Tag Archives: Jolly Roger UK

EP REVIEW: JOLLY ROGER – ‘Ship Or Bust’ (2021)

The missing link between The Levellers and the Dropkick Murphys!

Cornish Sea-Punk Pirate band Jolly Roger just released their latest rum-fuelled five track EP Ship Or Bust inspired by loss, lockdown, mental health and tales of piracy! 

We recently said that their was often no more than a fag paper between Celtic-Punk and it’s little offshoot Pirate-Punk. The same melodies, the same instruments and often the same songs and above all the need to have a good time and often with lashings of alcohol. There are several bands in the UK that play Pirate themed music and several more that often stray into the genre, the MIA Matilda’s Scoundrels for one and Black Water County for another. It’s no mistake that both these bands come from the South coast from areas with long histories of smuggling and rebellion both quiet and not-so-quiet! It can be said that the widespread smuggling trade in the 18th century along the South coast has led to a disrespect for the law. A disrespect that while it doesn’t see riots on the streets it manifests itself in ignoring any laws that the locals don’t agree with!

Jolly Roger hail from Penzance in Cornwall. A town world famous for pirates now for over 200 years and also as I’m sure you know one of the Celtic nations with strong links to both Brittany and Wales in both custom and language. The band like to think that they ‘fall somewhere between the sound of The Dropkick Murphys and Levellers’ but I think that’s just advertising flannel and no harm in that. We’re masters at it after all but their sound is much more laid back while being raucous at the same time. Coming from Penzance they couldn’t fail to be be inspired by the sea but these guys are not stuck in the 18th century even though they do sometimes sound like it. Nautical metaphors and pirate history and songs about serious issues like mental health but done in a light hearted vein alongside more standard fare like drinking songs and enjoying the better things in life.

Jolly Roger left to right: Jony The Plank – Drums / Flute * Samantha – Lady of the Sea – Mandolin / Guitar / Vocals * Kynan – Bosun Two Toes Smooth – Electro/Acoustic Bass / Vocals * Jae – Captain JR – Guitar / Ukulele / Vocals*

The band have just completed a successful ‘Kickstarter’ campaign where they raised the necessary readies to buy a new band van so hopefully we’ll be seeing them around the place in the coming months now that it seems gig restrictions have been lifted. This past Summer has seen them take the stage at various local festivals as well as the Plymouth Punx Picnic.

‘’Quitting our jobs to start a pirate band and live our dreams is worth it every day. If you haven’t already tried this, we thoroughly recommend’’

but they have already racked up an incredible 300+ gigs sine they formed in 2019 and this despite the lockdown! They have a few releases out there all available on their Bandcamp page and all very reasonably priced too. I think they may have been one of the busiest bands of 2020! A year that saw the release of Turns Out, We’re Swingers​.​.​. where Jolly Roger took three of their favourite songs and re-imagined them in ‘swing’ style and shortly after came yet another EP Silent Mountain and after that their self-titled debut album came after and then just six months later saw another EP Jolly For All. Phew!!! This year they have done bugger in comparison so I’m sure they happy to see new EP Ship Or Bust hit the shops yesterday and we are very happy to be one of the first to run our rule over it.

The EP begins with ‘King-Fisher’ and yep it’s super high-energy from the off. Almost all acoustic except for bass with guitars loud in the mix and flute. The opening song starts off as a bit of a mish mash before settling down into a giddy wee number not a million miles away from 70’s ‘Psych Folk’. ‘We Rise’ is the bands ‘covid’ song and as they say

“we were not all in the same boat throughout these last 2 years, but we sure were weathering the same storm”.

It’s a great song and you can hear those Celtic-Punk influences clear as a bell. I daresay a bit of Punk-Rock electric guitar would just move them over but these Pirate bands are stubborn! The next song is for me the EP’s standout track and bejaysus they don’t come any catchier than this.

 

‘Aboard!’ was the lead single of the EP and was released on Cornwall’s national day, St Piran’s Day on 5th March. Simply marvellous and sure to give your feet a good work out on hearing it. All the songs here are highly contagious and incredible catchy but it’s the simple arrangements that give it that bit extra. There’s no frills they are not needed as on ‘Michael The Menace’ where the band just seem to do their thing naturally. The EP’s ends with ‘Reach Out’ and they even went so far as to record a simple video with Lady Of The Sea chatting about the meaning of the song. Dedicated to all fellow shipmates in a gently beautiful well meaning song. They acknowledge that it’s because of their fans that they couldn’t do what they do and while it’s obviously a great thing to see that the relationship between bands and fans seems to be closing bands should always remember that we the fans get far more out this relationship then they do.

