Tag Archives: 6’10

ALBUM REVIEW: FLATFOOT 56- ‘Odd Boat’ (2017)

Playing positive-natured hardcore-tinged celtic-punk Chicago heavyweights Flatfoot 56 released their new album, Odd Boat, last week with Sailor’s Grave Records. Produced by Matt Allison in Chicago and featuring twelve songs that blend their unique blend of traditional Irish folk music and surging punk rock.

by  Gerard Mellon, 03/2017.

flatfoot-56-odd-boat

So, it’s been five long years since we had a new album from Flatfoot 56, although in that period we had an acoustic album from 6’10, a punk/oi album from Brick Assassin (both bands featuring members of Flatfoot 56), and an EP, featuring a couple of new tracks, split between 6’10 and Flatfoot 56. But a new release from the Chicago Celtic punkers, has been a long time coming! It is called Odd Boat, and comprises a dozen tracks, it runs for 37 minutes.

(Justin has since been replaced on drums by Conrad)

And what a cracking half an hour or so it is! The punk and folk factions in the band blend so well together, giving us a sound so unique to Flatfoot 56 that places them right at the heart of Celtic Punk. These lads get it, they really do! Their last offering Toil was a superb album and this follow up is equally as good. Although it’s not a clone of Toil, far from it! The production on Odd Boat gives it a rawer sound, maybe it’s a bit more punk influenced. There is still the musicality and excellent instrumentation there, but it’s a bit like aggression or power has been added. Perhaps this disc is more related to the wonderful Jungle of the Midwest Sea album from 2007. Anyway, whatever tweaks that have been made over the past five years, they work very well.

Flatfoot 56 formed in the summer of 2000 as a three-piece punk band. The three original members, who are brothers (Tobin, Justin and Kyle), started writing songs in mid-2000 and by the Christmas they were playing their first gig. The following January they band added Josh Robieson to the lineup and the band began including the Highland bagpipes into its sound and Flatfoot 56 had began their rise as one of America’s most popular celtic-punk bands. Countless TV appearances and remember that series of Sons Of Anarchy involving the IRA that played them throughout the whole series! We even had the pleasure of seeing them live in London back in 2010 I think it was. They were first band on at 8pm and maybe twenty people tops there in the Hope And Anchor basement. Didn’t realise it at the time but this gig was the direct inspiration to start the London Celtic Punks! 

f56-band

Flatfoot 56 from left to right: Kyle Bawinkel – Bass, Vocals * Brandon Good – Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals * Conrad – Drums, Vocals * Eric McMahon – Bagpipes, Guitar, Bass Drum * Tobin Bawinkel – Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar

The opening ‘Ty Cobb’, is about a famous Detroit baseball player who was renowned for diving in (“studs up” in our London parlance!) at the bases, is a fast paced, up-beat intro that draws you in and lets you know that you’re in for something special. From the following track ‘Stutter’ through ‘Penny,’ ‘Odd Boat’, ‘Englewood’, ‘Forward’, ‘The Crippled’, ‘Curtains’, ‘KPM’, ‘PS’, ‘The Trap’ to the final track, ‘A Voice’, you feel that you have heard something special! ‘KPM’ is a ballad like track that leans toward acoustic. ‘The Trap’ goes the other way and is a much more punk/oi sounding track. Many people will have heard ‘Penny’ already and so will know just how good this new material is. The final track ‘A Voice’ is a mid-tempo spiritual song that signs off the album beautifully.

(the first single off Odd Boat featuring guest vocals from an artist named IL Neige)

I honestly could have sat here and gone through each track individually and told you all how good they are, but that would be crazy and still wouldn’t do the album justice. The only way you’ll be able to see how right I am is by going out and buying it! Then if you’re anything like me you’ll play it, then play it again and again. It’s an absolute pleasure having to review albums like this, but what I’d like to do and what many more people would like, would be an opportunity to review a live show! It must be time for the band to come over and play a few gigs in the Ireland and Britain!! I mean, even if they have to sail over in an Odd Boat!!!

Buy Odd Boat

SailorsGraveRecords  iTunes

Contact Flatfoot 56

WebSite  Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  LastFM

Discography

Rumble of 56– 2002 * Waves of War– 2003 * Knuckles Up– 2006 * Jungle of the Midwest Sea– 2007 * Black Thorn– 2010 * Toil– 2012

Advertisements

EP REVIEW: FLATFOOT 56/ 6’10 ‘Split EP’ (2015)

Americana Folk meets Celtic Punk

The amazing new EP from Chicago premier league Celtic punkers Flatfoot 56 is a special split EP with front man Tobin Bawinkel’s excellent folk-punk side-project 6’10.

