It’s that time of year again for the London Celtic Punks annual Best Of list. Has it really been a year since The Peelers waltzed (or should that be jigged) off with album of the year? It’s been possibly the best year for Celtic-Punk since we started doing this site and this was easily the closest it has ever been in that time. Pretty much all the big hitters, with one or two one notable exception (The Tossers where were you!), released records and on top of that a bunch of debut albums that were top class too.
so without further ado…
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2022’s #1 was the amazing new album from THE MAHONES. That they are as prolific as they are and yet can still put out quality like this 30 + years on is incredible. Well done Finny & co. FLOGGING MOLLY won the battle of the big Celtic-Punk 2 with the DROPKICKS and were also the best gig of the year for me personally (August in Dublin with Ferocious Dog). THE LUCKY TROLLS followed on from their Best EP award from 2019 with the highest place for any ‘outsider’ this year while Scandinavian stalwarts SIR REG gave us possibly their best album yet. REINA ROJA from Spain were another highly placed new band and their were several others among the Top 30. Their were also a handful of albums that didn’t qualify for the chart but were worth noting including a couple of greatest hits albums THE REAL McKENZIES – Float Me Boat and UNCLE BARD AND THE DIRTY BASTARDS – The Story So Far that were both superb introductions to the bands, the second volume of the Black 47 covers compilation AFTER HOURS VOL. 2 and finally the HEADSTICKS 10th anniversary album of the best songs of their career to date re-recorded.
1. THE MAHONES – Jameson Street
2. FLOGGING MOLLY – Anthem
3. DROPKICK MURPHYS – This Machine Still Kills Fascists
4. THE LUCKY TROLLS – Raised Fist And Rebel Songs
5. SIR REG – Kings Of Sweet Feck All
6. REINA ROJA – Hooligan Folk
7. FINNEGAN’S HELL – One Finger Salute
8. REAL McKENZIES – Songs Of The Highlands, Songs Of The Sea
9. HOIST THE COLOURS – When Daylight Breaks
10. SHANGHAI TREASON – Shanghai Treason
11. PADDY’S PUNK – With Full Horse
12. THE TAN AND SOBER GENTLEMEN – Regressive Folk Music
13. ZECKYBOYS – Dirty Brands
14. THE MOORINGS – March On
15. THE MULLINS – Gold In Our Hands
16. PADDY AND THE RATS – From Wasteland To Wonderland
17. SYR – Sentinel
18. MAN THE LIFEBOATS – Soul Of Albion
19. THE GROGGY DOGS – Still Groggin’
20. WHISKEY’S WAKE – Wake Up Whiskey
21. JAMIE CLARKE’S PERFECT – Monkey See Monkey Do
22. O’HAMSTERS – From Green Hills To Raging Sea
23. SLAINTE – Up Down 95
24. THE ENDINGS – Completely Pickled
25. THE CUNDEEZ – Geez It
26. THE ROYAL SPUDS – Roots Of Life
27. THE DREADNOUGHTS – Roll And Go
28. THE SCARLET – Freedom Call
29. TEMPLARS OF DOOM – Rising Of The Doom!
30. DRUNKEN FIGHTERS – Someday
Bubbling over: THEIGNS AND THRALLS – Theigns And Thralls
As funny as it may seem the Best Debut Album award for 2022 was decided way back in January last year when the long awaited self titled debut album from Yorkshire banjo Punks SHANGHAI TREASON arrived in the post. Eleven original songs of high tempo energetic Celtic-Punk with some of the best banjo we heard all year long! On top of that later in the year they released a 3-track EP of songs that didn’t make the album that was also superb! That’s not to say it was a easy choice as by the end of the year REINA ROJA, THE LUCKY TROLLS and ZECKYBOYS all put out albums that challenged the Treason and in any other year could easily have won the award themselves.
A well deserved top two for THE RUMJACKS and their new singer Mikee. The split EP with FLATFOOT 56 in particular was absolutely flawless! Their were fantastic debut releases from THE DEAD IRISH, THE GALLOWGATE MURDERS and THE RAMSTAMPITS out of the Celtic nations of Ireland and Scotland that completely blew us away and were eagerly anticipated. A word here for BOG IRON from California who I found completely by accident and been playing ever since.
