no egos. no divas. just five dirty cider drinking working class lads having a good time with a goal to make you jig and pissed..
You would think that if anything celtic-punk moved in this country then we would be on it within seconds… well it don’t work like that and yet again we’ve come across an already established band who have somehow managed to pass us by until now. Formed in deepest darkest Wiltshire in a wee town called Calne in 2012 Mick O’Toole take their moniker from a song by local legends The Boys From County Hell who they say have inspired them the most. Combining the bands Irish roots with traditional English and celtic folk along with a strong punk ethos and a original punk sound M.O’T are firmly part of the celtic-punk scene. The band have chosen a very original, but confusing, name in Mick O’Toole. Like the rest of you I expected a singer-songwriter but soon as I pressed play and the banjo started it was not AOR folk that came out but drums followed by accordion and then some class cider obsessed celtic/folk-punk by these western lads. That was their first EP, released last year. ‘Deep In Cyder’ 3-track’s of ‘apple-core’ as Mick O’Toole put it themselves. The music is fast and furious and catchy as hell. Great shouty but tuneful vocals and mainly accordion led folky punk. Opening track ‘Cider Tonight’ kicks off the EP and is a blistering start while ‘Coming Home’ shows a gentler side to the band. The EP’s final track is ‘Ship Of The Line’ and returns the band to fast celtic-punk territory. For the first time the lead guitars are turned right up and you can see how they ended up supporting the UK Subs. A great chorus wrapped around a great tune and brings the EP to an end. You can get ‘Deep In Cyder’ as a free/ name your price download below.
press play below to hear the entire EP
With that early EP out of the way it brings us onto their new release another EP, though four tracks this time, called ‘1665 Pitchfork Rebellion’. What can I say except its more of the same except maybe a bit more punky and maybe a bit more polished and maybe even better than ‘Deep In Cyder’. The band have been gigging a lot and that shows in the songs. Sometimes they remind me of London-Irish celtic-punkers The Lagan when they speed right up. Those elements that made the first EP so good are all still there. The tuneful shouty, and sometimes gang, vocals are still there as is the banjo, mandolin and accordion but they they’ve added tin whistle and the electric guitars are a lot more in eveidence now. Mick O’Toole have let the celtic influences seep into their sound and the result is flaming awesome.
(from left to right) Arron Heap- Mandolin, Vocals Tyler Shurmer- Guitar,BV’s Johnny Edwards- Vocals, Banjo, Accordion, Penny Whistle Guy Shergold- Bass, BV’s
Jamie Squires- Drums, Bv’s
The EP kicks off with ‘Free Me’ and although definitly recognisable from them early days its all a lot more urgent. Mick O’Toole must put on one hell of a show but I bet their knackered by the end of it. Again it’s all their own original compositions and the standard is high. Only fifteen minutes so the whole thing leaves us gasping for more. ‘Knights In Ponty’ has tin whistle and guitar leading the way while ‘Casanova No More’ slows it down with banjo to the fore before the rest of the music comes crashing in. Final track ‘Ellie Loves London’ is also the EP’s most punk-rock song. As Oscar Wilde once said
“I love London Society! It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be”
London can chew you up as well as embrace you that much is true sadly…
Absolutely guaranteed to have you foot tapping and tankard slamming along to these original belters of a song. Mick O’Toole are that rare thing here in England a unashamed celtic-punk rock band. I say rare but the scene is growing at a alarming rate with bands popping up all over the place. The best thing is that they all have their own unique sounds and ways and Mick O’Toole are no different and their take on things is totally refreshing. They are maybe not a band for the folk purists but for those that like their celtic music with a bit of life in it will love Mick O’Toole as much as I do.
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