past brought up to date but always with respect and gratitude to those who kept the music alive so that we can tinker with it today. Sung in Galician, the language is the most widely spoken in the city. Galizia is an ancient Celtic nation similar to our own going back as early as 600BC. The country is currently part of occupied by Spain and is situated in the north-east directly above Portugal. A very interesting tourist article is Five reasons why Galicia is Spain’s version of Ireland which shows the many similarities between the two nations and not only the weather!

(Translated from the Galician. A huge thank you to Roi)

This one is for youThere is nothing to explainIt has been a long timeToo long for change nowYou have been hitIt doesn’t matterIt’s time to begin againBecause there is always a reasonAnd this one is for youBecause you are always thereFeeling the same painWilling to continueDespite control, penalty’s and prisonDreaming without asking permissionAnd without asking for forgivenessGo on, build a new optionOld values but new illusionsFriendship, heart,lots of throats, but just one voiceSome people will never understand itThis one is for youFor you still botheringThis one is for youFor you creating and fightingAnd this one is for youAnd this one is for youYou against everyone else

Vai por Vós is the first single of their forthcoming new album, which will be released at the end of 2023. The band will be spacing out various single releases from the album throughout the year to build momentum for the official release date. Vai por Vós will be a tribute to the people that, in spite of everything thrown at them by the Spanish state, continue, year after year, to show that Galizia is not a conquered country and people.

Contact Tecor Societário  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

EP REVIEW: WHISKEY’S WAKE – Distant Lands (2023)

Distant Lands, the brilliant third release from Whiskey’s Wake, Celtic-Punk rockers from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Distant Lands is the third album from Whiskey’s Wake following their self titled debut album back in 2005 and, an amazing seventeen years later, that that was followed by last year’s six (or was it eight with the two remixes!) track album Wake Up Whiskey which made our Celtic-Punk Top Twenty for last year. The core of the group is the same as it was all those years ago with Adam, Patrick, Danny, and Andreas all still playing since they first got together. The original drummer, Ronan, moved away a long time ago and while he doesn’t drum on Distant Lands he still occasionally returns to the WW drum stool.

Whiskey’s Wake left to right: Adam Blair – Vocals / Guitar * Pat Reimherr – Guitar * Danny Houpt – Mandolin / Banjo / Bagpipes * Andreas Petersen – Accordion * Derek Julio – Drums *  Joel Pack – Bass (Studio only) * Sophie Blair – Vocals / Viola (Studio only) *

The philosophy of the band is simple


“We write all our songs to be played in packed pubs and bars and do our best to bring some of that live feeling to our recordings. We had our first shows at Kilby Court and, in a way, continue to write, practice, and record for that Kilby atmosphere.”

Enthusiasm for, and within, the band has continue to grow with the band citing the success of Wake Up Whiskey and the great response it got from the wider Celtic-Punk community. So can the guys keep it up? Well the answer is a resounding yes! Their may be only four songs here but all are just different enough from each other yet still still have the unmistakable Whiskey’s Wake sound. The EP kicks off with the fantastic ‘Whiskey Grove’ and a familiar drone soon gives way to super catchy Punk-Rock with the accordion and mandolin giving it a great Celtic edge. It has a kind of Mickey Rickshaw influence I feel with a great story being told alongside a tune to die for. Catchy as hell but still Punk enough for the Punks. ‘Keep The Fight Alive’ keeps the energy up with bagpipes now added from the multi talented Danny while the catchiness continues. In fact just save me time and assume I’m going to say all the songs here are catchy! All four songs are just over two minutes long giving them a sense of a short sharp shock with ‘We’ll Leave This Place’ nearest here to a slow song with a almost delicate air given to it by vocalist and guitarist Adam. The chugging guitar makes this awesome Celtic rocker of a song perfect for a spot of head nodding / foot tapping / thigh slapping. A special mention for Sophie who supply’s some very nice backing vocals as well as the beautiful sound of the viola, not something we hear a lot of in LCP towers. The EP ends with ‘Shepherd Of The Night Flock’ with the mandolin and as I expected the curtain comes down with the EP’s standout track. Pure Celtic-Punk at it’s best with the story being told almost as important as the tune. Superb!

Distant Lands is one hell of an EP and as you can tell I am a very big fan. Every song here is top drawer and can only help the band with their plans to rise to the top of American Celtic-Punk. The EP is available as a ‘name your price’ download so their is absolutely nothing stopping you from downloading this wonderful EP straight away. Even if you are not too sure how to do it or never done it before here’s a handy guide on how to do it. Now it may be free but always remember that Celtic-Punk bands are thirsty so if you are able leave them a drink or two. They like Guinness and in the States that stuff is expensive!