(A live performance of ‘Reach Out’ recorded in Bristol at the end of last year)

Jolly Roger formed in 2019 with absolutely zero previous experience in music but have sailed the waters of the South-West music scene admirably with their eclectic mix of shanty vibes, humour and dare I say it Celtic-Punk all done with a metal head mentality. Now with a (fairly) new van they are looking to get out and about and have big plans for a nationwide busking tour so get in touch if you want them washing up in your town. We were a bit late to the Jolly Roger party not that they noticed as they were doing pretty damn good without us but it’s time for them to cut the strings and start going national and these songs are crying out to be heard to be live.

(You can stream, download or buy the CD of Ship Or Bust from the bands Bandcamp page and don’t forget to check out their previous releases while you are there!)

Buy Ship Or Bust Bandcamp

Contact Jolly Roger  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram

(Back when everyone was doing Live Streams Jolly Roger were no different and here’s their patched together live stream recorded at the Rock Bottom Bar in Plymouth. A few minor glitches but real music isn’t suppose to be perfect!)

ODDS’N’SODS. A CELTIC-PUNK ROUND UP NOVEMBER 2021

Summer is over. Was it ever really here? Anyway it’s hard to get seriously Rock’n’Roll in the sunlight so time for dark nights and mischief and also for this months London Celtic Punks round-up of all the band news, record releases and videos from bands big and small from across the Celtic-Punk scene.

They only just missed last months Odds’n’Sods so pride of place to French Celtic-Punk band TOXIC FROGS. Officially the Celtic-Punk-Rock Chicks band!! The new video for ‘Bestie Life’ taken from My Lucky Own EP released earlier this year.

THE O’REILLYS AND THE PADDYHATS celebrate their tenth anniversary with In Strange Waters and reaching the highly impressive target of 100,000 subscribers on You Tube. A greatest hits album with their favourite songs adapted into Pop, Metal, Ska and even Barbershop! In case you missed we were lucky to have Anto Morra review it on its release.

Nebraskan band THE KILLIGANS recently announced on their Facebook page a grand album give away!! All you need to do to receive a free download code for their album Dance On Your Grave is to send them a personal message on their Facebook page. The album made the 2018 Celtic-Punk Top Twenty and our review of the album can be found here. The Bhoys are busy working on a new album, with 3 songs already recorded. Expect a video for the first single sometime around Christmas.

A new mix, courtesy of ChuckRD, of the superb Christmas track ‘It’s In These Times’ from the sadly missed now defunct Irish/ Danish Celtic-Punkers ROVERS AHEAD. They really were one hell of a band and very high up my list of bands I wish would reform. To be honest I can’t tell any difference. I don’t have an ear for this sort of thing.

PALAZOR is a solo music project who describes himself as a “mediocre musician”. I quite liked it!

THE WILD COLONIAL BHOYS – Remote Ruaille Buaille

GREEN GUARD – Devil’s Lung

FEROCIOUS DOG – The Hope

HOLD FAST –  Last Of The Rebels

JOLLY ROGER – Ship Or Bust

remember we can’t review it if we don’t hear it

This section is for Celtic-Punk bands that have (on the large) left us but their music is still deserving to be heard and heard for free courtesy of a free download. We tried to book the Welsh band KILNABOY several times to play in London but it never came off for several reasons. At the time they were quite the name on the Punk scene but I was pretty sure they had split up but it seems not so keep a eye out for them. Sharing their name with a tiny village on the West Coast of Ireland they played energetic catchy Irish Folk-Punk and Prison Bars And Battle Scars dates from 2014. If you like it check out the rest of their back catalogue on Bandcamp as it is all available for ‘name your price’.

Live footage from one of the trailblazers of the Celtic-Punk scene. THE CROPDUSTERS were contempories of The Pogues and The Men They Couldn’t Hang and played their brand of ‘Cow-Punk’ / Folk-Punk back in the day. I went to their rather under whelming final gig at The 100 Club a good few years back after they had an almighty falling out but things must be sorted now as they recently played the Barnstormer festival at the Cerne Abbas Brewery in Devon. Watch this space for news of other gigs. Also playing the same festival was another blast from the past with Brit band PRONGHORN announcing a new album next year.

