Category Archives: Glasgow

LONDON CELTIC PUNKS PRESENTS THE BEST OF 2016!

Yes I know it only seems like five minutes since the last one but it’s that time of year again when we give you, for what it’s worth, our opinion on who made the best music in the celtic-punk scene over 2016. It’s been another outstanding year for the music that we all love and some truly fantastic records came out in the last twelve months. So read on to find out who came #1! Remember though this is only our opinion and these twenty-five album’s are only the tip of the iceberg of what was released last year. Feel free to comment, slag off or dissect our lists. We don’t pretend to be the final word as that my friends is for you…

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TOP 25 CELTIC PUNK ALBUMS

1. THE RUMJACKS (Australia)-‘Sleepin’Rough’  Review

2. THE NARROWBACKS (New York)- ‘Arrogance & Ignorance’  Review

3. THE CLOVES AND THE TOBACCO (Indonesia)- ‘Across The Horizon’  Review

4. MICKEY RICKSHAW (Boston)- ‘Behind The Eight Ball’  Review

5. THE WAKES (Glasgow)- ‘Venceremos!’  Review 

Absolutely no surprise here at all. For the first time we had an unanimous vote from all the admin’s that sees The Rumjacks sail away with the #1 spot for the second year running. It’s been an outstanding year for the Bhoys and with an American tour on the horizon they about to take another giant step in their campaign of world domination! Other notables were NYC’s Narrowbacks whose second album really showed the depth of their songwriting and could just have easily won the folk/trad best of too! The Cloves And The Tobacco deserve plaudits galore in another fantastic year for Indonesian celtic punk bands while Mickey Rickshaw could probably be said to have won the ‘unified title’ across all the various celtic-punk sites. In all we have twenty five bands from fourteen countries including USA x 6, Australia x 3, Indonesia x2, Germany x2, Netherlands x2, Catalonia x 2, Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, Spain, Czech Republic, Russia and Belarus with The Wakes being the only Celtic country based band which goes to show how international the scene has become.

6. THE CLAN (Italy)- ‘All In The Name Of Folk’  Review

7. HOIST THE COLORS (USA)- ‘Mourners’  Review

8. SIR REG (Sweden)- ‘Modern Day Disgrace’  Review

9. FOX n FIRKIN (Australia)- ‘No Vacancy’  Review

10. FIDDLER’S GREEN (Germany)- ‘Devil’s Dozen’  Review

11. LUGH (Brazil)- ‘Histórias Do Mar’  Review

12. JAY WARS AND THE HOWARD YOUTH (Australia)- ‘Love In The Time Of Fear’  Review

13. BUNCH OF BASTARDS (Netherlands)- ‘My Drinkin’ Ain’t Done’  Review

14. SIGELPA (Catalonia)- ‘Rabant Original’  Review

15. TENHOLES (Indonesia)- ‘Loyalty’  Review

16. THE O’REILLYS AND THE PADDYHATS (Germany)- ‘Seven Hearts One Soul’  Review

17. 13KRAUSS (Spain)- TheEnd Is Nigh’  Review

18. DRINK HUNTERS (Catalonia)- ‘Shameless’  Review

19. PIRATES OF THE PUBS (Czech Republic)- ‘Drunken Forever’  Review

20. THE MUCKERS (USA)- ‘The Muckers’  Review

21. LQR (Netherlands)- ’10 Pinter’  Review

22. THE Пауки/THE PAUKI (Russia)- ‘La Isla Del Muerto’  Review

23. Всё CRAZY (Belarus)- ‘По Морям’  Review

24. RUSTY NAIL (USA)- ‘Bitter Ale, Bitter Heart’  Review

25. THE LANGER’S BALL (USA)- ‘Whiskey Outlaws’  Review

A special mention here to the ever prolific and always a pleasurable experience The Mahones who released a greatest hits entitled The Very Best: 25 Years Of Irish Punk which couldn’t be included in the Top 25 but if it did would have given The Rumjacks a run for their money!

TOP TEN CELTIC PUNK EP’S

1. MICK O’TOOLE (England)- ‘A Working Class Battalion’  Review

2. THE RAMSHACKLE ARMY (Australia)- ‘Whitewashed Graves’  Review

3. DRUNKEN FAIRY TALES (Russia) – ‘Пьяные Сказки’  Review

With The Rumjacks returning a year later to sweep the Album Of The Year it’s no surprise then that Wiltshire lads Mick O’Toole follow up last year’s win in the EP Of The Year awards to do the same thing. A great year for them that has seen them play less and less within the celtic-punk scene and really start to make waves outside of it. A foreign tour and more support slots to various punk rock legends than most bands play in a lifetime and all in the space of twelve months. The Ramshackle Army EP got lost in the post leaving us to do a rush-job review and given time I’m sure they may have given the O’Toole’s a run for their money. Drunken Fairy Tales impressed everyone and Matilda’s vinyl only release deserve a mention as well Mick O’Toole grabbing the 5th spot too.

4. MATILDA’S SCOUNDRELS (England)- ‘Crowleys Curse’  Review

5. MICK O’TOOLE (England)- ‘False Flag Collapse’  Review

6. BAY STREET BASTARDS (Canada)- ‘Small Batch’  Review

7. LEXINGTON FIELD (USA)- ‘Redwood’  Review

8. HANDSOME YOUNG STRANGERS (Australia)- ‘Battle Of Broken Hill’  Review

9. MATILDA’S SCOUNDRELS (England)- ‘The Organworks Recordings Session’  Review

10.  BALSALL HEATHENS (England)- ‘Life’s Too Short’  Review

TOP TEN FOLK/TRADITIONAL RELEASES

1. ANTO MORRA (London)-’16’  Review

2. THE LOGUES (Ireland)- ‘Comin’ Of Age’  Review

3. MICKEY RICKSHAW (Boston)- ‘Wild Atlantic’  Review

Possibly the hardest Best Of List of them all to do is this one as so many releases cross over the genres between rock and punk and folk and trad but our good friend Anto Morra, the ‘London Irish folk-punker’, just edging it from The Logues with his superb tribute to the 1916 Easter Rising. Mickey Rickshaw swept to third with their specially recorded acoustic EP that came out for their European tour and ShamRocks put out an album of high quality and original Irish folk with imagination galore. A special mention for Blackwater Banshee whose EP came out later in the year and shows enormous promise and one or two original songs would have seen a much higher position I am sure.

4. ShamRocks (Ukraine)- ‘Captain’s Log’  Review

5. LARKIN (USA)- ‘A Toast To St. Jude’  Review

6. FOLK THE SYSTEM (England)- Unrest In The Wolds’  Review

7. SHAMBOLICS (Australia)- ‘Riot On Race Day’  Review

8. CLEAR THE BATTLE FIELD (USA)- ‘Set Me Free’  Review

9. SOLAS (USA)- ‘All These Years’  Review

10. BLACKWATER BANSHEE (Bristol)- ‘Blackwater Banshee’  Review

TOP CELTIC PUNK WEB-SITE

Now this has over the years become the Celtic Folk Punk And More Top Celtic Punk Web-Site award so often has that esteemed site walked away with the top spot but there’s a new kid on the block and this year we are happy to award top spot to our good mates over at Mersey Celt Punks. They only kicked off the site a few months ago but super regular postings on all manner of celtic-punkness has seen them triumphant. You can join their fun over at Twitter and Facebook and we heartily recommend you do. A special mention here also for Viva La XV another new kid on the block which looks amazing but sadly as none of us can read Spanish we can’t tell if it’s as good as it looks! We’re sure it is and you can check it out for yourselves at the Blog or over on Facebook.

mersey-celt-punks

Right now the details. The Best Of lists were cajoled and bullied out of the four admins on the London Celtic Punks Facebook page. The various scraps of crumpled paper were received and then tallied up over several pints of Guinness in Mannions in north London while watching the football on the telly.

