Tag Archives: Le Vent Du Nord

LONDON CELTIC PUNKS PRESENTS OUR BEST OF 2015!

Best Of 2015 (2)
One of the best things about doing this here blog-zine is the end of year ‘Best Of’s’. This is our chance to reward, for what it’s worth, and recommend those releases that tickled our collective fancies over the last twelve months. Where as in 2013 the Best Of’s were dominated by local bands and releases and in 2014 it was international bands that stole the show this years is more of a mix of the two. No shocks at the top I’m afraid. It was always going to be a slug out between the big hitters of celtic-punk with The Rumjacks just shading it from the The Mahones by the slightest of margins. One of the team commented that the only difference was that ‘The Hunger And The Fight Part 1’ was slightly better than Part 2. In third place came 1916 out of New York who only just sneaked in with the December release of ‘Last Call For Heroes’. The album came out so late we didn’t even get a chance to mention it let alone review it nevertheless it blew us all away with their brilliant combination of rockabilly and celtic-punk. Another one to file in the ‘shamrockabilly’ category. Overall no major surprises and all four admins lists pretty much tallied up with each other but it’s especially great to see some non-English speaking bands in there as well as some bands that were new to us in the last twelve months. I was particularly happy to see Skontra and The Cundeez make the grade representing celtic-punk as played in the celtic nations. As ever we have reviewed some, though not all of these albums, so click (here) after the title and you will be re-directed to our review. If your album is not here do not be downhearted. These twenty album’s are the tip of the iceberg of what was released last year in what was an outstanding year for celtic-punk. Feel free to comment, slag off or dissect our lists. We don’t pretend to be the final word as that my friends is for you…

TOP 20 CELTIC PUNK ALBUMS

1. THE RUMJACKS- ‘Sober And Godless’  (here)
2. THE MAHONES- ‘The Hunger And The Fight Part 2’
3. 1916- ‘Last Call For The Heroes’ (here)
4. FEROCIOUS DOG- ‘From Without’
5. THE GREENLAND WHALEFISHERS- ‘The Thirsty Mile’  (here)
6MR.IRISH BASTARD- ‘The World, The Flesh & The Devil’  (here)
7.  THE DEAD MAGGIES- ‘Well Hanged’  (here)
8THE GO SET- ‘Rolling Sound’  (here)
9. MICKEY RICKSHAW- ‘No Heaven For Heroes’  (here)
10. HAPPY Ol’ McWEASEL- ‘Heard Ya Say’  (here)
 11. JASPER COAL- ‘Just The One…’  (here)
12. THE CUNDEEZ- Sehturday Night Weaver  (here)
13. THE FATTY FARMERS- ‘Escape From The Dirty Pigs’  (here)
14. THE SHILLELAGHS- ‘Bury Me At Sea’  (here)
15. JOLLY JACKERS- ‘Sobriety’  (here)
16. MALASANERS- Spanish Eyes’  (here)
17. SKONTRA- ‘Foguera’  (here)
18. THE WAXIES’ ‘Down With The Ship’  (here)
19. KITCHEN IMPLOSION- ‘Selfish’
20. THE TOSSPINTS- The Privateer  (here)

