Author Archives: The Don

NEW SINGLE: CALLUM HOUSTON – OKTFTW (2023)

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.

The bell rings and you’re calling them in
One last before closing time
You’re wondering round with thoughts to drown
Words you cannot soundAnd it’s alright
Well it’s ok
To feel this wayShes in the kitchen and there’s clearing something missing
And she finally starts breaking down
The tears fall and the words are crawling
Out from her mindAnd it’s alright
Well it’s ok
To feel this way

And before it’s too late
We’ve gotta find some time to sit and evaluate
Well I hope that in this song
You might find something that

Let’s talk about life your struggles and your strife’s
Let’s talk about you
All the things you need all the things you grieve
And all that is true

And it’s alright
Well it’s ok
Wake up in the morning to a bright brand new day
We can turn ourselves around
Pick ourselves up off the ground

And it’s alright
Well it’s ok
Wake up in the morning to a bright brand new day
We can turn ourselves around pick ourselves up off the ground
And before it’s too late
We must find some time to sit and evaluate
Well I hope that in this song you might sometime to
Well I hope that in this song you might sometime to help you move on

OKTFTW was released just last Friday on February 3, 2023. It was recorded at Humbu Studio by Alban Bauduin and mastered by Sleeper Bill. OKTFTW is available for streaming and download via the Bandcamp player below. It only costs a pound so buy Callum a quarter of a pint.

Download As I Roved Out One Morning  Bandcamp

Contact Callum Houston  Facebook  YouTube  Spotify

LONDON CELTIC PUNKS 2022 READERS CHOICE WINNER

We finally wave goodbye to 2022 with the announcement of who you the beloved readers of this site have chosen as the best of ’22.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018 – KRAKIN’ KELLYS 169 votes  (524 total)

2019 – MICKEY RICKSHAW 94 Votes  (476 total)

2020 – THE GO-SET 281 votes  (1105 total)

2021 –  FEROCIOUS DOG 430 votes (1576 total)

The response to this year’s poll has been incredible. Almost every year the poll has run, the number of votes has increased dramatically. This time, by nearly 200 votes to 1,726. From the very start this year it was a two horse race between England’s own Ferocious Dog and Sweden’s Finnegan’s Hell with both way ahead of newcomers to the Celtic-Punk scene Reina Roja from Madrid. For the first time ever the artist with the winning number of votes hasn’t been an album but still an excellent show from Finnegan’s Hell. A mention here for Yorkshire banjo Punks Shanghai Treason too finishing in sixth place. There were over 600 votes in the ‘other’ section which I had to count individually and then go back and double check as some results were very close. Over here we believe in getting things right when people vote (!) so that’s why it’s taken a couple of days to tally up the final scores but here at last they finally are. Congratulations to everyone and cheers and beers to all who voted!

We have had such a diverse group of artists to win this award and this years winners Finnegan’s Hell are no different. We could see the writing on the wall with all the people from Sweden voting. Not that their fan base is reserved to their home country. They’re pretty popular in Hackney too! Reina Roja have done exceedingly well for a new band to these pages, coming in second place. In the Murphys Vs Mollys competition it was Flogging Molly who won easily winning over their Boston rivals in both the official London Celtic Punks Best Of 2022 awards and the 2022 Readers Choice.

1. FINNEGAN’S HELL – One Finger Salute

2. REINA ROJA – Hooligan Folk

3. FLOGGING MOLLY – Anthem

Usually it stands to reason that most votes will go to the ones that were actually listed on the poll but this year Ferocious Dog stormed away with the title with 455 votes. A record for our Readers Poll which they already held from last year! Only two other EP’s gathered any significant votes with loads more getting only single figures.

1. FEROCIOUS DOG – Too Late

2. BRICK TOP BLAGGERS – Obey The Tyrant

3. THE DEAD IRISH – Four Corners Of Hell

Thanks dear readers for taking part in the poll and congratulations to Finnegan’s Hell and Ferocious Dog. The further away we move from the covid lock downs the more it seems like some dystopian nightmare. Those days could have destroyed the Celtic-Punk scene, but on the evidence of last year’s releases the scene has bounced back and is as strong as ever. Our dream is that 2023 will bring these bands the recognition and success they richly deserve. Thanks to you for supporting London Celtic Punks and we ended ’22 with our highest yearly readership of all time, so expect good things from us too! Why not consider subscribing and never miss a post (the box is on the left when viewed on your lap top) or send us your email through the Contact Us page.

PREVIOUS READERS CHOICE – 201820192020 * 2021

ODDS’N’SODS. A CELTIC-PUNK ROUND UP FEBRUARY 2023

No round up last m onth so welcome to a bumper edition of 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!

Fresh from storming off with #1 Roots/Folk album in our Best Of awards here’s a new video for one of the best tracks off How To Draw Everything the last album from BRYAN McPHERSON. The good news is we will be helping out with his Ireland and England tour in the Summer. Expect a couple of local gigs!

Nothing beats Aussie Celtic-Punk and MEDUSA’S WAKE are up there with the very best. Here’s a fantastic dozen minutes of them playing at the Hobofopo ’22 festival in Tasmania put on by our friends The Dead Maggies and Folk Til Ya Punk Records.

The internet is awash with incredible footage from the DROPKICK MURPHYS recent tours. We saw them at Wembley Arena and it fair knocked our socks off. The energy throughout was amazing. Maybe even the best I have ever seen them and i saw their first ever gig in London! Here’s ninety minutes of their set. watch it before it gets taken down!

THE CLOVERHEARTS arrived in England from Italy for a short tour last month and we caught them at a busy and lively show at The Black Heart in Camden. Here’s footage of their encore. Looking forward to seeing them again already.

Love THE KINGS BUSKATEERS. Be sure to check out all their videos on their You Tube channel. Here they are doing a ‘Alt-Country Celtic-Punk Labor medley’.

German Celtic-Punks TIR NA OG with a new video and tour dates announced for the next few weeks.

South-Western English band THE JAMESTOWN BROTHERS have a new video and song taken from their new single ‘Just Is’.

We love a new Celtic-Punk band and there is nothing better than a Celtic Celtic-Punk band. TECOR SOCIETARIO hail from the Celtic nation of Galicia currently occupied by Spain. We will be featuring these guys very soon. Love the Peter And The Test Tube Babies t-shirt by the way!

North London junkyard Folk and skeletal Blues group LOCKS have a new single out now called Nola https://lnk.to/NolaLocksSgl and a new You Tube site too.

YE BANISHED PRIVATEERS a monstrous Pirate themed ensemble from Scandinavia teamed up with the Umeå Musiksällskap Symphony Orchestra for this incredible concert. An emotional hurricane.

SINFUL MAGGIE consider themselves a Punk band with an accordion but we think of them as one of us. Sorry folks! Whatever it is it’s bloody marvellous.

THE IRISH AND CELTIC MUSIC PODCAST an award-winning free radio show of some of the best Irish and Celtic music online had their best of recently and you can check it out here https://marcgunn.com/best-celtic-music-of-2022/

The annual St. Patrick’s day Celtic-Punk album release fest is on it’s way with albums from CONTINENTAL, THE GO-SET and FIRKIN already announced and many more to come I’m sure.

RUSTY NAIL – Burnt Prairie, Illinois

DROPKICK MURPHYS – This Machine Still Kills Fascists : Expanded Edition (Extra songs!)

CAROTTE Glouton Gluten

THE SMITH STREET BAND – Life After Football

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

Born and raised on the New Jersey shore Irish-American singer-songwriter SEAN TOBIN has been compared to another famous Irish (and a bit German) American from the same place but he’s much better. Sean has a new 4-track live EP out the end of last month

Amazing Brazilian Folk Metal pioneers TUATHA DE DANANN have a new single ‘The Nameless’ that came out on New Year’s Eve.

From Bern Switzerland the old-school No-Hit Hobo Psycho-Western-Punkabilly sensation BOGOS released their debut album. Punk v/s Ennio Morricone. Closer to Psychobilly but with some amazing Folky touches I’ve been playing this album to death recently.

FOLLOW THE CROWS are a London-based folk-rock outfit with distinct overtones of bluegrass, Irish trad and Americana. A typical setlist blends original material with unique interpretations of folk standards. Expect hard-driven vocals fused with guitar and mandolin mayhem, all underpinned by riotous folk rhythms of rebellion and redemption.

We love Lincoln, Nebraska Folk-Punkers THE KILLIGANS and they seem to have picked up the pace somewhat with plenty new music coming out.

DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS will release The Feminine Divine, their first full original album since the masterpiece One Day I’m Going To Soar was released a decade ago this coming summer! In Kevin Rowland we trust…

The Salty Dog cruise line up is out and it’s very disappointing if you were expecting to see a few Celtic-Punk bands with only HOIST THE COLORS and FLOGGING MOLLY in the line up. Still it does have a free bar! https://www.floggingmollycruise.com/

Sea-Punk, Folk, band hailing from the Cornish coast the Piratey Punks JOLLY ROGER have released a new live album recorded at The Globe Cardiff and Leamington Spa Assembly when they supported Ferocious Dog on tour in November.

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 head to God’s Own Country to Yorkshire and the debut EP from Sheffield’s WHAT THE FOLK. Tom one of the scenes best banjo players would later go on to be in Shanghai Treason so whether we will see anymore from these is a mystery. They have three releases all available for ‘name your price’ download.

After January when Celtic-Punks in London were spoilt for choice Feb is a bit thin on the ground but things are hotting up for St. Patrick’s this year. Having been robbed of two we gonna make this one awesome! Next month’s Odds’n’Sods will have full listings for London area. The highlight for me so far is DAMIEN DEMPSEY at the Electric in Brixton on the 18th. He has many who try to copy him but there is only one! The founders of Alt-Country THE LONG RYDERS are coming back to these shores with a full Europe and UK tour.

London Celtic Punks presents another night of rip roaring Celtic-Punk and Irish-Folk 

Coming down from Worcester to play London for the first ever time THE WHIPJACKS. Pounding drums, driving bass and screeching guitar flit hand in hand with melodic mandolin, accordion, partial nudity and attitude filled lyrics. https://thewhipjacks.bandcamp.com/
Supported by London-Irish Celtic-Punk band CROCK OF BONES. Hot Irish jigs, reels, foot stompers and lyrical folk out of north London whose backgrounds stretch back to 90s Celtic-Punk, gypsy jazz, dark folk and rock. Using fiddle, accordion, banjo, guitar and double bass, their set contains originals/standards/reels and jigs, from full-pelt foot-stompers like Hot Asphalt to sing-along ballads like the original Ferry. https://www.facebook.com/Crock-of-Bones-327151471252980/
The night will be compered by London Celtic Punk Poet and rabble raiser BENNY RABBLE who will perform between acts with his incendiary working class 2nd generation poems https://www.facebook.com/bennyrabble
The gig is FREE ENTRY so bring cash for beer and to buy some band merchandise and kicks off at 7-30pm sharp. 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 SE8 4RZ. close to New Cross and New Cross Gate tube stations so easily accessible from across London. http://www.thebirdsnestpub.co.uk/

If you like what we do then you can support us by checking out our online store. The Harp’n’Bones design is back in all sizes and on black or white shirts. Also we have new polo shirts, in all sizes, and some nifty woolly hats as well as the Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer shirts. 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! https://the30492shop.fwscart.com/

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! https://t.me/londoncelticpunks/

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 londoncelticpunks@hotmail.co.uk

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!

Hello to our friends in Indonesia THE WORKING CLASS SYMPHONY. Check them out. If they were American they would be massive! Facebook  YouTube  Instagram. These are the guys that Flogging Molly should be taking on their Cruise!

A reminder too that we need your news so anything you would like to share with the rest of the Celtic-Punk scene send it onto us.

If you are new to the London Celtic Punks blog it is easy to subscribe / follow and never miss a post. Bands, promoters, record labels, venues send in any news to londoncelticpunks@hotmail.co.uk or via the Contact Us page.

NEW SINGLE: THE GO-SET – West Into The Sun

Twenty years down the line and The Go Set still sound as fierce, as vital, as the first day they set foot on a stage.

Big guitars, big beats and irresistible choruses, while retaining the timeless spirit of the band’s Celtic roots.

Here we go again I bet your saying. It’s an Australian Celtic-Punk band so any minute now he’s going to start banging on about how Aussie Celtic-Punk is the best in the world and how the Aussie bands envisage all the bold and noble values that make Celtic-Punk what it is. The Go-Set are as perfect an example of all that as any of them. 50% responsible (with Flatfoot 56 the other 50%) for the existence of London Celtic Punks they will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

The Geelong-based band has always squeezed out the sparks from the place where rock’n’roll collides with the spirit of Celtic Folk. Now they bring all those forces together in the studio for an release that celebrates those years together, their eighth album, The Warriors Beneath Us is an album with big guitars, big beats and irresistible choruses, while retaining the timeless spirit of the band’s Celtic roots.

Press gangs, Press gangs rolling on the rocks 
In the streets and alleyways, down onto the docks 
Dance upon the sails, howl unto the moon
And sleep when we are dead, for the days are coming soon 
▪️
Here we are, we sail under stars 
Here we go, waiting for tomorrow 
Roll on, Roll on, West into the Sun 
▪️
It’s a tale of a young man in 1851, 
Rolling on the high seas west into the sun, 
A soldier of the King full of whiskey beer and rum 
The battle flags are up and the red blood runs 
▪️
Cannonballs cannonballs, powder in the hole 
The fury and the fire, have come to take your soul 
Poor men fight, and poor men fall 
Vagabonds and thieves, answering the call
Going on the basis of ‘West Into The Sun’ the album is set to be an absolute monster hit. This is the first single off The Warriors Beneath Us and is set for release on St Patricks Day. The song is available to stream or download now and you can pre-order the album here

Contact The Go-Set  WebSite  Facebook  Twitter  YouTube 

REMEMBERING PATRICK FOWLER 1985-2022

Dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listening, and live every day as if it were your last.

Even in this internet age sometimes news travels slowly and is the way of things that it is usually sad news that travels the slowest. We just heard of the tragic murder of Patrick Fowler, accordionist with the Celtic-Punk band Morgan’s Bluff based in Phoenix, Arizona. We are thankful for the guys in the band to have this chance to remember him on these pages and we send our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

Patrick’s Celtic influence comes from his father Mick Fowler, who was a bagpiper for many years. When Patrick showed interest in playing music his parents had him take piano lessons. He started listening to his fathers cassette tapes while hiding under a blanket in his bed. The Pogues and Dubliners were to become his major influences and he taught himself to play tin whistle at the age of 9.

After excelling at playing the whistle he would start to accompany his fathers band to play at the renaissance fairs playing traditional Irish music at a young age. At the age of 23 he would officially join the band Ramfoozle playing guitar and tin whistle. In 2014 Patrick taught himself accordion and joined the band Cockswain , a Celtic-Punk band, for a couple years. He then moved on to a band called Swarthy Pirates with his good friend Lars. They would have a lot of fun playing songs highlighting Patrick’s amazing Celtic instrument abilities. Come 2017 he started the band Villains in Heat, a garage rock band. They became a regular name in the local scene quickly. While the band did not focus on his Celtic roots his keyboard, guitar and vocal skills were highlighted.

In 2019 Morgans Bluff started and almost fell apart without having a main melody instrument musician. When Patrick left Villains and joined Morgans Bluff it brought everything together into the recordings you hear today. The band was having a great time and enjoying some successful shows when we lost Patrick. We will never be the same without him but we will push forward as a 4 piece now since he drove us to get better and learn to play more instruments to keep up with him.

Last week we had the pleasure of reviewing the most recent release of Morgan’s Bluff, Chaser. It’s three tracks are the last that Patrick recorded with the band and stand as a worthy testament to his prowess as an amazing accordion player and the impact he had on the people around him.

https://londoncelticpunks.wordpress.com/2023/01/12/morgans-bluff-chaser/

Contact Morgan’s Bluff  WebSite  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

EP REVIEW: MORGAN’S BLUFF – Chaser (2023)

New Year’s Day saw the release of a 3-track EP from Arizona based Celtic rockers Morgan’s Bluff, sadly featuring the last recordings with the late great Patrick Fowler, band accordionist, tin whistle player and vocalist.

Arriving on our doorstep just after its release on New Years Day we were originally delighted to hear from Morgan’s Bluff that they had a new release out. This was tempered though when we looked into the email and found out that it was the last recordings from their awesome accordion player (and more!) the late great Patrick Fowler. Poor Patrick was murdered last October in a indiscriminate shooting in Phoenix and was an innocent bystander. We hope that his murderer is caught soon and sees the justice he thoroughly deserves.
Morgan’s Bluff were formed by friends Paul Allen and Chris Sheridan and after several attempts and even more band members they were beginning to run out of patience that the band would never really get going That was till one day Chris got a call from Patrick saying he wanted to come to a band practice and see what happens. Having met together at one of the guys homes they began setting up when Patrick asked “what instrument do i play?”.  No one had yet set what instruments each of them were to play so Patrick pulled out his accordion and the band kicked off. It soon came to an abrupt end though when about an hour later the next door neighbour banged on the door and said “if you don’t stop i’m calling the police”. Still the band had finally began and after several more practice locations and unfortunately more members, Morgan’s Bluff were finally a band and they all knew what instruments to play!
Their debut album, the self titled Morgan’s Bluff, was released in November, 2020 and was seven original tracks that covered all the bases of Irish-American Celtic-Punk rock. From the accordion led opening track ‘Brutality’ with it’s bouncy Ska base to the closing track ‘Home Tonight’ the influences don’t stop and start with Celtic-Folk with the full American immigrant experience her somewhere!
The EP opens with ‘Fading Away’ and you can hear Patrick’s accordion loud and proud in a song that reminds me of the Dropkick Murphys at their most contemplative. Slow and swirling but filled with attitude and ballsy as hell. The second of the three songs is ‘One More Round’ and the obligatory drinking song. More traditional Celtic-Punk from its Irish Folk opening to glorious subject matter. Working your fingers down to the bone and never getting your full due it’s a celebration of blue-collar working class life and working for the weekend. Something that many of us do and aren’t ashamed of it. The EP ends with ‘Lost In Hoboken’ and another upbeat number with Patrick’s accordion pushed to the fore. A great way to end things with a tale of  great night out when you shouldn’t have stayed for that final pint but the lure was just too strong.

Chaser is a fantastic release and my only problem is that their isn’t more of it. We are pleased to hear that Morgan’s Bluff are carrying on. It is, I am sure, what Patrick would have wanted and this is a great legacy for his friends and family to remember him by.

(Chaser is only available on Bandcamp at the moment. You can stream the EP in its entirety and download Chaser for just $2 via the Bandcamp player below)

Contact Morgan’s Bluff  WebSite  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

Buy Chaser  Bandcamp

We are very pleased to be able to publish a tribute to Patrick in the following few days from his bandmates in Morgan’s Bluff.

NEW SINGLE: TEMPLARS OF DOOM – Will Ye No Come Back Again

New York unashamedly Irish-American Celtic-Punk Irish band The Templars Of Doom just released a stunning new video and single taken from their recently released third album Rising Of The Doom.

Coming out of the aptly titled Ulster County in New York state come The Templars Of Doom. Paying homage to the UK82 style of English Punk-Rock bands while adding bagpipes, mandolin and tin whistle and the politics of The Wolfe Tones! Loud, brash and in-yer-face Celtic-PUNK but not without it’s tender moments though they are few and far between! Tales of Irish-American and Irish history the Templars Of Doom tell a fantastic story while also beating up the dance floor!

Templars Of Doom left to right: Rory Quinn – Guitar * Falco Sparvarious – Drums * Josie – Bagpipes / Whistles * Mike – Bass / Vocals * Marty Shane – Mandolin *

Well here the Templars cast their net across the sea and cover some little known Scottish history with a song that is well over 200 years old. Written by by Carolina Oliphant. Lady Nairne, and set to a traditional Scottish folk tune. We asked Mike the bands founder and vocalist for the meaning of the song and this is what he said 

“This Song is written about Bonnie Prince Charlie, Grandson of James II who was deposed for being Catholic. In 1534 Henry VIII, murderer of 2 of his 6 wives, founded the Church of England and later, in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie attempts to set things right and restore Scotland. ‘The Butcher’ Duke of Cumberland (Son of George II) defeated the Jacobite (Jacob is Latin for James, the Stewart supporters) at Culloden in 1746. The English tyrants used this as an excuse to exterminate the Scottish clan system, including the banning of wearing of tartan, and playing of bagpipes. My own ancestors, The Roses, were highlanders and fled / banished for Canada at that time, Landing in New Bruynswick, Canada, (Moncton). There you have it. I wouldn’t be here today, in New York without Bonnie Prince Charlie.”

Bonnie Charlie’s noo awa
Safely o’er the friendly main 
Mony a heart will break in twa 
Should he no come back again 
 🔹
(Chorus)
Will ye no come back again
Will ye no come back again
Better lo’ed ye canna be   
Will ye no come back again 
 🔹
Whene’er I hear the blackbird sing
Unto the evening sinking down 
Or merl that makes the woods to ring 
To me they hae no other sound 
🔹
Many’s the gallant soldier fought
Many’s the gallant chief did fall
Death itself was dearly bought
All for Scotland’s king and lord
🔹
Low the Blackbird’s note and lang
Lilting wildly up the glen
And aye to me he sings ae sang
Will ye no come back again
🔹
Ye trusted in your Hielan’ men
They trusted you dear Charlie
They kent your hiding in the glen
Death or exile braving

Cheers to Mike and the gang for the great music. Their are three others videos coming soon staggered over the following few months and you will find them here on the London Celtic Punks site. The band footage for the video was shot with two cameras and the battle footage shot from large French and Indian War battle re-enactments at Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Niagara in New York state. The two forts are at opposite ends of New York State, about 8 hour car drive apart. Fort Ticondetoga is on Lake Champlain (East) and Niagara is on Lake Ontario (West) near Buffalo. The footage was originally used in the production of Mike’s horror movie Kaastskill Kannibals , which is available to be viewed for free on Amazon Prime. The track is taken from their album Rising Of The Doom was released in November, 2022. Eleven mainly self penned numbers to inspire and entertain the serious Celtic-Punk rocker. The album is at the moment only available on download at the link below.

Contact the Templars Of Doom Facebook  YouTube  Spotify  Instagram

LONDON CELTIC PUNKS PRESENTS THE BEST OF 2022!

It’s that time of year again for the London Celtic Punks annual Best Of list. Has it really been a year since The Peelers waltzed (or should that be jigged) off with album of the year? It’s been possibly the best year for Celtic-Punk since we started doing this site and this was easily the closest it has ever been in that time. Pretty much all the big hitters, with one or two one notable exception (The Tossers where were you!), released records and on top of that a bunch of debut albums that were top class too.

so without further ado…

CLICK ON THE GREEN LINK TO BE FORWARDED TO REVIEW

2022’s #1 was the amazing new album from THE MAHONES. That they are as prolific as they are and yet can still put out quality like this 30 + years on is incredible. Well done Finny & co. FLOGGING MOLLY won the battle of the big Celtic-Punk 2 with the DROPKICKS and were also the best gig of the year for me personally (August in Dublin with Ferocious Dog). THE LUCKY TROLLS followed on from their Best EP award from 2019 with the highest place for any ‘outsider’ this year while Scandinavian stalwarts SIR REG gave us possibly their best album yet. REINA ROJA from Spain were another highly placed new band and their were several others among the Top 30. Their were also a handful of albums that didn’t qualify for the chart but were worth noting including a couple of greatest hits albums THE REAL McKENZIES Float Me Boat and UNCLE BARD AND THE DIRTY BASTARDS The Story So Far that were both superb introductions to the bands, the second volume of the Black 47 covers compilation AFTER HOURS VOL. 2 and finally the HEADSTICKS 10th anniversary album of the best songs of their career to date re-recorded.

