With Christmas just around the corner it’s time for an annual catch up of all this years Yuletide songs and videos. As varied as ever with everything covered with bands from around the world!
KRAKIN’ KELLYS – Holiday Season
One of my favourite bands and they love a Christmas song and deliver another great one for 2022. As catchy as hell and what about that accordion? Celtic Skate Punk, beer and bar fight !
DRUNKEN DOLLY – It’s Christmas (Ho Ho Ho)
Not heard much out the Dolly camp in recent years bur this short (very short!) Christmas Celtic-Punker reminds me exactly why I love them so much.
LOUIS RIVE – A Winters Tale
Scots singer-songwriter Louis Rive plays Folk music; not the kind about orcs, glens, wizards etc, more about people and places. Like Tom Waits and JudyCollins if either of them wrote about Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire. Closer tae home he wants to follow on from top lyricists like Michael Marra, Liz Lochead, and Hamish Imlach.
MIGHTY PLOUGHBOYS – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas
Irish-American Celtic-Punk from Connecticut and bloomin’ good it is too. A bit sad but it’s not all tinsel is it. You can get a free download of the song by subscribing to their mailing list like I did.
THE CUNDEEZ – Xmas In The Schemes
Dundee’s The Cundeez got around to making a video for a song that originally featured on their 2012 album Murder On The Oary Express… and what a bloody great video it is!
TIM HOLEHOUSE – Christmas Times Blues
The ever prolific Tim Holehouse. Music for music’s sake with it’s roots in Delta Blues with his own personal twist on it. A friend of his from Winnipeg once told him – Creativity, Adventure and People.
FIVE LEAF CLOVER – Taste Of Beaujolais
Christmas, eggnog, jingle bells, snowflakes and… Beaujolais! Czech republicans Five Leaf Clover know that not everyone enjoys Christmas. For some, it’s just another sad evening and this song is for them.
JOHNNY HASH – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Belfast collective been a bit quiet this year but found time for a slow and Ska-ish cover of the John Lennon song that is usually quite apt at this time of year and sadly, most years.
PADDY’S PUNK – Irish Friends
German band Paddy’s Punk new release isn’t a Christmas song but as it came out only a few days ago it finds itself here. The piano gives it a festive air and it’s a lovely song too.
HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT – IT’s Cliched To Be Cynical At Christmas
We end this selection of this years songs with a song that is neither from this year or Celtic-Punk but sums up perfectly what we think of Christmas.
Christmas is a busy time for the Samaritans. Decorations go up across the country, but there will still be people feeling down. And the worst part? Many of those struggling to cope will do so with a smile on their face. Because that’s what we do at Christmas, right? We eat, drink and be merry?
Christmas can be tough for people. But the Samaritans will be there, ready to answer every call for help they can – putting in a shift even during the darkest hours of the night.
Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time, from any phone, on 116 123.
After months of planning, organising and fund-raising the compilation album Raise Your Pints #6 has finally been delivered. Twenty bands from eleven countries celebrating (might be the wrong word- editor) the virus lockdowns in Celtic-Folk-Punk style.
Anyone remember the original Celtic-Punk samplers from Shite’n’Onions? I think they stretched to three volumes and came at a time when I had never been on the internet. Yes I was one of the select few who never even had a MySpace account! So to come across these samplers with upwards of twenty bands on and pretty much all new to me (even the English ones) was eye-opening… or should that be ear-opening? Them days are long ago and we can thank Shite’n’Onions for being early pioneers of the Celtic-Punk sampler though they have long passed the baton onto MacSlon’s Irish Radio. Now in their 11th year the radio station brings out the best in Celtic-Rock, Celtic-Punk and trad Irish Folk both modern and ancient(!). They have also for the last few years been a major player on the merchandise front organizing merch for a whole host of bands from across mainland Europe and even the United States.
This is the 6th in the Raise Your Pints series and all the songs have been written and recorded over the last 16 months while the Corona virus has done it’s best to wreck the music industry. We are yet to see what long term damage the lockdown have caused but already here in London, and across England, many music venues have closed their doors permanently and several bands have handed in their guitar straps. The thirst for live music though seems at a all time high but bands are still finding it difficult to book gigs and tours with so much uncertainty around about whether or not the lockdown will return.
