Category Archives: Single Review

NEW SINGLE FROM FINLAND FOLK-PUNKERS LORETTA PROBLEM

 Finnish celtic-punks Loretta Problem have been together for over twenty years and are happy to offer up London Celtic Punks readers a free download of their fabulous new single ‘Welcome To The Circus’.

Not one of the most prolific bands in the celtic-punk scene but certainly one of the more interesting. Loretta Problem hail from the death-metal loving fjord’s of Finland and are the sole representative’s of celtic-punk in their country. Like the other Nordic countries there are well established and popular punk and metal scene’s so should come as no surprise that celtic-punk would make an appearance. Loretta Problem have released one album and two singles in their time together which admittedly is not a lot to show for over twenty years together but for over a decade Loretta Problem took a back seat while the various band members were working on other projects like families or in other bands. They still got together to play at a select handful of gigs and festivals every year but regrouped about 2-3 years ago, and have reached the point now where they are ready to fully relaunch the band.

Their new single ‘Welcome To The Circus’ was released a few weeks back but we were waiting on the accompanying video to give it a well deserved plug so here it it. Sounding better than ever the single moves away slightly from their earlier stuff which had a certain metal influence toward a more folky sound akin to what I use to call festival folk. These days that sound is represented by the likes of The Levellers, New Model Army and Ferocious Dog. Well played anthemic punk rock with great fiddle from Tarja throughout. Clear vocals sung in English that completely suit the music but don’t waste time listening to me just have a listen I’m sure you won’t be disappointed! The celtic tone still remains, as well as big hearted punk attitude with fistful of middle fingers!

Loretta Problem have been together now since 1994 and have never stood still but instead have had constant development as a band. You won’t hear the Fields Of Athenry here but instead you will get some great folk’n’punk which takes Celtic music and even celtic-punk and puts a different spin on it. A fantastic single catchy and full of energy and life that leaves us only wanting more. You can hear their back catalogue over at their Spotify account here but follow the link below to get a free download of Welcome To The Circus.

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  • We reviewed an earlier single from Loretta Problem back in 2015 which you can find here.

IN FOR A PENNY RELEASE NEW SONG ‘EASTER MOURN’ AND VIDEO

A new song and video from Irish-American celtic-punk band In For A Penny from Tybee Island, Georgia in the southeastern United States. We don’t often feature videos. In fact I can only remember us doing it a handful of times but as soon as I heard ‘Easter Mourn’ I knew it was worthy and on what better day than the Bobby Sands anniversary. It’s a taster from their upcoming album ‘One More Last Hurrah!’ to be released soon.

 EASTER MOURN

05-05-2017

“Easter mourn in the early light of Spring April 1916
Did a proclamation ring o’er Dublin town
From the GPO came the charge to go
Right proudly flew the flag of war o’er Dublin town
There’ll be no resurrection on this Easter mourn
The poets and the teachers, soldiers and the speaker
Pledged their lives to free her,
Oh Dublin town in the rubble fought the rabble,
Bravely to the battle while the long range guns did pound and rattle,
O’er Dublin town
Locked up by the foreigner in Kilmainham gaol”
Singer/ bouzouki player and songwriter Sean McNally was kind enough to write a few words about the track so without further ado over to him.
“The song was inspired by a story I read about Canon O’Neill who wrote the modern lyrics to Foggy Dew. Came up with my own arrangement for the upcoming release and read about how he wrote it after he attended the first sitting of the new Irish Parliament, known as the Dail. The names of the elected members were called out, but many were absent. Their names were answered by the reply “faoi ghlas ag na Gaill” which means “locked up by the foreigner”. the line just hit me and it call came from there… it’s an homage to Foggy Dew basically”

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In For A Penny left to right: Jeremy Riddle- Guitar * Special Guest Appearance Ricardo Ochoa- violin * Sean McNally- Vocals and Bouzouki * Henny ‘Da Butcha’- Drums * Bryce McNally- Bass

you can support this great band by getting their latest EP ‘Every Day Should Be Saint Paddy’s Day’ for only $5 from here on CD or here on download. Read our review here.

Bobby Sands died in prison following a 66 day hunger strike on this day back in 1981. Bobby Sands would be the first of ten men to die in an effort to gain political status in a very public battle with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Born in 1954, Bobby Sands grew up in Belfast under the cloud of nationalist and loyalist divisions. He joined the Republican Movement when he was 18 and was soon arrested and imprisoned for possessing a firearm. A second arrest in 1976 led to a 14-year-sentence. In prison, Sands embarked on a 66 day hunger strike that led to his death. During the strike he was elected a Member of Parliament.

A hero among Irish nationalists, Robert Gerard ‘Bobby’ Sands was born in Belfast, 9 March 1954. Bobby was the oldest of four children born to John and Rosaleen Sands, and the couple’s first son. At an early age, Sands’s life was affected by the sharp divisions that shaped Northern Ireland. At the age of 10, he was forced to move with his family out of their neighborhood due to repeated intimidation by loyalists.

“I was only a working-class boy from a Nationalist ghetto, but it is repression that creates the revolutionary spirit of freedom.”

Loyalist intimidation proved to be a theme in Sands’s life. At the age of 18, he was forced out of his job as an apprentice car builder by a group of British supporters. Not long after, he and his family had to move again. Thatcher’s view of the prisoners and the IRA was that they were murderous thugs. Nationalist Ireland’s view the complete opposite.

The IRA played a very astute international campaign during the hunger strikes gaining widespread support and attention for their cause. The deaths of Sands and his colleagues boosted IRA recruitment. The support for the strike was evidenced by Sands winning the vacant House of Commons seat for MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in a by-election necessitated by the death of sitting MP Frank Maguire. In a hugely emotional campaign, Sands defeated Unionist candidate Harry West.

The demands of the prisoners included:

1. The right not to wear a prison uniform;

2. The right not to do prison work;

3. The right of free association with other prisoners, and to organise educational and recreational pursuits;

4. The right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week;

5. Full restoration of remission lost through the protest.

Britain never formally acceded to the strikers’ demands but three days after the hunger strikes finally came to an end on 3 October, Ulster Secretary James Prior announced a number of concessions including the right to wear civilian clothes and the restoration of partial remission for those who obeyed prison rules for three months.

SINGLE REVIEW: THE RAMSHACKLE ARMY- ‘Foreign Soil’ (2106)

The new release from The Ramshackle Army proves again the high quality of Aussie celtic-punk. Influenced by the punk they grew up with, the Celtic traditions of their families history and the colonial heritage of Australia the band come up trumps again.

ramshackle

With The Rumjacks just landing back home in Australia after a God alone knows how many months European tour which saw them ship up in London twice and The Go-Set set to follow them into town a week today Australian celtic-punk is spreading across the globe like cane-toads (remember The Simpsons versus Australia?). Anyhow last Wednesday saw the first new release from The Ramshackle Army since their early 2014 album Letters From The Road Less Travelled hit the shops to great applause and its another belter.

ramshackle3

The Ramshackle Army began plying their trade in the pubs and bars of their home town Melbourne before making the leap to a wider Australian punk and celtic-punk audience and then they were handpicked by The Dropkick Murphys themselves to support them on their 2011 Australian tour. After this the Murphys asked the Army to join them for their 2012 St Patricks Tour of the USA. So in March they embarked on their first tour of the US playing a handful of warm up shows with some of the best American celtic-punk bands going before joining the Murphys for a run of shows which ended with the massive 6,000 Tsongas Arena on St Patrick’s Day. Their adventures in America ended with the Ramshackle Army headlining the Guinness stage at the Shamrock Fest in Washington before 15,000 eager celtic-punk fans.

ramshackle2In 2014 the band joined the prestigious independent record company East Grand and released Life Lessons And Drunken Sessions following it up with their first full length release Letters From The Road Less Travelled. In 2015 and with the band on the verge of world domination they were hampered by line up changes but ended the year in the USA again in September and October of 2015, playing California’s Get Shamrocked festival and going on to join scene legends The Tossers for their Halfway To St Patricks Day tour. This year has seen them playing across Australia and seen their welcome return to the studio with the new EP Whitewashed Grave set for release later in the year.

ramshackle-1As with all their previous recordings Foreign Soil is heavily influenced by the story-telling style in the old folk tradition but comes wrapped up with a boatload of high energy punk rock that does the sometimes impossible act of transferring the live energy of an Ramshackle Army live gig onto disc. So after just six years and countless shows across two continents The Ramshackle Army are back and for just a lousy American dollar (that’s only about 75p or 89c!) you can own their new single and give the bhoys and ghirl a hand up in taking over the world!