(Stream or download Distant Lands from the Bandcamp player below)

Download Distant Lands  Bandcamp

Contact Whiskey’s Wake  Facebook  Instagram  

EP REVIEW: THE WHIPJACKS – A Head Full Of Snakes (2023)

With less than a week to go till their debut London gig you couldn’t ask for better timing that for the Midlands based Celtic-Punkers The Whipjacks to release their brand new four track EP.

After the success of putting on Italian band the Dirty Artichokes in August we had originally decided not to bother putting on any more gigs. A new job meant less time and I’m frankly sick to death of it so it was a easy decision to make except… no one else seems interested in putting on Celtic-Punk bands in London despite their being an audience for it. So with that in mind we decided we’ll give a chance to a band from outside London to play. The band that instantly came to mind was one that last featured on these pages four years ago. That was when The Whipjacks released their fantastic debut album This Wicked World.

Pounding drums, driving bass, screeching guitar, melodic mandolin and partial nudity! These are the things that energetic five-piece The Whipjacks intend to bring to venues around England. If they aren’t near you right now, you can be damn sure they are coming… soon!

(This coming Saturday in South London. Compered by Punk-Poet Benny Rabble kicking off at 8pm followed by Celtic-Punk legend Leeson O’Keeffe (2 x f’s) doing a rare solo set over that side of the Thames, London-Irish trad Punk-Folkers Crock Of Bones and then The Whipjacks to send us off into the night all hot and bothered. The gig is free and ends at 11pm. Spread the news and invite your friends. Lets make it special!)

Facebook event –

Based in Worcester in the English Midlands their first release was the four track EP Scoundrels And Rogues from early 2017. Original compositions of high tempo Celtic-Punk. Catchy tunes that belies that (similar to a band with a similar name) they are basically a Punk band with a mandolin player. In the right hands and with the right tunes though any Folk instrument can transform a band into something much greater and much deeper.

(Stream / download Scoundrels And Rogues via the Bandcamp player)

The album came out the next year and received some great reviews from the Celtic-Punk media. Ten original tracks written by the band that crossed many boundaries and even includes a history lesson or two. it didn’t get any better than the lead single though, a foot-stomping fist in the air dance floor filler, ‘All My Pains (Are Self Inflicted)’ which appeared on many a Celtic-Punk podcast and beyond. So soon doesn’t actually mean four years but as the saying goes – better late than never! That album would later in the year reach #15 on the London Celtic Punks Best Album Of 2019 list not bad for a band’s debut.

So this all leads us into the present day and the release of their new EP A Head Full Of Snakes. Again the band ignore the likes of ‘The Wild Rover’ and ‘Drunken Sailor’ and opt to release all their own original material. Four tracks of quality Celtic-Punk where the music is inventive and far from what we usually receive here. The EP opens with ‘Devil Welcome Me’ and a swirling lilting accordion is soon joined by thrashing guitars, thumping bass and pounding drums before settling down into one hell of a Celtic rocker. As catchy as hell and a sure fire foot (and head) tapper! All the best bands use their time wisely to tell a story and sometimes you want more than just “Beer, Whiskey, Guinness”. Here they tell of balancing the good and bad in your life and coming to terms that sometimes a little bit of sin is not that bad. A great opener followed by the dark ‘Come Alive’. In places it’s almost Gothic in tone before a great chorus whips it back. The longest track here at almost four minutes its given chance to breathe and could have even gone much longer I think. It definitely has an epic feel to it about getting out of your comfort zone and embracing life.

(You can listen to A Head Full Of Snake by playing the full EP Play-list via You Tube below)

Halfway through and next up the fast ‘Idiot Grin’. The ‘goth’ touches return but not quite so blatant as they tell of an idiot who thinks that his smile is enough to cover all the stupid and annoying things he does. The curtain comes down with stage favourite and title track ‘A Head Full Of Snakes’ and the band take it uptempo again and rock out with a reflective story about summer festivals and a romantic liason with a lady who is a little bit crazy!

The Whipjacks left to right : George French – Electric Guitar (In hat) * Chris Myatt – Accordion /  Backing Vocals * Arran Gould – Mandolin / Acoustic Guitar / Backing Vocals * Dean Miles – Front man / Main Vocals * Tim Pearson – Drums * Will Rigg – Bass *

Four songs and only quarter of an hour but the timing of A Head Full Of Snakes release couldn’t be better with that gig just around the corner as I’m sure anyone who hears it will not miss the chance to catch them live. The years in between releases have not been kind to the Whipjacks with band members coming and going followed by the Covid clampdown and then just as the light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t a oncoming train even more problems popped up but the guys have vowed to put on an almighty show for us and we cannot bloody wait, so all roads on 25th of Feb lead to South London!