We are now in our fourth year of doing these Best Of lists so if you would like to have a look at the previous years best in celtic-punk then click the link below the relevant year.

all the major players in celtic-punk do Best Of lists so click below to check out what they thought

CELTIC FOLK PUNK AND MORE

PADDYROCK

MacSLONS IRISH RADIO

CELTIC-ROCK.DE

remember any views or comments we would love to hear them…

Only one more thing to mention about 2016 and that is to remember here Erik Petersen the lead singer of the influential folk-punk band Mischief Brew who sadly passed away earlier this year. I still find it hard to believe that he has gone but he will always be commemorated.

“So tattoo our arms and raise our glasses, call out your name at New Year’s Eve, maybe next time we kneel at a casket, we can say at least the story’s complete”

Read our obituary for Erik here and raise a glass the next time you get the chance to.

 Rest In Peace comrade.

 Sláinte, The London Celtic Punks Crew- January, 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: SAOR- ‘Guardians’ (2016)

A unique blend of Scottish folk and atmospheric black metal inspired by traditional Scots poetry and heritage.

saor-guardians

In reviewing this amazing album I really hope i can do it the justice it truly deserves.Sadly celtic-metal is not a music genre I am too familiar with although I can myself returning if theres more bands like Saor knocking around! Now Saor (which means ‘Free’ or ‘Unconstrained’ in Scottish gaelic) are not strictly a band they are the brainchild of talented multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Andy Marshall. Andy was originally a member of Glasgow band Falloch who received great critical acclaim for their debut album Where Distant Spirits Remain in 2011 although Andy left the band the following year. Striking out on his own Andy released his first solo album Roots in May 2013 again to an avalanche of critical applause. There were only four tracks, that came in at nearly fifty minutes long, which upon listening to managed to evoke the essense of Scotland from the first few bars of the self titled opening track. As one reviewer described it

“The sensation of standing among ancient Scottish mountains captured in sonic form, it speaks to my soul, utterly beautiful”

The following year in June, Andy released Aura. A five track album with the sound fleshed out somewhat by several guest musicians. Passionate and majestic the music soars and again won them an array of positive reviews. Around this time Saor played a handful of live shows but it has now been decided that Saor will remain a studio-only project and there will sadly not be any more live shows.

andy-marshall

So after a two year absence Saor have returned with an album laden with their trademark celtic melodies with their new release Guardians out on November 11, 2016Recorded over two years, in Cairndow and the Isle of Skye, Guardians begins with the self titled track and as is the way with a lot of celtic albums its the sound of a running stream and birdsong that opens the song. It doesn’t take long before crashing guitars and the glorious sound of pipes fills the air and we off on our journey. The drums rock in and the speed ramps up and ‘Guardians’ soars and ebbs and flows while Andy gives it that true death metal growl while he’s singing of tragedy and loss.

“On the mountains of heather they slumber together.
On the wastes of the moorland their bodies decay.
How sound is their sleeping, how safe is their keeping
Though far from their kindred they molder away.

Oh, never to perish, their names let us cherish,
The martyrs of Scotland that now are away”

The song lyrics are all inspired in some way from real events in Scottish history and various parts have been taken from ancient Scottish poetry and the absolutely amazing way that Andy has managed to incorporate that into the songs.

In ‘Guardians’ Horatius Bonar poem ‘The Martyrs of Scotland” is utilised while ‘The Declaration’ is inspired by the Declaration Of Arbroath and Robbie Burns. The declaration was in in the form of a letter submitted to the Pope dated 6 April 1320 declaring Scotland’s an independent, sovereign state.

“By oppression’s woes and pains!
By your sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty’s in every blow!—
Let us do or die!”

The words come from a poem previously put to music by The Real McKenzies, the poem ‘Scots Wha Hae’. Written by Burns in 1793 it took the form of a speech given by Robert the Bruce before the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The song which served for centuries as the unofficial national anthem of Scotland until the present day popularity of ‘Flower Of Scotland’ overtook it. It retains its anger and its passion and Saor pay tribute to it faithfully. The shortest of all the tracks here it still lasts over ten minutes giving it plenty of time to build up and release and build up again. Starting fast before the whole thing slows down for the fiddle while the drumming is simply superb emphasising the sound of the other instruments without ever taking over. The words for following track, ‘Autumn Rain’, come from ‘Culloden Moore’ by Alice MacDonnell and was inspired by her direct descent from a hero of the battlefield.

“Noble dead that sleep below,
We your valour ne’er forget;
Soft the heroes’ rest who know
Hearts like theirs are beating yet”

The battle of Culloden was the final confrontation between the Scots and the English in 1745 and the last major battle fought on this island. Lasting only forty minutes the devastating slaughter marked the end of the military phase of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745/6. Following the battle repression rained down on the native Scots and officers and chiefs who had escaped left for Europe while many of the Jacobite rank and file fled to the American colonies. The sorrow is palpable and Andys voice cries out in pain for them. Even today, they say that the birds don’t sing at the site of the Battle of Culloden. Alice Macdonell of Keppoch, writing at the end of the 19th Century writes of the bleakness of the place, after seeing it in the rain in autumn.

(spare an hour to watch this amazing docu-drama from Peter Watkins made in 1964. Cleverly reconstructing the battle of Culloden as if TV cameras were present.)

Fourth song ‘Hearth’ starts with acoustic guitar and the simple rhythm of the drums before it explodes into action with Andy’s vocals never more powerful than on this song. The words come from ‘My Native Land’ by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). Andy sings with a passion here, its the only time on the album you can hear some of the words, and while the words could apply to any country it is Scotland they were written for.

“This is my home
My heart
My soul
My hearth”

This is clearly the most celtic of the songs on Guardians and I love it. The swirling upbeats, the fiddle and tin whistle and the crashing guitars give this song in particular a feel of Scotland.

Guardians ends with ‘Tears Of A Nation’ and the words here come from ‘The Tears of Scotland’ written by Tobias Smollet (1721-1771). As is obvious from the title it’s another mournful tribute to those who laid down their lives over the centuries for a free Scotland.

“Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn”

So while Andy undoubtedly provides the backbone, at the very least, of Saor it would be unfair not to give the guest musicians who also appear a mention here. Bryan Hamilton from Falkirk metallers Cnoc An Tursa on drums, John Becker from Chicago prog-rockers Austaras on strings, Meri Tadić- Fiddle, Reni McDonald Hill on bodhrán and Kevin Murphy on highland bagpipes all provide excellent accompaniment for Andy. Vinyl and tapes will be available soon and the Digipak CD comes with a ten page booklet with lyrics. Guardians may have only five tracks but the word epic could have solely been invented to help me to review this album clocking in as it does at just over fifty five minutes, with each song lasting over ten minutes. As Andy explains

“I start off with a riff or melody on guitar and start recording demos. Once I’ve got the basics down, I begin adding other instruments and vocal ideas. I’ve no idea how the songs become complex and long, it’s just something that naturally happens when I write music”

From the admittedly little I know it would seem that the genre of folk-metal has long been the domain of Scandinavian bands whose traditions and songs seem to more revolve around trolls and Lord Of The Rings-esque characters while the small band of actual Celtic based celtic-metal bands seem to add something more substantial and real. Ireland’s Primordial, the first celtic-metal band, and Cruachan and Saor keep that flag flying and here on Guardians it is that fury and anger at the ills inflicted upon Scotland and the sadness and melancholy of the history of their land while at the same time the realisation that freedom has surely never been so close that gives Guardians such a dramatic feel to it. The music sweeps you away and if like me you are a stranger to celtic-metal then this is a perfect place to start and immerse yourself in the soundscape of Scotland.