In search of solace land of hopes and dreams was sought.
In waters treacherous and in storms that we were caught,
A 9 to 5 with pride and life for sons and daughters.Though through tales of hope and what awaits on foreign shore,
No those broken dreams can’t mend when greeted by closed doors.Whoah oh oh whoah oh oh, When will you heed my plea.
Whoah oh oh whoah oh oh, Will someone rescue me
Whoah oh oh whoah oh oh, I’ll never ask for more than peace on foreign shore.

Imprisoned by our plight and desperate acts faith,
They enter battles in our name and battle cry our pain,
Just keep me sane and welcome my escape.

Though through tales of hope and what awaits on foreign shore,
No those broken dreams can’t mend when greeted by closed doors.

Whoah oh oh whoah oh oh
Whoah oh oh whoah oh oh
Whoah oh oh whoah oh oh
Whoah oh oh whoah oh oh

Though through tales of hope and what awaits on foreign shore,
No those broken dreams can’t mend when greeted by closed doors.

Whoah oh oh whoah oh oh, When will you heed my plea.
Whoah oh oh whoah oh oh, Will someone rescue me
Whoah oh oh whoah oh oh, I’ll never ask for more than peace on foreign shore.

When will you heed my plea
Will someone rescue me
I’ll never ask for more than peace on foreign…

Buy The Single

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go-set

If you fancy a spot of live Australian celtic-punk then you are in luck! Fellow Melbourne celtic-punkers The Go-Set sail into London town a week today Friday 30th September at The Veg Bar in South London. Playing alongside London Irish favourites The Lagan and Hastings folk-punkers Matilda’s Scoundrels, fresh from supporting The Levellers last week. Kicking off the night is internet sensation (look up ‘I’ll Dance On Your Grave Mrs. Thatcher’) John McCullagh who may, or may not, be joined on the night by some extra special guests from South London’s favourite band Alabama 3. It’s an expensive business touring from Oz so tickets are £8 and available from WeGotTickets. You can keep up with the gig at the Facebook event here. The rest of the tour takes in Brighton 29th September, Derby 1st October and Leicester 2nd. Details from their Facebook page here.

SINGLE REVIEW: BRYAN McPHERSON- ‘Born Again American Blues’ (2016)

A fusion of Americana, folk, alternative and punk this Irish-American guy is a whole lot more than even this.

Bryan

Now I didn’t quite get the music of Bryan McPherson straight away I must admit. My fellow founding member of the London Celtic Punks had spent a couple of years previous trying to indoctrinate me and although I did really like what he did I was far from thinking he was the genius I now consider him. This all changed one summer Bryan MacPhersonevening in Camden last year when I saw Bryan perform live in a shitty rock venue with the crappiest PA ever and a even crappier sound man. Suddenly it all clicked into place and he has been a solid feature on my stereo ever since. Bryan was born and raised on the mean streets of Dorchester, a blue collar working-class Irish-American Catholic neighbourhood in Boston, that was also home to half the members of the original Dropkick Murphys. He was inspired as a kid by the energy and angst of punk, as well as the lyrically driven American folk songs of the early 1960’s. His first gigs were on street corners, at house parties and subway stations in Boston’s inner city. In 2001 he burst onto the acoustic music scene but then Bryan took a break from performing to address some personal issues and vanished from the scene. Since his return he has played the length and breadth of North America and more recently further afield as a solo artist. This is powerful passionate, acoustic-punk from the heart.

I got the born again american blues blues blues blues.

Playing another show down in Santa Cruz Cruz Cruz.
Up to Portland and Seattle, all the way from Syracuse.
And I’m playing like there’s nothing left to lose.
What do you want from me my lady of the sea?
You want to wash me toss me drag me wash me away.
I got the finger picking sticking love love love in my vein.
And I got an answer to all the other answers that will take your pain away.
I want to live forever on Friday.
When there’s always a check in the mail and I’m always paid.
What do you want from me my lady of the breeze?
I got a western wind blowing down on me.
I got a sleeping bag I take it with me wherever I go.
I always got a bed. I always got a home.
I got the sky for my sky light.
Don’t worry mama I’m alright.
‘Cause I was born at night.
I was born born born to fight with shadows on the wall.
7 years since last call, but there’s a soul dying somewhere tonight.
What do you want from me my lady of the street with your broken bottles and sewer caps forlorn?
I want 50,000 people to clap your hands right on time.
We can all sing in rhythm and we can all sing in rhyme.
The engineers will struggle to keep us all in time.
We’re all life-long prisoners of this time.
In these dark dark dark dark dark dark scary times.
We walk walk walk walk walk walk fine lines between ever present death and ever lasting life.
What do you want from me my lady of belief?
She says faith is a god damn motherfucker to keep.
Harmonica.
She said she’s never coming back again.
She said she’s never coming back again.
She said I’m as gone gone as your western wind.
You’re never ever ever ever ever gonna see me here again.
But then baby baby baby baby baby baby please come home.
You left me left me left me left me left me left me all alone.
And these eastern winds are blowing so god damned cold.
Look at us we’re growing so god damn old.
What do you want from me boy of the breeze?
She said you’re blowing like a broken tornado.
The End.

Released on July 18th, 2016 and is performed and was written by the man himself Bryan MacPherson and recorded by Bryan Dobbs in Atwater Village, Los Angeles, California and mixed and mastered by Willy Samuels at Nutone in Pittsburgh California.

Bryan McPherson

With just a guitar and a harmonica and a passionate and heartfelt and emotional and frail and powerful and uplifting voice. Bryan’s music can chill you to the very bone as he dissects American working class life. When those pampered and privileged members of the middle classes want to lecture us about so-called ‘white privilege’ then maybe they ought to have lived a moment in Bryan McPherson’s shoes. Just a moment. Street life, politics, addiction, the prison system, class war and discrimination litter the alleys of McPherson’s songs. Don’t despair though as amongst it all shining through are moments of beauty and clarity that are as beautiful as ever was committed to paper. The music of Bryan McPherson may not be an altogether fun roller coaster ride but you will get untold pleasure hearing it.

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  • Bryan is a bit skint so if you are feeling generous you can get all ten of Bryan’s available previous releases for just $20.22 (that’s about £13). That’s Born Again American Blues (2015), Street Lights (2009), Live at Artaban Hall (2013), Wasted World- Live At A Campfire In Nedrow, NY. (2015), American Boy / American Girl (2012),Wedgewood (2015), Live at The Milestone (2014), Kelly Thomas (2014), Originally From Dorchester (2013) and Live at Club Passim 2004 (2004). That’s over 50% off so help a buddy out here.

BLACK WATER COUNTY NEW SINGLE AND FREE DOWNLOAD

Stout quaffing, banjo breaking, tin whistle mangling original music so get ready to folk sh*t up, and get really angry… at the floor!

BWC- One More Beer

People may think that London is some hot bed of celtic-punk activity but truth be told the real powerhouse is down on the south coast of England that’s where the real power in English celtic-punk lives! Several fantastic bands all playing in each others backyards and all supporting each other with a friendly rivalry that most music scene’s could only dream of. One of these bands is the fantastic Black Water County. Don’t be fooled by those fresh faces though they been gigging relentlessly ever since they formed on St Paddy’s day back in 2013 and barely a weekend goes by without my inbox informing me of a new bunch of Black Water County gig’s that I sadly can’t go to!