TOP TEN CELTIC PUNK EP’S

Now onto the EP’s. These are classed as shorter usually four to six songs long and around anything right up to 15-20 minutes long. No shock here at number one as a unanimous vote saw this years new band of the year Mick O’Toole walk away with the title. They have been a solid fixture during the year building up quite a reputation and following. At number two it’s long been a well known secret that Indonesia is a hotbed of celtic-punk and Dirty Glass are one of the best bands in their flourishing scene and ‘Drunken Summer Nights’ ran O’Toole very close while another English band came in third. Matilda’s Scoundrels really hit the heights in 2015 and just like Mick O’Toole bigger and better things await them in 2016. The rest of the list is made up from bands from across the globe with Slovenia, South Africa, Hungary, Catalonia, Russia, Holland, France and Yorkshire all making the list.
1. MICK O’TOOLE- ‘1665 Pitchfork Rebellion’  (here)
2. DIRTY GLASS- ‘Drunken Summer Night’  (here)
3. MATILDA’S SCOUNDRELS- ‘Split w/ The Barracks’  (here)
4. ZUNAME- ‘Pipes Not Dead’  (here)
5. THE HYDROPATHS- ‘Wailing Away’  (here)
6. SOUTH SHORE RAMBLERS- ‘Open Room Sessions’  (here)
7. O’HAMSTERS- ‘Kiss My Irish Ass’  (here)
8. LOCH NESZ- ‘Leave The Captain Behind’  (here)
9. CIRCLE J- ‘Year Of The Goat’  (here)
10. SIGELPA- ‘Ens Van Diagnosticar Un Transtorn’  (here)
11. THE MOORINGS- ‘Nicky’s Detox’  (here)

TOP TEN FOLK/TRADITIONAL RELEASES

As the blog is for (mostly) celtic punk so it is that we only review stuff that isn’t celtic punk if we really really (really!!) like it. All these rocked our boat and we loved each of them all to bits. If you like celtic-punk then you should not be afraid to give traditional folk a listen. Most of it is more punk than punk these days you know. It’s a direct link to the music that inspired celtic punk music and their are some amazing bands and performers out there. Hard to decide which order they should go in especially as O’Hanlons Horsebox could have just as easily won this years Best Celtic Punk Album as well! This is how the Top Ten ended up.
1. O’HANLONS HORSEBOX- ‘Songs And Stories From The Border’  (here)
2. BARRULE- Mannannans Cloak’  (here)
3. LE VENT DU NORD- ‘Têtu’  (here)
4. BRYAN McPHERSON- ‘Wedgewood’  (here)
5. THE RATHMINES- ‘Ramblin With The Rats. Stolen Songs of Struggle’  (here)
6. ANTO MORRA- ‘Boudicca’s Country’
7. JACK OF ALL- ‘Bindle Punk’  (here)
8. JOHNNY CAMPBELL- ‘Hook, Line And Sinker’  (here)
9. FFR CELTIC FIESTA- ‘Fresh Blood’
10. THE PROCLAIMERS- ‘Let’s Hear It For The Dogs’  (here)
11. SKWARDYA- ‘Domhwelyans/ Revolution’

TOP CELTIC PUNK WEB-SITE

Celtic Folk Punk And More BlogAgain Waldo over at Celtic Folk Punk And More walks away with this award. There is simply no better site on the internet. Everything you would possibly need to know is here with a HUGE range of bands covered and there is no doubt in my mind that the site you are reading here now would not exist without the inspiration of Celtic Folk Punk And More. Sadly Waldo published a post on January 3rd titled ‘New Year, New Life’ (here) announcing the suspension of the site for a while. We wish Waldo well and look forward to his, and his fantastic web site’s, return.

* The lists were compiled from the scraps of crumpled paper, and one beermat, handed to me by the other three admins from the London Celtic Punks Facebook page and tallied up over several pints of beer in a seedy working man’s Irish boozer in north London.

 Sláinte, The London Celtic Punks Crew- 2015

all the major players in celtic-punk do Best Of lists so click below to check out what they thought

CELTIC FOLK PUNK AND MORE

CELTIC-ROCK

PADDYROCK

MacSLONS IRISH RADIO

remember any views or comments we would love to hear them…

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ALBUM REVIEW: LE VENT DU NORD- ‘Têtu’ (2015)

new music but with deep ties to Québécois tradition that speaks to the fiercely independent spirit of today’s Québécois

LE VENT DU NORD- ‘Têtu’ (2015)

As is usual with us we don’t cover an awful lot of solely traditional music on the blog but when we do then it must mean it is something special and take my word this album certainly is! Earlier this year deep in the woods of Québec, a group of mates huddle around a few microphones, putting the finishing touches on their epic eighth record. Their musical intimacy comes from over a decade of being one of Québec’s most popular groups and with ‘Têtu’ (Determined), the multi award winning Le Vent du Nord (translated as The North Wind) hold to a steady course, staying faithful to their Québecois roots while at the same time taking an unyielding approach to innovative new ideas. Sadly they have just completed a small UK tour back in March so we’ll have to wait to sample them in the flesh.