Get A Head Full Of Snakes Spotify

Contact The Whipjacks  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram  Bandcamp

ALBUM REVIEW: RUSTY NAIL – Burnt Prairie, Illinois (2023)

An incredibly interesting take on Celtic-Punk from Saint Louis, Missouri with Rusty Nail who sound just as if Liam Clancy grew up on Nirvana while playing Celtic-Rock originals and traditional Irish Folk down the Pub.

Don’t know what it is about Celtic-Punk bands but despite going through more members than Spinal Tap have drummers they keep on going and growing despite all obstacles. Rusty Nail are another band in the Celtic-Punk scene hurtling towards twenty years together. Founded in St. Louis, Missouri it’s a place that has a rich and interesting history. Known primarily to those whose knowledge of the United States is a bit rusty (groan) as the epicentre of the Western genre of movies it soon after that period became a bustling nineteenth-century industrial mecca with huge numbers of European migrants especially from Ireland and Germany. In just forty years the population grew from 20,000 to 160,000. St. Louis is proud of it’s Irish connections and is twinned with both Galway and Donegal and the Irish community is still vibrant with Gaelic games and culture and tradition flourishing. Just like in the rest of north America what the Irish went through on arrival and for decades after is fascinating and I recommend Bob Corbett’s Dogtown Homepage. Dogtown is the Irish part of St. Louis and the name stems from the time of the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 when poor Irish squatters, living in makeshift shanties in Forest Park, were forced by the fair to move southward to the neighbouring hill.

Rusty Nail current line-up: Alvan Caby – Mandolin / Guitar / Vocals * Kelly LaRussa – Violin * Chad Ross – Electric Guitar / Banjo / Accordion / Bouzouki / Organ * Pete McAvity: Bass Guitar / Electric Guitar (on Never Tell Me To Smile and The Casualty) * Dennis Frentzel – Drums * Additional Musicians : Chris Otto – Irish Whistle / Native American Flutes * Mark Hochberg: Bass Guitar (on Never Tell Me To Smile and The Casualty)

Taking their name from an alcoholic beverage popular from the pre-industrial age made with Whiskey and Drambuie Liqueur Rusty Nail are a seven piece band inspired by the greats of Irish music, past and more modern. Playing regularly around St. Louis’ Irish neighbourhoods on the city’s South Side they soon became a popular and highly sought out act for the areas pubs and music venues. Starting off by playing traditional songs they began to build up a strong repertoire of their own original music gaining a strong reputation for their entertaining and energetic performances and proving themselves as a true-to-form Irish bar band.

It was 2011 when they released their debut album, Boozers, Bastards And Bards. A collection of their own compositions and a handful of Irish Folk covers that gained them great reviews and new friends. This was followed up by Ounce And A Half Of Whiskey in 2015 and Bitter Ale, Bitter Heart the following year where it would later reach #24 in the Best Celtic-Punk Albums of 2016 awards. It was that third album where we first heard them and proclaimed it

“pure infectious dance music (proper dance music that is!) with enough fist in the air moments to give you a bad shoulder in the morning! Like the best in Celtic-Punk its a roller coaster of emotions and the joyous music belies the seriousness of the words and the lyrics often inhabit a dark place precisely because it’s the story of Irish-America. It’s not all shamrocks and shenanigans you know.”

Which brings us onto Burnt Prairie, Illinois and the first Celtic-Punk album of 2023 arriving just a day or two into the new year but with the official release date today. The album is a pure DIY production funded completely with a Kickstarter appeal where their fans pledged money in return for various Rusty Nail goodies and pre-official release copies of the album. The opening track is the the title song ‘Burnt Prairie, Illinois’ and first impressions are that the music is pretty much exclusively acoustic and of Alvan Caby’s distinctive vocals. To my ear Alvan has a touch of Elvis Costello about him and he is also the bands songwriter responsible for all eleven songs here. The video is taken from band practise last May and doesn’t differ too greatly from the album version except perhaps in polish. In the true spirit of Celtic-Punk the songs here tell elaborate stories alongside some pretty damned good music that is expertly played. Though mostly acoustic their is nothing gentle about Rusty Nail and the music is mostly fast paced of the kind that would get even the most staid of fan up and jigging about. The type of band that couples could sit at the back and enjoy the slower more contemplative numbers over a pint or two and the rowdy’s could have a proper good night out on the lash and enjoy slipping over in spilt Guinness with their arms round each other holding themselves up. The opening track changes half way through to maybe as Punky as they get while ‘Seven Angry Winds’ is a beautiful ballad with pure emotion spilling out. ‘Dark Surprise’ and ‘Never Tell Me To Smile’ continue the dark themes but in wildly different styles.