Based in Dorset around Bournemouth they are a highly original and innovative part of the scene and have played in London a good few times, though not nearly enough for our liking, and gone down an absolute storm each and every time. Who could forgot the time at TChances in Tottenham where half the audience from the Polish punk gig next door ended up in our tiny room bouncing around and jigging like maniacs when they heard the sound of Black Water County coming on!

The bhoys and ghirl have just released a new single ‘One More Beer Won’t Hurt’ and an accompanying video too. It’s made up of exactly the stuff that we love them for. High octane full on Irish punked up folk music to (using their own famous slogan) “beat up the floor to”. Released only yesterday on a Pay What You Want deal you can follow the link below and download for whatever you like, though we’d like to hope you can chuck them a quid or two but if not they won’t hold it against you. Keep an eye on these as they are most definitely one of the up and coming bands of the scene and that will only be cemented I am positive when they release their debut album sometime late in the year. We cannot wait!!!

In the meantime you can catch them supporting top Aussie celtic-punkers The Rumjacks this Sunday coming on the 22nd live Upstairs At The Garage on Holloway Road (nearest tube/train: Highbury And Islington) in North London. Fellow south coaster celtic folk-punk band Matilda’s Scoundrels are also playing so be sure to be on time. Ticket link here.

But if that’s a bit short notice then Black water County will be playing a special London Celtic Punks show dahn Sarf London this time on Saturday 3rd September with The Cundeez down from Dundee and Kilburn Bomb Squad sort of across and down a bit from… well Kilburn. The event page for that is here.

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Here

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BWC

SINGLE REVIEW: MATILDA’S SCOUNDRELS- ‘Crowleys Curse’ (2016)

Quality celtic folk punk from the smugglers cove of Hastings.

Matilda's Scoundrels

One of the highlights of 2015 was the emergence of a couple of bands who have gone on to become both solid fixtures not only on the celtic-punk scene but also on the wider alternative/punk scene also. I am talking of course about the mighty Mick O’Toole and, the band I am reviewing today, Matilda’s Scoundrels. It seems only five minutes since I was reviewing their last release, the split CD EP with The Barracks, in December. That went down an absolute storm among various punk media and has seen the bands profile rise considerably. Performances at this years Manchester Punk Festival and a short northern tour ending with a support slot to Blood Or Whiskey in Scotland are just the tip of the iceberg and the bands weekends have been spent traversing around England with guitars and tin whistle in hand!

Mat3

left to right: Dan Flanagan- Guitar, James Baughurst- Bass, Jon Gosling- Drums, Jason Stirling- Tin Whistle/ Vocals, Jens-Peter Jensen- Accordion/ Vocals, Thomas Quinn- Mandolin/ Vocals

Matilda’s Scoundrels formed in 2014 and the boys have been building a solid reputation on the south coast gig scene over the last couple of years and have began to bring their sound to festivals, bars, pubs and clubs across the UK with an ever increasing army of followers. Later this year they will perform at Rebellion, Boomtown and Common Ground festivals so plenty of chances for you to check them out. The boys hail from Hastings on the south coast of England. An area once famed for its pirates and smuggling links back in the 1800’s. As one native of the town commented

“No business carried on in Hastings was more popular and extensive as that of smuggling. Defrauding the revenue, so far from being considered a crime, was looked upon as a laudable pursuit, and the most successful ‘runners’ were heroes. Nearly the whole of the inhabitants, old and young and of every station in life, were, to some extent, engaged in it”

The smugglers of Hastings had an ugly reputation. They earned the nickname ‘Chop-backs’ after one of them split the spine of a Dutch sea captain! So in a town steeped in tradition the emergence of Matilda’s Scoundrels is not such a shock and their town’s history looms large in everything that they do. They recently became the first band to play on the newly rebuilt Hastings Pier after the original burned down in 2010.

Crowley

nice hat Al!

So it is then that Matilda’s Scoundrels have delved deep into their towns history again here and written a song ‘Crowleys Curse’ dedicated to one of Hastings most infamous residents, Aleister Crowley aka The Great Beast. Born to a wealthy family (as so many of these type of characters usually are!) he was made notorious in the popular press for his interest in astrology, Satanism and the practice of ‘sex magick’ and other supposedly shocking occult activities. He died in Hastings on 1 December 1947 aged 72 and is, no doubt, looking up and chuckling away at this song in his honour. The curse mentioned in the song is the local legend that Crowley cursed Hastings. The curse means that anyone who has ever lived there will always live there. Famous when I was a child for the Battle Of Hastings when in 1066 King Harold II was defeated by the Norman forces of William the Conqueror in a battle that would shape the future of England for centuries to come. Sadly, recently though the town has become more famous for the social problems the residents face. High drug addition and crime rates had turned the town into a regular feature on ‘poverty porn’ TV programmes. Of course the councils answer to this is to try and gentrify and opening up a art house cinema or selling croissants instead of candy floss on the new pier are not going to help anyone. Still things are improving and a healthy community spirit is developing and as usual the best way to improve things in your community is for that community to do it themselves.

Blending traditional punk instruments with accordion, mandolin, tin whistle and gravelly vocals Matilda’s Scoundrels have again hit the heights and when I described that Split EP as their best release to date I find myself saying it again now! Quinn’s vocals and Jason’s whistle start the song before the rest of the lads join in and even if I can’t see the council adopting it as the towns anthem it ought to be.

“The great beast proved a popular addition to the lonesome town without submission as darkness fell so he woke in the old town of Hastings.

A rancid smell from a molasses pipe sex drive down with all his might lightning strikes into the night in the old town of Hastings”

Slower than usual but unmistakeable Scoundrels. I was lucky enough to see the band play it live for the first time and it has grown on me ever since. They follow this up on side B (remember this is vinyl!) with another live favourite ‘Pissheads Anthem’. A lot faster and plenty of sweary gang vocals and “Hey!” shouts.

“Give me whiskey, give me beer, Get me drunk as fuck and just leave me here”
 Crowleys Curse is being released as a two track vinyl single and in all the years we have been doing this zine we have only ever reviewed one vinyl release and already this year we are on our second release. The other being The Cundeez 7″ ‘Rebellion’. It’s a collaboration between all the following record labels TNS Records, Smegma Records, AWOL Records, Almighty Beard Records and Charlies Big Ray Gun Records so a great project and a perfect example of working together. It certainly warms the heart to see an increase in the popularity of vinyl and see more and more vinyl releases. I keep saying it, and with a Mick O’Toole album due soon, it only remains for a Matilda’s Scoundrels album and international stardom awaits!
Mat 1

Hastings Pier

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SINGLE REVIEW: MICK O’TOOLE- ‘False Flag Collapse’ (2016)

No egos, no divas just working class men having a good time.
Mot
Back in 2012 in the deepest darkest Shire, Wiltshire in a town called Calne a bunch of mates came together and feeling bored with heavy metal decided to get a celtic punk band together. They called themselves Mick O’Toole. Named from a character in a song from fellow celtic-punk local legends The Boys Of County Hell who have been the major inspiration for the band along with likes of The Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, Gogol Bordello and The Pogues not to mention many other great punk bands such as The Clash, The Sex Pistols,The Adverts and Rancid. Mick O’Toole’s great sound comes from combining the ethos of punk with traditional folk music. With their first EP ‘Deep In Cider’ they set the benchmark sky high but managed to outdo even that with the release last year of ‘1665 Pitchfork Rebellion’ and it has shaken the celtic-punk world. Going on to claim EP of the year at both Celtic Folk Punk And More (here) and us as well (here) in our ‘Best Of 2015’ list. With hundreds of gigs behind them including blowing down the house at the London Celtic Punks New Years Eve bash in Camden the bhoys have but one goal. To keep making music that brings people together for a good ole knees up and a grand old sing along. They showcased this new single at that gig and it went down super well. Have a listen via the Bandcamp player below or the YouTube video above and I’m sure you will agree. Fast, furious, folky punky fun with a serious message of unity. The story goes that the inspiration for the song was hearing Johnny Rotten sticking it to the man while being interviewed by Jon Snow for the Channel 4 news programme.
‘Vile, nonsense, stupidity, lying and deceit. Modern politicians right now are uneducated morons and over privileged. Really bloody learn to love each other properly cause you only get one go at it”
-John Lydon