(you can listen to Guardians by pressing play on the Bandcamp player below)

Buy The Album

*THIS IS A PRE-ORDER. RELEASE DATE IS NOVEMBER 11TH*- FromTheBand

Contact The Band

Facebook  Bandcamp  Instagram  YouTube

ALBUM REVIEW: THE WAKES- ‘Venceremos!’ (2016)

by Pete Morgan

Glasgow Irish folk’n’roll hooligans.

They might all be Jock Tamson’s bairns but their Mammy is Roisin Dubh!

the-wakes

London Celtic Punks friends and favourites launched their fifth studio album at the end of September just gone with a fantastic hometown gig at the Classic Grand, Glasgow.  A gig that saw the band enhanced with a small brass section that added to the sound and showed how the boys are growing musically.

The CD, like the gig, doesn’t disappoint: Thirteen tracks over forty-five minutes show the band in top form and giving all and more that we’ve come to expect from Glasgow’s finest ‘punk, folk’n’rollers’. Building on and growing from previous CD’s including No Irish Need Apply and The Red and the Green, Venceremos shows a growth in musical maturity and songwriting while staying true to the bands fundamentals will have you hitting replay button time and time again.

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For this release the band have teamed up with Drakkar Records and the result is an all singing, all dancing package with a gatefold sleeve CD that includes a pullout booklet of photo’s and lyrics which can be bought from the band’s website below and also from the Glasgow independent radical bookshop Calton Books (link below).

Opening with an irresistible punk/new wave beat of ‘Within These Towns’ the gauntlet is thrown down: the song delivers up a crushing criticism of politicians  of the Thatcher era who turned their backs on those towns and people reliant on manufacturing as they allowed industry to fall into irreversible decline and communities abandoned. A bleak subject of towns

“where we are born to die, to live our lives …”

is nonetheless invested with defiance and pride in it’s delivery and any thought of being downbeat is erased with the upbeat, ska infused, Rise. A story that dances along and is bound to become a live favourite, telling a tale of Dublin, Easter 1916, and provided lots of opportunities for a sing-a-long while raising a clenched fist…

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‘No Human is Illegal’ as a song is a class apart. This song possibly best defines the ethos of the band: humanitarian, international, caring, willing to stand up, to wear those hearts on sleeves … A simple enough statement, but a statement that carries undeniable power, delivered almost in an understated manner. This song is impossible to resist and invites us into a quiet corner, the lyrics falling softly, yet challenging the scaremongers and those who use sensationalist headlines to turn a profit  … but we’re left in no doubt

“That old bullshit just don’t cut it any more”

There’s no time to sit around as ‘Whisky Afternoon’ has us back on our feet as the band ‘rock-out’ to an enjoyable wee number of an afternoons drinking that we’ll all be familiar with, same goes for this tune that has a solid back beat that moves it (too?) quickly to a conclusion and then it’s on into ‘The Battle of George Square’: Tanks on the streets of Glasgow to quell the red Clyde revolution. Again the music and lyrics invoke an atmosphere that’ll put on the ground, shoulder to shoulder with Glasgow’s working class.

wakes2The Wakes don’t do shying away and, just as with No Human, they address issues head-on: the turning of young men into state killing machines in ‘Kings Shilling’, (touch of Skids/Big Country?) the bloodshed  in the ‘Holyland’. The domestic home-grown issues of poor housing and rising rent are highlighted in ‘Nae Soft Touch’ (touch of Christy Moore about this one) telling the story of issues from Govan, 1915, that are just as relevant today.

Track 8, ‘I Believe’, a ‘up-beat’ cry of positivity , a rallying cry and affirmation of the power of people is driving along on the back of some beautiful brass that shows how the band, as musicians, have grown and the sound of the Wakes continues seeking out avenues to explore. While ‘Ramblin’ Man’ pays tribute to the great Woody Guthrie in a tune that will almost have you up on the floor square dancing! But wait, whats next, a fecking polka! ‘Freighter of the Dead’ sails us over choppy waters navigating the straits of Pogue Mahone and onto the shores of Gorgol Bordello in a rollickin’ rocking good time tune that shows the boys are well able to let their hair down (sorry Chris!) and this is another tune that will fill the dance floors. As we’ve come to expect there’s a track from the ‘homeland’ that’s given the Wakes unique and personalised  treatment: ‘Erin Go Bragh’ starts off familiar enough but the bass playing and thunderous drumming supported by the chants gives this a whole new life and the song feels ‘epic’, a TV shows turned into a blockbuster of a movie!

wakes-4

The Wakes (left to right): Paul- Vocals/Guitar * Conor- Banjo/Mandolin * Chris- Vocals/Bass/Saxophone/Flute * Danny- Whistles * Eamonn- Drums * Christopher James- Harmonica/Guitar.

Closing on the title track, ‘Venceramos’ the song as well as the album as a whole, is a triumph: carried along on the back of a guitar sound that gets under the sink, drums & bass that get the heart pumping, the piercing harmonica, everything comes together with the united rising vocals in a song that is an affirmation of the power of truth against evil, the truth of those who struggle against the evil of corruption, greed, inhumanity … In an echo of Bobby Sands we’re told:

“You can try to kill the dreamer but the dream never dies’ and the heart grows huge with the refrain Venceremos! Venceremos! We Will Overcome …”

Venceremos is a must have, the Wakes a must see.

Discography

These Hands (2007) No Irish Need Apply (2009) Stripped Back Sessions Vol. 1 (2011) The Red and the Green (2013)

Buy The Album

 FromTheBand  Amazon  iTunes  CaltonBooks 

Contact The Wakes

WebSite  Facebook  Bandcamp  Twitter  Soundcloud  YouTube

(live in London last year at the Cock Tavern in association with London Celtic Punks and the Hayes Bhoys CSC- thanks to Deano for filming)

 

THE LONDON CELTIC PUNKS GUIDE TO LIFE- HOW TO PRONOUNCE ‘CELTIC’

Today is our birthday. The 30492 – London Celtic Punks blog was born today on the 7th July, 2014 . It’s been an enjoyable slog I must say and it’s been an pleasure to meet so many like minded people. There is plenty more to come from us and we just hope that we can continue to introduce you to good music and good craic for many years to come. 

Celtics

One thing that we have been asked more than any other is how is the word ‘Celtic’ pronounced. For us over here in England it seems pretty natural but I can see how it can be a bit confusing if you are from overseas. During the so-called Celtic Twilight period in the late 1800s and early 1900s both hard c (‘Keltic’) and soft c (‘Seltic’) were used. The word Celt is derived from Keltoi, which is the name the Greeks gave the ‘barbarian’ tribes along the Danube and Rhone rivers. The Romans borrowed the Greek name, but spelled it ‘Celtae’, and the word entered French in the form ‘Celtes’, from which the English derived Celt. In French the soft c pronunciation is standard for ‘Celtique’, following standard French pronunciation rules. The Irish (‘Ceilteach’) and Breton’s (‘kelt’-ethnicity and ‘keltiek’- language) both use a hard c sound. Modern Breton also has a word ‘Keltia’, meaning the Celtic world.