Now it’s been a looooong time since I was a fan of Grunge pioneers THE MELVINS and there was a time this news would have really got me excited but that was then. They have just announced a 4-disc reimaging of all their favourites songs done acoustically. Five Legged Dog is out now.

Moscow based ‘Punk And Bagpipes’ band ZUNAME announced a new album, Vertigo, to be released on Christmas Day and the first single to follow shortly!

Man can’t live on Celtic-Punk alone and personally I’m rather partial to the sound of Psychobilly and one of the scenes leading lights Philip ‘Doyley’ Doyle has just written a book detailing his time growing up in Ireland and moving to London. Starting the infamous Klingonz and the wild stories of a life spent in the Psychobilly scene. A crazy but lovable journey packed with funny and interesting stories/ You can pre-order the book with optional CD’s from the Diablo Records Bandcamp site.

In case you haven’t noticed our big rival out there is the American Celtic-Punk site SHITE’N’ONIONS. I think they were the first and are still going strong now. I much prefer the site now it’s moved over to WordPress and of course we only mean a friendly rivalry as its all #onebigcelticpunkfamily as you all know. They recently had an interesting interview with Nashville based Dubliner singer-songwriter Dylan Walshe well worth checking out.

Cornish Pirates JOLLY ROGER UK have a new EP out in the next few days. Ship Or Bust is available now on a pre-save link. As we’ve said before theres barely a fag paper between Celtic-Punk and ‘Pirate’ music at times and Jolly Roger are one of the best I’ve heard in a good while. They’ve just ran a successful Kickstarter appeal to buy a new van so hopefully we might see them away from the South-West coast soon. They’ve recorded a bunch of short promos on their You Tube channel besides this one.

One of my favourite bands the American Celtic-Rock/Punkers SEVEN NATIONS have just put out a rather amazing animated video for a track from their last album Tales From The Eighth Nation.

TROLL BENDS FIR are based in Saint Petersburg, Russia and have just released a new single. ‘В плену грибов’ (or in English ‘Taken Captive By Mushrooms’) from the upcoming new album Troll Gnet Yel. Russian beer folk they call it and it has some cool bagpipes and fiddle. I also have a soft spot for dual vocals too which they pull off here very well and even fit in a bit of Metal style riffs and vocals too.

The more I see of Facebook the more and more I dislike it. It has a stranglehold on all forms of expression and any wrongdoing in it’s eyes is punishable by excommunication. This isn’t good and anything that breaks their monopoly is a great thing (except Twitter!) so if you feel the same you can now subscribe to London Celtic Punks posts via our group on the new phone app Telegram. Very similar in style (but better and easier to use) than What’s App but the best thing is that it is completely free from Facebook control. Join us on Telegram and don’t miss a single post! https://t.me/londoncelticpunks/  

Some live music news for all you Londoners. Luton Irish band MISSING THE FERRY play The Cock Tavern, Phoenix Road, NW1 1HB  and MATT McMANAMON and THE BIBLECODE SUNDAYS play the Castle, Commercial Road, E1 1LN sadly both on Saturday November 13th. Bit of a dilemma that! DAOIRI FARRELL plays Nell’s, 3 North End Crescent, W14 8TG the following day on the Sunday. The legendary WOLFE TONES (now 50+ years strong!) play Camden IC on November 17th and 18th; and the Hare & Hounds, 325 Purley Way, Croydon CR0 4NU on November 19th. We can’t promise to print all live news but please send in anything for consideration.

Some London Celtic Punks news now and we still have a handful of Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer t-shirts available. They come in all sizes from Small right up to XXX-L and are available from our online store. Also available are 2 other shirt designs so click the link below for our full range of other tatt. Shirts, badges, stickers, flags, CD’s and fridge magnets all the discerning Celtic-Punk fan could ever need!  https://the30492shop.fwscart.com/

Also now a wee plug for London Irish Rugby Club. After years in the wilderness out in Reading and some would say a watering down of the club’s Irish ethos they arrived back in London at the tail end of last season and a joy to behold it was too, except for the last minute defeat after being miles ahead at half time!! The club is back in the heart of the Irish community so check out the clubs merchandise and show your roots and get some mates together and get down there. Eight train and tube stations within a 20 minute walk and no shortage of decent pubs too means their is literally no excuse.

A plug for some good friends of ours over on Facebook. The Dropkick Murphys- Fan Page and the Celtic Punk, Folk And Rock Fans are two of the best music forums on FB let alone Celtic-Punk. Ran By Fans For Fans. Just like and join in the fun!

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