“Come gather round people politicians are preaching
The white Collars heating the fire of fearing
To scare us to war to fight for meaning
That wide open eyes have trouble in seeing
So black out your senses and all of your feelings
Let hatred immerse leave sympathy hidden
Yeah you boys and girls and people of ages
Hate on our neighbours for different agendas
We will go to war We will kill them all
It makes no sense at all But we still go to war
So why don’t we question what we’re told
When we fall like trees to the authorities
They’ll take what they want They’ll use all they need
Cut us wide open for their pleasure and greed
They abuse us, they use us, they tear us apart
Turn the lights off so we can’t see in the dark
We’re pawns in their games they use us to shield their comfortable lives as we die in the fields
We’re all brothers and sisters, we’re daughters and sons, fathers and mothers we all come from one
So why aren’t we all at peace
It’s time to take back the world that is ours
Let’s parade through the street and party all hours
Let’s refuse to conform to the hierarchy of old
We’re all this together no more us against the world
Load up guns and sharpen knives Strap bombs to yourself your kids and your wives
The powers have spoken and we have forgotten
That we’re here to love not for death and destruction”
100 Club

Mick O’Toole at The 100 Club, January 2016

Special guest vocals on the track are supplied by the Jamie Oliver of the UK Subs and was recorded, mixed and mastered by George Lever at G1 Production. Extra instruments and writing credits go to ex-O’Toole and all round top fella Johnny ‘Reprobate’ Edwards. Yet another great track from Mick O’Toole and the news we have all been wanting to hear from them is that they will be hitting the recording studio again soon and with several of the celtic-punk scene’s most favoured bands set to have 2016 album releases I am certain Mick O’Tooles will rival any of them for the Best Of 2016!

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Buy The EP

FromTheBand– only £1!!!

you can watch this interview we done with the O’Toole lads a while back here.

SINGLE REVIEW: THE CUNDEEZ- ‘Rebellion’ (2016)

Unashamedly Dundonian working class band promotin Scots culture an havin a laugh!

Cundeez- Rebellion 7"

Been following these boys for a while and was meaning to review their album ‘Sehturday Night Weaver’ from last year from the moment I first heard it. In the end I had to sneak it in with the end of the year round-ups (here) sadly denying it the chance to get the full-on London Celtic Punks style review. Luckily they have just released this 3-track single so here’s a good chance to introduce them to you.

The Cundeez were formed back in 2010 in Scotland’s fourth largest city in Dundee. Interestingly Dundee during the defeated Referendum Vote in 2014 had the highest Yes vote for any local authority in the whole of Scotland leading Dundee to be christened ‘Yes City’ and The Cundeez are no exception to their fellow Dundonians! The city has two professional football clubs, Dundee who were founded in 1893 and Dundee United who came a little later in 1909, originally as Dundee Hibernian. They both (at the moment!) play in the top division of Scottish football and the real ‘pub fact’ is that their respective grounds are only 100 metres apart. Not sure which team the band follow but on this season’s performances I hope for their sakes its Dundee!

The Cundeez band

The Cundeez have released four albums with each one better than the previous one and this progression shows no signs of stopping with this release. The title song, ‘Rebellion’, kicks off the single and its mixing up their own unique style of punk rock with Highland bag pipes that gives them bit extra. Beware though the faint hearted. They are not The Real McKenzies and neither are they trying to be. Fast, punchy and catchy as hell punk rock with shouty vocals delivered in a raw Dundee dialect. Following this is ‘Roota’, the single’s best song with energy dripping right out of it. This time adding ska into the mixer and some great guitar work keeping it chugging along.

The single’s final track is ‘Jist A Number’ and its more straight up political punk rock that this time reminds me a bit like what fellow Scots punkers Toxic Ephex would have sounded like if they could have got their guitar’s sounding better.

Sadly for all you youngsters out there the single is available only on vinyl. Yes only vinyl. You don’t hear that much these days and not only that but is limited to only 300 copies so get your skates on if you want a copy from Urinal Vinyl Records. We will be hooking up with The Cundeez to get them all the way down from Dundee for a gig in London later this year on Saturday 3rd September. Details are yet to be finalised but keep an eye here or check out the Events section at our Facebook page here but keep the date free it is guaranteed to be something special.

Buy The Single

UrinalVinyl (only 300 copies on yellow vinyl)

Contact The Band

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Urinal Vinyl Records here

THE CUNDEEZ… KEEPING IT OARY!

BIBLE CODE SUNDAYS CHARITY SINGLE ‘Something Inside So Strong’

Charity Single Released with Ginger Melodeon Experience Music Collective for The Lymphoma Association.
FREE DOWNLOAD!!

click above for your free download don't forget to donate!

click above for your free download
don’t forget to donate!

All we ask is that you make a donation, any amount you like!

Tracie O’Sullivan is a friend, she is one of the lucky ones and is the reason why The Bible Code Sundays have recorded this song. This is her story in her own words:

“In April 2013 my world was shattered, a routine blood test showed an abnormality in my liver, laughing I told the Doc I would slow down on the shots!  Her face wasn’t smiling, it was full of sorrow for me, it was nothing to do with shots, it was Lymphoma a blood cancer.  After eleven weeks of tests and an operation my sub type was found and a treatment plan put in place for 6 sessions of aggressive chemo.  There are so many types of Lymphoma cancer, and mine was a rare one, Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkins Lymphoma, what a mouthful!  You immediately google it, and get a load of scary non truths, the Lymphoma Association had the answers for me and all written in easy to understand jargon.  My daughter was living in Australia; I had to tell my only child I had cancer and might die.  She was terrified and so distraught, being so far away.  The Lymphoma Association to the rescue again!  Loaded with information and realisation that, although a rare type, my type of cancer could be cured.  After a gruelling six months and the support of my family and friends I am out the other side, bald but better!! I am in remission and I am one of the lucky ones.  The Bible Code Sunday lads, are included in my group of bestest buddies, they were a huge support and comfort to me and the family, we love them dearly.  Along with the other talented Musicians on this track, my cancer anthem ‘Something Inside So Strong’ has been recorded.  It’s a free download, and is a fantastic version, it’s a free download, all we ask is you make a little donation, anything you can spare, no matter how small will go to the Lymphoma Association. I intend, when fully better, to volunteer to be a Lymphoma Buddy.  This is a free service for those who are diagnosed to talk to someone who has been through the experience, some people are not as lucky as me and don’t have the wonderful friends and family that I have around them. Your donations will help fund these types of schemes.  Every forty minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with Lymphoma and it is particularly common in the younger population.  Thank you to the best group of lads and lassies ever, musical geniuses!  – The Ginger Melodeon Experience”

inspired by our friend Tracie O’Sullivan.
to donate to this great cause

http://www.lymphomas.org.uk/
http://www.lymphomas.org.uk/

THE BIBLE CODE SUNDAYS

The name…
The band started out as ‘Slainte’, originally formed by Ruairi and Kieran MacManus, Ronan’s brothers, before being joined by Ronan and other brother Liam, playing traditional Irish music. Slainte grew and evolved, with many musicians joining the band as part-time members. Simultaneously, Ronan and other band members had started to write original material for other bands. Over time other band interests quickly faded and writing and performing their own material became the band’s focus. It was in 2006 that the band changed their name to The BibleCode Sundays, at the time, the band were playing back to back gigs every Sunday in small pubs full of hard-drinking Irishmen