Dewsbury Celtic

Dewsbury Celtic

The Celtic Twilight period was also around the time when many sporting organisations were springing up with the name Celtic in them. Most were based outside of Ireland and were formed either by first or second generation Irish immigrants. The most obvious being of course Glasgow Celtic in 1888 but their are many other great examples. Dewsbury Celtic Rugby League Football Club (1879) are the oldest Irish sporting organisation outside Ireland. Formed in 1879 when the Irish escaping post-famine poverty and hunger arrived in Yorkshire to work as labourers and in the local mills. They settled in the Irish ghetto of Westtown and formed a rugby club which soon after changed to being a football club before changing again shortly after and returning to rugby. They began life as Dewsbury Shamrocks and changed their name in around 1910 to Celtic. The club today are based in Irish National League Club in Dewsbury and play in the National Division of the Rugby League Conference. The club field a dozen or more youth teams and are doing an absolutely amazing job of keeping alive the ‘Celtic’ spirit and traditions in West Yorkshire.

As more and more Irish flooded into England and Scotland football teams like our very own (1888) and Stalybridge Celtic (1909) or Farsley Celtic (1908) in the north of England were established and then later in America the Boston Celtics Basketball Club (1946). These are all referred to with the soft c pronunciation and the modern convention is to keep the soft c pronunciation to refer only to sports teams.

The use of the hard c version in cultural matters indicated, until recently, that the user was somewhat knowledgeable in these matters. This has changed since Riverdance, Titanic, etc., and also the use of the term ‘Celtic Tiger’ to refer to the improved economy of Ireland and Scotland. Personally I would use the hard k when talking about Celtic culture, language or traditions except when talking about sporting clubs but to be honest both can be ‘korrect’!!

99p FOR THE KANO FOUNDATION- CHARITY SINGLE RELEASED

The Kano Foundation is a group of volunteer Celtic supporters working to help young children. They work in partnership with other Celtic fans to offer a match-day experience at Celtic Park to a range of children’s groups and charities.

Joe McKenna

The song ‘Have You Ever Seen?’, written and performed by Joe McKenna And The Kanettes, has been released through iTunes and PlayStore with all money raised to go to fund the excellent work of the Kano Foundation. Joe is one of the hosts from the HomeBhoys podcast on Hail Hail Media. The proceeds of another of his songs are also being donated to us. Joe has also wrote and performed ‘We Still Won’ for fellow HomeBhoy Paul Larkin’s ‘The Asterisk Years’ documentary.

“Well if you wanna go, K-A-N-O, ‘Hail Hail’, rain, sleet or snoooooooooooooooooooooow!”

Origins

The KANO Foundation took inspiration from the highly successful ‘Bringing Martin Home’ fundraising effort that was undertaken by the Celtic support.

Overnight in 2008, Martin Kane, a Celtic supporter living in Australia, was struck down by a rare neurological condition called Devic’s Syndrome.  The condition is an extreme form of multiple sclerosis and causes the immune system to attack the protective material that covers the nerves. Martin, known as ‘Kano’ to his friends, was a regular contributor to the Celtic Quick News forum and once other members of the forum found out about his situation they quickly kicked off a fundraising effort to raise £60,000 to pay for modifications to his house to get him home for Christmas with his family after spending a year in hospital. The overall campaign exceeded the target and it was decided to use some of the extra money to take a group of children, who had volunteered at the bucket collection, to a match at Celtic Park. The idea for The KANO Foundation was born.

Soon after, The KANO Foundation was formed and since season 2010/2011 The KANO Foundation has been Keeping Football Free for Kids by giving over 3000 kids a unique match day experience at Celtic Park.

About Us

The KANO Foundation is a group of volunteers Keeping Football Free for Kids.

Our mission is to treat youngsters, regardless of background and circumstance, to a day out at Celtic Park.  Since season 2009/2010 we have given a modern day ‘lift over the turnstile’ to over 3000 children varying from boys and girls football teams to local youth clubs and young people with special needs.

We are fully self-funded and rely on the generosity of the Celtic Fans.

Kano

Buy The Single

iTunes  PlayStore

The Kano Foundation

Facebook  Twitter  WebSite  YouTube  Flickr

So our message to you the generous readers and supporters of London Celtic Punks is simple. Honour the fantastic work that the Kano Foundation do and put your hand in your pocket and download the song for just 99p…

*Catch Joe with the rest of the HomeBhoys on their weekly podcast, Monday nights at 7.30pm on the Hail Hail Media channel on Spreaker.

LONDON’S GREEN’n’WHITE: THE WAKES LIVE AT THE COCK TAVERN SATURDAY 29th AUGUST 2015

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

CHANGE OF VENUE

LONDON’S GREEN’n’WHITE

CELTIC SUPPORTERS IN LONDON UNITE!

wakes @ cock

supported by the
UNDERGROUND CELTIC SUPPORTERS CLUB
HAYES BHOYS CELTIC SUPPORTERS CLUB
BRIGHTON CELTIC SUPPORTERS CLUB
LONDON CELTIC SUPPORTERS-FACEBOOK
URBANKELT
LONDON CELTIC PUNKS

Buy Tickets Here

click above to buy advance tickets

THE WAKES

we are pleased to announce the headliners who will be making a very rare London appearance. The Wakes are a folk rock band from Glasgow, Scotland. The band’s sound is a mixture of Celtic traditional music fused with punk rock. The band’s lyrics embrace their culture, heritage and surroundings. They cover all manner of subjects from anti-fascist politics, immigration and unemployment to uprising and rebellion in Scotland, Ireland and beyond.
http://www.thewakes.info/

supports act will include
ANTO MORRA
the music of London Irish Celtic and QPR supporter Anto can be found somewhere between the Pogues and Ian Dury with a dash of Madness.
http://www.antomorra.com/

BUCKETS OF COURAGE
an old school streetpunk band made up of Celtic fans all the way from County Kilburn!
https://www.facebook.com/bucketsofcourage

GREENFORD BHOY

our resident DJ Mr.GREENFORD BHOY will be spinning his ipod playing a whole host of celtic punk and rock, trad folk, rebel Irish and just plain auld rebel before, inbetween and after the bands.

more acts to be announced (and SPECIAL GUESTS to be confirmed!) so keep an eye out here…

the proceeds for the gig will go to the Clapton One. an anti-fascist Celtic supporter who was recently arrested unfairly in London and received a huge fine. lets show that we look after our own…

Entry is from 7-30pm and is £10 and advance tickets are available (click the giant ticket stub above). If their are any tickets left then it will be Pay On The Door. The gig will end at midnight.

The Water Rats is closed for refurbishment (thanks for telling us!) so we have had to move to The Cock Tavern, home of the Underground Celtic Supporters Club, literally just around the corner from Euston station and not far from the Water Rats either!
Plenty of trains, tubes and buses galore will get you back to pretty much anywhere all through the night. Map and some other shit here and here.

cock tavern

The Cock Tavern

23 Phoenix Road, Euston, London, NW1 1HB

020 7387 1884

Facebook event here

https://www.facebook.com/events/933811693308277/

come down before the gig and join the infamous UNDERGROUND CELTIC SUPPORTERS CLUB for the Celtic v St Johnstone game which will be shown live in the pub at 3pm.

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW: GIL SCOTT-HERON- ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ (1974)

The godfather of rap and hip-hop and son of Celtic’s first black player

FREE DOWNLOAD

Gil Heron

Gil Heron 1922-2008

Today we are giving you something well out of our loop as part of the ‘Classic Album Reviews’. Whereas normally we’d give you some out of print folk album from the 30s/40s/50s here’s something a bit more recent (still its forty one years young) and, some would say the very first hip-hop/ rap album. Well, I hear you say, so what? Whats the connection to us? Well it’s a little known fact (though it has appeared here before) that Gil Scott Heron’s old man, Gil Heron was the first black player to play for Celtic. Known as ‘The Black Arrow’ the Jamaican-born Heron played one season, 1951-52, in the hoops and played five games and scored two goals. His son, also Gil, is who we celebrate here though. Known in recent years as the ‘Godfather Of Rap’ he was an articulate voice for change but despite being a well respected composer, musician, author and poet he remains best known for writing and performing the spoken-word track ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’. He wrote the song when he was just 21 years old and would go on to perform and release several re-workings of it in his lifetime. He once said

“The revolution takes place in your mind. Once you change your mind and decide that there’s something wrong that you want to effect that’s when the revolution takes place. But first you have to look at things and decide what you can do. ‘Something’s wrong and I have to do something about it. I can effect this change.’ Then you become a revolutionary person. It’s not all about fighting. It’s not all about going to war. It’s about going to war with the problem and deciding you can effect that problem. When you want to make things better you’re a revolutionary”

It was never a hit, which suggests that Gil’s point that attempts at revolution are always suppressed by those in power was completely right! It is said that fans would turn up to his gigs wearing Celtic shirts but the poet-singer was estranged from his father until adulthood. Still it is truly amazing that both father and son were such pioneers in their chosen fields. His own term for himself was ‘bluesologist’, which he defined as

“a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues”

GIL SCOTT-HERON- 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' (1974)

click on the album cover to get your Free Download!

You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag
And skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell
General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat hog maws
Confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary
The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theater and will not star Natalie Woods
And Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs
The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner
Because the revolution will not be televised, Brother

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
Pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run
Or trying to slide that color TV into a stolen ambulance
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
Or report from 29 districts
The revolution will not be televised

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers on the instant replay
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers on the instant replay

There will be no pictures of Whitney Young
Being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy Wilkens
Strolling through Watts in a red, black and green
Liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies and Hooter ville Junction
Will no longer be so damned relevant
And women will not care if Dick finally gets down with Jane
On search for tomorrow because black people
Will be in the street looking for a brighter day
The revolution will not be televised

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock news
And no pictures of hairy armed women liberationists
And Jackie Onassis blowing her nose
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones
Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink or the Rare Earth
The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be right back after a message
About a white tornado, white lightning, or white people
You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom
The tiger in your tank or the giant in your toilet bowl
The revolution will not go better with Coke
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised
Will not be televised, will not be televised
The revolution will be no re-run brothers
The revolution will be live

I won’t pretend to be too knowledgeable here so I am just gonna put it out there and give you a bit of history about the guy and the album and impact it had and hopefully you will download it and make up your own minds. That after all is all we ever want.

If the people were to rise to rebellion, there will be no news coverage of the event. That is in a nutshell what Gil is getting at. The years preceding this album America was rocked with scandals and assassinations and political strife that had shaken the very foundations of the state. There was a feeling that revolution was on the cards, though looking back it now seems mad to have thought that. Nevertheless some things did change for the better and music was at the forefront of pushing for that change. Gil was known primarily as a jazz musician though ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ is more a collection of Rhythm and Blues and spoken poetry. While it would be hard to say that Gil invented rhyming there are definitely parallels between angry poems like ‘Whitey on the Moon’,

“Taxes takin’ my whole damn check
The junkies make me a nervous wreck
The price of food is goin up
And if all that crap wasn’t enough
A rat done bit my sister nell
With Whitey on the moon”

‘No Knock’ and ‘Brother’ and 1980s onwards hip hop. Poetry doesn’t dominate though and most of the selections illustrate his excellence as a singer, including ‘Home Is Where the Hatred Is’

“A junkie walking through the twilight
I’m on my way home
I left three days ago, but no one seems to know I’m gone
Home is where the hatred is
Home is filled with pain and it,
might not be such a bad idea if I never, never went home again”

‘Did You Hear What They Said?’ and the poignant ‘Save the Children’. One of the less political tracks is ‘Lady Day and John Coltrane’, an R&B classic that articulates how easily jazz can lift a person’s spirits. ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ is  not the last word on Scott-Heron’s but it’s certainly one of the best places to start if you’re exploring his work for the first time. Besides influencing contemporary musicians, Gil remained active until his death in 2011. A memoir he had been working on for years up to the time of his death, ‘The Last Holiday’, was published, posthumously in January 2012.

“My father still keeps up with what Celtic are doing. You Scottish folk always mention that my Dad played for Celtic, it’s a blessing from the spirits! Like that’s two things that Scottish folks love the most; music and football and they got one representative from each of those from my family!”

Tracklist
1. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
2. Sex Education – Ghetto Style
3. The Get Out Of The Ghetto Blues
4. No Knock
5. Lady Day And John Coltrane
6. Pieces Of A Man
7. Home Is Where The Hatred Is
8. Brother
9. Save The Children
10. Whitey On The Moon
11. Did You Hear What They Said
12. When You Are Who You Are
13. I Think I’ll Call It Morning
14. A Sign Of The Ages
15. Or Down You Fall
16. The Needle’s Eye
17. The Prisoner

DEDICATED TO ROBERT KING

Robert King

Robert Hillary King, aka Robert King Wilkerson, was part of a trio of American political prisoners collectively known as The Angola Three. Robert became a Celtic supporter through the influence of Gil and recently appeared on worldwide televison wearing the hoops. Robert’s membership in the only prison-recognized chapter of the Black Panther Party, and his work organizing against prison injustices, resulted in his being targeted for retaliation by prison officials. Despite overwhelming evidence exonerating him, prison-snitch testimony alone convicted him and he received a life sentence for the death of a fellow inmate. Robert’s tenacity in proving his innocence came to fruition when a Federal Appeals Court finally found him “probably innocent.” In February 2001, after thirty-one years of imprisonment and twenty-nine continuous years of solitary confinement, King walked out of the gates of Angola Prison a free man. He has spoken at universities, conferences and other venues. He has made appearances on radio and television and addressed members of the European Parliament. He worked hard to win the release of his comrades, the release of all political prisoners, and an end to the new slavery that is the Prison Industrial Complex.

“I may be free from Angola, but Angola will never be free of me!”

find out more about the Angola Three case here.

Part of the ‘Classic Album Reviews’ series (here) where we bring you something a little bit different to what you’re use to. Lost gems that have inspired and provoked folk music and musicians right up to modern celtic-punk music. Usually out of print so we can provide a free download link for you.

‘THE SPIRIT OF WALFRID’ CELTIC CHARITY COMPILATION ALBUM OUT NOW

For Celtic Supporters By Celtic Supporters

Brother Walfrid

I tell you the Celtic Family never ceases to amaze me. While one bunch of supporters has come to the aid of a Celtic fan arrested unjustly in London recently (here) another has released this compilation album to help out several charities all close to the Celtic heart.

The album has been organised by The Celtic Network on the belief that

“if you run a site for Celtic fans it is important that charity and good works are promoted alongside the football”

There are seventeen songs, some of which have been recorded and/or written specifically for this album, uniquely produced by a set of football supporters and by Celtic supporting bands and artists. The music itself is mostly of the Irish kind and The Celtic Network is hoping to donate £5 from every sale to the nominated charities. The idea of a ‘charity’ album is nothing new, however I think this may be one of the few to be produced by football supporters, so if that is the case this album maybe a wee bit unique. Fortunately The Celtic Network supports both good causes and Celtic supporting bands and artists, which gave a good starting point for this fund raising project.

If you can, please show your support for The Celtic Network and all of the artists who have given their time and effort to produce the album and the wonderful charities who will benefit from your generosity.

Full Track Listing:

  1. Willie Maley – Charlie And The Bhoys
  2. Colours – The Wakes
  3. They Built Paradise – Bible Code Sundays
  4. Viva La Familia Celtic – Billy No’Well
  5. The Midfield Man – Dusty Bhoy
  6. The Immigrants –  Gary Óg and The Exiles
  7. Home From Home – Paddy Ryan
  8. The Spirit of Brother Walfrid – Hutchy
  9. Tell You This – Closure
  10. Inter Milan – Charlie And The Bhoys
  11. The Uncrowned King of Football – The Wakes
  12. Maybe It’s Because I’m An Irish Londoner – Bible Code Sundays
  13. Invisible – Billy No’Well
  14. Here’s To You Tommy – Dusty Bhoy
  15. Freedom – Gary Óg and The Exiles
  16. My Heart Is In Ireland – Paddy Ryan
  17. In Paradise – Hutchy

The good causes to benefit are:

(click on the charity name to go direct to their site)

Band and Artists are:

(click on the band name to go direct to their site)

you can buy the CD or the Download from The Celtic Network web-site here for just £7.50 or £6.

Join The Celtic Network

Facebook  WebSite  Twitter

The Celtic Network ‘for Celtic Supporters, by Celtic supporters’. We aim to provide a free alternative to mainstream media, promote Celtic fans sites and support good causes be it large charities or individuals.

BROTHER WALFRID

“a football club will be formed for the maintenance of dinner tables for the children and the unemployed”

Brother Walfrid4

Andrew Kerins was born on 18th May 1840 to John and Elizabeth Kerins (nee Flynn) in Ballymote, County Sligo in the north-west of Ireland. His parents were poor farmers and devout Catholics. When Andrew was just 5 years of age the Great Famine (Irish: An Gorta Mor) struck Ireland. Lasting for seven years this was a period of mass starvation, disease, death and emigration. During this horrendous time in Irish history more than 1 million people died from disease and starvation and a much larger number emigrated from Ireland to avoid the same fate.

Many of those who left headed straight for the large industrial cities of Britain like London, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The conditions that met them there were often little better that those they had just left behind in Ireland.

Andrew survived the famine. However, coming from a poor family, he would have known hunger and witnessed countless scenes of indescribable pain and suffering, the memories of which would stay with him for his lifetime. Andrew went on to study teaching and in 1864 he joined The Irish Marist Brothers Teaching Order taking the name Brother Walfrid, after Galfrido della Gherardesca, an eighth-centuty saint from Pisa, Italy.

Brother Walfrid3

In the early 1870’s his Order sent him to the East End of Glasgow. There he taught at St. Marys School and the Sacred Heart School where he was appointed headmaster in 1874. In 1884 Brother Walfrid set up the Poor Childrens Dinner Table charity, also known as ‘Penny Dinners’ whereby for a penny (or some bread and ha’penny) a child could get a nourishing meal. To fund his charity Brother Walfrid would arrange exhibition football matches.

On 6th November 1887 Celtic Football Club was formally constituted at a meeting in St. Mary’s church hall in Forbes Street, Carlton, Glasgow, by Brother Walfrid with the purpose of alleviating poverty in the East End of Glasgow by raising money for the charity he had started three years earlier, the ‘Poor Childrens Dinner Table’. A circular was issued declaring that

“the main object of the club was to supply …. funds for the maintenance of the dinner tables for the needy children in the missions of St Mary’s, Sacred Heart and St Michael’s”

In 1893 Brother Walfrid was sent by his Religious Order to London’s East End where he continued organising football matches to support his charity work. This time the beneficiaries were the poor children of Bethnal Green and Bow.

Brother Walfrid died on 17 April 1915 and is buried in the Mount St. Michael Cemetery in Dumfries.

Brother Walfrid

In 2005, a fine sculpture of Brother Walfrid was unveiled outside Celtic Park to commemorate the major part he played in the founding of the club. The chair of the Memorial Committee, Eddie Toner, observed ruefully that modern football has been taken over by many of the values and philosophies that Walfrid would undoubtedly have opposed. The memorial would act “as a humble reminder of the club’s origins”.

For more On Brother Walfrid visit this recommended web site here.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Scotball’ by STEPHEN O’DONNELL

a Celtic supporter working in the mainstream media trying to tell the truth about RFC’s liquidation finds out that the people in power not only don’t want to hear the truth but they actually want to hide the truth from the people…

Scotball

This is Stephen O’Donnells second book and the follow up to his critically acclaimed debut Paradise Road (which you can read our review of here) which told the tale of Scottish football prospect Kevin McGarry on his journey through life as he grows from a banter-loving teenager to the sudden realisation of being a directionless 30-something with but one constant in his life: Celtic. Its a great read and one which will bring out a wry smile in any Celtic supporter but with the publication of ‘Scotball’ Stephen has surpassed himself.

Paradise Road

Scotball tells the story of Peter Fitzpatrick. He has spent five years in Prague, enjoying the Bohemian lifestyle and everything that it entails, but he has itchy feet. He has married a local, Czech girl who expresses an interest in seeing and learning about his country so, short of money, he decides to return home to his native Kirkintilloch in the West of Scotland. After moving back in with his parents and reacquainting himself with his old friends, he resumes the career in banking and financial services that he abandoned just before the credit crunch hit. He feels unfulfilled however. His application to host a television programme discussing the hot topics relating to Scottish football is summarily rejected by the national broadcaster, but as the country moves towards the independence referendum he revisits the idea, and this time it finds favour in the new media environment. ‘The Scottish Football Debate’, or ‘Scotball’ is born.

Stephen O'Donnell

Stephen O’Donnell

The show is an instant hit; it tackles the problems relating to the game in a more forthright and intelligent manner than people are used to hearing and reading about in tabloid newspapers and commercial broadcasters. It is considered refreshing and wins praise for being uncluttered by the customary agendas and petty grievances which usually distort and disfigure these types of shows. The programme runs successfully for two full seasons, debating and discussing such previously taboo subjects as sectarianism, declining standards in Scottish football and the pejorative influence of finances and a too powerful media on the game, when the biggest story in the history of Scottish sport begins to unfold, namely the liquidation of Rangers. Gradually the free reign that the show was permitted for open discussion begins to be checked and …well you’ll just have to buy the book won’t you!

Written in Glasgow dialect its still very easy to follow and is full to the brim with moments of humour and pathos and in the light of the tragic defeat of the Scottish Independence vote and the mass media’s blatant propaganda on behalf of the unionists many events in Stephen’s book ring entirely true. Congratulations on a riveting and entertaining read Stephen. In a world of dreadful books written both by footballers (or ghost writers we really should say!) and about football ‘Scotball’ sticks out like a bloody sore thumb!

A Nation On The Page

A Nation On The Page

Stephen O’Donnell was born in Glasgow and after working in Scotland, London and Prague, he has returned home as a full-time writer. Currently halfway through his next book, Stephen is a welcome addition to the Scottish literary scene.

Price: £9.99 

ISBN: 978-1-901514-13-1 

Size: 198mm x 128mm 

Binding: Paperback 

Length: 280 pages

Buy The Book

Amazon (E-Book/Paperback available) 

Contact Peter

WebSite  ScotballFacebook  ParadiseRoadFacebook  Twitter

SINGLE REVIEW: CHRISTOPHER JAMES SHERIDAN- ‘My Hero Was A Ramblin Man’ (2014)

Christopher James Sheridan- 'My Hero Is A Rambling Man'

Boston has the Dropkicks, New York has Black 47, London has The Bible Code, LA has Flogging Molly and Glasgow’s Irish community has The Wakes. Christopher James Sheridan is a Scots-Irish singer songwriter from Glasgow and has played harmonica in folk’n’roll band The Wakes since they were formed back in 2006. This is Christopher’s second solo single, with ‘Old Fashioned Pound Notes’ released earlier this year.  You can read our review of that great single here.

‘My Hero Was A Ramblin Man’ is a tribute to the legendary American folk singer Woody Guthrie. Woody’s legacy is immense and he left behind untold amount of songs for children, politico’s and just plain folk. Most famous for the song ‘This Land Is Ours’ and for performing with ‘This Machine Kills Fascist’ emblazoned across his guitar. The legend of Woody Guthrie lives on. Like most of Christopher’s recordings its a simple but beautiful track totally understated but completely effecting. The B-Side ‘Please Dont Make Me Feel This Way Again’ has a traditional country flavoured twang and the kind of anguished and broken hearted lyrics you’d expect from a country song!

Two more beautiful solo tracks from Christopher and we’re waiting with baited breath for more. The download is available for only £1-58 so put your hands in your pocket!

Contact Christopher

Soundcloud  Facebook

Buy The Single

iTunes

we reviewed the excellent album ‘The Red And Green’ from The Wakes here. it was also voted 4th best celtic-punk album of 2013 by the London Celtic Punks crew here.

BOOK REVIEW: PARADISE ROAD by STEPHEN O’DONNELL

review by Bedford Falls

Paradise Road by Stephen O'Donnell

The last couple of years have given rise to the power of football fans on the internet, and the bampot blogger in particular. Celtic fans have led the way here, having long since established a plethora of quality sites which cater for every facet of the club’s diverse support.

In the last 6 months it feels as is there has been a rush to bring out books on all things Celtic too. From highbrow quality journalists getting in on the act to self-financed and self-published efforts: as you can imagine the quality varies. However, we have to celebrate Celtic fans looking to add to our rich heritage with books which put the club at the focal point of the story.

In Stephen O’Donnell’s Paradise Road (which I keep bloody thinking of as Paradise Lost) we have a fine addition to the growing canon of literature celebrating Celtic’s rich past.

The story follows erstwhile Scottish football prospect Kevin McGarry on his journey through life – so familiar to man -, as he grows from a banter-loving teenager to the sudden realisation of being a directionless 30-something with but one constant in his life: Celtic. But through the chronologically delivered narratives we learn that Celtic has been anything but constant itself.

Anyone who started supporting Celtic in the mid-80s has evolved with the club. Its metamorphic change from a dying institution in a ramshackle stadium to a pristine business with £££s dominating the fans’ mind more than the fare on the pitch at times has been remarkable. People of this vintage will feel a particularly close affinity with O’Donnell’s central character.

The Kirkintilloch lad narrates to us stories of his ‘best years’, inevitably with Celtic’s travails always providing the canvass on which his life is drawn out. There are stories of girls dumped for football, girls met because of football and him being dumped by a girl because of football. You get the gist.

new LONDON CELTIC PUNKS stickers available from  http://30492shop.moonfruit.com/shop/4580412915/stickers/6838693

new LONDON CELTIC PUNKS stickers available from
http://30492shop.moonfruit.com/shop/4580412915/stickers/6838693

Paradise Road is to all intents and purposes a collection of witty anecdotes weaved together into a fine novel. The timeline is mid-80s to present day (almost). Through this period we see McGarry grow frustrated with the commercialism of the game. His yearning for the camaraderie of the smoke-filled bus to the match, or terracing, or smuggling booze into the game marks him out as a whimsy character always craving something that he can’t quite get. McGarry wants emancipation; he just needs to find out what it is he needs to break free from.

And thus it becomes clear that Paradise Road is a character novel based around Celtic, not the other way round. McGarry’s journey could easily be told against the backdrop of an obsession with music, for example.

What makes it relevant to us as Celtic fans is how O’Donnell skilfully explores the changing political and economic landscape that accompanied Celtic’s own rebirth following McCann’s takeover. McGarry is an observant narrator often going on tangential rambles about one thing or another. These breaks add a richness and intelligence to a novel with a fair few laughs at the crude end of the scale too.

There are also breaks from McGarry’s first person narrative. In a style very reminiscent of Irvine Welsh, O’Donnell treats us to stories as seen through the eyes of characters close his main man and he brings the central threads together in a closing chapter in the beautiful city of Prague.

Paradise Road is a fantastic read. The short, sharp chapters make it easy to devour and the affinity most Celtic fans will feel with Kevin McGarry is palpable. But this is not a book about Celtic fan, Kevin McGarry. This is a book about Kevin McGarry, Celtic fan. The difference is small but the impact is great. Well worth a read.

Buy The Book

Link to the ebook on Amazon: http://ow.ly/iXozn

Link to the paperback on Amazon: http://ow.ly/iXoYr

EP REVIEW: CHRISTOPHER JAMES SHERIDAN- ‘Old Fashioned Pound Notes’ (2014)

Christopher James Sheridan- 'Old Fashioned Pound Notes' (2014)

This is the debut solo record from Christopher James Sheridan, who spends the majority of his time playing the harmonica and guitar for the fantastic Glasgow Irish celtic-rockers The Wakes. Obviously influenced by the American and British folk scenes of the 50′s & 60′s, Christopher has been writing and performing his own material since 2003. This four track, 15 minute EP kicks off with the simple yet beautiful self titled track of uncomplicated nostalgia. ‘The Devil And Dying Men’ continues in the same stark way but with the addition of harmonica and country slide guitar in a bleak story of drug addition and suicide. ‘A Deeper Shade Of Blue’ is another sad song and most Dylanesque of the EP. Last song ‘She Cries Herself To Sleep’ continues the dour themes with just a voice and the piano. All together its a sublimely melancholic and emotional trip and as far away from The Wakes pumping anti-fascist terrace anthems as is possible. The Wakes are a great band and with talents like this within them they’re destined for bigger and better things. Christopher’s tunes are simple, without being easy, and sweet despite the sometimes sad lyrics and hopefully there will be plenty more to come.

Contact Christopher

Soundcloud  Facebook

Buy The EP

i-Tunes  The CD

Listen First

Soundcloud

we reviewed the excellent album ‘The Red And Green’ from The Wakes here. it was also voted 4th best celtic-punk album of the year by the London Celtic Punks crew here.

TRIBUTE TO GIL HERON- MICHAEL MARRA AND THE HAZEY JANES

Gil Heron 1922-2008

Gil Heron was a Jamaican professional footballer. He was the first black player to play for Celtic, and was the father of poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron. He was spotted by a scout from Celtic while the club was on tour in North America, and he signed for the club in 1951 after being invited over for a trial. He went on to score on his debut, in a League Cup tie against Morton that Celtic won 2-0. Heron only played five first-team matches in all, scoring twice. He passed away in Detroit of a heart attack on 27 November 2008.

When Duke was in the Lebanon
Groovin’ for the human race
Gil flew high in the western sky
On a mission full of style and grace
From Jamaica to the Kingston Bridge
He was inclined to roam
Drawn to the flame of the beautiful game
Here was a brother who would not stay home

Higher, raise the bar higher
He made his way across the sea
So that all men could brothers be

When Miles was on the jukebox
And Monk was on the air
Gil crossed the ocean to the other side
To play for Celtic with a noble stride
The arrow flew, he’s flying yet
His aim is true so we don’t forget
What it means when his name we hear
The hopes and dreams of every pioneer

Higher, raise the bar higher
He made his way across the sea
So that all men could brothers be

Written by Michael Marra

Michael Marra was a singer-songwriter and musician from Dundee, Scotland. Known as the Bard of Dundee, Marra was a solo performer mainly known as a songwriter, he also worked extensively in theatre, radio and television. His songwriting was rooted in Scottish life and he found an audience within and beyond the folk music scene. Sadly he passed away in October 2012 after he collaborated with fellow Dundee indie band The Hazey Janes on a six track EP called ‘Houseroom’. Michael was the father of two band members of the Hazey Janes.