1. THE MAHONES – Jameson Street

2. FLOGGING MOLLY – Anthem

3. DROPKICK MURPHYS – This Machine Still Kills Fascists

4. THE LUCKY TROLLS – Raised Fist And Rebel Songs

5. SIR REG – Kings Of Sweet Feck All

6. REINA ROJA – Hooligan Folk

7. FINNEGAN’S HELL – One Finger Salute

8. REAL McKENZIES – Songs Of The Highlands, Songs Of The Sea

9. HOIST THE COLOURS – When Daylight Breaks

10. SHANGHAI TREASON – Shanghai Treason

11. PADDY’S PUNK – With Full Horse

12. THE TAN AND SOBER GENTLEMEN – Regressive Folk Music

13. ZECKYBOYS – Dirty Brands

14. THE MOORINGS – March On

15. THE MULLINS – Gold In Our Hands

16. PADDY AND THE RATS – From Wasteland To Wonderland

17. SYRSentinel 

18. MAN THE LIFEBOATS – Soul Of Albion

19. THE GROGGY DOGS – Still Groggin’

20. WHISKEY’S WAKE – Wake Up Whiskey

21. JAMIE CLARKE’S PERFECT – Monkey See Monkey Do

22. O’HAMSTERS – From Green Hills To Raging Sea

23. SLAINTE – Up Down 95

24. THE ENDINGS – Completely Pickled

25. THE CUNDEEZ – Geez It

26. THE ROYAL SPUDS – Roots Of Life

27. THE DREADNOUGHTS – Roll And Go

28. THE SCARLET – Freedom Call 

29. TEMPLARS OF DOOM – Rising Of The Doom!

30. DRUNKEN FIGHTERS – Someday

Bubbling over: THEIGNS AND THRALLS – Theigns And Thralls 

As funny as it may seem the Best Debut Album award for 2022 was decided way back in January last year when the long awaited self titled debut album from Yorkshire banjo Punks SHANGHAI TREASON arrived in the post. Eleven original songs of high tempo energetic Celtic-Punk with some of the best banjo we heard all year long! On top of that later in the year they released a 3-track EP of songs that didn’t make the album that was also superb!  That’s not to say it was a easy choice as by the end of the year REINA ROJA, THE LUCKY TROLLS and ZECKYBOYS all put out albums that challenged the Treason and in any other year could easily have won the award themselves.

A well deserved top two for THE RUMJACKS and their new singer Mikee. The split EP with FLATFOOT 56 in particular was absolutely flawless! Their were fantastic debut releases from THE DEAD IRISH, THE GALLOWGATE MURDERS and THE RAMSTAMPITS out of the Celtic nations of Ireland and Scotland that completely blew us away and were eagerly anticipated. A word here for BOG IRON from California who I found completely by accident and been playing ever since.

1. THE RUMJACKS / FLATFOOT 56 Split EP

2. THE RUMJACKS – Brass For Gold

3. THE DEAD IRISH – Four Corners Of Hell

4. THE GALLOWGATE MURDERS – ‘ Dead, Gone And Living On’

5. BRICK TOP BLAGGERS – Obey The Tyrant

6. BOG IRON – Star Of The County Down

7. DISTILLERY RATS – We Are Rats

8.  THE KILLIGANS – Dread Naught

9. KRAKIN’ KELLYS – Old Ways New Days

10. THE RAMSTAMPITS – Light The Beacon

Bubbling Under: THE CLOVERHEARTS – Still Pissed / JAMESTOWN BROTHERS – Just Is

In what is usually the hardest category to choose from we actually had a very easy choice this year with the new album from Boston singer-songwriter BRYAN McPHERSON never off our play list all year long. The great news is that Bryan is heading to these shores in the Summer and we are very happy to be helping out. Dundalk’s THE MARY WALLOPERS were busy all year round and ended 2022 with a sell out London show and a debut album in December. The debut album from THE WINTER CODES saw a welcome return to the wider music scene for Barney the original vocalist for Blood Or Whiskey. Some may be surprised to find the first solo album from MARCUS MUMFORD listed but it really was a great album both musically but especially lyrically. 

1. BRYAN McPHERSON – How To Draw Everything

2. THE MARY WALLOPERS – The Mary Wallopers

3. OYSTERBAND – Read The Sky

4. IAN PROWSE – One Hand On The Starry Plough

5. PRONGHORN – Welcome To Pronghorn Country

6. BODH’AKTAN – Valcourt Sessions

7. BURBRIDGE AND BOOTH – Icons

8. THE WINTER CODES – Set The Darkness Reeling

9. THE ALT – Day Is Come

10. MARCUS MUMFORD – (self-titled)

A new section this year and the first winner is THE OUTCAST CREW out of Laois in the Irish midlands. A new single and video directed, filmed and edited by Thomas Moyles that came out at the end of the Summer. Laois is famous for an abbey, some gardens, a castle and a couple of lakes and now a kickarse class Celtic-Celtic-Punk. They won the 2020 Celtic Punk debut album of the year and it’s about time we heard some more guys!

The competition for best Celtic-Punk video of the year was incredible so next year (which will be our 10th anniversary) we will make a bit more effort and maybe even include you in the decision!!

There were several people involved in the collation of these results and so it is that some of those people may not have heard every album listed or released through the year. If you’re album is not listed maybe you didn’t send it us or not all the folks here heard it so couldn’t give a opinion so really don’t feel too put out. We’re not perfect but we do try our best.

This is the ninth year we’ve been doing these Best Of lists. It seems incredible looking back at some of the previous winners and also-ran’s just how many bands are still with us from Year 1. Have a look for yourselves just click on the year below to redirect.

*  2013  *  2014  *  2015  *  2016  *  2017  *  2018  *  2019  *  2020  * 2021 *

THE LONDON CELTIC PUNKS SHOP

If you like what we do then why not visit our  shop where you can buy all manner of Celtic-Punk tatt including t-shirts, badges, stickers, CD’s, fridge magnets, patches, Celtic nations flags and we just got in new for ’22 some bobble hats and polo shirts.

https://the30492shop.fwscart.com/

Alongside the Best Of polls we also run a special Readers Choice poll where you get to pick your favourite release of the year. This will be the fifth year it’s been running with Krakin’ Kellys, Mickey Rickshaw, The Go-Set and Ferocious Dog our previously champions! Last year we had well over 1500 votes (the most ever!) so remember the auld Irish adage ‘Vote Early – Vote Often’. There is only room on the form to list the Top Ten albums but there is an option for YOU to write in your favourite release (album or EP) of the year.

Poll will run until midnight on Tuesday 31st January 2023. You can vote twice. If the release you want to vote for is not listed then you can write it in.

Keep up to date with London Celtic Punks web-zine for all the latest news, record reviews, features and plenty more. Find all our social media here

https://linktr.ee/londoncelticpunks

to subscribe to the web-zine email londoncelticpunk@hotmail.co.uk

The poll will close at midnight on Tuesday 31st January 2023 with the result to be announced soon afterwards.

Dedicated to our good friend Scott Chrystal

Slainte, The London Celtic Punks Bhoys – January 2023

ALBUM REVIEW: THE SCUNTZ – Fall Apart Gang

The second album from The Scuntz a ever changing collective of alcoholic hillbilly punks from Belfast.

Thriving in despair, they patiently await the rapture, charged with entertaining the unwashed masses left behind.

Sneaking out just a couple of days before Christmas was the second album from Belfast Punx The Scuntz. Not giving us much time to digest it before reviewing it follows on from Appetite for Distraction which came out on New Year’s Eve 2020. Their debut passed us by and even though it is available to download for free I haven’t had a chance yet so I don’t know if it’s more of the same or a whole new direction but The Scuntz deliver a fourteen track album of original songs that sweep past in a brief but busy 22 minutes.

The first track off the album to see the light of day was ‘Ballad Of The Barrick’ which came out in April and the band describe as “The unholy trinity of Punk, Folk, and cider”. Produced and mixed by drummer Ben Simpson it lurches across several genres in it’s short time (only 137 seconds) starting of reminiscent of ancient style Celtic before crossing into dirgey metally Folk before speeding up and ending with an almighty racket of screaming Punk Rock. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea but as much as we love a bit of 70’s Prog-Folk this a Celtic-PUNK site so expect some noisy bastards occasionally.

Kicking off with ‘S.T.D’ a catchy as hell Punk number followed by a Hillbilly/Celtic crossover ‘Murderin’ In The Swamp’. The singer’s Belfast accent is clear and powerful as the band stomp through a selection of classic Punk Rock with the occasional Folky interludes but all the time laced with black humour. ‘The Dark Third’ reminds me of a Punk-Rock Rumjacks who let’s face it are already pretty Punk. The harmonica pops out for ‘Drunk Talkin’ as they chuck it all into a blender. ‘We’re Really Good…’ is a brilliant song with a great tune but only lasts 33 seconds! Stick ion a double bass and the brilliant ‘Cousin Lovin’ could easy grace any Psychobilly album.

The albums last handful of songs see them go out in Folk-Punk style with ‘Punk & Anal’, ‘Big Blue Dot’ and the album’s swansong and triumph the title song ‘Fall Apart Gang’. After everything that went before it takes you by surprise in both style and lyrical content as the band get both serious and show they can hammer out much more than fast, furious Punk-Rock bangers. A great way to end things.

I love Bandcamp and while they are vultures just like any other company that makes money out of other peoples labour and ideas and music. It’s easy to embed on the site and many bands simply offer their music for free therefore depriving Bandcamp of their share. The Scuntz are one such band and Fall Apart Gang is available as a ‘Name your price’ download from the link below. As the fella’s say “Pay what you like or not at all, we don’t do this for money but it definitely helps us be able to travel and record tunes”. To be honest I haven’t had a chance to listen to this album as much as I would like when reviewing but I loved it from the very first listen and I’m busy making up for that now!

(Stream / download Fall Apart Gang via the Bandcamp player below)

Download Fall Apart Gang  Bandcamp

Contact The Scuntz  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM LONDON CELTIC PUNKS. 2022… THE STATISTICS

Well who would have guessed after everything what a year 2022 would be for Celtic-Punk music. Loads of great music headed our way including pretty much all the big hitters releasing albums as well as several debuts that were all just as good as the established bands!

For ourselves we published a whopping 145 articles and our readership rose 5% on top of last years 9%. Our popular monthly Odds’n’Sods feature now makes us the only place to regularly find out what’s going on in the Celtic-Punk world. We get fantastic feedback from bands but then that’s to be expected isn’t it but it’s what you the readers think that is far more important to us so continue to let us know. 

If you want to see the site grow then why not put finger to keyboard yourself and submit something you think we’d enjoy. If it interests you then it will interest us. We’re always looking for help with reviews if that’s something you think you can help with. You don’t have to be a genius to do this or know where to put a semicolon just have a bit of passion. Finally before we get on with it a big happy new year to all the contributors and readers to the site and all the bands and folk who make the scene what it is.  

TOP TEN COUNTRIES VIEWING

Pretty much the same as last year and the previous few years too!!(2013/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020/2021 in brackets)

1. United Kingdom ( (1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1)

2. USA (2/2/2/2/2/2/2/2/2)

3. Ireland (4/7/4/4/5/4/3/3/3)

4. Germany (7/3/3/3/3/3/4/4/4)

5. Canada  (6/6/7/8/9/5/5/5/5)

6. Australia (5/4/8/6/7/7/6/8/6)

7. France (3/5/5/5/4/6/7/9/7)

8. Italy (9/10/9/8/9/9/9/7/8)

9. Spain (8/8/6/7/6/8/8/6/10)

10. Belgium (20/21/23/20/23/17/10/13/15)

11. Netherlands  12. Czech Republic  13. Sweden  14. Indonesia  15. Switzerland  16. Finland  17. Hungary  18. Ukraine  19. Japan  20. Russia

TOP TEN REVIEW VIEWED

To go to the relevant article/review simply click on link.

We continue to try to steer the site away from only doing reviews and again this was achieved somewhat and in no small thanks to a great series of contributions from American-Irish writer Kevin Rooney, Buffalo-Irish musician Ray Ball and Andy The Celtic Punk Author up there in Glasgow. 

1. OYSTERBAND – Read The Sky

2. THE BLACK TARTAN CLAN – A New Beginning

3. THE KILLIGANS – Dread Naught

4. THE REAL McKENZIES – Float Me Boat

5. THE MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG – Red Kite Rising

6. FLOGGING MOLLY – Anthem

7. SYR – Sentinel

8. IAN PROWSE – One Hand On The Starry Plough

9. THE ENDINGS – Completely Pickled

10. PADDY’S PUNK – With Full Horse

*

TOP TEN MUSIC ARTICLES VIEWED

The Best Of awards was by far the most popular post and also lots of views for the new Frankie McLaughlin single through out the year. We had several great interviews this year with Ted Hutt, Marc Orrell, Richard Balls and Ian Prowse and we’d like to feature more so if you’ve any suggestions write in. We also started the Celtic-Punk Q and A and featured the whole of Ferocious Dog as well as several characters from the scene. The next one will be very soon with members of the Boston Irish band Shadows Of Boston.

1. LONDON CELTIC PUNKS PRESENTS THE BEST OF 2021!

2. FIRST SINGLE FROM FRANKIE McLAUGHLIN’S NEW PROJECT LIPTON’S ORPHANS

3. THE ROCKAWAY REBEL OF THE EASTER RISING – JOHN ‘THE YANK’ KILGALLON

4. IRISH-BORN AND IRISH-AMERICANS; SEPERATED BY COMMON HERITAGE?

5. CELTIC-PUNK Q AND A : FRANKIE McLAUGHLIN

6. LONDON CELTIC PUNKS 2021 READERS CHOICE WINNER ANNOUNCED

7. FEROCIOUS DOG Q AND A : KEN BONSALL

8. FEROCIOUS DOG Q AND A : DAN BOOTH

9. THE POGUES LIVE IN LYON 1986 THIRTY-SIX YEARS AGO TODAY!

10. CELTIC-PUNK LIVE AND LOUD IN DEPTFORD

*
2013 STATISTICS 2014 STATISTICS * 2015 STATISTICS * 2016 STATISTICS * 2017 STATISTICS * 2018 STATISTICS * 2019 THE STATISTICS * 2020 THE STATISTICS *2021 STATISTICS *

You can subscribe to the blog and receive a notification for each post by clicking on the logo at the top of the page and, depending how your viewing this, by clicking on the ‘Follow’ button either on the left hand side or scroll down after the posts.

REMEMBER TO TUNE BACK IN ON JANUARY 15th WHEN THE LONDON CELTIC PUNKS BEST OF 2022 LISTS ARE REVEALED!!!

2022 ROUND-UP: NORTH AMERICA – HOIST THE COLOURS, TEMPLARS OF DOOM, BODH’AKTAN, LENNY LASHLEY’S GANG OF ONE

We might have invented Celtic-Punk in London but the true home of the genre in 2022 is in North America. Here’s four diverse albums from across the broad Atlantic showing the breadth of the scene over there.

Christmas is well out of the way now and we’re all looking forward to the New Year. After everything we’ve all endured (politicians excepted!)  it’s been a great year for Celtic-Punk. After the drought of recent years we’ve been caught in a deluge of music we tried our best but found hard to keep up with. Any regular reader know we prefer to do detailed reviews and even though we can’t do these the justice they deserve here are some notable releases we had to get in before the end of 2022.  Each impressed us immensely and are worthy of your time so go ahead and check them out. We follow our last post of artists from Britain and Ireland with today’s all from North America.

HOIST THE COLOURS – When Daylight Breaks

On first play this album reminded me of a Celtic-Punk version of Bad Religion and now several months later I can confirm that’s exactly what it is! One of the better known of the North American Celtic-Punk bands Hoist The Colors come from the urban metropolis Los Angeles and formed in 2008 when they realised they could get free drinks for bashing out a few songs in their local dive. Eventually they would grow into a six piece and become a staple of the US Celtic-Punk scene having played with all the big hitters several times and festivals galore. With a crossover appeal to both Celts and Punks their brand of fast, catchy, Punk and Folk mixed with Working Class American roots and politics has made them one of the top bands around. With three albums behind them, the last being Mourners back in 2016, When Daylight Breaks sees them continue their success.

Eleven songs and whereas I’ve always found Bad Religion incredibly samey Hoist The Colors are anything but. Not a band it’s very easy to find out much about they seem to operate in the here and now rather than harping on about past glories. Of particular interest on the album are the amazing ‘American Street’, the opening track ‘Letter To Alex’ and the title track that closes proceedings. The Celtic instruments don’t take away any of the power and only add to the emotional pull, especially as you can understand every word sung. Only one video was produced ‘Animals’ above and while it’s a great song again no other information comes with it. So if you like Hoist The Colors it may be a trifle hard to find out much about them but it will be worth it.

Contact Hoist The Colors  Facebook  WebSite  Twitter  YouTube

TEMPLARS OF DOOM – Rising Of The Doom!

For the review of their last album fellow American Irish accordion maestro TC Costello mused that as most Celtic-Punk band members are extremely talented they cannot help but let this shine through on their recordings giving them a polished feel even when to the intention isn’t to do so. That the Templars Of Doom play homage to the racket of early Brit Punk-Rock from the era known as UK82 comes through loud and very very clear on Rising Of The Doom. This is the bands third album and all have followed a similar style with wailing vocals and thrashy guitar, bass and drums. Chuck in the sound of extremely well played bagpipes and Irish republicanism and you have the sound that has seen the Templars become known and respected across the Celtic-Punk scene. During the lockdown we were privileged to have them play a live stream from their home in the aptly named Ulster Couty, New York onto our Facebook page that was watched live by over 2000 Folk-Punk folk.

Most bands say of themselves they are combination of The Clash and The Pogues but the Templars owe much to the Pistols or even Blitz or Chaos UK but that’s not to say that it’s all loud and raucous. Their are some tender moments, though they are few, and coupled with the tales of Irish-American and Irish history it’s a utterly fantastic romp. Unashamedly Irish-American Celtic-Punk the band have re-recorded a couple of older tracks giving them a bit more bite. Opening track ‘Riot In The Roundout’ kicks off the album in great style and lets you know exactly what you’re in for. Live they must be something else the energy is turned up to 11 so if they ever pass through your way be sure to check them out.

I was saddened that this album only came out a couple of weeks back not giving me the time to give it a proper review especially as the band have been great supporters of the blog and over the years have become great friends. It’s just a few bucks in American parlance from the link below where you can also stream the album too.

Contact the Templars Of Doom Facebook  YouTube  Spotify  Instagram

BODH’AKTAN – Valcourt Sessions

Formed in 2011 this band from Quebec this prolific band have appeared on these pages throughout our existence. Five studio albums in as well as a bunch of other releases have shown them to be among the continents most innovative and original Celtic-Punk bands. Unafraid to take on traditional Folk music one minute and then rock proper hard the next Bodh’aktan answered the call of the Covid pandemic meeting in September, 2021 and over the weekend locked themselves into studio B-12, in the small town of Valcourt, to record an acoustic session. All of the the ten songs here have already been recorded by the band and appeared on album already but the style and radical interpretations of these songs lift them into another space completely. Sounding like they were recorded in a bar in one take a lot of the session has already been released on You Tube and from watching them it is self evident that the joyful and energetic music we’re listening to comes from the fact that the band are really enjoying themselves.

Sung almost entirely in French the mix of songs is great and had me revisiting the earlier of Bodh’aktan’s albums where the bulk of these songs are taken from. This was such a great idea that I would have loved to have seen more bands give it a go coming out of the lock down. Perhaps signalling a new start for Bodh’aktan Valcourt Sessions shows that the talent in the Celtic-Punk is incredible and while snobs purists may write off bands like this they constantly show how utterly brilliant they are.

Contact Bodh’aktan  WebSite  Facebook  YouTube  Twitter

LENNY LASHLEY’S GANG OF ONE – Five Great Egrets

Dyed-in-the-wool Boston-area blue collar Punk-Rock legend and icon Lenny Lashley has some CV having been a long time member and guitarist of both the Street Dogs and Dropkick Murphys as well as several other bands including the respected Darkbuster. 2022 sees him return under the moniker of Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One for the the release of debut single ‘It Got So Dark’ which was taken from Five Great Egrets. This is his third solo album and having missed the first two I can’t say if they were indeed solo but here Lenny comes bursting out the blocks with ‘Not Sorry’ backed by a full band. His band includes members of Joe Sirios of The Mighty Mighty BossToneS, Tim Brennan of the Dropkick Murphys, Johnny Rioux from the Street Dogs), C.J. Ramone, Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls and together they certainly deliver the goods. The message is no regrets (or even no egrets!) and never look back.

The positive feeling you get on listening to this album is tempered with the heartfelt deeply personal lyrics. From a tense relationship ‘Heart Of Stone’, to a song of hope and guidance ‘It Got So Dark’, to integrity ‘Joe’, to humanity ‘Mexico’ the album sheds light on Lashley’s straightforward and optimistic outlook on life.

“I’m coming off 7 years of sobriety and that’s something very important to me. With sobriety, I’m slowly learning how to get rid of my inner critic because it doesn’t serve any positive purpose. When you struggle to earn sobriety you have that shame and guilt and you also beat yourself up. I was also doing that while being trying to be creative, but it didn’t help my recovery. Letting go of the inner critic translated to learning to love myself more and that was helping me creatively while I was also healing.”

These are the kind of songs that Bruce Springsteen once perfected to sell to the American working classes but he’s gone off the boil decades ago. Five Great Egrets places him at the centre of the Folk-Punk scene and it’s where he belongs.

Contact Lenny Lashley  Shop  Facebook  YouTube

2022 ROUND-UP: BRITAIN & IRELAND – THE MARY WALLOPERS, GALLOWGATE MURDERS, DIRTY OLD FOLKERS, HEADSTICKS

Four great album releases including three bands who released their debuts in 2022 and one celebrating their 10th anniversary all get the London Celtic Punks treatment. Ranging from Celtic-Punk to Irish-Folk to Punk these are the bands that make our nights out special. 

Hoping you all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. After everything we’ve all endured (politicians excepted!) we all deserve it. it’s been a excellent year for Celtic-Punk. After the drought of recent years we’ve been caught in a deluge of music we tried our best but found hard to keep up with. Any regular reader know we prefer to do detailed reviews and even though we can’t give these albums the justice they deserve here we simply had to get them in somehow before the end of the year.  Each one impressed us immensely and all are worthy of your time so go ahead and check them out. We begin with artists from Britain and Ireland.

THE GALLOWGATE MURDERS – ‘ Dead, Gone And Living On’

A booze fuelled gang of Celtic bastards, immigrant vagabonds and travelling rovers, boasting male and female fronted duel vocals the Gallowgate Murders blew onto the stage supporting The Rumjacks on their extensive pre-Covid UK tour and almost stole the show impressing every lucky fecker I met who had seen them. See I was ill and missed the London date but I was sure it wouldn’t be long and then the dreaded lockdown struck and a full stop was put to their march for the next two years. Needless to say I still haven’t seen them and am looking for a ‘sugar daddy’ to pay for them to come down and play here again if anyone is interested in the role. They did manage to put out this self titled six track EP as soon as the lockdown was lifted and I still find it hard to believe that we never got around to doing a proper review at the time. Apologies for that guys and gal. Dead, Gone And Living On certainly deserved one.

One of the EPs highlights is ‘Scáthach’, the tale of a powerful mythical Scottish Warrior Queen. A legendary martial arts teacher who trains Irish hero Cú Chulainn and the Celtic goddess of the Dead ensuring the passage of fighters killed in battle to Tír na nÓg, The Land of Eternal Youth. Another great song here is ‘Only The Bastards’ a catchy Celtic-Punk number that has a Irish-American style to it (I listen to a LOT of Celtic-Punk!) but the whole EP is superb. The EP comes in at over 22 minutes so the six songs get plenty of room to develop and we have reviewed much shorter albums over the years.