“…we used to have to join them in their drinking just to get through the gigs because they were so crazy!”- Ronan

And so, the band would routinely find themselves up in the small hours talking, usually about conspiracy theories, including the so-called Bible Code, which refers to an encryption in the Torah believed by some to prophecy future events. These drink-fuelled discussions would happen every Sunday around 4am, and hence became known as BibleCode Sundays…
The journey…
The band celebrated their name change with a self-titled album of covers of Irish crowd-pleasers and then, with new material, and a packed schedule of gigs around London, their popularity in London took off, winning the award for ‘Best Band on London Circuit 2006’ by the readers of The Irish World newspaper.
The Band released their first original album, ‘Ghosts of Our Pasts‘ in 2007, to great critical acclaim, both in the UK and North America. The album included three songs, ‘Bang, Bang, You’re Dead’, ’Honour Of The Gael’ and ‘My Town’ especially written for Mike O’Dea’s Boston-based movie ‘Townies’, subsequently retitled ”The Code Of Silence’. The album also included the bitter-sweet ‘Boys of Queens’ dedicated to the FDNY, inspired by the events of 9/11, and subsequently used in the 2011 CBS show ‘Unforgettable‘.
Second album ‘Boots or No Boots’ followed in 2008, and included the track ‘Maybe It’s Because I’m an Irish Londoner‘, which was subsequently adopted by premiership rugby club, London Irish RFC, as the club’s anthem. With their growing popularity and adoption by both Celtic FC and London Irish RFC supporters, the band’s fanbase has grown to include Europe and the States, with performances at major sporting events and stadiums, including Twickenham and music festivals, including Glastonbury. In 2007, they were invited to perform on the Sky Sports Christmas Day special. In 2009, with growing popularity in the US, the band were invited to support The Dropkick Murphys for their Boston St Patrick’s Day concert, a relationship which continues to date with BCS supporting The Dropkick’s on their 2012 UK Tour. With the addition of Kian on lead guitar and ever-maturing song writing, a new BCS sound started to emerge which began to find its way into their live performances.
The new BCS album New Hazardous Design was released in November 2013 and was launched with a sell out gig at swanky London venue Under The Bridge and we loved it so much we awarded it the London Celtic Punks Album Of The Year For 2013 by us here. A great band and a London Irish treasure.

From the community, For the community, Of the community

Palestine GigYou can catch the Bible Code Sundays playing pretty much week in and week out throughout London and the surrounding areas throughout the year but what about this for a great gig. Next Friday on December 11th ‘Irish Music For Palestine’ presents The Bible Code Sundays live on stage at Hennessys Bar in South Harrow with the original post-Pogues celtic-punk legends Neck. This will be the first time they have played together since the old days of the famed London Irish nightclub The Galtymore back on St Patrick’s Day in 2007 I think it was. Also supporting is Anto Morra. London Irish singer-songwriter of great standing. A great roster of bands and wrapping it up Greenford Bhoy will bt DJing all your favourite Irish rock and rebel all through the night and after the bands have finished. And all for the children of Gaza as every penny will go to the educational charity ‘Voices Of Gaza’. You can find out a whole lot more at the Facebook event here. Tickets are a straight £10 and you can get them here.

Contact The Bible Code Sundays

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SINGLE REVIEW: LORETTA PROBLEM- ‘Justice Or Crime’ (2015)

A bunch of Finnish punks and hippies mixing celtic tunes with punk-rock since 1994.

Loretta Problem- 'Justice Or Crime' (2015)

Peace, love and a fistful of middle fingers when needed!

Doing this blog has certainly opened my eyes to the spread of celtic music across the world. Not only with the celtic diaspora re-connecting with their roots but among people with none of those roots in the celtic nations. One country that I had never come across in celtic-punk though was Finland. That changed a month ago when the new single from Loretta Problem turned up in London Celtic Punks HQ. Finland is a music loving country but perhaps is best known here for their Eurovision winners back in 2006 when death metal band Lordi stormed to victory. There is a renowned punk and metal scene much like the other Nordic countries so it should come as no surprise that celtic-punk would make an appearance.What is surprising though is that that band should have been around for over twenty years!

Loretta Problem have only had three releases in all that time with an album and two singles, not much to show admittedly but then Loretta Problem have always prided themselves on being primarily a live band. Their most active period was between 1994 and 1997 and these days they play for fun at a select handful of gigs and festivals every year.

The music itself is well played celtic-punk with with some celtic metal influences thrown in as well. Their sound has adapted and changed over the years and you can hear that development yourselves as the band have kindly put all their releases on Spotify for you to listen for free.

“Once a man ran away from the army
I’m so tired of killing that’s all
I found it so unnecessary cause there’s no winner in war

Judges were noble and fair
War heroes with medals and tails
they put him away without glory and forgot that man in jail

He met her on the street and raped her
laughing all the time just like that
that girl was so young and pretty and the man he was rich and fat

So she cut off his balls and put knife through her heart
oh yes she wanted to die
she was lying in a grave of her own and people wondered why

Justice or crime, what’s right and what’s wrong
justice or crime, well just sing along
the drums are banging so lets start the hanging
and justice wins once again

Justice or crime, who deserves hell
justice or crime, the jury members yell
the drums are banging so lets start the hanging
and justice wins once again

Hey this was only another song of unfairness of life
where everything’s already lost and pens are weaker than knives
Sometimes I hope there would be God waiting for the judgement day
but I’m afraid the winner’s the devil who has taken us all the way

Justice or crime…”

spotify

So click above to hear everything Loretta Problem have ever released.

Buy The Single

iTunes  

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EP REVIEW: PIRATE COPY ‘Goin Down A Storm’ (2015)

high-octane, rum-fueled celtic punk rock from Cornwall, the home of piracy!

PIRATE COPY ‘Goin Down A Storm’ (2015)

Pirate Copy have graced our pages once before. almost exactly a year ago to the day, for the release of their debut EP ‘The Shape Of Piracy To Come’ (check it out here and even get a free download of it too!). Formed on December 1, 2011 in Portreath, a fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall, which is the spiritual home of smuggling and piracy and all that malarkey! As is our way we sometimes like to elbow in a bit of celtic history when talking about one of the celtic nations and it would be impossible to talk about Kernow and its tradtions and culture and language without first mentioning that history of piracy along the south-western coast. Cornish mythology is often derived from tales of seafaring pirates and smugglers who thrived from the early modern period through to the 19th century. Cornish pirates exploited both their knowledge of the coast as well as its sheltered creeks and hidden anchorages. For many fishing villages, loot and contraband provided by pirates supported a strong and secretive underground economy in Cornwall. Coupled with this rebelliousness was the fact that the Cornish, quite rightly, saw themselves as seperate nation to the one they were suppose to pay taxes and duties to. The Cornish are linked very strongly to both their ‘Brythonic cousins’ Brittany and Wales and all three share very similar traditions and languages. Over the years the Cornish have suffered from the closure of its mining industry, emigration and deglect on behalf of the Westminster juggernaut which seems determined to stamp out any signs of the celtic Cornish nation and turn it simply into southwest England.

left to right it's: - The Admiral (bass) - Johnny 'Danger' Danger (guitar) - Ashtiki The Caveman (drums) - Scarlett Van Dyke (ukulele) - The Captain (vocals)

Pirate Copy from left to right:
– The Admiral (bass)  – Johnny ‘Danger’ Danger (guitar)  – Ashtiki The Caveman (drums)  – Scarlett Van Dyke (ukulele)  – The Captain (vocals)

With all that in mind we eventually get to what we are here for and that is to tell you about Pirate Copy’s new EP. Released last month its three tracks of catchy punk rock with celtic influences and more shouts of “yarr” than I thought possible to fit on a nine minute EP. The right description for this would be ‘Pirate Punk’ and the band certainly play up to it but as they have that shit in their veins how can their be anything wrong with it. ‘Goin Down A Storm’ opens the EP and growling vocals atop heavy guitar riffs and shouty choruses carry on where they left off in the first EP.