So the arrival of Raise Your Pints #6 is to applauded for many reasons but chiefly among them is that the bands will directly benefit from the sales of the CD and with not much else going on it’s a chance for them to remind their fans and followers that they are still here and still fighting.
Reviewing a compilation album is hard enough but one made up of different bands is even harder so I will forego the usual review and just tell you a small bit about each artist and song and link to them so they can tell you more. Of course the best way to find out more is to buy the album!!!
RAISE YOUR PINTS VOLUME 6
THE MULLINS (France) – ‘Part Of Me’
The album kicks off with The Mullins. Hailing from the south of France their song began life before the lockdown but the band took the opportunity to perfect it and even managed to get together inbetween lockdowns to record the cracking video!
THE CEILI FAMILY (Germany) – ‘Corona Chesay’
The album is perhaps a bit top heavy with German bands but that is totally understandable. They do have the #1 scene in Europe you know. The Ceili Familyare one of the better known established bands. The band first stirred back in 1996 and even had a great recommendation from the late Philip Chevron: “Enjoyed listening to the CD, by the way. Always good to see people doing something of their own with the basic idea we invented!”
THE FEELGOOD McLOUDS (Germany) – ‘Dirty Bastards’
More Germans here with The Feelgood McLouds formed in January 2015 southwestern Germany. More than any country in Europe the Germans have embraced Celtic-Punk with the number of bands, gigs and fans far outstripping anywhere else this side of the Atlantic. This track is taken from this years critically popular ‘Saints & Sinners’ EP.
GRASS MUD HORSE (China) ‘ Absent Friends’
Grass Mud Horse only seem to have around a year or two but already have more releases than many more well established bands. Formed when Scouse-Irish musician Chris Barry mover to China the band has had some set backs with members coming and going because of the virus (they are based in Wuhan) but luckily things have settled down and they recently recorded a single with yer man Frankie McLoughlin.
UNCLE BARD AND THE DIRTY BASTARDS (Italy) – ‘Back On Your Feet’
From playing with ALL the Celtic-Punk superstars to headlining festivals across Europe and even getting to the United States several times Uncle Bard And The Dirty Bastards are without a doubt one of the select few you could describe as ‘Premier League’ Celtic-Punk bands. ‘Back On Your Feet’ is one of the standout tracks from last years album Men Behind The Glass that the Bhoys have recorded an acoustic version for here. One of many great Celtic-Punk highlights during the lockdown was the Bastards hour long acoustic live stream. Brilliant!
JACK IN THE GREEN (Germany) – ‘Old Maui’
Yeah we may have all heard it a 100 times by now but popular covers are popular for a reason. That we never tire of hearing them! Hamburg’s Jack In The Green play a great acoustic version rather than the ‘choir/acapello’ type I’m more use to hearing. Vocals remind me a lot of from The Whisky Priests who in their day were massive so wonder if they were an influence here.
THE MOORINGS (France) – ‘Champion At Keeping It Rolling’
Cracking version of the Ewan MacColl penned classic about lorry driving from French band The Moorings. Formed in 2011 the band have released several albums and EP’s a Folky version of this song appears on their debut EP Pints & Glory but they have re-recorded it in proper Celtic-PUNK style here. They have just completed a successful crowd-funding campaign for a new album so can’t wait for that.
JOHNNY HASH (Ireland) – ‘Ride On’
Johnny Hash is a bunch of people from various Belfast bands who got together during the lockdown and released a few videos of Irish Folk classics. Christy Moore’s ‘Ride On’ was their first attempt at a video. Still knocking them out months later let’s hope they develop into something more permanent.
THE RUMPLED (Italy) – ‘If I Should Fall from Grace With God’
The Pogues track gets an airing here from the Italian band The Rumpled. Hard to compete with the originals but gutsy to try and they give it a great go. A relatively new band having got together in 2013 in Trento, Italy. Known for fast paced Celtic-Punk, combining Irish Folk, Rock, Ska and Punk. They have a new album out at any moment so watch this space for news on that.
