Football, carnival, the Amazon, the ladies and samba music. Well add to that list celtic-punk as Brazil is coming for us!!
Well who would have thought a Brazilian celtic-punk band? Well we would! For a start we loved their debut album ‘Quandos Os Canecos Batem’ so much it was voted in at #12 in the London Celtic Punks Best Of Poll of 2014. A short, fast and bombastic debut album that left all of us who heard it reeling. A great LP that has much in common with their recently released full lengther ‘Histórias Do Mar’. Formed in 2008 Lugh started off as a Bad Religion covers band but when they heard the Dropkick Murphys it was all to change suddenly. So it was with the addition of Leo, who had been playing accordion since he was five years old, and a set list of covers from our old friends, and yours, The Murphy’s and The Molly’s they began writing their own material. Before too long the new stuff outweighed the old and a new force in celtic-punk had been born. Hailing from Rio Grande Do Sul in the southernmost state in Brazil Lugh are following in the Brazilian celtic-punk footsteps of bands like Ketamina and The Leprachauns and there’s a small but thriving (and growing) celtic-punk scene in the country.
As I have said ‘Histórias Do Mar’ has much in common with that debut album the main thing being the absolute speed at which Lugh plough through it. Ten songs in just over twenty five minutes with the average song lasting just a wee bit over two minutes. Lugh are very much on the Dropkick Murphys wing of celtic-punk and their folky punk rock blasts make a refreshing change at the moment as it seems to be that the folkier side of celtic-punk is in the ascendency at the moment.
The album starts with ‘Marujo Perdido’ and the sound of an ocean and then the music jumps in and we’re away. Accordion led celtic-punk with the emphasis on punk is the best way I can describe it. I can’t add much more about the songs as Lugh sing entirely in Portuguese, the national language of Brazil. The various ten songs veer from straight forward celtic-punk with Latin influences to also influences from the likes of Rancid and Bad Religion as well as ska, metal or punky-country sounds like that of Social Distortion. Overall the length of the songs works perfectly for ‘Histórias Do Mar’ and even though it flies by so fast it never ever drags even on a slower (though not by much at all) track like ‘Nova Fase’. ‘Lutando em Vão’ and the final track ‘Todos por Um’ are probably my favourite tracks both with fantastic shouty vocals and pumped up electric guitar and some absolutely amazing accordion from Leo.
With their original vocalist Biaque ‘Pincel’ Santos back at the microphone backed up by Daniel ‘Makako’ Jardim, Lucas Bala, George Polidoro and Leo, on that accordion,then one listen is enough to confirm that Lugh have delivered an album equally as good, if not better, than their debut. Lugh take their name from an Irish deity represented in mythology as a hero and an ancient High King honoured for his skills and gifts as a craftsman. Love and respect for Irish culture and Irish music shines through everything that Lugh do. In a time when its oh-so-trendy to bang on about ‘cultural appropriation’ I personally think its absolutely brilliant that bands like Lugh and others across the world take inspiration from the fights and lives and struggles and (occasional) wins and defeats of the Irish race. That my Grandad would still be around to see how across the globe how popular Irish music, and the Irish, has become would be as pleased as punch!
(have a listen to ‘Histórias do Mar’ by pressing play on the Bandcamp player below before you buy…go on its only $5!)
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