“Indie kids at the bar, they sneer because we’re not cool
But this is our party and this shit fucking rules
Pretension and aggression they’ve got no place in here
If you’ve come to throw fists then you’re no buccaneer
We’re all about dancing and we love circle pits
Just watch out for the chicks and don’t act like a dick
We all know the score, we’re lookin’ out for each other
If you’re hangin’ with the pirates then we’ve got your back covered”

Its all great infectious fun and as I said before I bet they are something else to catch live. Its to their credit that they manage to transfer that live sound onto their studio material without losing anything in quality. Hats off to Doc Collins who achieved this at the Plymouth Music Collective studios in Plymouth.

Following this is ‘Whirlpool’ with more catchy as hell chugging guitars and great gang vocals combining to make a proper celtic-punk classic even though it storms past you in under two minutes.

‘make the most of every fucking day’

‘Lure Of The Sea’ brings the EP to a close and its a beauty. The most celtic-punk I have heard them and got to admit its pretty damn good. All the elements that make Pirate Copy what they are are there and all are turned up to eleven! A rowdy and riotess good time is guaranteed with this band who have proved they can successfully transfer their live sound onto record so don’t delay and get your measly £2 off to deepest Kernow immediatlely!

(you can listen to the whole EP by pressing play on the Bandcamp box directly below)

Contact The Band

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Buy The EP

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‘JUSTICE FOR THE CRAIGAVON 2’ SINGLE RELEASED TODAY. BUY IT IMMEDIATLEY! GO ON!!

“The case of the Craigavon 2 will not fade away as is hoped by the establishment but it will continue until justice is done and seen to be done. Those politicians who claim to represent and speak for nationalist, republicans and the working class should be outraged by this judgement, they now have an opportunity to voice their concern and outrage at this blatant injustice” -Gerry Conlon

Justice for the Craigavon Two 2

Pol MacAdaim a singer song writer living in County Louth in Ireland has written a protest song called ‘Justice for the Craigavon Two’, a truly remarkable and inspirational song which highlights the miscarriage of justice of John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville.
The song also pays homage to the great and legendary Gerry Conlon who campaigned tirelessly for the Craigavon Two before his untimely death last year. With the Craigavon Two case due before the UK Supreme Court (date not yet set) the Craigavon Two committee has chosen Saint Patricks week to launch the song on digital formats, in an effort to have it chart in the UK top 40.
‘JFTC2′ were inspired by the success of the Celtic supporters end criminalisation of supporters campaign when ‘Roll Of Honour’ successfully entered the UK charts last year . You can read our articles about that here and here.
Justice for the Craigavon Two
The single is released today- Sunday 15th March 2015- in an attempt to get the song into the British charts so we have one week to do it. Please go to one of the links and download the song and share this page or one of the Facebook pages with as many people as possible to highlight the injustice done to John-Paul and Brendan. The Irish here in England know everything there is to know about miscarraiges of justice so don’t stand by and watch more innocent men rot in jail for a crime they did not commit.

LINKS

iTunes   Amazon   GooglePlay

We call on everyone to join the #DownloadJustice campaign. Justice must be done and be seen to be done #JFTC2

Picture by cartoonist Carlos Latuff for the Craigavon Two campaign

Picture by cartoonist Carlos Latuff for the Craigavon Two campaign

JUSTICE FOR THE CRAIGAVON 2

Craigavon 9th March the news man read,
constable Stephen Carroll was shot dead
A police investigation soon began
and they would stop at nothing to get their man

(Chorus)
Here’s what I’ve got to say to you,
Justice for the Craigavon Two
Next time it could be me or you,
Let’s have justice for the Craigavon two.

Mc Conville and Wooton got the blame
Since that day their lives have never been the same
The spooks have framed before and they’ll do it again
Unless we come together and break their chains

The trial of these two inoocents was a sham
Justice without a jury was the scam
They produced a single witness with bad eyesight
And claimed that he saw everything on that dark and rainy night

Witness ‘Z’ was the father of witness ‘M’
‘My son’s a Walter Mitty’ was his claim
An eye specialist cross examined said the same
That he could not have see clearly in the dark and through the rain

Gerry Conlon, thank you and farewell
You rotted 14 years in a prison cell
For something that you had never done
You drove this campaign hard so it wouldn’t happen to another one

While the British injustice system does prevail
Any one of us can be framed and sent to gaol
The Birmingham 6 and the Guildford 4
Are among the many of whom the Brits have done this kind of thing before

Justice for the Craigavon Two. Words and Music Pol Mac Adaim. 2015

WE ARE INNOCENT

On the 30th of March 2012 we, Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton, were convicted, and sentenced to spend the rest of our lives in prison, for the fatal shooting of Constable Steven Carroll in Craigavon on the 9th of March 2010.

While We fully understanding and empathise with the grief of the Carroll family and with no desire to exacerbate that grief, we wish to take this opportunity to state publicly that we have been convicted of something that we had nothing to do with, we are innocent and we do not believe that we received a fair hearing at our trial under a diplock court.

Further to this we also believe that Justice Girvan erred in his judgement of the information presented and convicted us more on the emotional and political furore created by the case than on the evidence presented. For this reason we have instructed our legal teams to appeal our convictions.

This appeal will centre on the following pieces of evidential information that were never fully dealt with by Justice Girvan, they are;

  • The prosecutions’ key witness, witness M, despite having a prescribed impairment of his sight, claimed that he seen Brendan Mc Conville at a distance that would be medical impossible,
  • It took witness M almost a year to come forward with this information and since that date he has been given anonymity and provided for in protective custody.
  • Witness M’s eye-witness account described Brendan as wearing a coat of a different style and colour from that presented by the prosecution,
  • This coat, recovered within hours of the shooting, was dry yet the weather conditions at the time  were rainy,
  • The forensic examination of this coat and the fire-arm recovered after the shooting did not match,
  • Although multiple sources of DNA were found on the coat only Brendans’ were followed up on,
  • A tracking device that had allegedly been planted on John Paul’s car by MI5 and was used as evidence to place us at the scene of the shooting, went ‘missing’ for a period of time, only to be returned in an altered state and “with data missing”,
  • Although the assault rifle and several rounds of ammunition used in the shooting were recovered no forensic link was made with either of us.

In short a case that placed us at the scene and attributed any role to us was never made, let alone proven. Rather, because the PSNI/MI5 were under so much pressure to obtain a conviction, evidence was constructed and altered to ‘fit the case’ and not examined as pieces of information that could prove or disprove our innocence.

Hopefully this miscarriage of justice can be over turned at our appeal and this nightmare of suffering for us and our families ended. However, after the experience we have already had we do not have a great deal of confidence in the criminal justice system, hence, we are asking you, the public, to follow the course of our appeal and to see for yourself the manner in which information is dealt with and how ‘justice’ is being administered in your name. Let’s not wait 15 – 20 years to deal with a miscarriage of justice, let us do so now.

Yours

Brendan Mc Conville and John Paul Wootton.