1. THE RUMJACKS / FLATFOOT 56 Split EP
2. THE RUMJACKS – Brass For Gold
3. THE DEAD IRISH – Four Corners Of Hell
4. THE GALLOWGATE MURDERS – ‘ Dead, Gone And Living On’
5. BRICK TOP BLAGGERS – Obey The Tyrant
6. BOG IRON – Star Of The County Down
7. DISTILLERY RATS – We Are Rats
8. THE KILLIGANS – Dread Naught
9. KRAKIN’ KELLYS – Old Ways New Days
10. THE RAMSTAMPITS – Light The Beacon
In what is usually the hardest category to choose from we actually had a very easy choice this year with the new album from Boston singer-songwriter BRYAN McPHERSON never off our play list all year long. The great news is that Bryan is heading to these shores in the Summer and we are very happy to be helping out. Dundalk’s THE MARY WALLOPERS were busy all year round and ended 2022 with a sell out London show and a debut album in December. The debut album from THE WINTER CODES saw a welcome return to the wider music scene for Barney the original vocalist for Blood Or Whiskey. Some may be surprised to find the first solo album from MARCUS MUMFORD listed but it really was a great album both musically but especially lyrically.
1. BRYAN McPHERSON – How To Draw Everything
2. THE MARY WALLOPERS – The Mary Wallopers
3. OYSTERBAND – Read The Sky
4. IAN PROWSE – One Hand On The Starry Plough
5. PRONGHORN – Welcome To Pronghorn Country
6. BODH’AKTAN – Valcourt Sessions
7. BURBRIDGE AND BOOTH – Icons
8. THE WINTER CODES – Set The Darkness Reeling
9. THE ALT – Day Is Come
10. MARCUS MUMFORD – (self-titled)
A new section this year and the first winner is THE OUTCAST CREW out of Laois in the Irish midlands. A new single and video directed, filmed and edited by Thomas Moyles that came out at the end of the Summer. Laois is famous for an abbey, some gardens, a castle and a couple of lakes and now a kickarse class Celtic-Celtic-Punk. They won the 2020 Celtic Punk debut album of the year and it’s about time we heard some more guys!
The competition for best Celtic-Punk video of the year was incredible so next year (which will be our 10th anniversary) we will make a bit more effort and maybe even include you in the decision!!
There were several people involved in the collation of these results and so it is that some of those people may not have heard every album listed or released through the year. If you’re album is not listed maybe you didn’t send it us or not all the folks here heard it so couldn’t give a opinion so really don’t feel too put out. We’re not perfect but we do try our best.
This is the ninth year we’ve been doing these Best Of lists. It seems incredible looking back at some of the previous winners and also-ran’s just how many bands are still with us from Year 1. Have a look for yourselves just click on the year below to redirect.
THE LONDON CELTIC PUNKS SHOP
If you like what we do then why not visit our shop where you can buy all manner of Celtic-Punk tatt including t-shirts, badges, stickers, CD’s, fridge magnets, patches, Celtic nations flags and we just got in new for ’22 some bobble hats and polo shirts.
Alongside the Best Of polls we also run a special Readers Choice poll where you get to pick your favourite release of the year. This will be the fifth year it’s been running with Krakin’ Kellys, Mickey Rickshaw, The Go-Set and Ferocious Dog our previously champions! Last year we had well over 1500 votes (the most ever!) so remember the auld Irish adage ‘Vote Early – Vote Often’. There is only room on the form to list the Top Ten albums but there is an option for YOU to write in your favourite release (album or EP) of the year.
Poll will run until midnight on Tuesday 31st January 2023. You can vote twice. If the release you want to vote for is not listed then you can write it in.
to subscribe to the web-zine email firstname.lastname@example.org
The poll will close at midnight on Tuesday 31st January 2023 with the result to be announced soon afterwards.
Dedicated to our good friend Scott Chrystal
Slainte, The London Celtic Punks Bhoys – January 2023