Flatfoot 56 & 6'10 - Split EP

Well we keep hearing winter is coming and we can see the nights closing in, but don’t worry the guys from Flatfoot 56 and 6’10 have brought out a split EP to cheer even the saddest amongst us! It’s 7 tracks long with one new one from Flatfoot 56 and two new ones from 6’10. It kicks off with the old standard ‘Cotton Fields’ but given the punk treatment from the Flatfoot 56 lads.

Next we have a new (or at least un-released) track ‘Picciolini’, it’s an instrumental with a mandolin led Russian flavour to it. Very good it is too! We then have two tracks taken from their last album ‘Toil’, ‘First The Rich The Strong And The Poor’ and then ‘This Time’.

Both excellent, like nearly every track on Toil!

6’10 then bring us a warm up-tempo style ballad called Seeing Light.

They follow this with their take on the standout track (for me!!) from Toil , Winter In Chicago. It’s an acoustic version with a guitar and drum style that has an almost calypso flavour to it. Another cracking track!

Finally we have Protest, a pleasant number although the recorder (or pan pipe, I really don’t know!) solo takes a bit of getting used to. All in all we have an excellent (if a little too short) release, that showcases the power and energy of Flatfoot 56 coupled with the more mellow , thoughtful acoustic sound of 6’10. Well worth getting to brighten up these long dark nights.

Tracklist
01. Flatfoot 56 – Cotton Fields
02. Flatfoot 56 – Picciolini
03. Flatfoot 56 – The Rich, The Strong And The Poor
04. Flatfoot 56 – This Time
05. 6’10 – Seeing Light
06. 6’10 – Winter In Chicago
07. 6’10 – Protest

Released 2015 on Flix Records and limited to only 500 copies.

by Gerard Mellon

Buy The EP

FlixRecords 

Contact The Band

Flatfoot 56- WebSite  Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  

6 ’10-  WebSite  Facebook  Bandcamp  YouTube

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…

ALBUM REVIEW: 6’10- ‘The Humble Beginnings Of A Roving Soul’ (2014)

journey through the mind of a man who has overcome betrayal, unforgiveness and pain. how a soul in agony was able to find peace and strength through difficult times
6’10- ‘The Humble Beginnings Of A Roving Soul’
It would seem at the moment that over half the celtic-punk scene has gone off to make folk or country side projects at the moment. One of the first to do so was Tobin Bawinkel of the fantastic Chicago based band Flatfoot 56. If you’ve not heard of Flatfoot 56 then take yourself immediatly to the bottom of this review and look up their web site. One of the top bands in celtic-punk they are truly one of the scenes trailblazers and innovators. But if you do know of them then read on!
‘The Humble Beginnings Of A Roving Soul’ is a follow up to last years six track EP ‘The Humble Beginnings’ and continues in much the same style just don’t expect the wild, loud and sometimes brutal sound of Flatfoot 56, as with these songs Tobin has gone back to his musical roots. Laid back American folk with definite celtic influences with thought provoking lyrics and a sometimes relaxed style that shows Tobin’s talents off in every way possible.
6'10
The album was funded by a ‘Kickstarter’ campaign where fans pledged money to finance the production of the album in return for various rewards like advance copies of the album or signed merchandise. They easily surpassed their target so this is truly a DIY effort without a sniff of any interference from outside. Not only that but the CD itself is like a wee piece of art coming in an 8 panel digipack format that displays the full albums lyrics and images. A stunning cover that would happily adorn any wall, it has had time and care lavished on it so do yourselves a favour and forget the download if you can and get the physical copy.
Aided by fellow band members Josh Robieson, Mike Pettus and Keith Perez the album includes a deluge of instruments and traditional influences. Tobin explains
“When I was growing up, I remember playing folk and bluegrass music with my family in our living room. I always loved the story telling aspect of this style and the joy of playing with close friends and family. I loved it when songs would have a quirky and playful tone and theme. All of the pretentious elements that can sometimes find their way into music, were absent during these sessions with my family and friends. You would find seasoned players, playing right next to children who were just learning. This culture is what I wanted again. The idea was to return to a simpler and more earthy feel”
This they have done. Recently we have added a new feature to the blog ‘Classic Album Reviews’ (here) where we intend to take you right back to the roots of folk music, sometimes with albums over sixty year old sometimes or music from before the 2nd World War. Music that has inspired and motivated and helped create what we are listening to today. It is to 6’10 credit that they could easily be filed into that section too. The music is lovingly crafted and expertly played and if Tobin can get his mellower side out here then I’m sure fans will be happy that Flatfoot 56 will show no signs of slowing it down themselves.