Maghaberry Jail Co. Antrim

For More On The Campaign To Free Brendan and John-Paul

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11069427_616126631865371_186278435182293528_n*Pol MacAdaim deserves a special mention here also. Pol has worked tirelessly over the years gigging relentlessly his music addresses various political issues and his lyrics carry a radical punch to the eardrum. He is blessed with a superb folk voice and sings with a real heartfelt passion that often belies the subjects he sings about. Comparison’s with Kelly, Drew, yer Behan’s and more recent Moore and MacGowan stand out a mile. A traditional story telling style of writing songs its the words that come first with Pol with what he has to say the important thing. Born in Belfast he first became involved in playing music at the age of 9. Through the years he has learnt to play in a wide range of styles including folk, Appalachian, Cajun, rock, soul and contemporary. He is also skilled in a variety of instruments ranging from tin whistles, traditional Irish flute, low whistles, uilleann pipes, harmonicas, guitar, mandolin, and the tenor banjo to bodhran. Pol is a real champion of the people having suffered under the occupation of Ireland he has grown up suffering oppression and worse, including personal tragedy, but his music speaks of not just a past to be mourned but of a bright future ahead of us too. Of a land where equality and fraternity rules and peace and justice is for all.

Folk music as it should be played by all folk singers…

Contact Pol MacAdaim

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LONDON CELTIC PUNKS PRESENTS OUR BEST OF 2014!

TOP TWENTY CELTIC PUNK ALBUMS OF 2014

Last year our ‘Best Of’ list was completely dominated by bands from these shores but this time there’s a much more international flavour to 2014’s Best Album’s list. Again Irish influenced bands dominate but the absolute standout album for me was without a doubt Uncle Bard And The Dirty Bastards from Italy who nailed their fusion of punk rock and traditional music completely. With their own roots and influences included along with some amazing uilleann piping they are deserved winners of the Best Album spot. Kitchen Implosion join them in what has been a great year for Italian bands. Sure not all of these twenty bands are celtic-punk in the dictionary definition of the phrase but sod that anyway. These are what we liked and they all fit in in some way. Twenty bands from thirteen countries (Italy, England, Sweden, Brittany, Canada, Ireland, USA, Australia, Brazil, Catalonia, Germany, Switzerland and Belguim) which only goes to show the international appeal of the celtic-punk scene these days. A special mention for London Irish band Creeds Cross superb debut album. Only just caught them live and they were awesome so hoping to see much more of them around town in 2015.
As ever we have reviewed some, though not all of these albums, so click (here) after the title and you will be re-directed to our review.
We compiled the ‘Best Of’ lists together from the scraps of paper handed to me by the various admins from the London Celtic Punks facebook page.
1. UNCLE BARD AND THE DIRTY BASTARDS- ‘Get The Folk Out!’ (here)
2. CREEDS CROSS- ‘Gods And Fighting Men (here)
3. ROVERS AHEAD- Always The Sinner, Never The Saint (here)
4. LES RAMONEURS DE MENHIRS- Tan Ar Bobl (here)
5. THE MAHONES- The Hunger And The Fight
6. BLOOD OR WHISKEY- Tell The Truth And Shame The Devil (here)
7. THE ROUGHNECK RIOT- Out Of Anger
8. BASTARD BEARDED IRISHMEN- Rise Of The Bastard (here)
9. JAY WARS- Carry Me Home (here)
10. THE RAMSHACKLE ARMY- Letters from the Road Less Travelled
11. 6’10- The Humble Beginnings Of A Rovin’ Soul (here)
12. LUGH- Quando Os Canecos Batem (here)
13. SIGELPA- TerraMorte (here)
14. KITCHEN IMPLOSION- Pretty Work Brave Boys! (here)
15. THE KILKENNY KNIGHTS- Bradys Pub Tales (here)
16. BEYOND THE FIELDS- The Falcon Lives (here)
17. THE YOUNG DUBLINERS- ‘Nine (here)
18. KELTIKON- Agenbite Of Inwit (here)
19. FM 359- Truth, Love And Liberty (here)
20. THE BLACK TARTAN CLAN – Scotland in Our Hearts
a special special mention for three absolutely brilliant compilation albums too. Can’t really include them in the Best of charts so heres all three in no particular order at all as they are all 11 out of 10!
a class album with 4 songs per band and an absolutely beautifully put together record. THE PORTERS/ THE JUDAS BUNCH/ THE MAHONES/ MALASANERS 4-WAY SPLIT DOUBLE ALBUM- ‘Welcome To The Folk Punk Show’ (2014)  here
a mostly Russian compilation paying tribute to all (lets just face it they are!) our favourite celtic-punk band- ‘Ex-USSR Tribute To The Dropkick Murphys’ (2014)  here
this ought to be the number one album of the year to be honest. a fecking amazing compilation of Indonesian celtic-punk bands.the quality is amazing throughout.absolutely stunning. I cannot recommend enough!! ‘Wind From The Foreign Land- Indonesian Celtic-Punk Compilation’ (2014)  here

TOP FIVE CELTIC PUNK EP’S OF 2015

No question which EP deserved this and Russia’s Middle Class Bastards just blasted us away with their follow up to their 2013 album. Superb use of bagpipes and brass instruments combined with fast but tuneful punk rock. A bit unfortunate for Black Water County who looked nailed on to win this for most of the year with their fantastic 2nd EP. The Breton band The Maggie Whackers released their EP back at the start of the year while The South Sea Ramblers from South Africa literally released theirs just a couple of weeks ago while LQR from Holland slipped theirs out in time for St Patricks Day… ooh err missus! So spread out across the year but these are the ones that left their mark. Looking forward to hearing more from them all and long players must be arriving soon I hope.
1. MIDDLE CLASS BASTARD- Rebel To The Core (here)
2. BLACK WATER COUNTY- Fellowship Of the Craic (here)
3. THE MAGGIE WHACKERS- Naoned Whisky (here)
4. LQR- A Touch Of Liquor (here)
5. SOUTH SHORE RAMBLERS- Bare Knuckle Blackout

TOP FIVE TRAD ALBUMS OF 2014

As the blog is for (mostly) celtic punk so it is that we only review stuff that isn’t celtic punk if we really really (really!!) like it. All these rocked our boat and we loved them all to bits. Hard to decide which order they should go in but this is how we ended up. Turned out to be an all Irish list with I DRAW SLOW from Dublin with beautiful alternative country sounds and both Cork’s THE BUACHAILLS and London’s THE CRAICHEADS going head to head with both bands playing similar styles of music while Irish-American supergroup THE ALT’s debut album was a worthy runner-up to fellow Irish-Americans RUNA’s brillliant fourth album.
1. RUNA- Current Affairs (here)
2. THE ALT- ‘The Alt (here)
3. THE CRAICHEADS- Brewed in London (here) 
3. THE BUACHAILLS- At Your Call (here)
5. I DRAW SLOW- ‘WhiteWave Chapel (here)

BEST CELTIC PUNK WEB-SITE OF 2014

Celtic Folk Punk And More Blogonce again there is no question who gets this
CELTIC FOLK PUNK AND MORE
 keeping the whole wide world up to date with what’s going on and who is doing who within celtic punk (and more!) while also supplying us with regular free downloads and free compilations. Waldo you’re great. Keep it up mate!

BEST GIGS

Apart from the ones we put on which were all amazing and showcased some amazing performances from JAY WARS and THE DEAD MAGGIES from Aus, THE GREENLAND WHALEFISHERS from Norway, a couple of benefit gigs for Mad Dog out The Popes (hope youre back on your guitar highkicking soon pal!), BLACK WATER COUNTY played their London debut and went down a fecking storm, me O’s mates STEVE WHITE AND THE PROTEST FAMILY were as superb as ever and released a fantastic album. One of the major highlights was discovering the quintessential London Celtic Punk in ANTO MORRA and we look forward to working with him again in the future. We teamed up with fellow Londoners of Urbankelt and will be doing so again too.