Buy The EP

MusicScotland

Contacts

Michael Marra WebSite

The Hazey Janes WebSite

superb article from The Shamrock here entitled ‘The Noble Stride- Celtic And The Pioneering Herons’.

LONDON CELTIC PUNKS PRESENTS OUR BEST OF 2013!

well here they are. after two solid weeks of harassing and cajoling people into getting their lists back we’ve totted them up and came up with this.

for more information on each record/ band simply click on the number and you’ll be re-directed. Must say there’s no real surprises here except it seems we’re quite the parochial  lot looking at the number of ‘local’ bands in each list…

LONDON CELTIC PUNKS BEST ALBUM OF 2013

BCS

1. THE BIBLE CODE SUNDAYS- ‘New Hazardous Design’

2. THE LAGAN- ‘Where’s Your Messiah Now?’

3. THE TOSSERS- ‘Emerald City’ (review here)

4. THE WAKES- ‘The Red And The Green’ (review here)

5. DROPKICK MURPHYS- ‘Signed And Sealed In Blood’

a couple that almost made it were Between The Wars and Old Man Markley.

LONDON CELTIC PUNKS BEST BAND OF 2013

BCS2

1. THE LAGAN

2. THE BIBLE CODE SUNDAYS

3. DROPKICK MURPHYS/ 3. THE ROUGHNECK RIOT

5. THE WAKES

just bubbling under were The Pogues, Neck, Bootscraper, Between The Wars, Larry And His Flask, Jack Ratts, Firkin. The Ramshackle Army

LONDON CELTIC PUNKS BEST TRADITIONAL ALBUM

1.SOLAS- ‘Shamrock City’ (review here)

Solas

LONDON CELTIC-PUNKS BEST WEBSITE

BCS3

1. SHITE’n’ONIONS

some stuff about the poll- the people who took part in the poll were the moderators of the London Celtic Punks Facebook group page and a few other regular contributors. They were asked for their Top 3 Albums, Top 3 Bands and Favourite Web-Based Site. Scores were awarded Number 1=5 Points, 2= 3 points and 3=1 point. Twenty people took part… interestingly their were only three albums nominated number one! and best of all we came second in our own poll for Best Web-Site!! so all the best from us all here to you all no matter where and hopes for a dacent 2014 for us everyone.

click on the blog logo at the top of the page to find out more…

ALBUM REVIEW: THE WAKES- “The Red and The Green” (2013)

a Glasgow based folk’n’roll bunch of hooligans and outlaws. They might all be Jock Tamson’s bairns but their Mammy is Roisin Dubh!

by Rory Dubhdara, Radio Rebel Gael

wake1

I know that not every band can survive through its third release, sometimes its just like sequels to movies that you once liked. You wish that they had just released the debut and then called it quits. But with The Wakes, you realize that you have discovered a band that only gets better with each release, and this ‘The Red and The Green’ is proof positive that The Wakes are here to stay, to keep you dancing, boxing, drinking, thinking and demanding more of their unique Glaswegian euphony. So I felt obligated to share my strong feelings about this CD and review which is a stupendous third release by The Wakes, with an awesome cover that gives tribute to revolutionary Scot and Clydesider, John Maclean, a man whom would feel at home with these Rebel rockers, known as The Wakes.
There are musicians whose sounds are bound to cause a riot, and if not a riot, than at least a good fight, the spirit of their music so moving that you are ready to wage war. Dropkick Murphys or The Battering Ram, led by legendary crooner and balladeer, Declan Hunt, qualify in that regard, while other bands might make you sentimental, thinking back to those ‘glory days’ of yore. Other musicians write songs that make you want to cry, their ballads so heart-breaking that you can literally feel the pain of the man or woman that the musician is singing about. Johnny Cash or Christy Moore come to mind. And there are not too many bands that can combine that fighting spirit with that distinctively Irish, poignant feeling, like these Rebel Glaswegians, known as The Wakes.

‘Colours’ , the first tune on this shining example of Glasgow-Irish Rock n’ Reel that is ‘The Red and The Green’, is a moving tune about hate and the walls that are built up by the State and society, to divide us all. Here , The Wakes, call to battle is a call to tear down those walls, and let peace and the brotherhood of man, prevail, even if momentarily. And even though I have never been a believer in utopian ideas like ‘World Peace’ or the idea that Big Business is building jobs for you and me (dream on suckers, they are outsourcing your job to China, as we speak), I like the sentiments, because all The Wakes are really saying is to not judge a book by its cover, don’t judge someone simply because they are different, don’t assume that all Protestants are Loyalists, or that all muslims are in Al Qaeda, or that all supporters of West Ham United are wankers. Ha Ha. Lead vocalist and guitarist, Paul, can really croon and reminds his fellow Glaswegians

“This is our city and these are our colours…”

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Afterwards, Eamonnn’s thunderous drumming and Chris Crooky’s flute finesse take us to the goldfields of 1849, where its ‘To Hell or California’ because we aren’t going to live forever, and we might as well risk it all for the chance of a lifetime to rise from our grim poverty by striking it rich. A mighty and upbeat tune that will make you want to dance a merry jig on the skull of Maggie Thatcher. And you can just blame The Wakes, because ladies and gents, they have that kind of infectious rhythm that drive a man to dance, rather than drink.
Next, ‘Men To Be Feared’ reminds us of a rougher day in Irish-American history where law held less sway than the law of the gun, and where men, lived by the creed

“You live by the sword and you’ll die by the sword”

A song that is probably my favourite on this kick ass album, another historical fighters anthem that brings to mind the gangs of the 5 Points, circa 1857, and the legendary battle between the Bowery Boys and the Dead Rabbits on Mulberry Street on July 4th, 1857, in New York’s , Lower East Side. As the song goes

“Baptized in blood….We live to fight another day !”

Probably the best sluggers sing-song since Dropkick Murphys ‘The Warriors Code’.  Brilliant fighters melody by Glasgow’s finest, The Wakes.

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There are so many magnificent melodies and Fenian harmonies on this amazing CD that its difficult to pick favourites, but after ‘Men To Be Feared’, which rates as my #1 brawlers tune, their stellar version of ‘Peat Bog Soldiers’ must be noted as one of the finest versions I’ve heard yet, and I would be remiss not to give accolades to Christopher James, whose harmonica really made this tune so damn beautiful to your ears. Not to mention the powerful chorus sung throughout this marvellous battle hymn.
But, ‘John Macleans March’ really must be remembered with special recognition, possibly being a tie with  ‘Men To Be Feared’ as the top tune of 2013, and 2014. it’s the kind of tune that brings the Rebel Spirit of the Red Clydeside to your living room with surround sound and marching feet, chanting slogans of protest and solidarity, as you feel like you are marching against recruitment for the British Army with John Maclean himself, and I know that this tune would make him proud, if he was still with us, as it’s a jubilant reminder that the fighting Celtic spirit of Glasgow is still alive and kicking !

(listen to ‘The Red And The Green’ by clicking the play button below on the Bandcamp player)

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For More On John Maclean 

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