MEDUSAS WAKE (Australia) – War Of Independence
The debut album from Sydney based Celtic-Folk-Rockers Medusa’s Wake hit the top spots in all of 2018’s Celtic-Punk medias yearly ‘best of’s’ and since then they have gone from strength to strength. Writted by Tipperary born Eddie Lawlor, he sings from the heart of the war back home between 1919 and 1921 against the British. Much of that war took part in the fields and villages of the ‘Premier County’ and those of us with Tipp backgrounds grew up hearing of the tales of heroic activities of those ordinary men who took on the worlds strongest army.
HELLRAISERS AND BEERDRINKERS (Germany) – ‘Stay At Home’
Hellraisers And Beerdrinkers may just have the best name in Celtic-Punk but they are a pretty shit-hot band as well. They take their name from a song by rockers Motorhead so should give you an idea about them! Another band that hails from Germany from the small town of Schwäbisch Gemünd. ‘Stay At Home’ is a re-recorded re-jigged new version of a song from their debut album Folk’s Gaudi in 2016.
AN SPIORAD (Germany) – ‘Carry Me Home’
German band that began life as a two-piece band “The Plästik Päddies” in 1997 before changing name to the far more complicated An Spiorad (Scots Gaelic for The Spirit). ‘Carry me Home’ is taken from their recent album Album Dord Na Mara.
SONS OF O’FLAHERTY (Brittany) – ‘The Pack’
More Celtic Celtic-Punk now from Vannes in Brittany Sons Of O’Flaherty formed as a duo in 2010 they soon fleshed out to a whole band due in no small part to the popularity of Irish music in this Celtic nation. ‘The Pack’ is a new song and with it being four years since the release of their last album The Road Not Taken hopefully this signifies some new sounds on the way.
More bastards!! This time from Iserlohn in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Like many German bands their emphasis is on playing live such is the demand for their music so their recording output sometimes doesn’t match up with the age of the band. Kilkenny Bastards are one such band and we look forward to them rectifying this soon!
ALL THOSE EMPTY PUBS (Switzerland) – ’40 Days’
Based up in the Swiss alps ’40 Days’ was the debut release from All Those Empty Pubs (what a great name!) earlier this year. We loved it so much we ran a feature and a small interview with Diego the genius behind this one-man-band. Diego utilises all his talents here with mandolin, flute, acoustic guitar and even Hammond organ alongside your more usual Rock band instruments. It just don’t get more DIY than this.
RAPPAREES (Germany) – ‘Las Vegas (In The Hills Of Donegal)’
Another band from Hamburg Rapparees kicked off thirty years ago in the dive bars before changing their name. A straight up acoustic cover of the Goats Don’t Shave song. A ‘raparee’ was the name given to Irish soldiers who survived the Williamite war with the British in the 1690’s and used guerilla tactics or became highwaymen after the war ended.
LA STOATS (Germany) – ‘Raise Your Pints’
German band La Stoats come from Essenbach in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany and incorporate the traditional tunes and melodies of their Bavarian home into their brand of Celtic-Punk. ‘Raise Your Pints’ is one of the standout songs here with chugging guitar and a real cool early 80’s Punk Rock sound with some superb bagpipes. Definitely a band worth checking out.
MUIRSHEEN DURKIN (Germany) – ‘Riot’
The last of nine German bands on Raise Your Pints features one of the best Muirsheen Durkin And Friends. ‘Riot’ is a bloomin’ brilliant Celtic-Punk cover of a UK Subs song from 1997. The original is superb but here it is mastered with the energy intact and growling vocals and a core of Celtic instruments chugging along.
SEAN TOBIN (USA) – ‘St. Patrick’s Day Forever’
The last of the 20th songs belongs to New Jersey Irish singer/ songwriter Sean Tobin. Theirs 2 versions of ‘St’ Patrick’s Day Forever’ and I guess you could call this the ‘radio edit’. Blue-collar, working-class Irish American Folk music and one of the standout tracks on the album to bring down the curtain.
So that’s yer lot. There’s bound to be a load of bands here that you have never heard of. Some are new even to us and the styles of music is varied from Folk and trad right across to Punk but the songs are all totally accessible at all times. This (like the previous five volumes) is essential listening to all fans of Celtic-Punk and we cannot put it any clearer than that! Raise Your Pints #6 is out on July 9th and is available for pre-release order from the link below.