 

Contact The Gallowgate Murders  Facebook  YouTube  

THE MARY WALLOPERS – The Mary Wallopers

We were lucky enough to catch Dundalk’s The Mary Wallopers just a couple of weeks ago at a sold out show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom. A raucous celebration of Irish music but not without it’s more serious and poignant moments too. That gig is replicated with ease on their self titled debut album which came out at the end of October and heralded a huge tour of Ireland and its neighbouring island. Propelled into the spotlight during the pandemic by a series of hilarious live streams where they would chat, joke about and play good old fashioned Poguesy / Dubliners-ish Irish music. Expanding from the original 3-piece of the 2 brothers , frontman Hendy, banjoist Andrew and guitarist Seán McKenna to a seven piece was a stroke of genius and can only see them continued success. The sold out show in Camden has already led to a headline gig at the Kentish Town Forum in May. Highlights include ‘Building Up And Tearing England Down’ which laments the spilt blood of the Irish working class who rebuilt post war Britain and received nothing but the minimum of wages along with scorn and ridicule for doing so and the haunting ballad ‘John O’Halloran’ about the Irish experience of immigrating to England.

“Ah! the weary months in search of work, I tramped through street and road,
A shake-me-down in Camden town, it was my first abode.
No friendly glance to cheer my heart, no man to to take my hand,
No easy gold, only rain and cold in this god-forsaken land.”

The Mary Wallopers are well aware of the relationship the Irish diaspora over her have with the place we grew up in and luckily for them their is a rich vein of songs for them to mine from.

The gig like the album is a series of covers that contain the famous and critically popular, one or two overplayed ones and even a few me auld Mammy would have a hard time remembering. The jewel in the crown though judging from the reception it got in Camden is their cover of ‘Orange Juice And Cod Liver Oil’. Originally written by Ron Clark and Carl Mac Dougall it was made famous by Scottish Folk singer-songwriter Hamish Imlach (please also check out the original it’s long been one of my favourite songs) who like The Mary Wallopers had a terrific sense of humour and was quite the rebel in more ways than one.

An outstanding album packed with great songs and it’s very hard to record a album of covers and expect the punters to just take it but The Mary Wallopers really stamp their brand all over each song and you can forget that they were ever recorded before. This band is going to be massive and while the press will continue to label them the new Pogues we’d have to see some originals to prove them true but I think these fellas could just do it!

Contact The Mary Wallopers  WebSite  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

DIRTY OLD FOLKERS – Will Dance For Cash

We try and cover all the new bands we come across in one or another and sometimes it gets to the point where I think we’ve covered everyone and everything and then I find out that I am massively wrong and what we have covered is in fact just the tip of the iceberg. Great examples this year have been The Endings and Twelve Sullivans both bands I really am looking forward to seeing. Another is super-charged folk ensemble Dirty Old Folkers from Birmingham in the West Midlands. Once a powerhouse of the Irish diaspora the city has gone through a transformation but the Brummie Irish remain and while the council is determined to rid the city of all it’s famous hostelries and replace them with flats the Irish continue to play their part in Midlands life. Thinking of themselves, rather marvellously as “a Viz comic, being narrated by the Pogues” Dirty Old Folkers debut album is a window into 21st Century Birmingham life containing Irish and English Folk music with comedy, cabaret and political satire.

The Bankers’ Bonus system and the Coalition Government of a few years ago get a verbal kicking making me think that some of these songs here have been laying around in the Dirty Old Folkers set-list for quite a while. Influences range from Irish and English Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, touches of Jazz and Classical Music and even a nod to fellow Brummies Black Sabbath.

Contact Dirty Old Folkers  WebSite   Facebook   YouTube 

HEADSTICKS – 10 Years Without Killing Each Other

Ten years is quite the milestone for any band and to reach that milestone with the same members is highly unusual. Most Celtic-Punk bands go through more members than The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra do, so for them to remain friends and comrades through the decade I really love. It’s seven years since we first reviewed them on the London Celtic Punks site for their album Muster and we’ve followed them ever since, right up to last years release of their fourth studio album C.O.W. So it is that we know all fifteen songs included here like the back of our hand even though the band have taken the songs and re-recorded and re-jigged them for this release. Hailing from Stoke in Staffordshire, once famed for it’s industry, it’s still an area with a proud working class and trade union tradition and where Headsticks get their passion and influences from. Since day one they have championed the ordinary folk in the street while writing lyrics that tell real stories and even when they are at their most polemic it still doesn’t feel like you’re being bashed round the head with a newspaper unlike some other bands I could mention.

Singer and songwriter Andrew Tranter leads us through the album sometimes coming off like Jello Biafra and other times soft and tender but always passionate. More Bob Crow than Jeremy Corbyn! In their early days comparisons were made to New Model Army but as they have evolved their sound has become much more their own and while it’s a shame that the songs here aren’t the originals so you can see for yourself the re-recordings have given them a uniformity of the same power.

This may not be the kind of album that readers here are use to but these round ups give us a chance to share with you, via artistic license, to include releases that we loved during the year and that we feel you will love too. Headsticks have always been one of those bands and their constant innovation and evolving sound deserves to be heard and loved by more.

Contact Headsticks  WebSite  Facebook  YouTube

WATCH OUT FOR PART 2 AND 3 COMING THIS WEEK!

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CELEBRATING A CELTIC CHRISTMAS 2022. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO THE LONDON CELTIC PUNKS FAMILY

We think Celtic-Punk is about embracing the traditions of the past and bringing them to the present so here’s some of the Christmas customs of each of the Celtic nations.

At this point we also pick the best Christmas themed song we’ve heard to showcase. Their was a time it was quite easy to choose which song. Not any more!

This year our chosen Christmas track is from German Celtic-Punk legends Fiddler’s Green. While in the past we’ve gone for kind of serious songs it’s time for a Reggae – Irish Folk – Punk Christmas carol mashup I think. Taken from their recently released Christmas album Seven Holy Nights which we reviewed just the other day. It’s a marvellous album which covers so much ground and will raise even the most miserable’s smile while all the time still remaining a Celtic-Punk album.

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CELEBRATING A CELTIC CHRISTMAS

According to long standing theory, the origins of Christmas stems from pagan winter festivals. One main reason early Christians were able to spread their religion across Europe so quickly came from their willingness to embrace celebrations already common among regional populations. One such example is the Celtic ‘Alban Arthuan’, a Druidic festival that took place around December 21st. the Winter Solstice. This traditional fire festival celebrated the re-birth of the Sun. Although a celebration of the Son’s birth replaced that of the Sun’s, still a number of ancient Celtic Christmas traditions remain today.

As we look across the Celtic nations, it is interesting to note some similarities among Christmas traditions that cross geographic boundaries. They include, for example: Holly (a symbol of rebirth among Pagan Celts, but also of hospitality—it was believed fairies sought shelter inside the evergreen leaves to escape the cold); Mistletoe (believed to have healing powers so strong that it warded off evil spirits, cured illnesses and even facilitated a truce between enemies); fire and light (most notably the Yule log or candles placed in windows to light the way for strangers and symbolically welcoming Mary and Joseph); and door-to-door processions, from wassailing to Wren Hunts.

Each of the seven nations possesses its own variations of Celtic Christmas customs. Surrounding cultures and local identify shape theses practices as well.

SCOTLAND

Christmas was not officially recognized in Scotland for nearly four centuries. The Puritan English Parliament banned Christmas in 1647 and it did not become a recognized public holiday in Scotland until 1958. However, according to Andrew Halliday, in his 1833 piece Christmas in Scotland, Scots were not discouraged from celebrating Christmas. Halliday wrote

“We remember it stated in a popular periodical, one Christmas season not long ago, that Christmas-day was not kept at all in Scotland. Such is not the case; the Scots do keep Christmas-day, and in the same kindly Christian spirit that we do, though the Presbyterian austerity of their church does not acknowledge it as a religious festival”

Halliday’s 19th century account went on to describe festive sowens (sweetened oat gruel) ceremonies, “beggars” (actually “strapping fellows”) singing yule song, dances and card parties and children’s teetotum games. Despite Puritan rule, some long-time Christmas traditions are preserved. These include burning the Cailleach (a piece of wood carved to look like an old woman’s face or the Spirit of Winter) to start the new year fresh; or on Christmas Eve burning rowan tree branches to signify the resolution of any disputes. The Celtic tradition of placing candles in windows was also done in Scotland to welcome “first footers” (strangers, bearing a small gift) into the home. Traditional dishes also continue to be featured at Christmas lunch and throughout the holidays, including Cock-a-Leekie soup, smoked salmon, beef or duck, Clootie dumplings, black buns, sun cakes, Christmas pudding and Crannachan.

Because Christmas was not an official holiday until the late ‘50s it is no surprise that today, for some Scots, Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) is the most important event of the season. Arguably, locals ring in the new year with much more gusto than any other place on the planet.

IRELAND

An Autumn clean up was a common practice in Irish homes to prepare for Christmas. Women looked after cleaning the interior, while men took care of the outdoors, including whitewashing all exterior surfaces. Then holly, grown wild in Ireland, was spread throughout the house with cheer. Contemporary Ireland also highlights this clean-up ritual; once complete, fresh Christmas linens are taken out of storage.

Other customs include the Bloc na Nollaig or Christmas Block (the Irish version of the Yule log), candles in the window (perhaps one for each family member), and leading up to Christmas, ‘Calling the Waites’ where musicians would wake up townspeople through serenades and shouting out the morning hour. Christmas Eve Mass is still a grand affair; a time for friends and family to reconnect. It is not uncommon for churchgoers to end up at the local pub after service to ring in Christmas morn. On Christmas Day, traditional dishes include roast goose or ham and sausages, potatoes (such as champ), vegetables (such as cabbage with bacon) and plum pudding, whiskey, Christmas cake and barmbrack (currant loaf) for sweets. Traditionally on December 26th, St. Stephen’s Day, Wren Boys with blackened faces, carrying a pole with a dead bird pierced at the top, tramped from house to house. Today the custom sometimes sees children caroling throughout the neighbourhood to raise money for charity. It is also quite common to go out visiting on this day.

WALES

Music was and still is a major part of Welsh holidays. Plygain is a Christmas day church service, traditionally held between three and six in the morning featuring males singing acapella in three or four-part harmonies. While today this may be mainly practised in rural areas, Eisteddfodde (caroling) is abundantly popular in homes, door-to-door and as part of annual song-writing competitions.

Dylan Thomas’ story ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ is renowned around the world. An excerpt offers a glimpse of a traditional Welsh festive season:

“Always on Christmas night there was music. An uncle played the fiddle, a cousin sang ‘Cherry Ripe’ and another uncle sang ‘Drake’s Drum’… Looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending smoke-coloured snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night”

Other intriguing Welsh traditions include toffee making; drinking from a communal wassail bowl of fruit, spices, sugar and beer; children visiting homes on New Year’s Day looking for their Callenig gift; and Mary Lwyd (Grey Mare) featuring wassail singers going door-to-door carrying a horse’s skull and challenging residents in a contest of mocking rhymes.

ISLE OF MAN

Carolling also holds a special place in Manx Christmas celebrations, but traditionally an unconventional twist characterized it. On Christmas Eve, large numbers attended church for Carval. While the congregation sang, all of a sudden women would begin the traditional food fight, having peas on hand to throw at their male counterparts! Accounts from the 1700s and 1800s describe 12 days of non-stop Christmas celebrations where every barn was filled with dancers accompanied by fiddlers the local parish hired. The Reverend John Entick recorded in 1774

“On the twelfth day the fiddler lays his head on one of the women’s laps, which posture they look upon as a kind of oracle. For one of the company coming up and naming every maiden in the company, asks the fiddler, who shall this or that girl marry? And whatever he answers it is absolutely depended on as an oracle”

As in Celtic fashion, Hunting the Wren processions occurred on the Isle of Man and today the practice is going through a revival, characterized by costumes, singing and dancing.

Other Manx customs include Mollag Bands, wearing eccentric clothing, swinging a mollag (fishing float) and demanding money (a practice since outlawed); the kissing bush (a more elaborate ornament than a sprig of mistletoe); and Cammag, a sport that originated on the Isle of Man traditionally played on December 26th and/or Easter Monday. In older times but even as recently as the early 20th century, Christmas decorations were not taken down until Pancake Tuesday (when they were burnt under the pancake pan). Now holiday décor tends to be packed away on Old Christmas (January 6th).

CORNWALL

As a result of Oliver Cromwell banning Christmas, authentic holiday carols began to fade through much of Britain. However, throughout the 1800’s, Cornish composers and collectors sparked a revival of local Christmas song.Certain carols well-known around the world, such as Hark the Herald Angels and While Shepherds, are credited to Cornish origins.

“Contrary to the effect Methodism might have had on the English carollers, in Cornwall its impact was to stimulate song,” states the Cornwall Council (Cornish Christmas Carols – Or Curls, 2011). “In those areas where Methodism was strongest, music and signing had their greatest appeal, and notably so at Christmas. The singers would practice in chapels and school-rooms, some of them walking miles to be there”

Today, Cornwall erupts in festivals, fairs and markets during the holidays. The Montol Festival in Penzance (named for Montol Eve on December 21st) is a six-day celebration highlighting many Cornish traditions. These include Mummers plays, lantern processions, Guise dancing (participants dress in masks and costume, such as mock formal dress, to play music and dance).

Montol is also the time for burning the Mock (yule log). A stickman or woman is drawn on the block of wood with chalk. When the log burns, it symbolizes the death of the old year and birth of the year to come.

BRITTANY

Brittany boasts a wealth of folklore and supernatural beliefs around Christmas time. Christmas Eve was known as a night of miraculous apparitions from fairies to Korrigans, and at midnight, for just a brief moment, waters in the wells would turn into the most sweet-tasting wine. It was also at midnight, when families were either at mass or in bed, that ghosts would surface; traditionally food was left out for deceased loved ones just in case they visited.

During the holidays, Christmas markets come alive in many Breton towns vending hand-made crafts and toys, baked cakes and bread and ingredients for Christmas dinner. You can also buy Gallette des Rois at stalls, as well as bakeries, which is traditionally eaten on January 6th (Epiphany). A tiny figurine (the fève) is hidden inside the puff pastry cake; the person who finds the figurine in their piece gets to be king or queen for the day and wear a crown. Another special tradition through all of France is a meal after Christmas Eve’s midnight mass, called Réveillon. Specifically in Britany, the traditional dish for this occasion is buckwheat crêpes with cream.

GALICIA

Galicia has its own unique Christmas gift-bearer that pre-dates Christianity. He is called Apalpador, a giant who lives in the mountains. For Christmas, he descends into the villages below to make sure each child has a full belly. He brings treats, such as chestnuts, and well wishes for a year full of delicious sustenance. While Apalpador may not be widely observed in Galicia, his legend is seeing a revival.

Food is very important during the Galician holidays, featuring at least two feasts (on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Not surprisingly, seafood is on the menu, including lobster, prawns, shrimp, sea bass, and cod with garlic and paprika sauce. Other culinary delights consist of cured meat, cheese and bread, roast beef with vegetables and for dessert tarta de Santiago (almond cake), filloas (stuffed pancakes) and turrones (nougats). The children of anticipate the coming of the Three Kings or Magis by filling their shoes and leaving them outside on Epiphany Eve, January 5th. Many Galician’s communities also parade on the 5th.

So there you have it the old traditions just like the traditional music we all love live on…

Nollick Ghennal as Blein Vie Noa (Manx Gaelic)

Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath ùr (Scottish Gaelic)

Nollaig Shona Dhuit agus Bliain Nua Fe Mhaise (Irish Gaelic)

Nedeleg Laouen na Bloavezh Mat  (Breton)

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda (Welsh)

Nadelik Lowen ha Bledhen Nowyth Da (Cornish)

Further Christmas themed fun with the London Celtic Punks Top Twenty

GET IN THE FESTIVE SPIRIT WITH THE LONDON CELTIC PUNKS CHRISTMAS CELTIC PUNK TOP-TWENTY!

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LONDON CELTIC PUNKS CHRISTMAS 2022 SPECIAL

With Christmas just around the corner it’s time for an annual catch up of all this years Yuletide songs and videos. As varied as ever with everything covered with bands from around the world!

KRAKIN’ KELLYS – Holiday Season

One of my favourite bands and they love a Christmas song and deliver another great one for 2022. As catchy as hell and what about that accordion?  Celtic Skate Punk, beer and bar fight ! 

DRUNKEN DOLLY – It’s Christmas (Ho Ho Ho)

Not heard much out the Dolly camp in recent years bur this short (very short!) Christmas Celtic-Punker reminds me exactly why I love them so much. 

LOUIS RIVE – A Winters Tale

Scots singer-songwriter Louis Rive plays Folk music; not the kind about orcs, glens, wizards etc, more about people and places. Like Tom Waits and Judy Collins if either of them wrote about Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire. Closer tae home he wants to follow on from top lyricists like Michael Marra, Liz Lochead, and Hamish Imlach. 

MIGHTY PLOUGHBOYS – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas

Irish-American Celtic-Punk from Connecticut and bloomin’ good it is too. A bit sad but it’s not all tinsel is it. You can get a free download of the song by subscribing to their mailing list like I did.

THE CUNDEEZ – Xmas In The Schemes

Dundee’s The Cundeez got around to making a video for a song that originally featured on their 2012 album Murder On The Oary Express… and what a bloody great video it is! 

TIM HOLEHOUSE – Christmas Times Blues

The ever prolific Tim Holehouse. Music for music’s sake with it’s roots in Delta Blues with his own personal twist on it. A friend of his from Winnipeg once told him – Creativity, Adventure and People.

FIVE LEAF CLOVER – Taste Of Beaujolais

Christmas, eggnog, jingle bells, snowflakes and… Beaujolais! Czech republicans Five Leaf Clover know that not everyone enjoys Christmas. For some, it’s just another sad evening and this song is for them.

JOHNNY HASH – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Belfast collective been a bit quiet this year but found time for a slow and Ska-ish cover of the John Lennon song that is usually quite apt at this time of year and sadly, most years.

PADDY’S PUNK – Irish Friends

German band Paddy’s Punk new release isn’t a Christmas song but as it came out only a few days ago it finds itself here. The piano gives it a festive air and it’s a lovely song too. 

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT – IT’s Cliched To Be Cynical At Christmas

We end this selection of this years songs with a song that is neither from this year or Celtic-Punk but sums up perfectly what we think of Christmas.

Christmas is a busy time for the Samaritans. Decorations go up across the country, but there will still be people feeling down. And the worst part? Many of those struggling to cope will do so with a smile on their face. Because that’s what we do at Christmas, right? We eat, drink and be merry?

Christmas can be tough for people. But the Samaritans will be there, ready to answer every call for help they can – putting in a shift even during the darkest hours of the night.

Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time, from any phone, on 116 123.

*

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ALBUM REVIEW: FIDDLER’S GREEN – Seven Holy Nights (2022)

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, shepherds are washing their socks, Batman smells and beware of yellow snow!i

Another Christmas themed album out this year from German Celtic-Punk band Fiddler’s Green that manages to pack in a song from every Christmas genre imaginable!

Last Sunday we featured the first of a duo of Christmas themed album’s released this year from Pittsburgh’s Bastard Bearded Irishmen and today is is the turn of German Celtic-Punk legends Fiddler’s Green to spread some yuletide cheer. This time two years ago we were reviewing their 30th anniversary greatest hits album 3 Cheers For 30 Years packed to the rafters with classic German Celtic-Punk.

Just like everything that comes out of the Fiddler’s Green camp Seven Holy Nights is everything you would expect from Fiddlers Green. Polished, well played, catchy Irish music played through the filter of people from outside Ireland but with a love of its music and culture. The vast majority of songs here will be well known to most of you but it’s no surprise that one of the album’s stand out tracks is a self penned number. Of the covers here you’ll hear most of them played through the speakers in your local supermarket but as always it’s how you interpret them that counts. To breathe new life into common or popular songs and this is something Fiddlers Green have no problem achieving.

The album begins with the first of a dozen stonewall Christmas classics. ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ was a big hit in 1985 for the Welsh Elvis himself. Shakin’ Stevens was a superstar in our house growing up with my Mum adoring him and my brother such a big fan his nickname at school was Shaky! The youngest children of 13 children he’s still performing now aged 74. Next is the #1 Christmas song, Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’. I think it’s between this and Wizard and though both are great people always go with Slade. The band keep to the main tune and style throughout the album of the originals but add so much more to them than just replaying the songs with a fiddle. They sound like they had a great time doing it and play with all the passion we expect from Fiddler’s Green. Wings ‘Mull Of Kintyre’ slows things down a wee bit and then it’s time for a series of proper traditional Christmas carols with ‘I Saw Three Ships’, ‘Twelve Days Of Christmas’, ‘God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen’ and ‘Lord Of The Dance’. All played respectfully and with great beauty. Next up is the Oscar winning ‘White Christmas’. The version of which by Irish-American Bing Crosby is the world’s best selling single that has sold in excess of 100 million. It is one of my Uncle Pat’s favourite stories how he searched every store he could find trying to buy it for my Nan and had no luck and had given up but then on Christmas Eve he found a lone copy left in Woolworths. ‘Danny Boy’ is up next and included not because it’s a Christmas song but because it’s brought a tear out of many a poor immigrant over the festive period. You sometimes forget what an amazing song it is as it is so overplayed but Fiddler’s Green version is simply outstanding and I think I have something in my eye…

Jona Lewie’s ‘Stop The Cavalry’ follows and with it’s apt anti-war message and given a bit of Celtic-Punk oompf is very timely. Now it’s time for a couple of silly songs and ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ steer us towards the end. So after a dozen fiddled about with Christmas classics it’s time to say goodbye with the self penned and title track ‘Seven Holy Nights’. Describing a Christmas celebration that begins in traditional style before bursting into more traditional Celtic-Punk.

With a line of merchandise that would make Ferocious Dog jealous the band themselves have sold out of CD’s but their are some still available at the various links below and you can still get the vinyl version from them (on green vinyl of course!) and the special ‘Limited Fan Edition’ with advent calendar, memo game, gingerbread, Christmas ornament and cloth bag sold out ages ago. A great Christmas romp and perfect for those who would rather spend their Christmas Eve in the pub than with Aunt Erna or Uncle Willi under the Christmas tree but then I think Aunt Erna and Uncle Willi would get a huge kick out of Seven Holy Nights as well.

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ALBUM REVIEW: BASTARD BEARDED IRISHMEN – A Very Bastard Christmas (2022)

Out of ‘Steel City’ Pittsburgh its our auld mates the Bastard Bearded Irishmen and they bring some Christmas cheer with their new Yuletide album.

The Bastard Bearded Irishmen first came to our attention way way back in the early days of the site with the release of 2014’s Rise Of The Bastard. One bright day a package appeared all the way from Pennsylvania’s second largest city of Pittsburgh. Famous for its largely working class communities of Irish, German and Eastern Europeans the city was built upon steel making and has been a home for Europeans fleeing injustice and poverty since the 1800’s. The Irish still number 16% of the cities population and the Saint Patrick’s Day parade is second only to New York in the whole of the USA so it was no surprise that Bastard Bearded Irishmen (from now on to be referred to as the Irishmen or this review will be all bastards and that doesn’t seem very Christmassy!) had the Irish-American ‘thing’ absolutely nailed. A good time band much in demand at festivals they began as a temporary thing but soon realised demand outstripped supply in the local Irish pub scene and so fourteen years later the guys are still at it and loving every second.

It’s been four years since we got to hear last album Drinking To The Dead but as is common with the rest of the Celtic-Punk / Rock scene the pandemic saw a couple of years of enforced quiet but the Irishmen were busting to get back on the circuit and the last few months have seen them returning to many of their old haunts much to the joy of their many fans.

The last few years have seen Christmas move clear of anytime else in the Celtic-Punk calendar, after a certain day in March that is! Last year we had to make a special feature of all the singles released and even then we still missed a bunch of them. While other genres might be too cool to celebrate Christmas we love a bit of cheese and its any excuse to get the sherry and the mistletoe out.  The Irishmen’s new album titled rather subtlety as A Very Bastard Christmas came out just after Thanksgiving Day and they’ve spent every available minute plugging it since.

The album opens with a track written by the band one of a handful here. in fact they are evenly-ish split between classics and originals which is always a good start for a reviewer.  ‘Must Be Santa’ comes with a suitably adult video featuring all of the obscenities you would expect from a Bastard Santa and a few more! Fast paced and catchy with the lyrics nice and easy to follow and hear its the Irishmen winning combination of Irish, Country and Punk / Rock straight out the traps. ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’ is another original and they slow it down and keep the cursing down to a minimum making this one for the Nans. ‘Christmas In Killarney’ is one of the most famous specifically Irish-American songs written in 1950 by the songwriting team of John Redmond, James Cavanaugh and Frank Weldon and given a good thrashing here.

Next up is the Christmas Carol / nursery rhyme ‘I Saw Three Ships’ celebrating the return of ships sailing back home from long voyages on Christmas Day followed by a hilarious version of ‘Santa Baby’ where the ghost of Eartha Kitt lives on in the Irishmen. Now it’s time for the ultimate Christmas song, ‘Fairytale Of New York’, and one unfairly targeted by Christmas killjoys for censorship so sad to hear the Irishmen fall victim to it as well and change the lyrics which admittedly they have done a lot of to the covers on this album. It’s played pretty much the standard Pogues way and then we hop across the Irish sea next for a Punk-Rock ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

The albums last song is a bunch of edited together ‘Extended Outtakes’ of drunken ramblings titled ‘Hangin’ Out’ tacked on as a bonus track. Had a right laugh at this and fits in nicely at the end of the album. Only eight songs on the album and it flies past at 22 minutes making it a quick way to celebrate Christmas. It’s just longer than my train journey home for work!

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(Check out the Irishmen’s excellent set on the main stage on both days of 2022’s Niagara Celtic Festival. This is Saturday night’s performance which featured less rain, brighter lights, and a crowd more willing to hang out until the bitter end where the amps failed and the show carried on without them.)

EP REVIEW: THE DISTILLERY RATS – We Are Rats (2022)

German Celtic-Punks The Distillery Rats are back after a five year break with an EP packed full of stories and high-energy songs where they manage to infuse their energy onto their record and immediately get you craving to see one of their infamous live shows.

The Distillery Rats are one of a number of German Celtic-Punk bands who loudly proclaim their Celtic-Punkness to the world. Where as here in England bands hide their genre bending under a rock and the rather vague title of ‘Folk-Punk’ Celtic-Punk is the label of choice for bands on the continent. Formed in the German wine making area of Heilbronn the Distillery Rats have been playing their own brand of Irish Punk since 2005. Regular readers will know that we have our theories about why in Germany Celtic-Punk, Irish / Celtic music and Irish / Celtic culture are so widely celebrated but they certainly love all things Irish over there and the Rats are another in a long line of bands who have managed to take punk rock and Irish folk and unify them together into what we all know to be the ultimate good time music.

The Distillery Rats left to right: left to right: Marcy Mahoney- Vocals, Acoustic Guitar * Mr. Firebeard- Accordion, Drums * Matt O’Killian- Banjo, Mandolin, Whistles, Pipes * Phil McMorning- Vocals, Bass, Accordion, Banjo, Guitars * Josey DiCilento- Accordion, Piano * Toby McWire- Electric Guitar * Mike McMorning- Drums, Percussion * George McGorgeous- Guitars, Backing Vocals *

Formed as 4-piece originally called Commerzpank, The Distillery Rats have played and continue to play all over Germany in pubs, clubs and at festivals large and small. That four piece has grown to include two vocalists, guitars, drums and bass and on the Folk side of the band banjos, mandolin, accordion, piano, bouzouki, whistles and even uilleann pipes. 

Their recording career began with the now long sold out five-track EP Back On The Road in 2010 and it was a full seven years before they followed this up with Tales From County Whiskey in 2017 an excellent album that would make that years Celtic-Punk Top Thirty. So that makes the five year gap between then and the brand new The Distillery Rats release the EP We Are Rats seem small by comparison. The EP starts off with ‘Back On The Road’ and we are back in familiar territory if you are a fellow fan of #ratsstyle Fast and heavy Celtic-Punk. For the rest of you The Distillery Rats are a unique band within the scene as they somehow manage to simultaneously sound like both the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly so something here for even the slightest of Celtic-Punk fans! After two + years of forced retirement its a joyful celebration of returning to playing live. This is followed up by the title song ‘We Are Rats’, with pounding drums and accordion led The Distillery Rats set forth their manifesto!

“You’re praising yourself; you achieved that much goals, you’re strong and surely you are tall.
No matter how you act, in Fact you’re a rat, oh, that isn’t so bad, not at all.
If you would know wherever to go, if you knew who you want to be
Then cats turn to rats, and foes turn to friends,  tonight you’ll all sing with me.”

The Celtic influences are many on We Are Rats and ‘Going Down’ is no different taking in elements of hard Rock on top of everything else alongside some blazing fiddle work and amazing banjo playing. A contender with the next track for the EP’s standout song. The first half of ‘Ratstyle’ takes Celtic-Punk into the territory of The Exploited before settling into more trad Celtic-Punk before returning to fast and heavy! As an aside Wattie out of The Exploited collapsed on stage this week and the band have been forced to cancel all their forthcoming gigs so good luck Wattie and get well soon. Though being a Hearts fan I can be fairly sure he doesn’t read this site! The EP ends with the Country-Irish ‘Workers And Drinkers’ and a song about dreaming of a well earned pint (or two!) at the English working classes favourite pub chain, JD Wetherspoons.

“I think it’s actually unfair
That there are beggars and there are millionaires
I guess some fifteen pints should take me elsewhere”

Starting off with acoustic guitar the song is a nice counterweight to the power of the rest of the EP as The Distillery Rats see us out with a gentle singalong.

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NEW SINGLE: MADIGAN’S WAKE LEADING THE NEW WAVE OF AUSSIE CELTIC-PUNK

Australian Celtic-Punk band, Madigan’s Wake, have done it again, this time in blistering fashion. In a breakout year for them where their self-titled their debut single made waves throughout the Celtic-Punk scene their third single ‘Thunderbolt’ promises to round off an amazing year, and positions them as one of many Australian Celtic punk bands to watch out for in 2023.

Captain Thunderbolt was the last of the professional bushrangers in New South Wales. Frederick Ward (his real name) had become something of a folk hero due to his gentlemanly behaviour and his tendency to avoid violence. Nonetheless he went on a crime spree through New South Wales and often took his wife (Mary Bugg) and children with him on his journeys. A spree in Dungog, Stroud and Singleton from November 1863 to January 1864 involved the entire bushranging family. He was given the nickname, Captain Thunderbolt, after he startled a customs officer from his sleep by banging loudly on the door. The startled officer is claimed to remarked,

“By God, I thought it must have been a thunderbolt”.

After being caught and imprisoned at Cockatoo Island he escaped and continued his robbing spree. Ward was eventually shot by Constable Walker (an off-duty policeman) in 1870 after a dramatic showdown in swamp land near Uralla, NSW. Hundreds flocked to see his body on display and, for a shilling, you could buy a postcard of his bullet-ridden body.

A statue of Ward was commissioned at the intersection of New England Highway and Thunderbolts Way, Uralla, New South Wales. This statue has divided the community and raised the debate as to whether he was a villain or an anti-authoritarian convict hero who, in a gentlemanly way, fought against the oppressive establishment. In any case Madigan’s Wake continues to tell his story without judgement or prejudice.

THUNDERBOLT – THE GENTLEMAN OUTLAW

Freddy Ward was born in 1835
In Wilberforce and Windsor he was raised
Son of convict Michael Ward, the youngest there of ten
He started stealing horses as his trade
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, Thunderbolt
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, Thunderbolt
He tried the straight and narrow working stations in New South
His horseman skills they duly made his name
But nephew Johnny Garbutt did convince him otherwise
To use his skill to make unlawful gain
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, Thunderbolt
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, Thunderbolt
You can’t outrun the law and eventually they were caught
And sentenced to ten years at Cockatoo
But Freddy did escaped and fell in love with Mary Bugg
And the two of them together they shot through
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, Thunderbolt
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, Thunderbolt
And so it’s true eventually complacency sets in
He dropped his guard for everyone who saw
And as he tried to get away a trooper chanced upon
And with one shot he rode into folklore
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, Thunderbolt
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, Thunderbolt
And so it’s true my friends
That Freddy got his whack
But he never shot, or killed or stabbed or maimed
Though he stole and pillaged
His demeanour never changed
The gentleman outlaw he will remain
And if you pass Uralla
On the New England Highway
You’ll see a statue there that says it all
For there is no rhyme or reason
Why a good man does go bad
By the grace of God go us until we fall
By the grace of God go us until we fall
By the grace of God go us until we fall
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, Thunderbolt
Another fantastic track from Madigan’s Wake. Fast paced, chaotic and blending both Irish and Australian folklore. The band are planning to come over and join us for a few gigs in the UK in the first half of next year. We await their debut album which has already been recorded. Mixed by Brent Quirk and mastered by Tony Mantz from Jack the Bear’s Deluxe Mastering in Melbourne. Release date is set for February 2023 and will be simply titled Madigan’s Wake. We’re really looking forward to this one as should any serious Celtic-Punk supporter or indeed Fan of Irish music.

Contact Madigan’s Wake  Facebook  YouTube  Spotify

Buy the single from https://ingrv.es/thunderbolt-the-gent-fqd-o

ALBUM REVIEW: FINNEGAN’S HELL – One Finger Salute (2022)

Sweden’s Finnegan’s Hell have created a new branch of Celtic-Punk by adding influences from Hard Rock, Hillbilly Country and Swedish Folk.
The band that the press called the kings of The New Wave Of Swedish Celtic Punk focus on melody and singalongs on new album One Finger Salute.

The Finnegan’s return with a new album and just like The Ramones they are not related and also just like The Ramones everything they do is golden! It barely seems like five minutes since their top three album Work Is The Curse Of The Drinking Class when it is in fact a couple of years. So more than enough time for this prolific bunch to get new album on the decks.

Now well into the second decade the Bhoys from Malmö, Lund and Gothenburg have had plenty of success along the way and one look at some of the live performances on their You Tube channel will tell you how popular they are as well. They even found time to record ‘The Boys In Green Will Conquer for the Ireland team for Euro 2012. This led to them being described in the Irish media as

”They’re hard to describe, but just imagine a blend of Metallica and the Kilfenora céilí Band and you’d be about right.”

Everything they release gets a thumbs up from the Celtic/Folk-Punk media and they are fairly unique in the scene as they tend to receive plenty attention from the wider music press and, again, always very positive.

The album begins with ‘What Have You Got In The End?’ a short sharp burst of fiery tin whistle led proper Celtic-Punk in a tribute to all workshy Celtic-Punk rockers everywhere who question the benefits of working hard. The excellent video was produced and directed by Michael Ek, like all the videos featured here, who dug deep into the Swedish National Archives to find suitable images of Swedish life to illustrate the message behind the song. As with everything Finnegan’s Hell put their name to their attention to detail is incredible. ‘One Finger Salute’ was the first single to come out from the album and again accompanied by a fantastic video, the song with it’s infectious chorus is sure to evoke a sea of audience middle fingers when played live. The third song to be released prior to official release date was ‘Mickey Finn’ and by now we getting the taste of what this album is all about. Fast, furious bursts of energetic Punk-Rock but played through a filter of traditional Irish Folk music. Now a ‘Mickey Finn’ is a alcoholic drink laced with drugs given to someone without their knowledge. Named for a late 19th-century Chicago-Irish bartender and pickpocket who was notorious for drugging people’s drinks. Many of us, not me mind (!), have blamed their obnoxious drunken behaviour on being “slipped a Mickey”!

Only ten songs on the album is a wee bit of a gripe but Finnegan’s Hell are very careful to make sure only quality makes it on board so maybe that’s why. Next up is ‘Read My Lips’ and from here on these songs are all new to me and their fans. If I thought the previous songs were pacey then I wasn’t prepared for this which comes out like a Motorhead where Lemmy was influenced by the Dubliners rather than Nazi Germany! I’ve often said that to be a top draw Celtic-Punk band one of the things you have to master is the ballad and Finnegan’s have always turned out a great one. Here it is ‘Godforsaken Town’ with the lyrics setting the scene brilliantly of a town dying on it’d feet as people flee for better opportunities. Reverend Mick never sounds better on this album while the music is sparse giving Mick’s vocals all the more emphasis. Tin whistle leads us into ‘Run Boy Run’ and we’re back on more familiar territory with a tale of a life gone bad leading into ‘Comin’ After You’ and the excellent banjo and accordion in a dark fist in the air singalong. Less serious matters see us out starting with ‘I’ll Make It Up To You’ a trad Irish romp and the darker ‘Nothing Left To Lose’ which between them tell the breakdown of a marriage albeit with plenty of humour. The curtain comes down on One Finger Salute with  ‘Oh Death’ and a Nick Cave / Tom Waits / Celtic-Goth number that sees them go out in style.

Finnegan’s Hell from left: Ace Finnegan – Drums * Pabs Finnegan – Lead Vocals / Guitar * Cozy Finnegan – Percussion / Backing Vocals * Mick Finnegan – Banjo / Tin Whistle / Vocals * San Finnegan – Bass / Backing Vocals * Old Roxy – Accordian * Photo by Lars Brundin *

Back in Sweden, Finnegan’s Hell are lazily labelled ‘The Swedish Pogues’ by a music press that only thinks of The Pogues when it comes to Celtic and Irish music. It’s always going to be something that Celtic-Punk bands will have to put up with (I even saw the Dropkick Murphys compared to The Pogues once!) but at least they share the same kind of infectious melody and straightforward lyrics even though Finnegan’s Hell have cranked up the volume and the tempo. They may not be about re-inventing the wheel but what they are about is taking Celtic-Punk and wringing every single bit of fun out of it and they achieve that mightily on One Finger Salute. Tip of the hat to you Bhoys.

Buy One Finger Salute  Sound Pollution Records 

Contact Finnegan’s Hell  WebSite  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

NEW SINGLE: DEXYS AND PRIMAL SCREAM RELEASE ‘Enough Is Enough’ FOR STRIKING WORKERS

One off collaboration between indie-pop pioneers Primal Scream and 80’s legends Dexys in solidarity with striking rail workers.

After a plea from the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Twitter account to Dexys Midnight Runners frontman Kevin Rowland an amazing collaboration was born between indie-pop pioneers Primal Scream and 80’s legends Dexys to create a fundraiser for the RMT with an original song called Enough is Enough! The song was inspired by both the RMT and the nascent Enough Is Enough campaign. As such, all proceeds go to the RMT dispute fund and huge thanks and eternal gratitude go to both bands, in particular Kevin Rowland and Bobby Gillespie and also to former the Jesus and Mary Chain bassist Douglas Hart for producing a wonderful video.

All proceeds go to the Dispute Hardship Fund https://t.co/GuLp7BZmjh

Video by Douglas Hart and edited by Gully with special thanks to Ed Hall.

It’s all a big con to keep us confused

The bottom line is we’re all being used

While we fight each other, we’re going nowhere

We need to take on the fuckers who show us no care.

*

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch, himself a second generation Irish Londoner, a child of Armagh and Cork parents, who makes a guest appearance on the track said.

“As we go into further strike action this Saturday this sort of solidarity, which these talented musicians gave completely free of charge, is an indication of the huge support we are getting from across the country. All the money from this single will go directly to our dispute fund which we are using as part of our battle for justice in the workplace. It’s time for the government to stop interfering and let us negotiate a settlement with the employers.”

You can buy the download for Enough Is Enough via the Bandcamp link below. 

SOLIDARITY

ODDS’N’SODS. A CELTIC-PUNK ROUND UP DECEMBER 2022

It’s cliched to be cynical at Christmas so roll out the Yuletide jumper, Bailey’s and good cheer and start your Christmas with this months Odds’n’Sods!

A brand new Odds’n’Sods round-up of all this months Celtic-Punk entertainment from the scene’s bands big and small, established or just starting out.

Sad news of the passing of Garrick ‘Gary’ Roberts (1950-2022) founder member and lead guitarist with Irish post-Punk band THE BOOMTOWN RATS. R.I.E.P.

We kick off with a recently filmed video from the marvellous London-Irish Celtic-Punk band CROCK OF BONES giving Shane’s ‘Dark Streets’ a thrashing! Filmed by Eric Dissent at The Pelton Arms in Sarf London we will have another video of them coming soon. Uploaded onto the London Celtic Punks You Tube page we’ve plenty of videos from our shows from over the years.

Sad news from Germany that a particularly favourite band of mine THE POKES from Berlin are calling it a day. They announced on Facebook the other day

The Pokes, as a band, are now in a sleeping beauty sleep.
The idea and the songs live on – and whether one day a prince rides by and kisses the musical memento will show. Many thanks to all the visitors and supporters who have encouraged us over the years.
Should news emerge, they will be presented here.
So much for now. (Ian)

New track from the Flatfoot 56 side project 6′ 10. Named after singer Tobin’s height they are a perfect foil for F56’s Celtic-Streetpunk. The song was written as a commission for friends who wanted their story to be reflected in song.

THE PUNKABILLYS blazed bright for a short time across the Celtic-Punk press a few years ago and then seem to disappear. Whether or not they kept on playing I don’t know but it’s great to see them back with a new single and an new album on the horizon too.

Celtic Celtic-Punk from Brittany with BRETONS covering one of Flogging Molly’s most popular tracks.  A musical project with trad and rock influences the collective records traditional songs and covers from the wide Celtic scene starring musicians from Kervegans, Digresk, Ev and Soldat Louis.

London Folk-Punk folk MAN THE LIFEBOATS have a great new track about a place dear to their hearts in old old East London. They have a new album out too, Soul Of Albion, that if we gave scores then I’d reckon it a easy 8/10!

Italian Celtic-Punk band MENEGUINNESS have a new album out called Irish Caravan. It’s available from https://bfan.link/irish-caravan and is called ‘Cry Of The Banshee’ is the first single and bouncy mix of Ska and Celtic in a great video.

Dorset Punk band SINFUL MAGGIE have a new album out, Psycho & Sycophants, and are really beginning to make waves now in the Punk scene with lots of headline gigs coming their way and well deserved too. Available from their store along with a load of cracking new shirt designs.

Dutch Celtic rockers MAGGIE’S FLOCK have a new single ‘Glastonbury Tor’. Stream or download it here: https://lnkfi.re/d3F4On7r. A song about a night the singer spent at that wondrous pilgrimage-site for hippies, trippies and flippies…

The excellent JAMESTOWN BROTHERS have a new video out featuring a song from the bands 2020 release ‘Rebels Rogues and Regrets’. They keep it slow and moving but always interesting.

Rings Of Power was dreadful and I never even finished watching all the episodes. The message to the writers is you don’t mess with perfection. Here’s Italian band PATRICKS with the series theme tune.

THE CLOVES AND THE TOBACCO from Indonesia are like music to the ear! If anyone had of told me a few years back that some of the best Celtic-Punk would be made in Indonesia then I think I would have laughed but it is true and any serious fan of the genre needs to investigate more. Try typing Indonesia into the search bar on this site!

This has just been uploaded onto You Tube and though its from 2015 it’s still worth a look and it made my day on seeing it. The kids of Oak Park School performing ‘Shippin’ Up To Boston’.

Thought I’d add this here. If you feel the need to drunkenly wander the streets of London (or anywhere) committing criminal damage then you can get a bunch of stickers at the address below.

THE CARDINAL SINS – Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner

LORETTA PROBLEM – Green And Gray

SINFUL MAGGIE – Psycho & Sycophants

THE WATERBOYS – A Rock in the Weary Land

MENEGUINNESS – Irish Caravan

THE SMITH STREET BAND Life After Football

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

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’s band is unusual for this feature in that they are one that many of you will already know of, THE TOSSERS. Truly one of the best Celtic-Punk bands around and a band that is worthy of being called inheritors of the sound of The Pogues. Long Dim Road was the bands debut album and what a f’ing start to their career. If you haven’t heard it don’t bother listening to it first just skip straight to downloading and save time!

Cú ULAID (hound of ulster, translated from irish) is the solo project of Donegal based Kev Gall, bass player for The Pox Men, who have featured here several times, and Dogmandü. A Tale Or Two is the follow up to his elf titled debut of dark original Irish Folk.

Canadian Irish Celtic-Punk’s PADDY WAGGIN recently released their new single starring Finny McConnell from THE MAHONES on vocals ‘Life On The Booze’ on Bandcamp for just $1.

I’ll be seeing JOLLY ROGER for the first time in a couple of days at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston if you fancy it? Here’s their latest single ‘Sea Maiden’ featuring the voice of Siren Songbird. It’s a ‘name your price’ download as are all of their tracks at the same link.

ANGRY ZETA AND THE HILLBULLYS are not just a great name but also a great band. Here’s their new album of Country-Punk from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Five headed folk punk band FOXES FAUX from Keighley in West Yorkshire have a new 7″ single out available on vinyl only though you can listen to half of it below.

Folk-Punk supergroup formed with the help, support and musical talents of Matt Johnson, Maty Tustian, Jess Silk, Brian Stone, Ewan P Stevens, Sam Tucker, Sid River, Karen Stone, Chloe Glover under the banner FESTIVAL FRIENDS to record ‘Forever 17’ in loving tribute to Matty would have been 18 on 22nd October. He passed away on 5th February 2021 after battling medulloblastoma a form of brain cancer. The cost of downloading the song is £1 and all proceeds go directly to Team Verrico.

The vinyl for the new PRONGHORN album is out now. Check out our review for the ‘Kings Of Cow-Punk’ fantastic album Welcome To Pronghorn County.

THE DUBLIN LEGENDS play Nells on December 8 and 9. Both THE SCRATCH and THE MARY WALLOPERS play Camden on the same day at the same time 100 yards away from each other so if you’re stuck check out our preview, One Night In Camden,  to help you make your mind up which way to jump on the day itself! The following day medieval London Celts PERKELT play the Jamboree in Kings Cross. January is going to be a fantastic month for London Celtic Punks with a whole host of gigs coming up starting with THE CLOVERHEARTS at The Black Heart in Camden on the 7th,  DROPKICK MURPHYS announced THE RUMJACKS, PENNYWISE and JESSE AHEARNE as support for their Euro tour starting in Jan and hitting Wembley Arena on the 21st and then a week later is THE REAL McKENZIES at the New Cross Inn on the 28th. Further ahead DAMIEN DEMPSEY and THE POGUE TRADERS are confirmed for St. Patrick’s week. Anyone remember THE DEVIL MAKES THREE who supported the Dropkick Murphys here a few years back are touring the UK in May and hit London on the 23rd and finally THE REAL McKENZIES are confirmed for Punk fest rebellion in August in Blackpool.

A new music events organisation has been set up in London. EMERALD EVENTS – LONDON
“Over the past 10 – 15 years London has been blessed with many Irish rebel bands and singers coming across and even some London musicians but recently have we seen a decline in London. There’s where we’ve stepped in to ensure Irish rebel music is safe in London for years to come. Emerald Events – London is a group of friends that want to bring these events back to what they were in the days of the Hoops Bar Oval and Quex Road Kilburn. Our Sole aim is to bring different Rebel/ballad/traditional irish music back to London as it previously once was! We have already been in contact with certain musicians and are looking forward to 2023.  FacebookInstagram – Twitter – 

London Celtic Punks presents another night of rip roaring Celtic-Punk and Irish-Folk ☘️
Coming down from Worcester to play London for the first ever time THE WHIPJACKS. Pounding drums, driving bass and screeching guitar flit hand in hand with melodic mandolin, accordion, partial nudity and attitude filled lyrics.
https://thewhipjacks.bandcamp.com/
Supported by London-Irish Celtic-Punk band CROCK OF BONES. Hot Irish jigs, reels, foot stompers and lyrical folk out of north London whose backgrounds stretch back to 90s Celtic-Punk, gypsy jazz, dark folk and rock. Using fiddle, accordion, banjo, guitar and double bass, their set contains originals/standards/reels and jigs, from full-pelt foot-stompers like Hot Asphalt to sing-along ballads like the original Ferry.
https://www.facebook.com/Crock-of-Bones-327151471252980/
more to be confirmed…
The night will be compered by London Celtic Punk Poet and rabble raiser BENNY RABBLE who will perform between acts with his incendiary working class 2nd generation poems.
https://www.facebook.com/bennyrabble
The gig is FREE ENTRY so bring cash for beer and to buy some band merchandise and kicks off at 7-30pm sharp. 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.
http://www.thebirdsnestpub.co.uk/

If you like what we do then you can support us by checking out our online store. The Harp’n’Bones design is back in all sizes and on black or white shirts. Also we have new polo shirts, in all sizes, and some nifty woolly hats as well as the Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer shirts. 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! https://the30492shop.fwscart.com/

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! https://t.me/londoncelticpunks/

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 londoncelticpunks@hotmail.co.uk

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!

Some rather good news sneaked by us without anyone hardly noticing. The London Celtic Punks Facebook page passed the 6000 mark after being stuck on 5900 for what seemed like ages. Join us there for up to date news on Celtic-Punk scene. You know what they say- little things please little people!

As usual no Odds’n’Sods feature for next month as we will be concentrating on our end of year polls. Watch out for them. Continue to send in your news though.

Finally a message to bands. Its Christmas soon (yes I know!) and if you are planning on doing a Christmas release then be sure to get the details to us as soon as possible. Last year we could hardly keep up so give us a chance folks!

Finally finally time for an all time classic…  Happy Christmas Celtic-Punkers. x

A reminder too that we need your news so anything you would like to share with the rest of the Celtic-Punk scene send it onto us.

If you are new to the London Celtic Punks blog it is easy to subscribe / follow and never miss a post. Bands, promoters, record labels, venues send in any news to londoncelticpunks@hotmail.co.uk or via the Contact Us page.

ALBUM REVIEW: O’HAMSTERS – From Green Hills To Raging Sea (2022)

Delayed, delayed and delayed again the fourth album from O’Hamsters, Celtic-Punk band from Kyiv, Ukraine, finally sees the light of day. Not even a full-scale Russian invasion can stop Celtic-Punk! Ireland, women, alcohol, football hooligans, pirates and genitalia, reflections on the Ukrainian-Russian war, the brotherhood and unity of the Celtic-Punk scene and a daring story of prisoners’ escape from jail all feature on this great album. 

The release of From Green Hills To Raging Sea has been on the cards for a while now. First along came the Covid pandemic and then came the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. With no end to the war in sight O’Hamsters have decided to put the album out and raise awareness of the invasion and to raise money for HMV.UA, a group of volunteers lead by friend of the band Alex Sedov who aid the Ukrainian army. One of the many tragedies around the war in Ukraine is that the first time I heard of O’Hamsters was on the compilation album Ex-USSR Tribute To Dropkick Murphys, which featured eighteen Celtic, Punk, Celtic-Punk, Hardcore and Oi! bands from Russia and Ukraine. The album is still available for free download and is heartily recommended. So their existed a very friendly relationship between bands from both countries and whatever happens in the future I really hope that this friendly relationship can survive.

From left to right: Anton Skvortsov (top, looking somewhere far away) – vocals, acoustic guitar *  Ruslan Viter (bottom) – guitars, backing vocals * Andriy Ganzevych (top) – mandolin, whistle, backing vocals * Volodymyr Mazur (bottom) – accordion, piano, backing vocals * Denys Zhukowsky (top) – drums, backing vocals * Maksym Sokolov (bottom) – bass, backing vocals

O’Hamsters have been together for twelve years and have well over 200 gigs under their belts from playing across Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Belarus. Their previous releases include Alcophilosophy (2011), Kyiv /Dublin /Alcohol (2014)2014 and Wherever We Go (2017) and two EP’s Sassenach, Go On Home (2010) and Kiss My Irish Ass (2015) as well as contributing songs to the compilation albums Ex-USSR Tribute To Dropkick Murphys (2013), see above, and the Worldwide Tribute to The Pogues (2016).

The album begins with ‘Cath Ghleann Molúra’ and the rat-a-tat-rat beat soon explodes into full on accordion led Punk slammer. From the first notes you get the idea of where O’Hamsters are going and its great! The tune is dedicated to the Battle of Glenmalur from 1580, when a united army of Irish clans defeated the English army in the mountains of Wicklow setting the mood for the rest of the album. They have in the past sung mainly in their own language but on ‘Black Sails’, their first video in almost five years, it is also the first time they have sung in English. Dating from five years ago it shows how long the planning for this album has been and tells of the fate of James McGraw aka Captain Flint, renowned pirate from the book Treasure Island and the 2014 television series Black Sails.

“As a kid you dreamed of leaving a port town you’ve grown up in 
And you saw yourself a captain like your dad has always been 
Years later you are smiling, standing firmly on the deck 
Famous storm of seas and oceans sailing under the black flag”

Both the lyrics and the context of the songs and adjoining history is superb and instilled with meaning.  ‘Пісенька про Капітана Бена Лаферті / Captain Ben Lafferty Song’ is a song of two halves kicking off as a mental instrumental before bursting into the story of a brave seaman. Anton on vocals has a voice that rivals Ronnie Drew himself for its gruffness. Ronnie was once described as having a voice “like the sound of coke being crushed under a door” and Anton is not far behind! For a band that rocks so heavily Irish Folk melodies still play an enormous part in everything they do and ‘До Ірландії / To Ireland’  tells of an Irish rebel dying in Brixton Prison who asks of the priest who comes to hear his confession if his soul will have one last journey to Ireland. It’s an unusual song here in that it is quite mellow but filled with symbolism. ‘September’56’ features Eugene Tymchyk, vocalist from Ukrainian bands Septa, The Nietzsche and others. It is no surprise that the war dominates this album and O’Hamsters borrow from the Irish rebel songbook next with a updated Celtic-PUNK version of ‘Mій Армалайт / My Little Armalite’ with a Ukrainian fighter taking on the Russian army with the help of his Armalite rifle. Next up is ‘Rocky Road to Odesa’, a song recorded originally by a O’Hamsters side project. ‘Пагорби Дніпра / Dnipro Hills’ springs along spiritedly almost Ska-ish at times but most definitely catchy as hell at all times in a love song to their home city! Finny McConnell has been a busy man of late popping up on these pages in the last few weeks guesting on the recent Paddy Waggin’ single ‘Life On The Booze’ and then when his band The Mahones released their outstanding album Jameson Street last month. Here he is again guesting on vocals for the next song here, ‘Together As One’. The song is one of the albums highlights and was the second single to come out. The video is a tribute to everyone who has supported O’Hamsters over the years. Former members, bands they have played with, the fans and crew.

“In these difficult times, when an army of barbarians is trying to conquer Ukraine, it is more important than ever for us to be Together As One”

Like us O’Hamsters see the link between football and Celtic-Punk and ‘За Свій Клуб / For Your Club’ is for everyone who fights for their team. Lots of “Oi! Oi!” gang vocals and another standout. This is so bloody catchy!! ‘Пеггі Летермор / Peggie Lettermore’ short but fast tune telling of a man whose life was made a misery by the aforementioned Peggie. The fiddle here is played by ex-O’Hamster Dmytro Danov. Like many European countries many, many people left their homes for an uncertain future in north America and elsewhere. Over a million Americans declare themselves of Ukrainian descent many of whose ancestors arrived escaping from ‘the red terror’ after the events of 1917. My industrial home town in northern England, like many others nearby, has a thriving Ukrainian Centre for example. ‘Наш Дім / Our Home’ is the story of those Ukrainian immigrants who sailed West to start new lives. The curtain comes down on Green Hills To Raging Sea with‘П’яний Скрипаль / Drunken Fiddler’ featuring Anatoliy Khomenko of fellow Ukrainian Celtic-Punk band ShamRocks on fiddle. A uttely superb way to end things witha swirling heavy but gentle (!) Celtic-Punk pint (or fist?) in the air moment. Speaking of nostalgia for youth, friends that have left us and music that is capable of creating utter joy. A time for unity and a time to contemplate what these poor guys are going through at this exact moment in time.

The album was recorded during March 2021 – September 2022 at PystelnukArt Studio, Kyiv. It was mixed and mastered by Dmytro Bastanov and the excellent artwork is from Oleksii Demianiuk. I’ve always loved O’Hamsters partly because of the uncompromising way they refuse to soften their sound and stick to their principals of playing it loud and proud. These are extremely talented musicians and capable of playing Irish-Folk that would make any homegrown band swoon. What these Folk-Punk folk, and the rest of their nation, are going through at the moment we can only imagine but we send our love and best wishes to them and while it may sound like some kind of ‘worthy’ review but this is seriously a contender for album of the year. I guess that’s what recording it for four years does!

(You can stream / download From Green Hills To Raging Sea from Bandcamp)

Buy From Green Hills to Raging Sea  Bandcamp

Contact O’Hamsters  Facebook  Soundcloud  YouTube

I’ll leave the final word to the band themselves

As for our plans – right now most of the plans of most Ukrainians look like this: survive and win. That includes us 🙂 We constantly ask for support for our army, which gives us the opportunity to make music. You can do this following the links below

https://savelife.in.ua/en/donate-en/ 

https://prytulafoundation.org/en/home/support_page 

https://linktr.ee/hmvua 

NEW SINGLE: GRASS MUD HORSE ARE BACK WITH ‘Pissed It All Away’

Chris Barry from Grass Mud Horse has been a very busy man since we last heard from him. Starring in several movies (or at least appearing in several movies!) and then re-locating back to his adopted home in Canada. From one totalitarian state to another !! Well he has a new single out this week and here’s the story behind it.

Well it has been a while since we featured Grass Mud Horse and it’s great to see them back and back on top form too. ‘Pissed it All Away?’ is the first single since ‘Johnny Todd’ a collaboration with Frankie McLaughlin in June 2021 and while that may not seem long for most Celtic-Punk bands for Grass Mud Horse it’s an eternity! The song was the first that Chris wrote for the band and is based on a auld mate’s story about his Grandad back in Glasgow. We’ll let Chris take it from here

” The story went that by all accounts his Grandad was a great Goalie, but also a great drinker.  Celtic scouts had taken an interest and arranged to meet with him and his Mum and Dad after he finished work.  All he had to do was swerve the pub after work and go straight home.  Sadly his mates twisted his rubber arm and he went down the pub, and the opportunity to try out for Celtic went down the drain. He quite literally, pissed it all away.  

I realised, as I’d hit my 30s I had more and more mates with similar stories about their own opportunities that they’d pissed away, in one way or another. In actuality there’s was more than one opportunity that I’d pissed away myself.  So from all that I wrote the first Grass Mud horse song. “

He coulda been a keeper
For Celtic it was said
He coulda done so many things
But he was always off his head
He coulda been the president
Or an artist they would say
But hed rather drink than write or think
So he pissed it all away

He had an eye for business
He was always in the know
When making new investments
He was the man to go
Well I heard he made a million
And I heard they made him pay
When he shot the lot on booze and pot
And pissed it all away

Pissed it all away
He coulda done so many things
If from drinking he could stay
And its another night another fight
As they carry him away
Well they shake their heads put him to bed
Who pissed it all away

He coulda been the champion
He coulda ruled the ring
He coulda won the belt
Yeah he woulda been a king
But he vowed to throw in the towel
If it ever got in the way
For his love of booze hed gladly lose
And piss it all away

Pissed it all away
He coulda done so many things
If from drinking he could stay
And its another night another fight
As they carry him away
Well they shake their heads put him to bed
Who pissed it all away

On karaoke night
Hed always steal the light
He could barely stand
But his voice was grand
In between him talking shite
An I assure you its no fluke
He was in an indie group
But he drank the advance on a tour of France
And pissed it all away
He coulda been the champion
He coulda ruled the ring
He coulda won the belt
Yeah he woulda been a king
But he vowed to throw in the towel
If it ever got in the way
For his love of booze hed gladly lose
And piss it all away

Pissed it all away
He coulda done so many things
If from drinking he could stay
And its another night another fight
As they carry him away
Well they shake their heads put him to bed
Who pissed it all away
*
What happened to the last two albums?

China and Covid. The situation there became too much and one by one the original line up of Grass Mud Horse got out. For the first two years the borders where closed and we effectively couldnt leave, then it opened a little but flights where incredibly expensive. So we where waiting to see if China eased up, or flights became more reasonable.

Weve all left except Josh who is seeing out a contract and then I think he will leave too, so that should tell you which happened first. I still have family there and will maybe go back one day, so I wont say too much more.

It became very stressful, months without work, sometimes on rations and I have a 4 year old so the stress and anxiety made finishing the albums the least of priorities.

Well me and my daughter are in Canada now, where my parents emigrated to years ago. My plan is to put together a new Grass Mud Horse line-up to play live and slowly get back to recording. This (Pissed it All Away) single was about ready to go, so I decided to get it out as sort of celebration that Im free and able to get back to what I love doing. The other two albums will come in time

So what else is in the future for you and Grass Mud Horse?

Well I write and record all our original stuff myself, so Grass Mud Horse is just a matter of me finding people I gel with to perform the material together live. Ive found a bass player and will keep looking for others.

At some point I will return to the Pirate songs and Sea Shanties album and I think Pieces of My Heart will eventually come out as a collection of the singles to date as well as a couple of unheard tracks.

Right now though, Im looking forward to putting together a band, getting out there again livethat hasnt been an option for a few years, so that will be enjoyable. And of course Pissed it All Away comes out on the 25th which is the first single since back in like spring 2021, when we did Johnny Todd with Frankie. So for me its an important one.

SPOTIFY

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EP REVIEW: RADARNA – Heavenly Demons (2022)

We rarely touch upon Folk-Metal on the site but when we do we tend to love it and Swede’s Rådarna have a new 3-track EP out now. Several Metal genres and even a touch of Celtic-Punk make this an EP well worth checking out.

Outside of the Celtic diaspora in places like north America, Australia and the UK Celtic music has always been popular but in a strict ‘Folk’ style but in the Scandinavian countries they have married that traditional Folk sound to their own native music and to Heavy Metal music rather than Punk with bands like the Finnish bands Finntroll and Korpiklaani. The sound spread to Ireland with Cruachan drawing inspiration from Black Metal with the Folk music of Ireland. These days Folk-Metal has become popular throughout the world and thrown up bands that play music with various influences including Folk, Celtic Folk, Pirate and Medieval influences. All of which crisscross at regular intervals and sometimes barely a cigarette paper can be found to separate them.

Today’s review is of the Swedish band Rådarna and while not really a band as such and more of a collaboration group of musicians founded by Rikard Falk with José Miguel Martinez who came together to write an album. That album, 2021’s The Fomorian Horde was very well received and even won Best Debut Album of 2021 on the excellent Folk-Metal web-site Folk-Metal NL. As Rikard says

Rikard Falk

“it’s sort of like the Frankenstein monster, he was just the monster but since everyone called him Frankenstein you eventually have to give in and be like, yes that’s Frankenstein! I and Jose Miguel Matinez write the music. Alexander VanTrue, Felipe Gruber, Salpien & Hector Ruano does the recording under my supervision.”

They have followed on from that album in pretty much the same vein with the new release, a 3-track EP called Heavenly Demons. On first track ‘The Braggarts Ballad’ everything that made the album so popular is in place. Mythology, drinking and plenty of dark humour bounce off each other and I’m sure Folk-Metal purists won’t mind me saying that it can be quite a humourless genre but Rådarna nail it without falling into parody. Various Metal styles are invoked here plus their are moments where they stray into Celtic-Punk too and it’s that mix of influences that gives the EP such a winning touch. Not having heard a great deal of the band Finntroll but it is to this bunch of Finns that Rådarna owe their sound they say and if you can get over the harshness of the vocals at times then for the typical Celtic-Punker it’s worthy of a listen.

Title track ‘Heavenly Demons’ follows and switches pace throughout and swirls around your head while Alexander Van True grunts and growls and occasionally croons over hard and brutal Metal accompanied by some wonderful accordion and fiddle. The EP ends with ‘Ballybog Boogie’ and if it makes sense – ‘more of the same but different’.

The EP will be a preview for our next album which will be thirteen tracks long and while that may be a bit much for the casual London Celtivc Punks reader for some like be it will be well worth waiting for.

(Stream / download Heavenly Demons via Bandcamp)

Buy Heavenly Demons  Bandcamp  OtherSites

Contact Rådarna  WebSite  Facebook 

NEW SINGLE: LORETTA PROBLEM FROM FINLAND RELEASE ‘Green ‘n Gray’

It can’t be much joy being Finland’s only Celtic flavoured Punk Rock but Loretta Problem have been kicking and screaming since 1991 and are still going strong.

Loretta Problem may have been together for 31 years but its only in the last few that they have really come into their own with a handful of singles coming out including what I called a masterpiece back in 2019 and my views haven’t changed much since. It was without a doubt my favourite song of the year and one that I still play regularly. So here’s a band that can do the business and have a pedigree that makes them among the elders of the Celtic-Punk scene. Their sound has developed and changed over the years and only got better as they have gone along.

So the day after my birthday on the 11th the anti-war ‘Green ‘n Gray’ came out on Spotify (link below). The video for the single came out a few days later and we are delighted to bring it to you today. An absolutely amazing video accompanies the song that packs a solid punch reflecting the situation the world finds itself in and the emotions it brings out of us in the middle of it all. The song is backed with ‘So I Drink’ a cheeky swirling Irish ballad made by Finnish drinkers to fellow Irish drinkers. A three minutes that is the perfect B-side to Green ‘n Gray’.

Directed by: H. Viinamäki and E. Jussila * Cinematography / Editing: Esa Jussila

Early in the morn’ I heard the beating of the drum
The flags are waving, restless. The shield of night is gone.
We all trusted blindly in the bible and the gun
I knew we’d have to pay some day for all that we have done

Early in the morning the rain has just begun.
I’m standing in the front line waiting for the kingdom come
My feet are stuck in mud but my heart begs me to run
We should’ve never followed the beating of the drum

The beating of the drum
The beating of the drum
The beating of the drum

I will find my way
Through green and gray
I will find my way to you

Trough green and gray
I will find my way
I will find my way to you

Early in the morning, farewell my dear, goodbye
By the train I kissed away a teardrop from your eye
I’m lying on the battlefield until the kingdom come
The tattoo never ends the pipes will always hum

The beating of the drum
The beating of the drum
The beating of the drum

Download Green ‘n Gray  Apple  Spotify

Contact Loretta Problem  WebSite  Facebook  YouTube

EP REVIEW: THE CARDINAL SINS – Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner (2022)

#Hatethesinlovethesinner

New 4 track EP from Irish based Celtic Punk / Rock Band The Cardinal Sins.

I had to check right back through the London Celtic Punks index to find The Cardinal Sins previous appearance on these pages and its from way back in December, 2017. Aye almost five years since we featured their new single ‘Straight Left, Right Hook’ of a which a new version stars on this EP.

Formed in 2013 around the counties of from Laois and Offaly in Ireland they have always played a combination of high energy covers and originals with a passing nod to the Celtic-Punk ‘Holy Trinity’ of Pogues / Dropkicks/ Mollys. Success at home led to a multitude of festival appearances followed by several European tours of Italy, Denmark and one famous trip to Germany to co-headline the Volmarstein Folk Festival with Irish music legends De Danann. I may be out of the loop with the band but we’ve not heard much since the single so great to see them again. They have become very popular in Germany (good taste them Germans) which has led to MacSlons Irish Pub Radio releasing a collection of new merchandise for the band.

So Hate The Sin Love The Sinner begins with a newly re-recorded version of that 2017 single ‘Straight Left, Right Hook’ dedicated to local bhoy the Portalington MMA fighter Philip ‘the honey badger‘ Mulpeter and ‘Straight Left Right Hook’ became his walk on tune. It’s a bit rough for this gentle soul and Philip has by the looks of it retired but the song lives on. An usually thing here is that the vocals for each song are shared with guitarist Wayne taking the lead on song one, a riotous romp pitched halfway between simple Irish folk and pounding fist in the air punky rock music. Bass player Steve takes on the vocals for ‘Ferryland Sealer’ which again takes a hard Rock approach but with the trad Folk shoved up in your face giving the impression that they are more Folk than Rock. Quite an achievement. It’s another single that came out first a couple of years ago. Only four songs so we’re halfway through when ‘Maggie May’ comes on. Now this was always been a cool song but I remember as a kid getting the Pogues ‘White City’ 12″ and they had a live version on the B-side that literally blew me away. I must have played it a 100 times in a row. Here banjo player John sings vocals and the Cardinal Sins version is much closer to that than the original Rod Stewart one but what a song it is! The curtain comes down for the EP with ‘Devil Spoke’ and they concentrate on the Folk to see us out. A lovely song that though obviously different from the rest of the EP fits in well. It has a certain Mumford And Sons feel to it and while some snobs purists may see that as an insult I bloody loved their first album which is where I can hear ‘Devil Spoke’ with it’s almost tribal drums and great vocals from mandolin player Bernadette.

The EP has been produced by Stephen Youster at Echo & Wave Studio in Kildare, Ireland. I get the feeling that the kind of music we are all here for is getting more and more popular at home in Ireland and it has always been big in Germany so with just those two options the future looks bright for the Cardinal Sins.

(You can stream / download Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner via the Bandcamp player)

Buy Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner  Bandcamp

Contact The Cradinal Sins  Facebook  YouTube  Spotify

ALBUM REVIEW: THE MAHONES – Jameson Street (2022)

Love, drinking, fighting, hope are the topics that occupy Celtic-Punk giants The Mahones on their brand new album Jameson Street. Their first studio album in three years.

Probably the most prolific of Celtic-Punk bands whether it comes to recording and releasing new material or indeed playing in your local neighbourhood it’s the welcome return of The Mahones. A while ago lead singer and main man Finny McConnell announced on Facebook that The Mahones were going to forego major touring and from now on only play prestige and local gigs. Well I thought who can bloody blame them. We have all recently seen the effects that constant touring can have on a band and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody so if a break was needed then they made the right decision… but the clamour to get back on stage was too great and soon enough the announcement came of another massive tour and the release of this album, Jameson Street.

The Mahones Promo 2019

What to say about The Mahones then? Well not a lot I suspect that the vast majority of you don’t already know. They are one of the world’s most popular and successful Celtic-Punk bands with a career stretching back over thirty years to the 17th March 1990. What once  began as a one-off band for a St. Patrick’s Day party, quickly became a global touring phenomenon and a figure head for an entire genre. The Mahones have since gone on to release fifteen albums, including 2020’s 30th Anniversary double album This Is All We’ve Got To Show For It.

Jameson Street is their first studio album since 2019 and the list of friends and ex-band members who have popped by to take part is massive. The core of the band remains the same with Nicole Kaiser on fiddle, Finny on guitar, Michael O’Grady on tin whistle and Sean ‘Riot’ Ryan on bass but an astounding seventeen other musicians are listed on the sleeve notes so some of whom will have to forgive us for not mentioning them so here’s just a select few – Dave Barton of The Peelers, Nicholas Smyth of The Dreadnoughts and the Crash Test Dummies Stuart Cameron! With such a prolific output you may expect The Mahones to be running out of steam by now but low and behold this ranks up there with their very best albums from their early days. 

The album begins with the title song and ‘Jameson Street’ takes the pub céilí sound out the pub and into your living room. The origins of this song can be found on a short You Tube video recorded live at Sir John Eh’z Nose Ring Circus two-day music festival in 1993. A couple of minutes of pure unadulterated speedy trad Irish Folk peppered with shouts and “yaarrrrs” before leading into a classic Mahones style song of ‘Rise Up (Be Strong)’. Finny has always used his writing to uplift folk and while he may have sometimes put his foot in it over on that damn Facebook he did say

 “Jameson Street is meant to make you feel like you’re having a night out. No politics, no religion, just good times, and everybody having fun. Unity is the underlying message.”

Written with Greg from Husker Du who Finny has recently been playing, recording and touring with in the Punk band Ultrabomb , along with the UK Subs Jamie Oliver. A full-blooded rousing anthem of which their is one or two more to come!

“Let’s get along, no-one gets left behind, the healing has begun”

Now I don’t know who wrote the blueprint for Celtic-Punk but every album needs a drinking song or two and The Mahones open up with ‘A Devil In Every Bottle’ and are joined by Dave Barton of fellow Canadian-Irish Celtic-Punks The Peelers on vocals. It’s unmistakable Mahones, jolly and jig-worthy and a tribute (of sorts) to Irish whiskey. ‘Freeway Toll’ takes it down a bit with a more Folk-Rock approach that gives Finny a real chance to stretch them vocal chords. A song that you’d not be surprised to see picked up by someone of mega-star status later on. It’s a nice song that slots in well among the Irish-Punk and Trad. ‘Watch Me Fall’ steams past in 130 seconds before one of the album highlights the instrumental ‘Lonesome Boatman’. Now I think for most of us we first heard this song on a compilation album More Green Velvet that we bought for our Mums in the early 80’s. Hidden away in between Dana and Philomena Begley belting out the best of Irish in Country’n’Irish style was The Fureys And Davey Arthur playing ‘Lonesome Boatman’ and it fair blew my mind as a young angry Punk-Rocker. An incredible song that passed by unnoticed for many years until it finally began to receive its due plaudits. Picked up by the Dropkick Murphys after a couple of Euro Celtic-Punk bands had already recorded it The Mahones play a version that sits nicely in the middle of the Fureys and the Dropkicks. Holloway Road in north London use to be the epicentre of north London Irish life and it’s still called by many County Holloway. Not sure if  ‘Holloway Jack’ has anything to do with that but it does feature lyrics by the late Paddy Cuncanon, an old friend of the band and they have turned his words into an evocative stirring sea shanty. ‘Fiddle On Fire’ is the albums second instrumental and unsurprisingly, from the title, Nicole lets her fiddle do the talking with a speedy fast as feck Irish hoe-down. We are coming up towards the end and there’s been no filler here as we continue with ‘She Comes For Love’. Finny has always worn his heart on his sleeve even when it’s perhaps been questionable but it’s one of the reasons we still love him. ‘Last Call At The Bar’ sees the sound drop into ‘Country-Irish’ and we just don’t mind. A singalong that will have bartenders across the world giving a wry smile.

“It’ is a song that bartenders can relate to – that feeling you get when you tell everybody to bug off and go home. It’s a fun song that sticks in your head, and it fits the Jameson Street theme.”

The album ends with a bonus track a boisterous live version of what Finny says is his favourite Pogues song ‘If I Should Fall From Grace With God’. Recorded live at the Horseshoe Tavern In Toronto 2003 The Mahones are joined on stage by the legendary Phil Chevron and Terry Woods of The Pogues. It’s the first time they have even recorded / released a Pogues track, astonishing considering how often they are compared to the Celtic-Punk pioneers. 

Well if Jameson Street was meant to make you feel like you’re having a great night out then they have certainly achieved that. Like has been said it’s one of the best Mahones releases for a long time. From the start to the finish I love this album striking a chord with me that I’m sure will also with even the most casual of Celtic-Punk fans. The album has been released on True North Records as well as every streaming site you can think of but really you should order from the label to not only ensure they have the money to continue but to put out more Celtic-Punk releases and, especially, from The Mahones!

(Stream Jameson Street but don’t buy from vultures. Get it from the record label below)

So, Jameson Street awaits, and there’s a drink at the bar with your name on it. Go for it!

Buy Jameson Street  True North Records (CD / Download)

Contact The Mahones   FacebookPage  FacebookGroup YouTube  Instagram

NEW SINGLE: FOGGY DUDE RELEASE ‘Black Rain’

Czech Republicans release a brand new rebel song about convicts on their way to Van Diemen’s land revolting against the guards, stealing their ship and becoming pirates.

Prague based Foggy Dude are churning out the music at the moment and it is all of unbelievably high quality. One of my favourite bands they continue with new single ‘Black Rain’, a self penned rebel song about convicts on their way to Van Diemen’s land (now Tasmania) and their revolt against the prison guards aboard ship. They were overthrow the guards steal the ship and go off to become pirates. Based on real stories from the time it’s an energetic and dark tale told well. The emphasis in the music switches seamlessly from Folk, almost Trad even, to more Rock and Punk and grunge-y chorus. The songs title ‘Black Rain’ refers to the storm that helps the convicts claim the ship and covered up the resulting bloodshed.

The transportation of criminals to Australia began in 1787, only 17 years after Captain Cook first washed up on Australian shores. Eleven ships left in May 1787 from Portsmouth with 736 convicts for the eight-month journey to Botany Bay. Forty would never live to see the ships arrival. They were the lucky ones. Transportation was more often a punishment for those seen as the lowest of the low not those convicted of particularly grievous crimes. In fact 80% of those sent across to the other side of the world were guilty of theft and most of those were repeat offenders. Others were targeted too, especially political radicals with Luddites, Rebecca Rioters and the Tolpuddle Martyrs sent away. The Irish were a victim especially of the system and up to when transportation ceased in 1853, over 160,000 Irish prisoners arrived in Australia. 25% of the entire amount (English 69%, Welsh 1.2 % , Scottish 5%). Most came directly from Ireland such as the Fenians but others arrived after conviction in England and a few, such as those tried as soldiers who had mutinied in the British Army, arrived from places like India. Only 15% were women and sentences were for 7 years, 14 years, or life.

The Irish political prisoners never bowed down while on the island and In 1869 only a small group of hardcore fenians remained. By then many had been pardoned but for those thought of as influential or dangerous they were to remain in servitude for the rest of their days. These fenians though had other plans and n 1874, prisoner James Wilson secretly sent a letter to New York City to John Devoy to organise a rescue plan. Using donations collected from Irish-Americans, a previous escapee, the Boston based John Boyle O’Reilly, purchased the Catalpa and sailed off Rockingham, in Western Australia. On 17th April 1876 Wilson, Thomas Darragh, Martin Hogan, Michael Harrington, Thomas Hassett and Robert Cranston boarded a boat and were then taken aboard the Catalpa and escaped, via several close calls, to New York.

The video was filmed in the bands favourite hangout – Pub 10. Definitly a place to head to for any Celtic-Punk fans visiting this beautiful city. The song was recorded by Kryštof Skřipec and Ondřej Skřivan and mixed and mastered by Kryštof and produced by Foggy Dude.

Chains are ringing
Wood is cranking
50 men and
50 women
 
Huddled wrecks
Below the decks
Awaiting for their
Destiny
 
Winds rise
Tension fills the air
Demons in disguise
Start to swear
 
Van Diemen’s land is calling
Onto thee
But a storm is coming
To set us free
 
CHORUS:
Black rain
Black rain
Black rain is falling down on me
Washing away our freedom’s blood
 
Chains are rattling
Wood is crackin
50 men and
50 women
 
Rebels to rise
Under the skies
Awaiting for their
Time
 
The fight starts
For the demons head
With our bravest hearts
Will soon be in our hands
 
We took the power
From the enemy
Black flag is our
Destiny
Stream it on Spotify

Contact Foggy Dude   https://linktr.ee/foggydude

NEW ALBUM: THE MULLINS – ‘Gold In Our Hands’ (2022)

Smashing debut album from The Mullins. Celtic Folk’n’Punk from southern France

One of the best things about Celtic-Punk is that bands don’t tend to rely on anyone but themselves and their fans when it comes to putting out releases. The amount of DIY albums that have come out this year has been incredible and The Mullins are another one having raised the necessary readies by crowdfunding for Gold In Our Hands and actually raising more than they asked for! This is their debut album though they did have a EP out in 2018 and with what went on in the years in between they can be forgiven for the delay. The Mullins live in and around the coastal city of Arles in the Provence region of southern France, famed for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh wouldn’t you know! The band have all known each other for years through previous bands and even school but share the same passion for music, Celtic culture, and hops!

The Mullins

Gold In Our Hands is a mix of a handful of songs redone and re-recorded from that 2018 EP and a whole load of new original Mullins compositions. The album kicks off withStreams Of Guinness’ and though I much prefer a pint of Beamish myself it’s a great opener. It’s the perfect taster for the album with crashing drums and Elsa’s loud fiddle leading in a song about getting tiddly in Galway. ‘Tough Love’ kicks off with some great banjo from Sébastien and combined with the fiddle gives the album a unmistakable Irish sound. Only two songs in and Elsa takes over on vocals before the albums title song ‘Gold In Our Hands’ which was the first single from the album to be released accompanied by a brilliant professionally filmed video. Vocals are shared through the band which I really liked as they all sound different with Sébastien’s growl a perfect foil for Elsa and Raphaël.

In the auld days of Celtic-Punk all anyone wanted to know was are they like the Murphys or Mollys and that still applies but now with the emergence and popularity of The Rumjacks another dimension is added. If anything The Mullins don’t sound like any of them yet but on comes ‘Breaking News’ and the intro is pure Rumjacks. Raphaël is the bands main vocalist with the lions share of the songs. Strong and powerful and clear as a bell in English with a French accent their is no need for a lyric sheet here! It would seem that the property developers war on the pub is worldwide and ‘The Ghost Of The Public House’ is an autobiographical loving tribute to their long gone local. The music here is fast and ‘punky’ but not so that most people would think it too fast or too punky. The ability of Celtic-Punk bands to make things completely accessible without compromising on the sound never ceases to amaze me. Just as I think I’ve heard a great Punk album my Mammy will say “Whose that? They sound good”. ‘I Won’t Miss You’ has a more poppy and with Elsa’s great vocals a song you could easily imagine hearing on the radio. ‘Slainte’ is one of the standout tracks here with heavy backing and great use of the vocals too. On an album that is as catchy as hell I hate overusing the word catchy but often their is no better word, especially on songs like ‘Lighthouse In The Dark’. ‘9 To 5’ is a cracking drinking song about getting out of work after a rubbish day of and dreaming about that first pint of Kilkenny. ‘Walk The Plank’ tells of a young man leaving to set sail and not knowing when or if he’ll ever return. Another great song and again you can hear a slight Rumjacks influence without any trace of trying to copy them.

We are nearing the end of the album and the old sea shanty ‘Santiano’ is the only cover here of a very infamous French song from 1961 sung by Hugues Aufray, a famous French folk singer. I am what is known as a fanatic when it comes to Celtic-Punk and even though I don’t mind covers at all I do prefer them to be either rare or unusual or relevant to the band and by choosing this over another ‘Drunken Sailor’ or ‘Fields Of Athenry’ I am as happy as can be! The curtain comes down on Gold In Our Hearts with the great ‘The Lights In The Sky’ and Elsa gets another chance to shine as she opens a song that embraces Irish Folk and country in a swirling beautiful number that brings to mind the pub lights going out and the door being locked on you. A fabulous way to end things.

The album’s twelve songs come in at ever so slightly over forty minutes and was recorded and mixed during February and March 2022 by Sebastien Camhi from Studio ArtMusic in the south of France and mastered by Kai Stahlenberg at Kohlekeller Studio in Germany. The production here is perfect with the different and varied musical instruments all easily recognised along with the many vocal styles. I thoroughly enjoyed Gold In Our Hands a young band with lots and lots of talent and some amazing songs.

Hope you got to drink and enjoy the Kilkenny folks!

Buy Gold In Our Hands Spotify Amazon

Contact The Mullins Facebook YouTube Instagram

ODDS’N’SODS. A CELTIC-PUNK ROUND UP NOVEMBER 2022

2022 is nearly over and hasn’t it gone quickly blah, blah, blah. But it has hasn’t it? November already and almost time to raise a beer to the freedom fighter Guy Fawkes. The only person to enter parliament with good intentions!

A brand new Odds’n’Sods round-up of all this months Celtic-Punk entertainment from the scene’s bands big and small, established or just starting out.

Irish sensation (that’s the only word possible!) THE MARY WALLOPERS released their debut album a couple of days ago. The self titled album is eleven songs and forty minutes and is a collection of both unusual and rare and a some pretty well worn covers but brought to life in the unique Wallopers way.  Looking forward to them visiting London in December as they head off on a major tour of the UK and Ireland.

We often repeat the mantra that Celtic-Punk man cannot live by Dropkick Murphys alone but we are as guilty as anyone with being obsessed with them! With their new album out a month now here’s the guys with a short eleven minute set recorded live at The Boch Center Wang Theatre by the The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame.

During the recording Ken mentions the new video they filmed of ‘The Last One’ that features Evan Felker of TURNPIKE TROUBADOURS who will be supporting the Murphys in Boston on March 16.

In case you missed them we recently had the pleasure of interviewing a couple of Dropkick Murphys with ex-member Marc Orrell and drummer Matt Kelly gracing these pages.

We featured MADIGAN’S WAKE and their debut single last month and here is their follow up a song written after the night terrors and they can be added to the list of great Aussie Celtic-Punk bands in my head! Available on Spotify or to pre-order.

Ukrainian band O’HAMSTERS have a 13-track album out soon and available for download as a pre-order from Bandcamp for $7. A band we have followed for a few years always great music and we look forward to more. All money raised from this album pre-order will go to HMV.UA – the team of volunteers headed by our friend Alex Sedov helping the army of Ukraine.

Another band we have been huge fans of over the years is ZUNAME Punk-Rock with bagpipes from Moscow. They just released a new album as well called Vertigo. Their fifth album and is on all streaming platforms  https://band.link/vertigo. Recording of Vertigo began four years ago and events since then no one could have ever foreseen so they decided to stop postponing the release again and again and hope it will give folk the strength to get through these hard times and the best way for the band to support you.

The Black Tartan Clan were onew of the best and most popular Celtic-Punk bands in Europe with their McKenzies-ish bagpipe heavy Scots Celtic Rock’n’Roll so we were all saddened to hear they were non more but they re-surfaced and began life again as THE BLACK TARTANS and have been recording and playing live. They have a new song called ‘F’Corona’.

Even as this is ready to publish I’m still adding to it and THE MULLINS from the South of France have a new album, Gold In Our Hands, that I am writing the review to at the moment. It’s a cracking 40+ minutes of uptempo Celtic Punk’n’Roll I can’t wait to share with you. In the meantime here’s the latest single from the album.

This is an incredible live performance from French Celtic-Punk band CelKILT recorded live at this years Hellfest Open Air Festival in Clisson, France. Fifty glorious minutes!!

Great video from the Horslips influenced THE POXMEN. Formed in the bogs of Donegal thousands of years ago and recently ventured out into the cold modern air, with a bag of songs and a wheelbarrow full of instruments. Fuelled by Poitín, mushrooms and spuds, roaring and shouting and singing and playin, about the horses, the wee folk, the witches, the turf, the thunder and lightnin’, and the silver tractors of ancient times.

Not quite a new video from SWAINN but I only just rediscovered it so here it is again. It is from their awesome Under A Willow Tree album which we did review last year.

Brilliant Argentinian Celtic-Punk band RAISE MY KILT were on the telly last week. It’s all in Spanish of course but there’s a wee interview and the music starts about a minute in. They have 2 (two!) pipers!!!

Kings of Cow-Punk PRONGHORN still out there entertaining the masses in the South-West of England. This is them with an old traditional Ukrainian Folk song just a few days ago as I’m writing this.

THE REAL McKENZIES – Songs Of The Highlands, Songs Of The Sea

THE MAHONES – Jameson Street

MARCUS MUMFORD – (self-titled)

ZUNAME – Vertigo

MAN THE LIFEBOATS – Soul Of Albion

ZECKYBOYS – Dirty Brands (reviewed last week)

THE MULLINS – Gold In Our Hands (review coming!)

THE MARY WALLOPERS – The Mary Wallopers

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

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. DOOZER McDOOZE is a singer songwriter from Essex with a passion to play everywhere and anywhere! This is his debut album from 2014 but look a little closer and all his music is available for ‘name your price’ download from Bandcamp. In a download world of media solitude, Doozer likes to give music back to the people. He has a new single out now ‘Pirate Captain‘ and as usual if you can afford to leave him enough for a Guinness or two as a tip please do so.

The BIBLECODE SUNDAYS are at the Powerhaus in Camden (formerly Dingwalls) on Saturday November 5th. NEW MODEL ARMY play 3 Christmas dates ending at the Roundhouse starting on the 10th. SHEELANAGIG play groove heady traditional folk and have quite the following and play November 18 at their regular haunt in Brixton, the Hootananny. An interesting night in store on Decem,ber 15 with both THE SCRATCH and THE MARY WALLOPERS playing in Camden (mad I know!) so if you’re stuck check out our preview, One Night In Camden,  to help you make your mind up which way to jump on the day itself! DROPKICK MURPHYS have announced THE RUMJACKSPENNYWISE and JESSE AHEARNE as support for their Euro tour starting in Jan. One for the diary now and DAMIEN DEMPSEY is back at the Electric Ballroom in Camden the day after St. Patrick’s day which means he’ll probably be at the St. Patrick’s Parade in the afternoon though that is now shite and I promised myself I would never go again after last years abomination!

If you like what we do then you can support us by checking out our online store. The Harp’n’Bones design is back in all sizes and on black or white shirts. Also we have new polo shirts, in all sizes, and some nifty woolly hats as well as the Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer shirts. 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! https://the30492shop.fwscart.com/

It’s been great watching MAN THE LIFEBOATS career and we played ever such a tiny tiny part in it having put them on a couple of times but they truly are a great band. Funny, fast and raucous Folk-Punk with a few Celtic style flourishes. We’d call them Celtic-Punk though I doubt they would themselves still whatever they are their new album is tremendous. 11 songs but check out the first couple of songs here for an idea of the scope of their songs.

London Celtic Punks north-American writer Ray has a new EP out with his band RAVENSWALK out for Halloween. All-Hallows is 5 songs of his typical eclectic taste with spirited versions of  Echo And The Bunnymen, The Rocky Horor Picture Show among 2!

RADARNA were founded by Rikard Falk after joining forces with José Miguel Martinez to write their debut album. With all the artists living in different countries live shows are unlikely to happen but they continue to record and just released a 3-track EP of FINNTROLL inspired Folk-Metal.

Accomplished multi-instrumentalist DAMIEN O’NEILL of legendary bands The Undertones and That Petrol Emotion has a solo project and has just released his third album, a collection of largely instrumental tracks, mixed by veteran producer Paul Tipler. The title ‘an crann’ is Irish for ‘The Tree’, a symbol of growth and inspiration.

I don’t know much about TIM LOUD except some people whose musical taste I respect are huge fans of his. He describes his new release as “These are some tunes I wrote for what was going to be an album but now it won’t be”. It’s available as a ‘name your price’ download via Bandcamp.

The re-released and re-mixed second album from DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS (now just to be called DEXY’S) Too-Rye-Aye from 1982 is out now on vinyl, CD, download and a beautiful 3 disc box set packed with extras. I have compared it to the original and yes it is much improved. It’s down with the treble and strip back the echo and give Kevin Rowland’s vocals room to breathe. As my mate said “it’s like they have taken off the polish and added wood stain”.

Finnish Celtic flavoured Punk band THE LORETTA PROBLEM have a new single Green ‘n Gray out in a couple of weeks. Expect a feature here of this fantastic innovative band.

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! https://t.me/londoncelticpunks/

Well we have been blown away by the response to the new London Celtic Punk badge. Not surprising really as they are so bloomin’ gorgeous. Just about the nicest bit of merchandise in Celtic-Punk if you ask me! Comes with butterfly clip and made in Ireland (Guaranteed Irish!) It’s 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 londoncelticpunks@hotmail.co.uk

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!

Finally a message to bands. Its Christmas soon (yes I know!) and if you are planning on doing a Christmas release then be sure to get the details to us by the beginning of December. Last year we could hardly keep up so give us a chance folks!

A reminder too that we need your news so anything you would like to share with the rest of the Celtic-Punk scene send it onto us.

If you are new to the London Celtic Punks blog it is easy to subscribe / follow and never miss a post. Bands, promoters, record labels, venues send in any news to londoncelticpunks@hotmail.co.uk or via the Contact Us page.

NEW SINGLE OUT TODAY! FINNEGAN’S HELL

Swedish Celtic-Punk Rockers Finnegan’s Hell are back with another taster from their upcoming new album. If it’s half as good as the songs they’ve already released it’s a winner!!

Today, Friday, October 28th, sees the release of the new Finnegan’s Hell single ‘What Have You Got In The End’ along with a accompanying music video. The song is a tribute to the workshy Celtic-Punk rockers Finnegan’s Hell who question the benefits of working hard. Fans of the band’s critically acclaimed album ‘Work Is The Curse Of The Drinking Class’ (#3 Celtic-Punk album of 2020) will not be disappointed. ‘What Have You Got In The End?’ is the opening track of the long-awaited new album ‘One Finger Salute’, which is released November 25th. Its title track appeared as a single a few weeks ago and received rave reviews all over Europe as well as in the US and Canada. Back home in Sweden, Finnegan’s Hell are often labelled ‘The Swedish Pogues’ by the press even though Finnegan’s Hell have cranked up the volume and the tempo. Sadly it is something that will always happen to Celtic-Punk bands to be compared to The Pogues but at least Finnegan’s Hell share the same kind of infectious melody and straightforward lyrics that was the trademark of Mr. MacGowan and his men.

Finnegan’s Hell left to right: Reverend Mick Finnegan * Pabs Finnegan * Old Roxy * Ace Finnegan * Cozy Finnegan * San Finnegan *

The video for ‘What Have You Got In The End?’ was directed by Michael Ek, who dug deep into the Swedish National Archives to find suitable images of Swedish life to illustrate the message behind the song. As per usual with Finnegan’s Hell the level of care and attention to detail is incredible. Yeah they got the gimmicks but they also have the great songs to go with them.

(Video produced and directed by Michael Ek)

My father worked until he died 
A struggle all the way 
He would never catch his breath 
Until his dying day 
My mother tried to raise us
Doing odd jobs on the side 
They treated her like dirt In the end she lost her pride 

chorus
You scrape to get by 
And you will till you die 
But what have you got in the end? 
Yeah, you scrape to get by 
And you will till you die 
Tell me what have you got in the end? 
Can’t take nothin’ with you, my friend 
 
My brother’s working overtime 
To pay all his bills 
His house, car, tuition fees, 
His wife’s prescription pills 
According to statistics 
He’s happier than most I saw him just the other day 
The man looked like a ghost 

 So whatcha gonna do 
With all your hopes and dreams? 
There ain’t no use in crying for help 
Cause no one hears your screams 
I try to stay away from work 
I do the best I can In order not to turn into 
A wreck like my old man
Contact Finnegan’s Hell   WebSite  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

PRE-ORDER ONE FINGER SALUTE

ALBUM REVIEW: THE ENDINGS – ‘Completely Pickled’ (2022)

We have discovered a new English Celtic-Punk band from Telford in the Midlands and The Endings have only been together for twelve years! Today we review their recently released new album of Celtic-Folk-Punk with an Irish flavour. 

The Endings are a new band. Well new to me but not I dare say to the good people of Telford in the English midlands. Telford was conceived only in 1963 as part of post-war reconstruction. A time that saw a succession towns built from scratch. Named after road builder, civil engineer and architect Thomas Telford who, contrary to popular belief, was not responsible for Ironbridge Gorge, which gave its name to the World Heritage Site beside the River Severn, but he was Shropshire’s Surveyor of Public Works in 1787, which seems a long stretch to name the town after him! So all in all a fairly typical English town. A town like many across England that it’s residents are proud of. So proud indeed are The Endings that they nearly also get a mention as The Endings Telford. In these times where any sort of love of place or home is written off as chauvinism I love the idea of The Endings showing this pride in where they come from.

The Endings left to right (top): Verna – Drums / Vocals * Paul Mandolin / Banjo / Vocals * (bottom) Harry – Fiddle / Vocals * Rob – Guitar / Lead Vocalist * Kev – Bass / Vocals *

As I say The Endings may be new to me but they have been around over a decade playing the pub circuit around Shropshire and occasionally a little further afield. New blood in the band and a bit of inspiration has the last couple of years though seen them spending most weekends on the road gigging and with regular performances at festivals the opportunity to support bands such as Ferocious Dog and Mad Dog McCrea has arrived. They play their own style of uptempo Irish music that is designed purely only to keep the dance floors occupied. They have one previous release, Coda from 2019, which marked the start of their move away from being purely background noise for busy pubs into a band that people will aim to go and watch. Even so 2 albums in over 10 years may sound mean but isn’t unheard of when bands are caught in the cycle of gig-gig-gig-gig. If you want to show yourselves off to the bigger world then you do need to make time to record but then you also need to make those recordings available and these days that means making downloading an option. These are things that The Endings need to think about as their music deserves a much bigger audience and with more than half the readers of this site from overseas it’s a must-do.

Completely Pickled (an English euphemism for being drunk in case you didn’t know) opens with ‘Gemini’ and tells the story of a night out on the lash at the 1970’s-80’s Shropshire nightclub Gemini. If anyone remembers our review of Pronghorn (“Kings of Cowpunk”) a few weeks back then this isn’t too dissimilar except with a definite Celtic edge to it. Catchy and with a real foot tapping beat to it. Next we have ‘Time & Tide’ and the song carries on in the same vein with some excellent musicianship on display. Rob’s vocals are clear and precise and sit on the fence between Punk and Folk where he can shout if he likes but also do a wee bit of ‘proper’ singing as well! Next up is ‘Water Gypsy’ and a number about the Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood who said his families generation was the first to be born on dry land with a lineage dating back to the 1700’s of working on the water.  His family were English ‘‘bargees’ (river or canal barge workers) and Ronnie affectionately referred to them as ‘water gypsies’.

(‘Water Gypsy’ Live at Farmer Phil’s August 2021)

The mandolin here leads the way as Rob introduces us to a little known part of Ronnie’s life and I hope he gets to hear the song. ‘Press Ganged’ is a standout track here as it introduces a couple of other influences to the mix as it reminds me of The Men They Couldn’t Hang at their peak in the 80’s in both style and subject matter. This could so easily have made Waiting For Bonaparte especially when the song suddenly speeds up halfway through. Next up is a song close to my own heart with ‘Importance Of Guinness’ and a proper good auld instrumental Irish romp in tribute to the black stuff. Truth be told though Guinness doesn’t hold a candle to Beamish!

(‘Importance Of Guinness’ Live September 2022)

‘New Lands’ is a about buying a one way ticket to Australia, another subject that The Men touched on. Stories of the sea are quite the feature of Celtic-Punk and The Endings seem to be fond of them too with ‘Raise The Sails’ up next. I must say though that it’s been quite the while since a more ‘folky’ album landed with all original compositions and I’m motre than happy not to have to sit through another version of ‘Drunken Sailor’, as good a song as it is! While a lot of the songs here could be decades old (‘against modern football – against modern music’) on ‘Ragged Man’ the sound is more recent but if I did have one point to make on the album it would be that the sound here could have been beefed right up. With the pounding beat it needed a more heavy touch. ‘Madness’ tells of the er.. well er… madness of those couple of years where the world closed down. Looking back now it seems like such a long time ago.

(‘Juggling Time’ Live September 2022)

‘Smuggler’s Cove’ starts with some rather nifty mandolin and I think this where I keep getting TMTCH in my head while I’m listening. Another great song with a real thigh slapper / head nodder of a beat. We are nearly at the end and ‘Juggling Time’ and while I find juggling quite an amazing spectacle I also find jugglers very irritating so it’s a good job this isn’t about juggler then! This I think could just about be the albums standout track with its catchy danceable sound. ‘Gallons Of Pale’ is another tribute to alcohol this time to the wonders of Pale Ale. The CD rounds off with what is described on the sleeve notes as a bonus track, with an excellent instrumental version of ‘Juggling Time’ and then the curtain comes down.

(You can hear the whole of Completely Pickled via the You Tube play-list below)

Completely Pickled was recorded and produced by Tom Carter at The Riff Factory just up the road from them in Stoke and singer-songwriter Jess Silk supplied the album artwork. Like their debut album it has been produced and self-funded by the band themselves though I’m sure they open to offers. Their are bands like The Endings in many English towns and cities fusing Irish / Celtic music and English Folk and Rock and Punk influences and while many are content to simply drift from pub gig to pub gig playing covers its great to see a band like The Endings trying to develop their sound, write their own songs and reach out. The success of bands like Ferocious Dog and the bands that have followed in their wake over the last few years show their is an audience for music from the likes of The Endings and with a decade long start over most then they ought to be near the top of the list to listen to.

 Buy Completely Pickled  Spotify

Contact The Endings  Facebook

NEW ALBUM: ZECKYBOYS – ‘Dirty Brands’ (2022)

Hot on the heels of their debut single comes the debut album from raucous and rowdy Italian Celtic-Punkers Zeckyboys.

After the success of their debut single a release I have been looking forward to hearing was the full length album from Zeckyboys (there is no ‘The’). With a winning combination of trad Irish Folk and full throttle Punk Rock they are the latest in a long line of Italian Celtic-Punk bands that fully embrace the trad side of the genre. It helps then that the members of the band are all experienced musicians with long histories of touring and playing varied musical styles. Put them together and you have Zeckyboys!

Zeckyboys left to right: Beppe – Fiddle / Backing Vocals * Enzo – Guitar / Backing Vocals * Max – Diatonic Accordion / Backing Vocals * Mastro – Lead Voice / Guitar / Irish Bouzouki * Bill – Drums / Backing Vocals * Ricky – Accordion / Backing Vocals * Franz – Bass / Backing Vocals * (Photo by Michele Piccinini)

The album kicks off with their debut single ‘Damned Purple Bus’ and in the last few weeks their has been a run of great videos and add this to the list. Telling the tale of being late for work behind a bus that keeps stopping and that you can’t get past the frustration is described perfectly and with great humour and the music… well the music! Starting off with a mix of Folk’n’Punk the song soon slides into thrashy HxC Punk but then towards the end the Bhoys give us a touch of Ska before then turning into a trad Irish Folk band and ‘The Swallowtail Jig’. Awesome and from what I have seen made quite an impact on the Celtic-Punk scene. The music is has a heavy touch but is far from tuneless having an appeal I think to many non-Punky types too. Next song ‘The Dance Of The Passed Away’ is a good example of that played with a hardness but with a great Folky edge and sense of humour. On ‘Horsefield’ the emphasis is switched to Irish Folk but they keep the hard Punk edge and as can be witnessed on the video below they certainly get the audiences on the move!

(POV of Zeckyboys playing at the Bundan Celtic Festival 23-07-2022)

‘Seamus’ touches on medieval style music but again with that Punk edge. ZeckyVün’s vocals are pure Punk Rock so that even during the quieter moments, of which their are many, they can’t escape their Punk side. Loud and growly like a MacGowan / Waits hybrid he hits all the right notes for this aging Punk especially up next on ‘A Bit Of Punk’ which even amongst the hardcore squeezes some trad Irish in! On ‘Hold A Stone’ ZeckyMax and his diatonic accordion holds sway as his old fashioned intro leads into a song where the accordion is pushed to the fore and given full reign to rule. Zeckyboys concentrate on writing their own material and the album’s only cover is next up with a Dropkick Murphys influenced ‘Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya’. First published in London in 1867 and written by English born second-generation Irish songwriter and performer Joseph B. Geoghegan it has become deservedly one of the most popular ant-war anthems in existence. A solid version that is always timeless and always received well by audiences. A Metal influence is evident in the sludgy ‘Wonder Boy’ that again turns into raucous trad Folk romp that is the albums longest song at 5 and half minutes before the album’s final track the great ‘It’s A Conspiracy’.

(Zeckyboys recorded live at Drunk in Public 04-03-2022)

The Italian Celtic-Punk scene is large and very talented and friendly. It’;s only a few weeks since we hosted the amazing Dirty Artichokes here in London and plans are afoot for Uncle Bard And The Dirty Bastards to pop over to see us too. Both absolutely amazing bands and wonderful people. Thanks to the pandemic it took Zeckyboys two years before they could actually play live so these songs have been perfected before being released into the world and they are playing like a band trying to make up for lost time. With nine songs clocking in at nearly 40 minutes the way they switch from Punk to Trad is both astounding and seamless with them somehow managing it without you even noticing at times. This is a band with a lot to offer and sitting as they do on both wings of Celtic-Punk they will have a lot of appeal to fans of the genre at home and abroad.

Buy Dirty Brands  Spotify  www.zeckyboys.com 

Contact Zeckyboys   Facebook  YouTube  Instagram

NEW SINGLE: PADDY WAGGIN’ AND FINNY McCONNELL ‘Life On The Booze’

There’s a price that you pay living life on the booze! The newest tune from Vancouver’s Paddy Waggin’ featuring neighbour Finny McConnell from The Mahones.

‘Life On The Booze’ dates back to 2020 and was written by Aidan Carroll (AKA Paddy) after celebrating his birthday bash. Left feeling the worse for wear and with unusually high levels of hangxiety.

“I penned it all in one go upon waking. Then strummed out the chords in the afternoon as sort of a cathartic therapy for my aching head.”

It seemed like a good way to spend the day recovering and when introduced to the rest of the band they began working on it straight away and plans were made to record it. With it all set to go the opportunity for Paddy Waggin’ to play with Finny McConnell from legendary fellow Canadian Celtic-Punks The Mahones on his solo tour. Finny jumped at the chance to sing guest vocals along with Aidan with everyone sharing backup vocals and choruses and the song was recorded by Larry Lich @ Eagle Ears studios.

Paddy Wagon left to right: Andrew Whyte – Guitar * Aidan Carroll – Vocals * Rob Stewart – Drums * Jon Poliquin – Bass * Philip Meyer – Accordion * Johnny Jandara – Mandolin/ Banjo (plus Bourton Scott on fiddle not in picture)

For the end of year ‘Best Of’ awards we will be introducing a new category for Best Celtic-Punk video and ‘Life On The Booze’ will be a strong contender for #1 spot! The brainchild and creation of Paddy Waggin’ drummer Diamond Dick who sadly missed the recording through illness forcing the band to use a drum machine for the track. Needless to say he wasn’t too happy about being replaced by a drum machine so as part of his healing he took it upon himself to get his revenge by turning the band into cartoon characters! He then created a dancing metronome robot to represent the drum sounds he despised and then destroys it at the end of the video.

No Irishman were hurt in the making of this video.

All characters are purely fictional and not intended to represent real people

I saw Paddy today 
And how he was bragging 
Swearing about how he’s on the wagon 
It’s enough to make 
A grown man cringe 
When you’re waiting for 
Your next last binge 

Chorus 
Hey 
This time it’s true 
I’ve had enough drink
To sink this, ship and its crew 
I’m capsized I’m drowning 
Down here in this brew 
There’s a price that you pay 
Living life on the booze 

I saw Paddy today
And he wasn’t drinking
Swearing about his new way of thinking
Its enough to make
A grown man cry
As he shoots back a shot
With his guilt in his eyes
Chorus 
I saw Paddy today
And he wasn’t on the lash
He swore never again
To drink one little splash
But before I congratulate him on the task
He leans back and takes a big swig from his flask
Chorus
I saw Paddy today
He wasn’t in the cups
Swearing how he
Never touches the stuff
But before I could say
Good job there old man
He took out his knife
And he shotgunned a can
Chorus 
Outro 
I saw Paddy today
And he wasn’t bragging
Taken away in the Paddy Wagon
Your under arrest!
The Mahones have a fabulous new album out called Jameson Street and Paddy Waggin are delighted to have been asked to open for The Mahones on their 30th Anniversary Jameson Street tour. Two shows October 20th and 21st at The Fox Cabaret in Vancouver and expect to hear Life On The Booze’ performed live with Finny.

Please drink responsibly for F@&k sakes!

Contact Paddy Waggin WebSite  Facebook  YouTube 

EP REVIEW: THE RAMSTAMPITS – ‘Light The Beacon’ (2022)

Stunning debut release of Celtic-Punk direct from the Celtic Heartlands. Six tracks from The Ramstampits full of power, originality, melody, anthemic choruses and variation, performed by some of the best Folk and Punk rock musicians anywhere. 

The Ramstampits is a bit of a mouthful and a rather odd name for a band until you find out what it means. It’s old Scots for ‘brawling, hoormongering rogues’ and in that case it makes perfect sense! Lead singer Iain fresh from the success he found with his previous band The Placks decided that his, and partner in crime Andy MacChainsaw, next band would all be friends of his. This is after all how the majority of bands start out but things don’t always go that simple. So The Ramstampits begin the rocky road with members/ex-members of The Rumjacks, The Exploited, Sham 69 and The Placks – some pedigree I’m sure we can all agree. With a revolving line up the idea is that whenever they are booked to play their will always be enough of them ready and able to play.

So far the band have played a couple of low key acoustic gigs at festivals, namely Punk On The Peninsula and Rebellion Festival. They were well received at both and more recently got their first airplay on Isles FM in Stornoway in the Western Isles on the Celtic Set show which is also syndicated to Canada and Germany. Singer-songwriter Iain certainly knows his way round the music biz especially the DIY / alternative scenes and he brings some great ideas along. The plan was to record these songs as side 1 of the album and then record gentler tracks for side 2 making one powerful side and one folky side but with the release of Light The Beacon plans for the album have been adapted. With the wait for vinyl releases has now reached 6-8 months vinyl and with an album of new material planned as well it was decided to release an EP and get the name out there among fans of the genre.

Light The Beacon opens with a cover of ‘I Fought The Law’ and we’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for the release of the video so we could publish this review. Well it was certainly worth the wait and one of the best Celtic-Punk videos of the year hit the internet only yesterday. The video is a great romp (not sure about the dreadlocked copper mind!) filmed in the picturesque town of Inveraray at the Georgian Inveraray jail which is now a museum and the song itself is played more similar to The Clash version rather than the Country / Rockabilly version popularised by the Bobby Fuller Four in 1966. The song was written and first performed by Sonny Curtis of Buddy Holly’s backing band The Crickets way back in 1958. ‘I Fought The Law’ is the only cover on Light The Beacon and The Ramstampits intend to concentrate on writing new material in the future. So the rest of the EP is all originals and up next is ‘My Country’ with its old fashioned céilí sample intro and then into a Celtic-Punk barnstormer full of love for Scotland. After several listens there’s not a world of difference between the two! ‘For Land And Girls And Rum’ has a sea-shanty feel to it and an interesting start where the song completely changes tack and just when you’re expecting a bit of Folkiness the song explodes into a Celtic-Punk Rock powerhouse with fiddle, pipes and accordion all pushed to the front. The pace changes again for ‘No Place Like Home’ and again you are taken by surprise by a total about turn within the song. ‘Fourteen Days’ kicks off with some Spanish guitar and a hilarious tale of a trip to Spain that takes in some ace accordion, castanets, Johnny Cash style trumpets and a huge singalong chorus. Love it! The EP ends with the short ‘A Song Of Hope’ and takes the EP up to almost 20 minutes. A song destined to be a end of set classic with its positive message firing out a song of hope. One of those songs in Celtic-Punk that draws us all together before the end of the night and we go our separate ways.

Light The Beacon is now out and is available from both Mainstage Merch for CD and Bandcamp for download. The Placks were never happy with the production on any of their releases so here they have pushed the boat out here and while I’ve never let the production spoil music for me it is true that if you are willing to invest in what you believe in and pay for a studio, you do get what you pay for. A quite brilliant debut for The Ramstampits and full steam ahead for the long player soon!
(You can download/ stream Light The Beacon via the Bandcamp player)
Buy Light The Beacon  MainstageMerch (also Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes)
Contact The Ramstampits  Facebook  Bandcamp

ONE NIGHT IN CAMDEN! THE SCRATCH Vs. THE MARY WALLOPERS

In a months time two of Ireland’s most interesting bands go head to head on the same night in north London. Aye some eejit has booked them both to play 15th December in Camden only a few hundred yards apart. We are caught in a dilemma of which one to go to ourselves so here we present the evidence and leave it for you to decide!

Aye that’s right two bands with crossover audience and fan base and mutual appeal be will playing just up the road from each other. The Scratch are at the Camden Underworld and The Mary Wallopers just the other side of the tube station at the (still Irish owned) Electric Ballroom. I looked it up and it’s all of 459 feet that according to Google takes one minute to walk would you believe! The usual practise in these circumstances, according to Greenford Bhoy, is to go and see who you’ve seen the least but as none of us have ever seen either band before that’s not a option. Never mind it’s the week before Christmas and there’s gigs galore in London but to put these two fantastic bands up against each other is a crime against music! So in act of supreme impartiality here’s a potted history of the bands, a recent video and a live stream performance to help you make up your minds and wherever you choose to be on December 15th we’ll meet you half way up by the tube station for a can of beer/s before the show!

THE SCRATCH

Started as a fun experiment in the kitchen of a house in Perrystown, The Scratch are a 4-piece acoustic act from Dublin. Born from a shared love of acoustic guitar, metal and trad Irish music, The Scratch have moulded triumphant melodies with the groove and intensity of metal.

A 2017 busking trip to Rory Gallagher festival in Ballyshannon kick-started the journey, as a video of the band busking racked up an astonishing one million views in just a week and was shared around the world. An invitation to play Dublin’s Whelan’s followed, and then a string of Dublin headliners in increasingly bigger venues, each one sold out before doors. Most recently their Academy Dublin show sold out in just four days. Their first UK show in The Camden Assembly was also sold out ahead of time.

Their first EP Old Songs was released in 2018, a collection of older instrumental material. Next came stand-alone singles and crowd favourites ‘Get It Right Up’ and ‘Punisher’ that summer. 2019 saw the release of The Whole Buzz EP as well as singles ‘Cúnla’ and ‘Flaker’, with a marked development of their songwriting style and sound. The Whole Buzz further cemented The Scratch as one of the best trad revival/metal crossover acts in the country and one of the most exciting acoustic acts in the world with high energy acoustic riffs and soaring melodies

2020 saw them tour the UK for the first time, play their biggest shows to date around Ireland, as well as some of Europe’s biggest festivals. With Covid-19 changing the industry and indeed the world for a large portion of the year, the band released their debut album Couldn’t Give A Rats. The album received critical acclaim, scoring top 10 album in Ireland, a 4 star review from The Irish Times and Hot Press describing it as one of the “boldest Irish debuts in recent memory”. The band finished their rescheduled UK/Irish tour and was almost entirely sold out, including a date at London’s Boston Music Room and an unforgettable sold out show at the Olympia Theatre Dublin, their biggest headline gig to date.

It is impossible to fully understand this band without seeing them in the live environment, where they challenge anybody to come to a show and not leave with a smile on their face.

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THE MARY WALLOPERS

Ahead of the release of their debut album – expected this autumn – The Mary Wallopers are back with a new single, ‘Frost Is All Over’, as well as an accompanying music video.

To coincide with the release, the raucous Dundalk folk group have also announced a major tour, with new Irish dates in November and December – including a headline show at The National Stadium in Dublin on November 17. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

‘Frost is All Over’ is a traditional Irish song about taking everything in your stride and not caring about what everyone says you should care about,” The Mary Wallopers say of the new single. “We added the verse about landlords as we feel they are a sensitive sort who need reminding of how much we care about them. It was recorded by Chris Barry in his Dublin studio in 2021. It’s an old song made famous by Planxty.

“The video was shot by Sean McMahon and the set was designed by Mark Sheridan,” they continue. “Sean is from Dundalk like us and has worked on our livestreams before. It was shot in the old AOH Hall in Blackrock, Dundalk, which local music legend Conor Hughes allowed us to use. The video is our way of introducing the new band and how sexy we have become over lockdown. Our home studio / pub was too small to fit everyone in so we had to branch out but still keep it Dundalk.”

Originally made up of brothers Andrew and Charles Hendy and their friend Sean McKenna, The Mary Wallopers have recently expanded to a seven-piece for live performances.

With their trademark combination of charm, irreverence, staggering talent and a fiercely DIY ethos, the group have rapidly established themselves as a captivating force in Irish music. In 2019, they released their acclaimed debut EP, A Mouthful of The Mary Wallopers.

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NEW SINGLE: THE OWEN GUNS PUT THE BOOT INTO EVERYONE’S LEAST FAVOURITE IRISHMAN

We are not fans of Bono. Not many are! This recent track from Aussie Punk band The Owen Guns caught our attention with his heartfelt message to Bono which we can all agree on.

I love the Aussies. They are plain speaking and usually great fun to be around. Now this could possibly be as over 2,000,000 of them come from Irish backgrounds! That is 10.4% of the total population. This might also explain why their Celtic-Punk bands are so bloody good. Today though we are featuring something a little different. Something with a very important message…

The Owen Guns from left to right: Booker – Bass * Mark – Guitar * Ma Tu – Drums/ Tin Whistle/ Djembe/ Vocals * Sean The Bastard – Vocals/ Kazoo/ Theremin *

The Owen Guns are a Streetpunk band based in New South Wales with members split between Sydney and the South Coast. They’ve been active since 2020, releasing two EP’s Violating Community Standards and Electric Boogaloo and have just released their first full length album. Their members are not just veterans of the Aussie Punk and Hardcore music scene but also Canada and China too. Unlike most of the current crop of Punk bands both here and in Oz their are no fake American accents and more importantly no fear of offending people. Known for mixing politics and humour into their songs and for not taking themselves or anyone else too seriously. The Owen Guns are not a safe space!

Give me a B   B 
Give me an O   O 
Give me an N   N 
Give me an O   O
 
Whats that spell?  cunt 
Whats that spell? cunt 
Whats that spell? cunt 

700 million.. yeah that’s a lot of cash 
Maybe you should pay your share in tax 
If you’re really concerned about the poor 
You’re such a bore don’t wanna see you on tv anymore 
Blatant hypocrisy 
Is too big to ignore
Bono Bono you’re shit and you know it
Every time you start to speak you go ahead and show it
Bono Bono you’re shit and you know it
Every time you start to speak you go ahead and show it
Designer glasses…flash designer suit
You talk about the poor while you’re counting loot
You flew your hat first class..half way across Europe
Media slut, Mouth always open,
i wish you’d keep it shut
Your charity’s a fraud and you’re a fucking cunt
You’re a fucking cunt
Bono Bono you’re shit and you know it 
Every time you start to speak you go ahead and show it 
Bono Bono you’re shit and you know it 
Every time you start to speak you go ahead and show it

Bono you’re a cunt
Lots of shouty swearing and fast guitars. The track is taken from the album Dawn Of The Braindead which came out at the end of September. It was recorded and mixed at Rock The Nation Studios by Shoeless Geoff Mullard and mastered by Jason at Goatsound. The album is twelve songs of superb old school Hardcore Punk. Nothing groundbreaking but pure energy throughout though nothing tops ‘Not You Too’ though which let’s face it Bono really deserves, the 2 faced pompous hypocrite. While lecturing us about the environment he did indeed pay for a ticket on a plane and a taxi for his hat! While St. Bono preaches to us from atop ‘a hillside near the town of Capernaum’ about poverty when Ireland ended tax exemption for artists in 2006 the first thing U2 did was immediately move their tax affairs to The Netherlands.
“Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of me”
The lyric’s for ‘Not You Too’ were penned by lead singer Sean The Bastard whose pathological hatred of Bono is well known. The lyrics were originally written back in 2017 and had to be changed for recording as Bono’s net worth had risen a hundred million dollars in that time – what a cunt! The video was animated by Mike Foxall (theartoffox.com.au) who managed to really capture the feel of the song and the cuntiness of Bono himself. I mean just look at him.  Absolute twat!
(Dawn Of The Braindead is out now on all streaming services and available for purchase on vinyl via the Bandcamp player below)
The Owen Guns  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram

 

EP REVIEW: FIRE ANT SEASON – ‘Bad Habits’ (2022)

The new EP from Austin, Texas Folk-Punk band Fire Ant Season. Half-hearted melodies, full-hearted tragedies, self-loathing and stuff.