Next up is ‘Just Can’t Leave It Behind’ and the video above is another taken from band practise and doesn’t match the polished version on the album but does give a sense of them live. The flute that features in most of the songs especially next on ‘Never’, gives them a European Celtic-Punk feel as it’s not something I hear a lot of in American bands. Here it is the native American flute played by Chris and it’s an instrument I was slow to embrace but have grown to love. Again I return to dark themes and believe it or not it is quite refreshing to hear these tragic tales as in ‘Evaporate’, ‘Return To March 22’ and ‘The Casualty’ that take us almost to the end. One thing I would have liked to have seen is the lyrics. Maybe they can add them to the Bandcamp site? The curtain comes down on Burnt Prairie, Illinois with the awesome ‘Oh Mother’. A son apologise to his Mammy about a life of disappointment. Slow and mournful with Alvan accompanied only by delicate acoustic guitar and Kelly’s exquisite fiddle. Bayjaysus Alvan I hope this isn’t autobiographical!

One of the things I have learnt on doing this site is the importance of putting out one or two videos when you release an album. They don’t have to be flash, after all ‘flashness’ is not something you would associate with Celtic-Punk, maybe even just filmed in your local Irish pub with a few mates. This I think is a trick Rusty Nail have missed here for Burnt Prairie, Illinois still you can listen to the whole album via the Bandcamp player below where it is available to buy on download or vinyl. Burnt Prairie, Illinois is a fantastic album that really needs to be listened to. Best over the headphones I found but that’s not to say it’s not something that you could party on down to after all can anyone beat the Irish at sad songs played to be danced to?

(Download / Stream Burnt Prairie, Illinois via the Bandcamp player below)

Buy Burnt Prairie, Illinois  Bandcamp

Contact Rusty Nail  WebSite  Facebook  Twitter  YouTube


Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers, Paul Simmonds and Bobby Valentino got together last Summer for a one off show at London’s legendary Water Rats music venue in Kings Cross. Recorded for posterity it was something a little different!

Remember last Summer? I do. I started a new job in April so for the first time in many a year I had both the money and the time to spend it so we took ourselves off to the sun drenched shores of Italy and Ireland (!) on holiday but if I’d have been here in London then on Friday 19th August 2022 their is only one place you would have found me and that was at the place where Celtic-Punk was born. Back on 4th October 1982 James Fearnley, Shane MacGowan, Spider Stacy and Jem Finer took the stage at The Pindar of Wakefield under the moniker of Pogue Mahone and a whole new genre of music had begun. Well the pub has changed it’s name and had more face lifts than Madonna has but it remains one of the best places to catch a band play in the whole of London.

That night in August saw Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers (on vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica), Paul Simmonds (on vocals and parlour guitar) and Bobby Valentino (backing vocals and violin) from The Men They Couldn’t Hang join forces for a one off special show down at The Water Rats in Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross. Sadly for fans, since the date of the gig was announced, the RMT rail union had called a series of transport strikes and the 19th was one of the dates chosen. This meant that even though the gig would eventually sell out many of The Men’s hardcore fans wouldn’t be able to make it into London. Lucky for them the guys decided to record the gig for posterity and this week sees it released for the first time. The resulting ninety minutes are a unique and often humorous peek into the trio’s musical lives. The fella’s played two sets with the first being a full on Punk-Folk set from The Men They Couldn’t Hang’s extensive catalogue of original material spanning forty years. With the band taking requests from the audience before and even during the gig the atmosphere was celebratory and spontaneous with songs from their debut album like ‘Night To Remember’ (see below) right through to the title track from their last studio release Red Kite Rising. The sound was amazing and even though the crowd sang loudly along to every single word throughout the night that is kept to an absolute minimum with the focus purely on Swill, Paul and Bobby.

After a quick break the Bhoys returned for the second set and surprised everyone by doing a live Q & A session with gig promoter Tony Fraser acting as question master for the duration. Tony was armed with questions he had gathered from the audience during the interval – none of which the band were privy too until they were read out live on stage. Ali Hakimi’s was on the sound desk on the night and the recording has been remastered by the regular TMTCH producer Pat Collier. Questions, Answers & Songs is available to order for pre-release now from the Bandcamp link below. It comes as a Bandcamp exclusive double CD or download. With the digital album out on March 3rd and the CD shipping out on or around March 7, 2023.

(Questions, Answers & Songs is available to stream and download from the Bandcamp player below)

Contact The Men They Couldn’t Hang WebSite Facebook YouTube Instagram


New single from Graveyard Johnnys guitarist Callum Houston.

Acoustic Alternative Folk Rock – Made in Bretagne – Inspired in Ireland.

Carrigaline, county Cork native Callum Houston can usually be found singing songwriting around his home near Lorient in Brittany in the local pubs and clubs. When he’s not doing that he plays guitar in Premier League Psychobilly band the Graveyard Johnnys. It’s been almost a couple of years since his last recordings came out, the fantastic ‘As I Roved Out One Morning’ but he has just released ‘OKTFTW’ the first single from a forthcoming new EP to be called Pub Poetry due out on the 3rd of March 2023.