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 2017. 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 thirty 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…
1. FLATFOOT 56 (Chicago)- ‘Odd Boat’ here
2. THE TOSSERS (Chicago)- ‘Smash The Windows’ here
3. THE BIBLECODE SUNDAYS (London) – ‘Walk Like Kings’ here
4. THE PEELERS (Canada)- ‘Palace Of The Fiend’ here
5. FEROCIOUS DOG (England)- ‘Red’ here
6. BLACK WATER COUNTY (England)- ‘Taking Chances’ here
7. THE O’REILLYS AND THE PADDYHATS (Germany)- ‘Sign of the Fighter’ here
8. IN FOR A PENNY (USA)- ‘One More Last Hurrah’ here
9. LES RAMONEURS DE MENHIRS (Brittany)- ‘Breizh Anok’ here
10. MATILDA’S SCOUNDRELS (England)- ‘As The Tide Turns’ here
11. KILMAINE SAINTS (USA)- ‘Whiskey Blues & Faded Tattoos’ here
12. ORTHODOX CELTS (Serbia)- ‘Many Mouths Shut’ here
13. UNCLE BARD AND THE DIRTY BASTARDS (Italy)- ‘Handmade’ here
14. THE SILK ROAD (England)- ‘S/T’ here
15. FLOGGING MOLLY (USA)- ‘Life Is Good’ here
16. THE LUCKY PISTOLS (USA)- ‘Where The Orioles Fly’ here
17. THE REAL McKENZIES (Canada)- ‘Two Devils Will Talk’ here
18. DRUNKEN DOLLY (Netherlands)- ‘Alcoholic Rhapsody’ here
19. CASSIDY’S BREWERY (Serbia)- ‘One Brew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ here
20. THE MOORINGS (France)- ‘Unbowed’ here
21. CRAIC (USA)- ‘Sounds Of Vandemark’ here
22. JOLLY JACKERS (Hungary)- ‘Blood Sweat and Beer’ here
23. THE SCARLET (Hungary)- ‘Hardfolk Shanties’ here
24. THE DISTILLERY RATS (Germany)- ‘Tales From County Whiskey’ here
25. CELKILT (France)- ‘Stand’ here
26. DROPKICK MURPHYS (Boston)- ’11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory’ here
27. O’HAMSTERS (Ukraine)- ‘Где бы мы ни бывали’ here
28. SONS OF O’FLAHERTY (Brittany)- ‘The Road Not Taken’ here
29. THE BABES (London)- ‘Greetings From London’ here
30. CHEERS! (Czech Republic)- ‘Daily Bread’ here
Just bubbling under:
THE TEMPLARS OF DOOM (USA), GHOSTTOWN COMPANY (Germany) McSCALLYWAG (Netherlands)
No surprise here at all as all four admins voted #1 for Flatfoot 56 and their utterly brilliant ninth album. Not only that but we also all gave second spot to The Tossers, making it a Chicago #1 and #2! The year began with news of two new Dropkick Murphys albums coming but we only got the one and it met with, well quite a muted response to be honest. Saying that they were fantastic live and they certainly added a new dimension to these new songs when played in the flesh. The list leans heavy towards the bands from these shores it has to be said but it was always going to be with bands we get to see live regularly. It’s especially fitting to see The Bible Code Sundays in there too. In a year when every ‘big’ celtic-punk band released an album the competition was great so well done to all. Keep them coming. If you are not here then it just means we didn’t all agree or even all hear it and maybe we didn’t receive it too. The amount of debut albums from loads of these bodes well for both the scene here and internationally with a great mix of bands from thirteen countries.
BLACK WATER COUNTY- ‘Taking Chances’
This was a very hard category to fill with so many new bands arriving on the celtic-punk scene this past year. Soooo many to choose from but in the end we pumped for our very own Black Water County who just pipped Cassidy’s Brewery and In For A Penny to the title!
1. BLACK ANEMONE (Sweden)- ‘In It For Life’ here
2. RAIN IN SUMMER (Indonesia)- ‘Discordant Anthem From The Gutter’ here
3. IN FOR A PENNY (USA)- ‘Every Day Should be Saint Paddy’s Day’ here
4. THE BOTTLERS (Australia)- ‘The Bottlers’ (here)
5. BLACK RAWK DOG (Indonesia)- ‘Suburban’s Folk Stories’ here
6. BogZH CELTIC CATS! (Brittany)- ‘Kazh al Lagenn’ here
7. THE CRAZY ROGUES (Hungary)- ‘Rebels’ Shanties’ here
8. THE McMINERS (Brazil)- ‘Tales of Betrayal and Deceit’ here
9. BORN AGAIN HEATHENS (USA)- ‘Born Again Heathens’ here
10. THE DEAD MAGGIES (Australia)- ‘Wild Dogs And Flannies’ here
Stand out winner here from Sweden’s Black Anemone which none of us were sure was either a big EP or a small album so we gave it the benefit of the doubt and placed it in here. Outstanding! Two representatives of Indonesia’s fantastic celtic-punk scene made up for no album releases from there last year and one band from a Celtic nation with the BogZH Celtic Cats! The Bottlers sneak in as they only sent it to us the week before Christmas. Glad they did though.