Delivered to my inbox months ago and missed first time round Fire Ant Season nearly slipped through our net until on looking for something else I re-discovered them. See we do check everything we get sent (we get sent all sorts from Metal to dance to indie) for any virtue whatsoever and a space on the site. Not everything get’s past that step but occasionally some gems do sneak in.

Fire Ant Season hail from the ‘artsy’ capital of Texas – Austin. Famed for it’s amazing music scene over the years and ‘relaxed’ lifestyle. It seems word got out about Austin and an influx of hipsters and Californians has caused massive over-crowding, increased homelessness and crime and sky-rocketing housing costs. The sad thing is that gentrification eventually always destroys the very thing that made these yuppies in Vans trainers interested in moving there in the first place!

The guys celebrate their 10th anniversary next year and have released a handful of low-fi EP’s and one album, Shit-Eating Grin, back in 2017. You can get all their back catalogue via Bandcamp as a ‘name your price’ download.

Fire Ant Season is a two piece with Nate on guitar, synth and vocals and Tim on mandolin. Here on Bad Habits they are assisted on a couple of songs by friends but it’s all very much themselves alone. The EP begins with ‘Get A Life’ and from almost the first sounds Nate bursts into a diatribe about life in general and expectations put us by ourselves and others. The lyrics read more like a short story but are sung in a great style so that they fit the music perfectly. The music is fiercely strummed guitar and some very well played and tuneful mandolin so very simple but extremely effective. The vocal style generally stops short of being shouty but not always but Nate has a strong voice that handles the shouty bits very well. They are joined on ‘Depression Is One Hell Of A Drug Imbalance’ by Corbin Young on drums and while the title is a bit (!) of a mouthful it is again handled well with almost spoken word style and a few seconds of acoustic mayhem. Next up is ‘Privilege Blues’ and the highlight of the EP. I’m usually instantly “oh no!” and my eyes roll into the back of my head on first sight of the word ‘privilege’ but not this time. All the elements of the EP are at play but never do they work as well. Fire Ant Season’s style of music is not usually the most, for want of a better word, ‘catchy’ but they certainly managed it on ‘Privilege Blues’.

“Please pardon my mess as I verbally shit on each and every one of you, I empty my bowels by using consonants and vowels and yet some stay the whole set through. We’ve all got problems, we’ve all got issues and who am I to complain? I hold no reservations to extrapolate the reasons why I feel like shit today. And so that doesn’t excuse for me singin’ the blues when I don’t really have it that rough. I seem to confuse that my own self-abuse is just a way of being self-conscious. It’s a tired topic, as trite as always, but I can’t seem to get away from self-deprecation, but who am I kidding, I don’t have much else to say.”

Another friend Andy Chang joins them on banjo on ‘D.I.D. I Do That?’. The shoutiest song on Bad Habits and nice to hear some humour in amongst all the angst.

“When my only pastime is getting angry at coworkers in my head or sitting on the toilet for extended duration’s and I know that old adage, the rhyme, where the boss makes a dollar and I, a dime, but therein lies the caveat; that I’m still the one sitting on the pot.”

The EP wraps up with ‘Anhedonia’ and Nate gets all shouty to see us out. The song deals with the inability to feel pleasure or joy. Not happy music you would think but the music drifts along in that Folky but also Punky way that belies the darkness of the lyrics. The band said

“While we try our best to do things that we think are good for us, sometimes they can end up hurting us in the end. This EP addresses those bad habits and captures them in a sort of catharsis to hold them responsible for their actions to hopefully learn and grow from them.”

The artwork for the cover was by Grace Wilson (@trashcandollarts) and I’m very happy that I found this intelligent wee EP. The lyrics are clever and in these times when people have a tendency to ram things down your throats I find Fire Ant Season’s approach on Bad Habits a 100 times better and a 1000 times more original than that approach.

(Listen / stream / download Bad Habits via the Bandcamp player below)

Download Bad Habits Bandcamp

Contact Fire Ant Season WebSite Facebook YouTube

EP REVIEW: BRICK TOP BLAGGERS – ‘Obey The Tyrant ‘ (2022)

With the original and traditional melodies of Celtic-Folk and the power of Punk-Rock Orange county Celtic-Punks Brick Top Blaggers have been winning over die-hard fans since 2009 and are set to win over more with the release of their new EP.  

The Brick Top Blaggers have never been given a proper airing on this site over the years. Not out of any kind of malice I hasten to add. I consider them one of the top American Celtic-Punk bands it’s more that their releases came out at the wrong time or somehow passed us by. It’s been over a decade now since we first heard Coaster, a ten track album of classic, almost traditional American Celtic-Punk. Two years later came, appropriately, Two Years Enough and a rougher harder edged new sound. The band were then quiet until 2017’s six track EP The Fury. New band members slotting in just right and a now instantly recognisable Brick Top Blaggers sound.

American bands dominate Celtic-Punk and not always deservedly. Their are several countries now whose bands are equal but less numerous but it’s more than fair to say that Brick Top Blaggers bridge the gap between traditional Irish Folk music and Punk in a way that others can only dream of. For example both the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly have found their niche of concentrating on one or the other and are happy therein. For the Brick Top Blaggers though their has always been progression from Coaster right up until this months Obey The Tyrant they have never stood still somehow always pushing the boundaries of Celtic-Punk and releasing memorable music again and again. Formed in 2009 in Orange county, California the band has seen many changes but always the same amazing fiddle with roaring guitars, passionate vocals and rock-solid bass and drums.

The first of the EP’s six songs is ‘Preamble’, a instrumental with pounding tribal drums and mournful fiddle that builds slowly up into ‘Hope Fiend’. English born Steve Almond (B-right-on) is still at the helm  and listen very closely and you can hear the odd English pronunciation slipping in! His vocals and songwriting are superb and he manages to convey exactly what his songs are and they say a lot. All the songs here are well over the standard length with ‘Forgotten Generation’ the longest but also the EP’s standout track. Telling simply the story of men conscripted and sent off to fight and for many to die for the freedoms we take for granted. Next up is the title track and ‘Obey The Tyrant’ sees them speeding things up though always keeping it firmly in the Folk camp. Karin’s excellent fiddle helps of course as does Steve’s vocals that sit just right between ‘nice’ Folky singing and ‘shouty’ Punk singing. Now is the foot stomper ‘Invisible Man’ is a loving tribute that cracks along at a fair old pace. We first heard ‘Denial’ on St. Patrick’s day last year and here it brings down the curtain. The Punkiest track of the EP

Obey The Tyrant is out on acclaimed San Diego, CA label Mannequin Vanity Records who specialise in Folk, World and Punk music just like us! The band is not resting on their laurels and already writing and recording material for a new album slated for release in the spring.

Buy Obey The Tyrant  FromTheBand – Digital / CD

Contact Brick Top Blaggers  WebSite  Facebook  YouTube 

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NEW SINGLE: ITALIAN BAND ZECKYBOYS RELEASE ‘Damned Purple Bus’

Formed just before the pandemic Italian band Zeckyboys have continued right where they left off with a new single of raucous and rowdy Celtic-Punk with some quality Irish trad thrown in as well for free!

Zeckyboys (there is no ‘The’) get their name from a Swiss term for ‘grass trimmer’. Kind of apt for me seeing as that’s about half my job as a groundsmen! So an unusual name for a Celtic-Punk band that is far from your usual Celtic-Punk band! With plenty of influences alongside Punk and Folk through Heavy Metal and even Classical. It helps of course that the members of the band are all experienced musicians with long histories of touring and playing varied musical styles. Zeckyboys is just a bunch of guys (talented ones though) who play music, drink beer and have fun all in the name of Celtic-Punk.

The Bhoys have a new single out titled ‘Damned Purple Bus’ taking in the life long struggle against the clock and everything that causes you rage and frustration. From the moment your wake up you find yourself in a rush to arrive at work in time. The song tells of one of those days when everything that can go wrong does so. Rain, the last seconds of your favourite song on the radio, a traffic jam and that damned purple bus. It won’t let you pass due to the traffic, the people getting on and off and the bendy road slows you down even more so you can even hear the boss threatening to fire you if you’re late again. Everyday you curse that damned purple bus and curse because it looks like it does it on purpose!

Still got the signs of the pillow on my faceReady to start let’s win the raceGet in the car the music is onFuck that song is already gone.
*Clean my beard from the drool of sleepLay down the glass for a bit of breezeClogged streets and horns thrillingCome on
*
Time runs faster minutes go aheadYou must be here the boss saidI see it it’s down the roadMany people are getting on board*That damned purple bus
It’s impossibile I can’t passThe boss will kick my assFuck that damned purple bus*Every day it’s always the sameHands up who knows the blameStare at my face deep in my eyesNot looking for trite lies
*I could run on every street
Done the bend I sight itWith that colour it’s down the roadLike a big grand candy world
*Time runs faster minutes go aheadYou must be here the boss saidI see it / it’s down the roadMany people are getting on board*
That damned purple bus
It’s impossible I can’t passThe boss will kick my assFuck that damned purple bus
One of the best of the more recently formed Celtic-Punk bands Zeckyboys play fast as hell Celtic-Punk with the emphasis on the Punk but with the ability to break half way and start throwing out some amazing trad Irish Folk. As above where the song suddenly turns into the ‘Swallowtail Jig’ and I’ve always said to be a top notch Celtic-Punk band no matter how good you’re Punk side is you gotta learn a bit of trad. The video is a collage of the band’s gigs through the last summer and includes some short clips of trips, jokes, the various stages, music and of course a lot of beer and you can almost feel the good time vibes coming out through the screen!
Contact Zeckyboys  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram

ODDS’N’SODS. A CELTIC-PUNK ROUND UP OCTOBER 2022

A funny auld month this. Loads of Celtic-Punk’s premier league bands have releases out and two others have them coming soon!

Find out who they are is in this month’s Odds’n’Sods. A whole load of Celtic-Punk entertainment from all the scene’s bands big and small, established or jusstarting out.

We kick off this month with a shout out to our good friend Roger Goeddey whose just come out of hospital after a serious operation. Thinking of you from over here and best wishes from the gang.

First we had the Murphys, then the Molly and TMTCH and now it’s the turn of THE REAL McKENZIES to  release a new album, Songs Of The Highlands, Songs Of The Sea coming on November 18th on Stomp Records in Canada and FAT everywhere else.

THE OUTCAST CREW out of Laois in the Irish midlands have a new single and video out directed, filmed and edited by Thomas Moyles.  Laois is famous for an abbey, some gardens, a castle and a couple of lakes and now a kickarse class Celtic-Celtic-Punk. They won the 2020 Celtic Punk debut album of the year and it’s about time we heard some more guys!

We lapped up SHANGHAI TREASON at the Underworld in Camden last month. Supporting The Rumjacks they played a blinding set and we were happy to see a big chunk of it appear on You Tube with all yer favourite London Celtic Punks silhouetted against the stage!

Another live set this time from Oz and Flat Cap Productions of the raging 100% Colonial Bush Folk / Punk band HANDSOME YOUNG STRANGERS recorded last week at the Crown And Anchor, Adelaide.

Nearly all the big guns get a mention this month and THE MAHONES released the first single from upcoming album Jameson Street (out October 7th). ‘Holloway Jack’ is now available on Spotify and the other platforms.

A great cover of ‘These Hands’, originally by Scots band The Wakes, from Belfast based singer-songwriter STIOFAN on his debut album Rebel Heart which you can hear on Spotify.

Sad news out of the Highlands that Iain has left THE PLACKS. No need to go into the reason but unsure if this means they will carry on but the good news is that he’s already settled into a new band THE RAMSTAMPITS and they’ve been recording so expect new material very soon. Here they playing at Punk Rock In The Peninsula in August which had a awesome line up and looked bloody marvellous!

STOP PRESS – Just heard the new album is available for pre-release from Mainstage Merch.

Ace Brazilian band LUGH we haven’t heard much from recently so completely awesome to hear new material from them with an accompanying video chronicling their 13 years on the road. 13 MORE!!!!

Comedy song from Barcelona based CAL MURPHY about an issue affecting many men… but one in particular! All proceeds from this song will be donated to charities aiding Ukrainian families affected by the war. What better way to help than by having a laugh at the expense of the prick who caused it?

We love a new band so we do! THE ENDINGS from Telford in the English Midlands have probably been around a while (some of them look like it anyway!!!) but we only just come across this video. We checked out some more of their stuff on You Tube and its well f’ing catchy! Give em a like over on Facebook and look forward to seeing them featured on these pages real soon. Whole gig here.

This led me onto this. This is some scary battle shit from CU DUBH another duo with absolutely stunning pipes and drums. Ancient thundering war drums and swirling bagpipe to put the fear of God into your enemies. These folk don’t need no microphones either! Send a like over on Facebook you know the score.

HOIST THE COLORS – When Daylight Breaks

DROPKICK MURPHYS  – This Machine Still Kills Fascists

FLOGGING MOLLY – Anthem

MULHOLLAND – Cumha An Ri

THE MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG – Running On Ice

WE BANJO 3 – Open The Road

Remember we cannot review it if we don’t hear it first!

Scots singer-songwriter LOUIS RIVE didn’t bring the weather with him when he returned to Scotland from Barcelona! Now firmly settled back in he’s still as prolific as he use to be and has a new EP just out Dear Green Place. A four-song personal journey through North-East Glasgow. From the high flats, to the M8 Motorway. From Provanmill to Springburn to Alexandra Parade and back again.

A great friend of ours in the United States has a new album out Cumha An Ri the solo album from MULHOLLAND. Loads of distorted guitars and vocals played at breakneck speed about Irish and Irish-American history. Here’s my favourite about the lie that Irish slavery never existed and to hear the rest check out the entire YouTube Cumha An Ri playlist. Written, composed, performed, recorded, mixed and produced by the very talented Colin Mulholland.

THE MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG have a new digital only release out from their Bandcamp page with all money to go to their Album Fund. This is the second of TMTCH’s rolling programme of digital EP’s and contains the title track, a dystopian fable set in a menacing ice rink, a cover of Ronnie Lane’s classic ‘How Come’ and original demos of two new songs, ‘Islands Of Silver And Gold’ and ‘Lonely Train’.

One of my favourite Celtic-Punk bands the Orange County based BRICK TOP BLAGGERS have a new EP Obey The Tyrant out on all platforms. Here’s ‘Denial’ from St. Patrick’s Day 2021. Watch this space for a review coming soon. (Hint – It rocks!)

In the 9 years we’ve been doing this 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 feature PFC PIERCE and his 2018 five track EP Songs Of Hope And Hardship. It was while reviewing the debut single from Coxey’s Army recently that we came across this release. It is Coxey’s Army vocalist Nate Rising who founded PFC Pierce a sometimes solo acoustic project described as Positive Blue Collar Folk. Drawing from his extensive travels and experiences, Nate pairs positive themes to catchy, Celtic rooted, tenor guitar music. All the music is available as a ‘name your price’ download but as usual if you can afford to leave him enough for a Guinness or two as a tip.

Acoustic Irish bands THE SCRATCH and THE MARY WALLOPERS are both touring in December and playing Camden in north London so watch out for dates and a wee article on that. Expect to see a few of us at one of them. Haven’t decided which yet! MAD DOG McCREA headline Nells, 3 North End Crescent, West Kensington, London W14 8TG on Friday 21st October. It’s a eye watering £22 but they are a great band so youse get what you pay for. NEW MODEL ARMY play 3 Christmas dates ending at the Roundhouse starting on the 10th. The BIBLECODE SUNDAYS are at the Powerhaus in Camden (formerly Dingwalls) on Saturday November 5th.  DROPKICK MURPHYS have announced THE RUMJACKS, PENNYWISE and JESSE AHEARNE as support for their Euro tour starting in Jan and arriving in London on Saturday 21st January and then just 7 days later its THE REAL McKENZIES at the New Cross Inn. All these but the top gig going on this month is just coming up …

Forty years ago The Pogues played their first gig at The Pindar of Wakefield in Kings Cross. On 4th October 1982 James, Shane, Spider and Jem took the stage as Pogue Mahone and would go on to change peoples lives. The Pindar Of Wakefield is now The Water Rats and Kings Cross is, unbelievably, a most desirable place to live and The Pogues are no more either. Their spirit lives on though within The Pogue Traders. Now in their 15th year themselves of bringing The Pogues back to life they will tread them same boards 40 years on. Support for the night is from Paul ‘Mad Dog’ McGuinness And Band. Paul toured with Shane MacGowan for almost a decade as a founder member of The Popes. For an hour before that Shane’s official biographer Richard Balls will be doing a Q And A and copies of his recent book ‘A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane MacGowan’ will be available.
The Pogue Traders live at The Water rats Tuesday 4th October 2022 https://www.wegottickets.com/event/555406

THE WORKING CLASS SYMPHONY are one of the best Celtic-Punk bands in the world. You don’t know them well that’s probably because they are from Indonesia but we love them and guarantee you will too. Check them out on You Tube and Facebook and look forward to catching them live in Europe at the end of the year. They are heading over sometime between December – January and need the help of the Celtic-Punk community. If you can help with the tour in any way then drop them a line and let them know.

If you like what we do then you can support us by checking out our online store. The Harp’n’Bones design is back in all sizes and on black or white shirts. Also we have new polo shirts, in all sizes, and some nifty woolly hats as well as the Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer shirts. 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! https://the30492shop.fwscart.com/

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! https://t.me/londoncelticpunks/

Well we have been blown away by the response to the new London Celtic Punk badge. Not surprising really as they are so bloomin’ gorgeous. Just about the nicest bit of merchandise in Celtic-Punk if you ask me! Comes with butterfly clip and made in Ireland (Guaranteed Irish!) It’s 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 londoncelticpunks@hotmail.co.uk

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!

We end with something a wee bit different. No bagpipes or shouting but some beautiful acoustic music from Scots singer-songwriter Dan Wilson who records under the name WITHERED HAND. His fantastic debut album New Gods has just been re-released with bonus tracks.

A reminder too that we need your news so anything you would like to share with the rest of the Celtic-Punk scene send it onto us.

If you are new to the London Celtic Punks blog it is easy to subscribe / follow and never miss a post. Bands, promoters, record labels, venues send in any news to londoncelticpunks@hotmail.co.uk or via the Contact Us page.

CELTIC-PUNK Q AND A WITH DROPKICK MURPHYS MATT KELLY

Hows this then? With the release of the new Dropkick Murphys album ‘This Machine Still Kills Fascists’ due in a few days Matt Kelly has kindly taken the time to take part in our regular feature – The Celtic-Punk Q And A. Turns out he had ‘Rainy Night In Soho’ as his first dance at his wedding too and we have the same favourite Pope but he’s also sadly West Ham! 
So with out further ado…

Name / Nickname : *** Matt, MK, Kelz, Kel, Mutt, Magic, etc.

Age (Estimate allowed!) : 47

Status : happily married

Birthplace / Nationality / Ancestry : Leominster, Massachusetts. American.

Where do you live : New Hampshire

Occupation : Musician

First job : worked for the family business that did vinyl tops, pin striping, and auto care stuff.

A job you would have loved to do : Philologist

What / Who makes you laugh : Regional comedies, gurning contests, atheists

Favourite movie star : Patrick McGoohan

Favourite film / TV show : Only Fools and Horses

Favourite band/s : Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Stiff Little Fingers, the Who, Agnostic Front, Judge, the Chieftains, Straw Dogs, Bull the Buffalos, Strong Style

Favourite Celtic-Punk band : The Pogues

Up and coming Celtic-Punk band to watch : Blood Or Whiskey.

First and last record you bought : Led Zeppelin II in 1980; more recently(two weeks ago), I found a nice clean copy of Iron Virgin’s “Rebels Rule” single.

How many instruments can you play : Play well? One. I also play bass guitar, bodhrán, and murder the guitar once in a while.

How many bands have you been in : Ten. Late ‘80s/early ‘90s: GSP, Common Sense, Dive, Pressure Point, Mid-‘90s: Bound, Hatchetface, Grade H, Fit For Abuse, Late ‘90s: Get High, Dropkick Murphys.

Favourite venue / gig attended : W.A.S.T.E.D. festival in Blackpool at something-Gardens in 2006. Filled in on drums for East End Badoes. Saw most of the top UK Punk and Oi! bands all in one weekend and my liver fell out. Hell of a time!

Favourite venue / gig played : Dropkick Murphys at Voorst National outside of Brussels in 2019. Absolute magic.

Describe yourself in 5 words : Annoying, flippant, serious, quiet, foolish.

Most embarrassing moment : Most nights when I drop a drumstick in the most obvious of spots.

Favourite song and why : That is tough. It can vary. Sometimes it’s “A Rainy Night in Soho”, which was my and my wife’s first dance at our wedding reception; sometimes it’s “Nothing” by Negative Approach; sometimes it’s “Heaven and Hell” by the Who; sometimes it’s “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles; sometimes it’s “Because You’re Young” by Cock Sparrer; sometimes it’s “Warrior’s Law” by Bull the Buffalos; sometimes it’s “Moanin’” by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers…. Dunno, extremely difficult to answer.

Favourite album and why : AC/DC “Powerage”. It’s the pinnacle of perfect rock and roll.

Favourite song you’ve been involved in: when Dropkick Murphys recorded a cover of Angelic Upstarts’ “Never Again”.

Team/s supported as a kid : Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, New England Revolution, West Ham United

Favourite sportsperson : Patrice Bergeron

Favourite sport : Ice Hockey

All time hero : G.K. Chesterton

Favourite book : Tie between the poem Lepanto by G.K. Chesterton and The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Best friend : My Wife

Biggest influence on career : Probably my Dad. He’s a drummer and that influenced me to take up the sticks.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given : “Try out! What have you got to lose?”— Dave Pratt, upon telling me I should try out for the Dropkick Murphys.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be : Right where I live, in the mountains, with my family and our dog.

Your five dream dinner guests : My Grandfather Bill Kelly, my other Grandfather Bob Lucier, my Grandfather’s Bill’s Aunt Tessie, St. Pope John Paul II, and Hilaire Belloc.

Your favourite quote: “A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it” —G.K. Chesterton

Anything to plug / promote : Dropkick Murphys have a new, acoustic, album coming out Sept 30, it’s a bunch of unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics put to music by the boys. it’s cheekily called “This Machine Still Kills Fascists”…. Guthrie’s guitar had a bumper sticker on it that read “This Machine Kills Fascists” on it, then he painted another guitar with the slogan. Please don’t kill ANYBODY, but check out the album!

Many thanks to Matt for doing this. Much appreciated!

Return in the next few days for a special feature on Woody Guthrie and then our review of the new album written by a special guest writer!!!