I also saw DAVID ROVICS for the first time, THE MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG’s amazing 30th anniversary show was incredible, NECK and their sadly ended residency at TChances which had us all pissed on Polish lager on Sunday afternoons for the first 6 months of the year, FLOGGING MOLLY in Reading in June which showed they havent lost a thing and are as great as ever, THE POGUE TRADERS were the best Pogues tribute band I ever seen. Disappointing was missing so many gigs where I just didnt have the cash especially The Pogues various outings. THE STANFIELDS from Canada seemed like a decent bunch of lads but their London gig was a total rip-off. The pre-gig ticket price was £7-50 which more than doubled to £15 on the door on the night. Oi bands watch out for charlaten promoters won’t you? Rebellion music fest brings loads of decent bands over to play but that means that they all end up playing in the same week so I had to forgo THE GO-SET’s return to London. Missed out on THE WOLFE TONES London gigs too due to work. All three of them! THE LAGAN have been brilliant. Far far too many of their gigs to go into detail so we have choosen the whole of St Patricks Weekend as our Number One! With NECK playing three gigs over the weekend and both THE BIBLE CODE SUNDAYS and THE LAGAN playing on the same day as well it seen a clean sweep of all the London bands done. Afterwards sick days were phoned in, headache pills were taken and the best St Patricks in donkeys was had.
Now were just looking forward to catching THE DROPKICK MURPHYS ‘Celtic Invasion ‘ Tour in Dublin and London this year round St Patricks Day.
Sláinte, The London Celtic Punks Crew- 2015
 London Celtic Punks
Of course all these things are very subjective so don’t be dismayed if your album ain’t here. What appeals to one don’t neccessarily appeal to another. It would be impossible to keep up with the multitude of celtic-punk related releases so these are the best of of what we actually did get to hear. All the various sites in the celtic-punk family had different winners so to see what they thought check out the Best Of lists of the following sites…
click on the blog logo at the top of the page to find more of this kind of stuff…

NEW SINGLE RELEASE FROM CREEDS CROSS. ‘THIRD LIGHT’ IN AID OF ‘WAR CHILD’.

Creeds Cross- Third Light (2014)

Regular readers will remember back in June that we reviewed the new album from the latest addition to the London celtic-rock/punk scene, Creeds Cross. We were to put it simply, quite blown away! As good a debut album as you’ll find anywhere. You can read our review of ‘Gods And Fighting Men’ here where you can also find out all about the band, the band members and have a listen to a few songs and even find links to buy/download the album.

War ChildOfficially released on November 7th ‘ Third Light’ is a harrowing tale of life in the trenches during World War One. The story being that the third man to light a cigarette from the same match would be shot by a sniper. Highlighting the horror of war and the innocent lives it ruins the band have decided to donate all sales of the single to the charity War Child. They work to help improve the lives of children affected by war. They currently work with children affected by war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Syria.

Creeds Cross certainly continue their rise to the top with this number too. Highly charged and emotional lyrics atop a soaring track with all of the bands instruments combining together brilliantly. The best celtic-punk bands continue the celtic tradition of story telling and that is one of the things Creeds Cross excel at.

” First light, a second, then third it’s man down

From an enemy sniper across no mans ground

And the silence that followed, was a deafening sound

And the curse of the Third Light goes on…..”

We’ve been gagging to see if they can deliver the goods live and we’ll get our chance later this year in Camden on November 16. Event page for the gig is here. It’s going to be a corker so see you down the front.

So dig deep Celtic Punkers and get yer money out -its less than a quid!- for a superb track but also for a great charity.

Creeds Cross

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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!

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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.

SINGLE REVIEW: THE RUMJACKS- ‘Blows And Unkind Words’ (2014)

The Rumjacks- 'Blows And Unkind Words' (2014)

Fecking hell a new single by my all time favourite celtic-punk band The Rumjacks hits the streets and bhoy I am excited as hell!! These boys can do no wrong in my eyes and if this had been shite I reckon I would have still have raved about it but we’ve no worries there as it’s classic fantastic Rumjacks. Perhaps if anything it’s not quite as full on punky as previous but still it’s unmistakeable… and fecking brilliant too!

A collection of Scots and Scots-Irish refugees and celts of various descent all together and washed up on the other side of the world in Brisbane, Australia. The bands been together since 2008 and they’ve a few records, all critically acclaimed, behind them.

Hung Drawn And Ported (EP) 2009
Sound As A Pound (EP) 2009
Gangs Of New Holland (Album) 2010
Crosses For Eyes (Single) 2012
Blows And Unkind Words/ Plenty (Vinyl Single) 2014

‘Blows And Unkind Words’ takes on the evils of social media and the way people interact with each other. Its the age of the coward where from behind a keyboard any old arsehole feels free to comment on what ever they like without a thought for the damage they leave behind. As my old Nanna use to say its costs nothing to be kind.

“My conscience rings like a siller bell and I can waltz like a dervish my dear,
Two boots full o’ gravel through your blazin’ hell
With a shit-smeared grin from ear to ear.
Some hearts are like lightning in a bottle, and others like a moth in a can,
Some hearts are a Dead Sea apple, a poison to God and man,
I’m the sweetest bag o’ rats that you’ve ever seen,
I look like trouble & I walk like a king,
It’s my thing, why bawl when I can sing
Of all the blows and unkind words?”

As with everything The Rumjacks do its not just the music but also the complicated and intricate lyrics that complete them. They come with a message but luckily for those of you who aren’t interested, not many I’d hope, it just happens to come wrapped up in some of the best celtic/Irish/Scots folk/punk you will ever hear. Music not just to dance your head off to but to feast your brain on as well.

“You get around gob draggin’ on the ground like lifes gone pissin’ in yer mince,
Were you bullied as a child? Abandoned to the wild?
And been blamin’ every fucker ever since?
We’re all born blind but we’re born with a spine,
So get up and stop hatin’ all the world,
Keep callin’ out to me ‘cos its growin’ hard to see
Through all the blows and unkind words”

We bloody love The Rumjacks and if we’ve said it once then we’ve said it a hundred times but Australian celtic-punk is the best in the world and The best band in Australian celtic-punk is The Rumjacks. That my friends is all you need to know.

The Rumjacks

Left-Right Johnny (Bass) Adam (Bouzouki/banjo) Frankie (vox/whistle) Anthony (Drums) Gabe (guitars)

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If you’ve not come across The Rumjacks before then check them out here for their smash internet hit ‘An Irish Pub’ and also here where we celebrated our first birthday by publishing the ‘Top Twenty Celtic-Punk Albums Of All Time’ which was won by The Rumjacks first album, ‘Gangs Of New Holland’.

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SINGLE REVIEW: BIG JOHN BATES- ‘Black Timber’ (2014)

poverty, criminal behavior, religious imagery, death, ghosts, family, lost love, alcohol, murder, the devil, and betrayal
Big John Bates- 'Black Timber' 2014)
Can consider myself lucky to have come across this very interesting quartet of twisted Americana and country. Suffering from a very serious illness (or hangover as its also known) a day was spent in bed with only cups of tea, made by a adoring (and put upon) wife, a massive bar of chocolate and the laptop, I was surfing away and found this recently released single.
Very reasonably priced and pressed on three different colours of heavy vinyl, the ‘Black Timber’ 7″ vinyl single was created just for their 2014 EU Tour. Only 200 hand-stamped, hand-numbered copies were made so it may already be sold out but don’t despair its also available as a download for just $2.
Big John Bates
The roots of Big John Bates lay in the Canadian metal band Annihilator but there’s no traces of that in this his new project. Blues, garage, Americana, billy, trash and just flat-out rock’n’roll all chucked into a grinder and this single emerged. With two album’s and a 12″ single behind them as well as a European tour Big John Bates are certainly capable of becoming a fixture on the ever growing alternative country scene. A-Side ‘Black Timber’ hits the spot and is incredibly catchy with the twanging of guitar and Bates vocal style a perfect fit for this tale of the passing of time. Brandy Bones provides backing vocals which she then gets to exploit on the superb B-Side’ Bitter Root’. Brandy’s voice and the song remind me a wee bit of Imelda May but with lashings of dark atmosphere and story of life as an outsider.
Two great songs which keep the Big John Bates legend growing and I cant wait for them to cross the pond again for some more ‘Gothic Americana’.

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