The albums opening track is the atmospheric ‘Noce Tragique’ and from the very first sounds of the hurdy-gurdy and despite the introduction of a string quartet there is nothing to be scared of here for your average celtic-punker. Those first notes that leave your speakers ‘Têtu’ hits the spot perfectly and so begins nearly an hours worth of traditional foot-stomping folk tunes and a smattering of ballads covering politics, love and satire.

The album drives along with the whole band (Nicolas Boulerice- hurdy-gurdy, piano, voice, Olivier Demers -fiddle, feet, voice, Réjean Brunet- accordion, bass, jaw harp, voice and Simon Beaudry- bouzouki, guitar, voice) combining brilliantly and nowhere on the album is the foot-tapping so intense as on ‘Cardeuse – Reipoel’. An instrumental with the power to transport you to wherever you want to go. An excellent example of piano, fiddle, accordion and other instruments coming together. This may be the traditional music of Quebec but the influences from across the celtic nations are obvious too, as well as undertones of the offspring of Quebec folk, Cajun music. I am unable to understand French so I can’t give you much more than a rundown of some of the major themes on the album but I am of the opinion that bands should sing in their native languages anyway. Music crosses all boundaries and bands shouldn’t feel the need to sing in English just to make it. Don’t despair though the album comes with a booklet providing not only the entire lyrics in French but also a brief introduction to all the songs in English. There’s the biting politics of ‘Confédération’, where Le Vent Du Nord show their independent streak. As Nicolas Boulerice said in a recent interview of the songs lyrics

“I owe the premise for this song to S. Harper [Prime Minister of Canada], who announced that he would hold grand celebrations in 2017 for the 150th anniversary of Canada, the Confederation having been signed in 1867. What a strange idea! My ancestors’ Canada is over 400 years old! And my Native great-grandmother probably would have added a few thousand years to that count. So I did a number on our country’s memory. Often times, people have tried to make us believe things, swallow dates, and integrate ideas that had been pre-thought for us. ‘Confédération’ is about our collective selective memory when it comes to the historical events at the core of my people’s existence—French, Metis, Celtic. Events that were meant to put us out a little, to numb us quietly, to bring us to ‘acceptance’. Our memory cannot serve our past. Actually, it should be used to build our future.”

There’s the moving ‘Pauvre Enfant’, which skips along beautifully with amazing fiddle work and the album finally closes with the superb ‘Amant Volage’, a totally uplifting number with the whole band joining in to sing and the music flowing seamlessly away and ending exactly where you came in!

Le Vent du Nord (Rejean, Nicolas, Olivier and Simon)

Le Vent du Nord
(Rejean, Nicolas, Olivier and Simon)

‘Têtu’ is the bands eighth album and the sixth with this line up giving them a stability that has come in useful to become one of the very top bands in their field. Though the lyrics are dark (Satan popping up is not an uncommon thing in Quebec music by all accounts) the music buzzes along leaving you feeling great. It shows that Le Vent du Nord ontinue to hold steadfast to their roots while also remaining uncompromising in their identity as movers and shakers in the Québécois tradition. The album is available to listen to on Bandcamp (see below) so take a chance and a hour out of your lives and give it a whirl. Superb traditional arrangements with beautiful male vocal harmonies, call & response, and even a cappella but there is so much going on in this record that I cannot help but feel that this is a very sorry review of ‘Têtu’, certainly there are better ones on the internet, but what I do hope comes across is how much I liked it and that my friends is all anyone is surely interested in.

(you can listen to the whole album by pressing play below)

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FromTheBand  

get the beers in and gather round the laptop as here’s a fantastic video of a whole Le Vent du Nord concert from Sunfest 2014.

we recently interviewed Quebec’s number one celtic-punk band so click here to find out more about the amazing Irish Moutarde.

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