1. DECLAN O’ROURKE- ‘Chronicles Of The Great Irish Famine’ (here)
2. ShamROCKS- ‘Ye Ould Chariot’ EP (here)
3. CRIKWATER- ‘Crikwater’ (here)
4. BEOGA- ‘Before We Change Our Mind’
5. FOLLOW THE CROWS- ‘West is East’ EP (here)
6. PLASTIC PADDY- ‘Lucky Enough’ (here)
7. DAMIEN DEMPSEY- ‘Soulson’
8. GALLEY BEGGAR- ‘Heathen Hymns’ (here)
9. I DRAW SLOW- ‘Turn Your Face To The Sun’
10. ANTO MORRA- ‘From The Vaults’
Absolutely no question who romped home here. from the first time I ever heard Declan O’Rourke’s monumental album Chronicles Of The Great Irish Famine I was simply blown away. I simply cannot recommend it enough. Go and acquire a copy now. A mix of folk and trad makes up the rest of the list with a special mention for Ukrainian band ShamROCKS who play Irish folk as if they were naturals! We would like to feature more trad and folk on these pages in the future hopefully. Also Vince Cayo had a fecking brilliant album but was neither celtic-punk nor folk. Was tempted to make a separate list just for him!
MERSEY CELT PUNKS
This use to be the Celtic Folk Punk And More Best Celtic Punk Web-Site award so often did they use to win but last year it went to the new kid on the block, our good mates over at Mersey Celt Punks. Well we were in a bit of a quandary about who would win this week but then in the last few weeks of the year the Mersey Bhoys upped their game and won a unanimous vote. They finally started to use their Web-Site (here) and published a whole host of great reviews and things like a events/gig section. You can also join in their fun and games at Twitter and Facebook and we heartily recommend you do.
So there you go. Remember we don’t pretend to be the final word on things in fact if you check the other celtic-punk media I’m sure we’ve all come up with relatively different lists. Our Best Of’s are cajoled and bullied out of the four admins from the London Celtic Punks Facebook page. The assorted scraps of paper and beer mats were then tallied up over several pints of Guinness in Mannions. Not all of us heard the same albums so like all Best Of’s ours is subjective.
Of course we cannot go any further without mention of the saddest news of the year. That of the passing of Carlton , the drummer of The Bible Code Sundays. A friend of London Celtic Punks and an absolute diamond stand up guy he will be forever sadly missed by all who met him. We are grateful To Ronan for penning a few words for him.
We lost Carlton on 3rd November 2017 unexpectedly and it has left a massive hole in our family. Carlton joined The BibleCode Sundays some twelve years ago when we were still called Slainte.
His work ethic was second to none, he even dragged us into the studio to record our first CD, he did a lot of pushing in the early days and the Lord knows we needed it!
He was always the first to say yes to any gig, whether it was a small Irish pub like The Old Crown in Hayes or The Shawl or whether it was some of our bigger gigs. Over the years we played some fantastic gigs and venues, such as The Royal Albert Hall, New York’s Beacon Theatre, The House of Blues in Boston, Shepherds Bush Empire, The Roundhouse, Glasgow Barrowlands, Indigo at The O2, Glastonbury Festival, Finsbury Park, London Irish, on the pitch at Twickenham Stadium and at Celtic Park (the night Celtic beat Barcelona). We’ve played with Elvis Costello, The Dropkick Murphys, The Wolfetones, John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd, the Saw Doctors and he even got to realise a dream when we shared a stage with Thin Lizzy. They were minus legends Phil Linnot and Gary Moore but this mattered not to Carlton, his hero Brian Downey was still behind the drums. Carlton got to meet his idol and even got some Thin Lizzy drumsticks as souvenir, he was like an excited little kid that night. We did TV appearances on Sky Sports, BT Sport and even a live St Patrick’s Day performance on BBC’s The One Show.
We got to travel around on trips and tours all around the UK and Ireland as well as Germany, Italy, Spain and the USA to mention a few. This was all just topping up the stamps on his passport that he had accrued in his days with Bad Manners, Feast of Fiddles and The Melody Fakers and many more as he spent so many years on the London Irish music scene.
Not many would know that he also wrote poetry and song lyrics, they are very clever with pun-tastic wordplay and generally came out sounding like Bernard Cribbins songs with titles like ‘Breakfast Epiphanies’ or the Brighton-themed song ‘All Things Brighton Beautiful’. He used to always say
“I try to be serious but the humour always takes over”
He did, however, manage to pen two of the best songs on our latest album, he was very proud of his songs ‘Disorganised Crime’ and the beautiful ‘Clouds’. Drummers writing songs?! Whatever next?! He truly was the engine room of the band, a quiet and gentle man off stage who turned into a one man wrecking ball when he was sat behind his drum kit.
Things will never be the same without him but he would want us to and we will carry on making music and playing his songs.
Ladies and Gentlemen, on drums.. Mr Carlton Hunt
This is the 5th year of us making these lists so if you would like to check out out who was where in our previous Best Of’s then just click on the link below the relevant year.
We are not alone in doing these Best Of lists in fact all the major players in celtic-punk do them so click below to check out what they thought.
remember any views or comments we would love to hear them…
Sláinte, The London Celtic Punks Crew- January, 2018