The first of the album’s twelve tracks starts with ‘Cannon Ball’,one of four tracks that also appeared on that debut EP. Strumming guitar, picking mando and Tobin’s raspy cool as feck voice combine for an absolute classic. The sound of F56 is of course still in there and if anything this is Flatfoot56 stripped right down to the basics. F56 never ever shied away from their working class roots and ‘Da Boss’ is an ode to the blue collar worker. This could have made the Wobblies ‘Little Red Song Book’ way back in 1909! ‘Peach Farmer’ shows a happier and uplifting side to the album. It’s not always about back breaking toil when you love what your doing. In the great ‘Timothy’ Tobin again surpasses himself with a story of a man sharing his knowledge and foresight from a hard and tough life to the Timothy of the title. A superb song that in the best of folk tradition helps you to understand yourself just that little bit more. Next is ‘Hurricaine’ one of the albums faster tracks and certain to get your foot tapping along. This must surely be a live favourite I’d say.

Though we dont like using the word Hun here on this blog Tobin isn’t to know so we will forgive him and ‘Someday Hun’ is not a ballad celebrating the demise of our much despised zombie neighbours but rather setting off on the road to perform and looking forward to your return home to your true love. ‘Where Did you Go?’ is a slow and tragic ballad of lost love and the suffering that comes with it. ‘Tuesday’ and ‘It Is Well’ continue in the same vein with guest vocalists and tinges of country in there as well before ‘Burning Ships’ tells of true love and a simple life together. In ‘Backpack’ Tobin tells the heart breaking tale of of the collapse of a mans life before he finds joy in moving on and eventualy finding happiness.
“the backpack is calling my name”
The album ends with the sad but beautiful ‘The Travellers’. More brilliant story writing that takes you into the conversation between two sad dreamers who while their lives away telling each other stories trying to escape the banal day to day existence they are trapped in. The story of working class dreamers everywhere that I’m sure renowned artists like Pete Seeger or Woody would have been proud to have written.

The album clocks in at over 45 minutes and is worth every penny to buy the CD. 6’10 are heading over on a European tour in the Autumn so be sure to keep checking them out so as not to miss the tour. This is truly a great album and I simply cannot recommend it enough to you. The musicianship is first rate but as ever its the lyrics and the stories within the songs that sell it for me.
“The main goal of this band is to be able to inspire and relate to people who want something more then the typical things that the world we live in tries to force us to live for. I want it to encourage those who have gone through tough times, to realize that there is always gold to be found in the mud that life sometimes bogs us down in. The trials and difficulties we face can either make us bitter or they can make us better. This band offers an entertaining evening to those who just want to reflect on stories from the past and hopefully be inspired by the ramblings of a seasoned traveling musician”
At home Tobin is a teacher right in the area of Chicago where he grew up, as well as a church leader and its his concern for the bodies and minds and souls of working people that shines through. Tobin exposes his innermost feelings for us and for that we can be grateful. The album itself has the feel of something unpolished and rootsy but rest assured everything to do with this record is first class. A superb debut album and I simply cannot wait for the tour. Congratulations for all involved we are in love with ‘The Humble Beginnnings Of A Roving Soul’ and I’m sure once you’ve heard it you will be too. You will laugh, you will cry and you will be moved.
Buy The Album
Contact The Band
great interview with Tobin here from Idiotek.
Contact Flatfoot 56

ALBUM REVIEW- 6’10 ‘The Humble Beginnings’ (2013)

A bit of a departure from our usual celtic-punk fare with this record. Its basically the side project of Tobin Bawinkle, lead singer of Chicago celtic-punk band FLATFOOT 56, and ex-Flatfoot member Josh Robieson. Those expecting the raucous ‘celtic-oi!’ of F56 are gonna be well disappointed as what you actually get is 6 tracks of thoughtful country tinged Americano folk music. Just yer men with a guitar a mandolin and a voice…

6'10

Every part of the record has been hand produced with the production, design and actual manufacture all being done in Tobin’s house. All was painstakingly stamped, written, recorded, stencilled, cut, burned, and numbered to DIY perfection by the band and friends of 6’10.

Which also happens to be Tobin’s height if you’re wondering…

You can listen to all the tracks here before you buy it-

*as a interesting aside it was in fact FLATFOOT 56 that inspired us to do all this. a few year back we heard about some young band of celtic-punkers coming over to play the Hope And Anchor in Islington. we didn’t know much about them but turned up early as we didn’t know what time they were on. well was a good job as they were first band on at 8 and only got 30 minutes. the gig was awesome even though every band after F56 were shit. God knows how much they got paid as the crowd was tiny and we decided then we’d try and offer a alternative to bands coming over rather them leave them in the hands of unscrupulous promoters who don’t give 2 shits for the music!
%d bloggers like this: