Tag Archives: Mick O’Toole

LONDON CELTIC PUNKS PRESENTS THE BEST OF 2016!

Yes I know it only seems like five minutes since the last one but it’s that time of year again when we give you, for what it’s worth, our opinion on who made the best music in the celtic-punk scene over 2016. It’s been another outstanding year for the music that we all love and some truly fantastic records came out in the last twelve months. So read on to find out who came #1! Remember though this is only our opinion and these twenty-five album’s are only the tip of the iceberg of what was released last year. 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…

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TOP 25 CELTIC PUNK ALBUMS

1. THE RUMJACKS (Australia)-‘Sleepin’Rough’  Review

2. THE NARROWBACKS (New York)- ‘Arrogance & Ignorance’  Review

3. THE CLOVES AND THE TOBACCO (Indonesia)- ‘Across The Horizon’  Review

4. MICKEY RICKSHAW (Boston)- ‘Behind The Eight Ball’  Review

5. THE WAKES (Glasgow)- ‘Venceremos!’  Review 

Absolutely no surprise here at all. For the first time we had an unanimous vote from all the admin’s that sees The Rumjacks sail away with the #1 spot for the second year running. It’s been an outstanding year for the Bhoys and with an American tour on the horizon they about to take another giant step in their campaign of world domination! Other notables were NYC’s Narrowbacks whose second album really showed the depth of their songwriting and could just have easily won the folk/trad best of too! The Cloves And The Tobacco deserve plaudits galore in another fantastic year for Indonesian celtic punk bands while Mickey Rickshaw could probably be said to have won the ‘unified title’ across all the various celtic-punk sites. In all we have twenty five bands from fourteen countries including USA x 6, Australia x 3, Indonesia x2, Germany x2, Netherlands x2, Catalonia x 2, Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, Spain, Czech Republic, Russia and Belarus with The Wakes being the only Celtic country based band which goes to show how international the scene has become.

6. THE CLAN (Italy)- ‘All In The Name Of Folk’  Review

7. HOIST THE COLORS (USA)- ‘Mourners’  Review

8. SIR REG (Sweden)- ‘Modern Day Disgrace’  Review

9. FOX n FIRKIN (Australia)- ‘No Vacancy’  Review

10. FIDDLER’S GREEN (Germany)- ‘Devil’s Dozen’  Review

11. LUGH (Brazil)- ‘Histórias Do Mar’  Review

12. JAY WARS AND THE HOWARD YOUTH (Australia)- ‘Love In The Time Of Fear’  Review

13. BUNCH OF BASTARDS (Netherlands)- ‘My Drinkin’ Ain’t Done’  Review

14. SIGELPA (Catalonia)- ‘Rabant Original’  Review

15. TENHOLES (Indonesia)- ‘Loyalty’  Review

16. THE O’REILLYS AND THE PADDYHATS (Germany)- ‘Seven Hearts One Soul’  Review

17. 13KRAUSS (Spain)- TheEnd Is Nigh’  Review

18. DRINK HUNTERS (Catalonia)- ‘Shameless’  Review

19. PIRATES OF THE PUBS (Czech Republic)- ‘Drunken Forever’  Review

20. THE MUCKERS (USA)- ‘The Muckers’  Review

21. LQR (Netherlands)- ’10 Pinter’  Review

22. THE Пауки/THE PAUKI (Russia)- ‘La Isla Del Muerto’  Review

23. Всё CRAZY (Belarus)- ‘По Морям’  Review

24. RUSTY NAIL (USA)- ‘Bitter Ale, Bitter Heart’  Review

25. THE LANGER’S BALL (USA)- ‘Whiskey Outlaws’  Review

A special mention here to the ever prolific and always a pleasurable experience The Mahones who released a greatest hits entitled The Very Best: 25 Years Of Irish Punk which couldn’t be included in the Top 25 but if it did would have given The Rumjacks a run for their money!

TOP TEN CELTIC PUNK EP’S

1. MICK O’TOOLE (England)- ‘A Working Class Battalion’  Review

2. THE RAMSHACKLE ARMY (Australia)- ‘Whitewashed Graves’  Review

3. DRUNKEN FAIRY TALES (Russia) – ‘Пьяные Сказки’  Review

With The Rumjacks returning a year later to sweep the Album Of The Year it’s no surprise then that Wiltshire lads Mick O’Toole follow up last year’s win in the EP Of The Year awards to do the same thing. A great year for them that has seen them play less and less within the celtic-punk scene and really start to make waves outside of it. A foreign tour and more support slots to various punk rock legends than most bands play in a lifetime and all in the space of twelve months. The Ramshackle Army EP got lost in the post leaving us to do a rush-job review and given time I’m sure they may have given the O’Toole’s a run for their money. Drunken Fairy Tales impressed everyone and Matilda’s vinyl only release deserve a mention as well Mick O’Toole grabbing the 5th spot too.

4. MATILDA’S SCOUNDRELS (England)- ‘Crowleys Curse’  Review

5. MICK O’TOOLE (England)- ‘False Flag Collapse’  Review

6. BAY STREET BASTARDS (Canada)- ‘Small Batch’  Review

7. LEXINGTON FIELD (USA)- ‘Redwood’  Review

8. HANDSOME YOUNG STRANGERS (Australia)- ‘Battle Of Broken Hill’  Review

9. MATILDA’S SCOUNDRELS (England)- ‘The Organworks Recordings Session’  Review

10.  BALSALL HEATHENS (England)- ‘Life’s Too Short’  Review

TOP TEN FOLK/TRADITIONAL RELEASES

1. ANTO MORRA (London)-’16’  Review

2. THE LOGUES (Ireland)- ‘Comin’ Of Age’  Review

3. MICKEY RICKSHAW (Boston)- ‘Wild Atlantic’  Review

Possibly the hardest Best Of List of them all to do is this one as so many releases cross over the genres between rock and punk and folk and trad but our good friend Anto Morra, the ‘London Irish folk-punker’, just edging it from The Logues with his superb tribute to the 1916 Easter Rising. Mickey Rickshaw swept to third with their specially recorded acoustic EP that came out for their European tour and ShamRocks put out an album of high quality and original Irish folk with imagination galore. A special mention for Blackwater Banshee whose EP came out later in the year and shows enormous promise and one or two original songs would have seen a much higher position I am sure.

4. ShamRocks (Ukraine)- ‘Captain’s Log’  Review

5. LARKIN (USA)- ‘A Toast To St. Jude’  Review

6. FOLK THE SYSTEM (England)- Unrest In The Wolds’  Review

7. SHAMBOLICS (Australia)- ‘Riot On Race Day’  Review

8. CLEAR THE BATTLE FIELD (USA)- ‘Set Me Free’  Review

9. SOLAS (USA)- ‘All These Years’  Review

10. BLACKWATER BANSHEE (Bristol)- ‘Blackwater Banshee’  Review

TOP CELTIC PUNK WEB-SITE

Now this has over the years become the Celtic Folk Punk And More Top Celtic Punk Web-Site award so often has that esteemed site walked away with the top spot but there’s a new kid on the block and this year we are happy to award top spot to our good mates over at Mersey Celt Punks. They only kicked off the site a few months ago but super regular postings on all manner of celtic-punkness has seen them triumphant. You can join their fun over at Twitter and Facebook and we heartily recommend you do. A special mention here also for Viva La XV another new kid on the block which looks amazing but sadly as none of us can read Spanish we can’t tell if it’s as good as it looks! We’re sure it is and you can check it out for yourselves at the Blog or over on Facebook.

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Right now the details. The Best Of lists were cajoled and bullied out of the four admins on the London Celtic Punks Facebook page. The various scraps of crumpled paper were received and then tallied up over several pints of Guinness in Mannions in north London while watching the football on the telly.

We are now in our fourth year of doing these Best Of lists so if you would like to have a look at the previous years best in celtic-punk then click the link below the relevant year.

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

PADDYROCK

MacSLONS IRISH RADIO

CELTIC-ROCK.DE

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

Only one more thing to mention about 2016 and that is to remember here Erik Petersen the lead singer of the influential folk-punk band Mischief Brew who sadly passed away earlier this year. I still find it hard to believe that he has gone but he will always be commemorated.

“So tattoo our arms and raise our glasses, call out your name at New Year’s Eve, maybe next time we kneel at a casket, we can say at least the story’s complete”

Read our obituary for Erik here and raise a glass the next time you get the chance to.

 Rest In Peace comrade.

 Sláinte, The London Celtic Punks Crew- January, 2017

EP REVIEW: MICK O’TOOLE- ‘A Working Class Battalion’ (2016)

A bunch of dirty cider drinkers with one goal. To make you jig and pissed!

O'Toole

With Matilda’s Scoundrels last EP released and reviewed (here) a few weeks ago here’s the only band in the celtic-punk scene here that keep up with them in term of releases, Mick O’Toole. We were suppose to review this a while ago when we ordered ten copies on sale or return but the buggers went on tour to Belguim and sold the lot so I’m reviewing this from the Bandcamp site! Well what to say… I don’t know what they are putting in the cider over in the west country but with this amount of productivity it’s making me think of switching from the ‘black stuff’ just to keep up!

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Mick O’Toole left to right: Matthew Thomas- Banjo/Vocals * Jamie Squires Drums/Vocals * Tyler Shurmer- Guitar/Vocals * Arron Heap- Vocals/Mandolin * Jaseph Skin Greaves- Bass/Vocals

Mick O’Toole got together back in 2012 in the deepest darkest Shire otherwise known as county Wiltshire in a town called Calne.  Bored with heavy metal and with a new found love of Flogging Molly they decided to take a completely different route and get a celtic punk band together. Calling themselves Mick O’Toole after a character in a song from local celtic punk legends The Boys Of County Hell. Mick O’Toole’s sound is a irresistible blend of punk rock combined with traditional folk. Their first EP ‘Deep In Cider’ set the benchmark sky high but they managed to outdo even that with the release last year of ‘1665 Pitchfork Rebellion’. Going on to claim EP of the year at both Celtic Folk Punk And More (here) and here at London Celtic Punks as well (here) in the ‘Best Of 2015’ lists. Now with hundreds of gigs behind them including blowing down the house at the London Celtic Punks 2015 New Years Eve bash in Camden with Hungarian legends Firkin. They followed that up with the release of a single, ‘False Flag Collapse’. that featured the vocal talent of UK Sub Jamie Oliver and garnered rave reviews across the net and they continue despite the sad loss (all the best Guy) of various band members who couldn’t keep up.

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All the songs on A Working Class Battalion are brand new and self penned by Mick O’Toole themselves and you really cannot ask for any more than that. The twenty minute CD kicks off with ‘Still In Cider’ and it never ceases to amaze how different Arron sounds singing then when you’re talking to him. I don’t mean in a Joe Strummer public schoolboy/west lahndoner kind of way but even with the bit of distortion added he sounds completely different. A completely different version from the one they released back in 2013 I guess they couldn’t resist the brilliant pun ion the title! It has everything that Mick O’Toole do so well. Catchy as feck arrangements and a chorus to murder someone for. The trademark O’Toole banjo is loud and proud and the Bhoys have produced a fantastic video to accompany the song.

Up next is ‘Boundaries’ and another one to add that short but ever growing lost of celtic-ska songs. Still with very much of a punky twist to it and this time its the mandolin that shines but always with Arron’s voice leading. ‘A Traitor Born’ follows and there is no let up here either. While some of the music may not be particularly fast it is heavy and those drums and those strings get pounded as hard as any punk rock band do. Wonderful chorus here with the band singing along. How’s this for a song title? ‘What Was Once A Solid Foundation Is Now A Collapsing Empire’. A bit of a mouthful and the fastest tune here. A riot of a tune with some classy stop and start moments that again has a great shouty chorus. This leads us nicely onto the last song, ‘As If It were To End’. The track here that ought to make them its superbly catchy and they’ve added some strings that sound brilliant. Altogether its twenty minutes of some of the best celtic-punk music you will hear and sure to feature high in all the end of year poll’s (including ours!!). They can’t seem to do no wrong at the moment and it’s to be admired that they have withstood the leaving of the old guard and continue to work so well with the new guys in the band.

As the band say themselves

“No egos, no divas just working class men having a good time”

They have that thing where they appeal to all. At their local gigs they play a combination of folk classics and their own material and it all goes down equally well. Whether they are performing with the Anti Nowhere League or playing ‘Dirty Old Town’ in their local boozer they have got something good going on and people want to hear it.

(have a listen to A Working Class Battalion by pressing play on the Bandcamp payer below)

Contact The Band

Facebook  Bandcamp  ReverbNation  YouTube  Twitter  Shop

Buy The EP

FromTheBand

you can watch this interview we done with the O’Toole lads a while back here. there has been a bit of personnel change since then but explains well the history of the band and what they are still about.

INTERVIEW WITH COMRADE X

Hitting home with the force of a police raid on a late night lock-in at the dodgiest South London boozer Comrade X emerges from the rubble of political failure, X Factor and wall to wall mediocrity to raise a pint of Guinness to the spirit of 1977!
Over the last couple of years it has been our pleasure to make the acquaintance of a good few people, who we are extremely proud to say, have become part of the extended London Celtic Punks family. If you have attended a London Celtic Punks gig over the last few years then I am sure you will have witnessed our auld mucker Comrade X starting off proceedings by kicking up a storm with his own unique brand of acoustic-punk. Best described as “one geezer, one guitar, three chords and the truth” and, my own favourite, “Woody Guthrie meets Oi!” he’s just an ordinary bloke with an acoustic guitar and the truth to tell. That pretty much tells you all you need to know about what he does, but what does he think on the important matters of the day? We asked yer man a few questions over a few pints of stout so read on and find out…
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Now Comrade X has been around on the music scene a lot longer than any of us have been so we thought we’d give him a chance to fill us in (not literally!) and give us the benefit of his knowledge. Now there may be a small handful of people reading this who are not aware of your contribution to the world of alternative music so want to enlighten them? What started your interest in music and how long you been playing and what bands you been involved in up to now? I was 14 when the Pistols appeared on Bill Grundy and it just blew me away. Till that point I was wearing tank tops, Oxford Bags and DM’s and fancied myself as a boot boy with an aspiration to be a face on the Shed End at Chelsea. After Grundy I wanted to know more about these punks. I bought New Rose when it came out and that was that – but it was really the first Clash album that shifted everything for me. After that I bought a guitar out of a junk shop in Leatherhead and started rehearsing with my first band Discipline at the Cabin Club down on Longmead Estate in Epsom. That would have been some time in 1977. We had guitars that chopped your fingers off and 5 watt Woolworths’ practice amps – we were dire but a fire had been lit. 

Comrade1Like most Londoners there’s more than just a drop of Celtic blood coursing through your veins. Do you think that has effected or contributed to how you play or why you play or your beliefs? Well, my grandad was from Kilkenny and arrived in Liverpool sometime in the 1890’s before heading to the East End. Of course I never knew him – he was dead by the time my dad was ten years old and he was orphaned and bought up by his older sister. The family name was changed by my grandad and I only know what my dad and his older brothers told me. Grandad sang rebel songs in pubs around Stepney and his favourite was Bold Robert Emmett so I was told. I think there’s a fair drop of that spirit in what I do. What? Singing rebel songs in a pub? I’d say so!!
Having been in bands and played solo yourself which figures or bands do you think have been the important links between the past and the present and folk/celtic/traditional music and punk/rock music? Biggest influence on me is Joe Strummer – his catalogue from the 101ers to the Mescaleros stands the test of time. The Mescaleros picked up some of Joe’s Celtic connections back to his own Scottish roots. He also introduced a lot of us to Woody Guthrie and through that Leadbelly and some of that deep roots Americana which of course all tracks back through the Celtic immigrant trail. I remember seeing the Pogues in their early days and for loads of us with an Irish/punk background lots of bits started dropping into place. Great to see new bands tipping their hat to that pioneering work by the Pogues and the Men They Couldn’t Hang. The Lagan are the tops for me, that might be a Surrey thing, but they are run close by outfits like Matilda’s Scoundrels and Black Water County. Steve Earle deserves a nod here as well – I was lucky enough to get to work with him a few years back. Top fella
 How you find the London Irish scene these days? Obviously the old community has shrunk and the new arrivals seem, to me anyway, not to be interested in Irish music. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. I certainly hope so. Is there still a community out there? So many pubs have closed or changed and communities are much more dissipated. I’m from Epsom where there used to be five big mental hospitals and they were staffed throughout by Irish immigrants working alongside colleagues from across the Commonwealth. My dad worked his way up to managing and inspecting the quality of those NHS services. Those hospitals have all closed but the social clubs in those places were something else. The sense of community was massive. The loss of those big centres of employment has had an inevitable impact.

As I say you’ve been performing for a hell of a long time in bands and now as a solo act but it has been said (and I am in agreement) that being a solo artist is the hardest thing to do. Just yourself on the stage and nowhere to hide. What does it take to be a solo performer. I would say big nuts and a big ego but obviously that’s not right for everyone! Yep, nowhere to hide! That is a bit of a downside but on the upside there’s no one to row with other than yourself and the odd sound man who thinks that every solo artist with a guitar should sound like Cat Stevens.

What bands are you listening to at the moment? Do you follow celtic-punk at all. Any bands out of the scene that you like? I’ve already bigged up The Lagan, Matilda’s Scoundrels and Black Water County but I can add to that Mick O’Toole and of course the old troopers Neck who I’ve know since time began. I pick up loads of stuff from your recommendations from around the globe and I think that the Irish influenced punk/folk scene is healthy as fuck – cant wait to see the Cundeez down in Brixton as well.

Comrade2There’s always been a big debate about celtic-punk and whether or not it is cultural appropriation and politically correct for non-Irish bands singing about the Irish getting pissed and fighting and pubs and what have you. Personally I love it. The idea of the likes of Indonesian or Brazilian bands getting into The Dubliners and The Wolfe Tones after listening to the Dropkick Murphys. I mean its not like The Dubliners ever wrote a song about getting pissed is it? I think its just a case of snobbery but do you think it’s ok? I agree. I’m sick of being told what is and what isn’t acceptable and until everything is narrowed down to a tiny spec. I like covering Holy Spook by the Popes – “…I wrecked my life on whisky, bad wives, taking pills and cursing…”. That’s just the blues mate and it doesn’t belong to anyone. This “cultural appropriation” stuff is just more hand-wringing, liberal bollocks.

Now London Celtic Punks have always had the by-line of ‘Folk Punk Football’ and football is very dear to your heart as we know. Obviously the modern game is shite and the only real football fans are to be found in the lower divisions and non-league. That about right? ha ha – no, you are completely wrong and modern football, as invented by Sky TV, is brilliant! What’s the matter with you?
How long you been going to Sutton United? Do you think supporting a team that has never really won anything has made you a better person? Does learning the value of defeat and pride in losing but trying your hardest teach you something that is missing in the Premiership or even society? I’ve been going to Sutton since the early seventies. My old man took me down there to try and wean me off Chelsea and a career as a hooligan. He wasn’t totally successful but I always kept a link with the U’s. About ten years ago I jacked in the Chelsea season ticket and now it’s Sutton home and away. I love it. I meet loads of old punks who see the connection with those old values in the non league game. Never won anything? We won the bloody league last season! And did I ever tell you about the time we beat Coventry City in the FA Cup? 
As well as football you are heavily involved in promoting trade unionism. The decline of the unions is a terrible thing but what do you think can be done to reverse that trend. My own union is a waste of space and I may as well throw my money down a drain but as a good friend of mine (a Scouser of course!) once said joining a union is like having house insurance you don’t expect the house to burn down tomorrow but what do you do if it does. I got involved in NUPE in the early eighties when I lost my job as a sparky and took a job as hospital porter. Brilliant days and we were solid as a rock before everything was ripped apart and privatised. You’ve got to have that strength in the workplace or you’ve got nothing.
With so much music in your life. What are your happiest memories of playing. The best gig or best people… Tolpuddle main stage last week was one of my best ever gigs. Strummercamp and that night at the Water Rats with you lot, Anto Morra and Pogue Traders is up there as well. The rest is just a blur of fast living. 
Comrade4Right you have hinted at this every now and then on stage so lets get the full unabridged story out of you now. How did you manage to get Neck’s anti-racist single ‘Every Bodies Welcome To The Hooley’ into the national charts? Ha, that really was the wide boys revenge mate. I pulled in favours with every journo I know and got the band on BBC prime time TV and radio and we had people targeting the record shops that used to file returns for the official chart. It was some proper old spivery and I am rightly proud of it.
What’s the immediate future hold for Comrade X. Any gigs/ festivals we should be looking out for you at? What about recordings. Ain’t it time you got something down on disc… or vinyl’s coming back you know? I’ve got a mate up in Luton who has built an analogue studio and I’ll be doing some recording up there in the autumn – some great shows coming up very shortly with you lot and the Veg Bar, The Lagan at the Fighting Cocks and Undercover Festival. And I will be helping my old mate Noel Martin from Menace with his bands 40th anniversary bash at the 100 Club. I’m enjoying myself and you can tune in through the Comrade X Facebook page.
 

Thanks Comrade for taking the time to answer a few questions. It’s a privilege to include you as a member of the London Celtic Punks crew and work with you over the last few years, so here’s to many many more!
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You can catch Comrade X playing live at our next London Celtic Punks gig later this year on Saturday 3rd September on home territory in South London. He will be supporting Dundee based bagpipe punk band THE CUNDEEz on their London debut gig. All starts at 7-30pm sharp and costs just a fiver on the door. You can check out the Facebook event here to find out all the details of the venue and the other support bands or go to our What’s On- Upcoming Gigs & Events here.
Contact Comrade X

SINGLE REVIEW: MATILDA’S SCOUNDRELS- ‘Crowleys Curse’ (2016)

Quality celtic folk punk from the smugglers cove of Hastings.

Matilda's Scoundrels

One of the highlights of 2015 was the emergence of a couple of bands who have gone on to become both solid fixtures not only on the celtic-punk scene but also on the wider alternative/punk scene also. I am talking of course about the mighty Mick O’Toole and, the band I am reviewing today, Matilda’s Scoundrels. It seems only five minutes since I was reviewing their last release, the split CD EP with The Barracks, in December. That went down an absolute storm among various punk media and has seen the bands profile rise considerably. Performances at this years Manchester Punk Festival and a short northern tour ending with a support slot to Blood Or Whiskey in Scotland are just the tip of the iceberg and the bands weekends have been spent traversing around England with guitars and tin whistle in hand!

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left to right: Dan Flanagan- Guitar, James Baughurst- Bass, Jon Gosling- Drums, Jason Stirling- Tin Whistle/ Vocals, Jens-Peter Jensen- Accordion/ Vocals, Thomas Quinn- Mandolin/ Vocals

Matilda’s Scoundrels formed in 2014 and the boys have been building a solid reputation on the south coast gig scene over the last couple of years and have began to bring their sound to festivals, bars, pubs and clubs across the UK with an ever increasing army of followers. Later this year they will perform at Rebellion, Boomtown and Common Ground festivals so plenty of chances for you to check them out. The boys hail from Hastings on the south coast of England. An area once famed for its pirates and smuggling links back in the 1800’s. As one native of the town commented

“No business carried on in Hastings was more popular and extensive as that of smuggling. Defrauding the revenue, so far from being considered a crime, was looked upon as a laudable pursuit, and the most successful ‘runners’ were heroes. Nearly the whole of the inhabitants, old and young and of every station in life, were, to some extent, engaged in it”

The smugglers of Hastings had an ugly reputation. They earned the nickname ‘Chop-backs’ after one of them split the spine of a Dutch sea captain! So in a town steeped in tradition the emergence of Matilda’s Scoundrels is not such a shock and their town’s history looms large in everything that they do. They recently became the first band to play on the newly rebuilt Hastings Pier after the original burned down in 2010.

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nice hat Al!

So it is then that Matilda’s Scoundrels have delved deep into their towns history again here and written a song ‘Crowleys Curse’ dedicated to one of Hastings most infamous residents, Aleister Crowley aka The Great Beast. Born to a wealthy family (as so many of these type of characters usually are!) he was made notorious in the popular press for his interest in astrology, Satanism and the practice of ‘sex magick’ and other supposedly shocking occult activities. He died in Hastings on 1 December 1947 aged 72 and is, no doubt, looking up and chuckling away at this song in his honour. The curse mentioned in the song is the local legend that Crowley cursed Hastings. The curse means that anyone who has ever lived there will always live there. Famous when I was a child for the Battle Of Hastings when in 1066 King Harold II was defeated by the Norman forces of William the Conqueror in a battle that would shape the future of England for centuries to come. Sadly, recently though the town has become more famous for the social problems the residents face. High drug addition and crime rates had turned the town into a regular feature on ‘poverty porn’ TV programmes. Of course the councils answer to this is to try and gentrify and opening up a art house cinema or selling croissants instead of candy floss on the new pier are not going to help anyone. Still things are improving and a healthy community spirit is developing and as usual the best way to improve things in your community is for that community to do it themselves.

Blending traditional punk instruments with accordion, mandolin, tin whistle and gravelly vocals Matilda’s Scoundrels have again hit the heights and when I described that Split EP as their best release to date I find myself saying it again now! Quinn’s vocals and Jason’s whistle start the song before the rest of the lads join in and even if I can’t see the council adopting it as the towns anthem it ought to be.

“The great beast proved a popular addition to the lonesome town without submission as darkness fell so he woke in the old town of Hastings.

A rancid smell from a molasses pipe sex drive down with all his might lightning strikes into the night in the old town of Hastings”

Slower than usual but unmistakeable Scoundrels. I was lucky enough to see the band play it live for the first time and it has grown on me ever since. They follow this up on side B (remember this is vinyl!) with another live favourite ‘Pissheads Anthem’. A lot faster and plenty of sweary gang vocals and “Hey!” shouts.

“Give me whiskey, give me beer, Get me drunk as fuck and just leave me here”
 Crowleys Curse is being released as a two track vinyl single and in all the years we have been doing this zine we have only ever reviewed one vinyl release and already this year we are on our second release. The other being The Cundeez 7″ ‘Rebellion’. It’s a collaboration between all the following record labels TNS Records, Smegma Records, AWOL Records, Almighty Beard Records and Charlies Big Ray Gun Records so a great project and a perfect example of working together. It certainly warms the heart to see an increase in the popularity of vinyl and see more and more vinyl releases. I keep saying it, and with a Mick O’Toole album due soon, it only remains for a Matilda’s Scoundrels album and international stardom awaits!
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Hastings Pier

Contact The Band

WebSite  Facebook  Bandcamp  Twitter  Soundcloud  YouTube

Buy The EP

FromTheBand (pre-order. official release date- June 10, 2016)

THE RUMJACKS TOUR IRELAND, SCOTLAND, WALES AND ENGLAND

no Cornwall though…what happened there lads?

RumjackTour

Woohoo I am in clover and guess why? Yes the best celtic-punk band in the entire world THE RUMJACKS are bringing their raucous and spellbinding celtic-punk road show back to these shores for their biggest tour here yet. Taking in twelve cites across Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England and including two shows in London at the beginning and end of the tour. We are surely blessed!

(the first single off The Rumjacks 3rd full length album due later this year)

For those who are unaware of The Rumjacks I pity you but here is your chance to make amends and catch up with the rest of the celtic-punk scene. We are firm believers here that the best celtic-punk bands anywhere in the world are in Australia. Can’t put my finger on exactly why. It could be the brutal birth of the country under Britain’s glorious rule or the large celtic populations that left for there (some forced, some of their own accord) but Australia has always had a sort of outlaw rep to it and the celtic-punk they play is steeped in the bloody history of their land. Needless to say at the forefront of these bands are The Rumjacks from Sydney in New South Wales.

Born of a desire to make music in general and celtic-flavoured punk in particular, The Rumjacks are an entity rather askew, cast adrift of the mainstream and the industry as a whole, these five musical misfits from the cobbled streets of old Sydney town, a group unto themselves and the music they’ve made their own.

“Of the current line up, it’s only myself and Johnny (McKelvey, bass) who were there at the start,” muses frontman Frankie McLaughlin on the origins of the group. “He and I met and quickly realised we were after the very same thing”

This was towards the end of 2008, and the ‘same thing’ of which McLaughlin speaks was so strong, that the group’s debut release, the Hung, Drawn & Ported EP, was released not three months later. After some early line up changes, the group quickly settled to how we see them now: McLaughlin, McKelvey, drummer Anthony Matters, guitarist Gabriel Whitbourne and banjo / mandolin / bouzouki player Adam Kenny; as ragtag a group of virtuosi players as you’ll find in this day and age, milling about sticky-carpeted pubs across the land.

(17,000,000 (aye seventeen million) views and still counting!!!!!!!!)

Since the group’s inception, they’ve come to embrace the oddball world they’ve found themselves in, becoming part of the gnarled, handmade furniture you might say, drawing from a solid base and pushing, stretching, bullying it to their every whim, creating something of their own. You may make comparison to The Pogues, Billy Bragg, The Dropkick Murphys et al, and you’d be right to, but you’d be well advised to acknowledge the twist these five have put to their music themselves, making it something unique.

“Well it’s absolutely vital,” concurs McLaughlin on putting their own stamp on this music, something that has led to the band cultivating a marvellous versatility which sees them comfortable on any number of stages, in any number of situations. “And it means we can jump in on any line up in front of any crowd, and we’ve proven that. I think there are elements of what we do that appeal to everyone”

Indeed there are – from their heavy celtic roots to the driving punk rock rhythms, the cheeky lyrics and rampant, greased up bonhomie that drips from the stage whenever these five step up, this is what The Rumjacks bring. It’s been this versatility, not to mention the flat-out talent and drive they exude, that’s seen the band share stages with artists diverse artists from folk to 77 punk. It’s seen all their releases stand up as solid works, finding places amongst the collections of fans of rock, punk, folk, reggae, Irish and God knows what else.

“We could run mad with it, musically speaking” McLaughlin confides on what’s next – a new Rumjacks record, being pieced together as we speak for release later this year. “We draw on so many influences, but its important for us to force the bounds of what we already do, play good solid Punk rock with a fat smear of Celtic folk right through it, Hopefully contributing something substantial & new before the genre dies out as a novelty. There’s so much more energy this time around”

It almost seems impossible to suggest there’ll be more energy, for this isn’t something The Rumjacks have ever lacked before, either on stage or in the music itself. But these are five who have nothing to hide, they have no limit and there’s nothing to it but to make this music and make it loud, make it proud, add the extra energy and to hell with the consequences, for The Rumjacks and their slavering hordes will not be denied. They politely, but firmly, suggest you get on board.

(from second album Sober & Godless)

After last year when they managed to bring the house down at the Boomtown festival and even managed to take our minds off the £5 pints of water and early 9-30pm finish at the Garage I can heartily say to you all DO NOT MISS THEM ON THIS TOUR! Aye move heaven and earth to get to one of the gigs it will NOT disappoint I promises you. To find out more about the tour go to The Rumjacks web site here or the official Facebook event here or feel free to contact us at London Celtic Punks. 

(left to right) Anthony- drums Adam: banjo/mandolin Frankie: vocals/tin whistle/ Gabriel: guitars Johnny: bass

(left to right) Anthony- drums * Adam: banjo/mandolin * Frankie: vocals/tin whistle/guitar * Gabriel: guitars * Johnny: bass

Contact The Band

WebSite  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  YouTube  Bandcamp  Soundcloud

Discography

Hung Drawn And Ported (EP) 2009 * Sound As A Pound (EP) 2009 * Gangs Of New Holland (Album) 2010 * Crosses For Eyes (Single) 2012 * Blows & Unkind Words (Single) 2014 * Plenty (Single) 2014 * Sober & Godless (Album) 2015

* the boys are not just coming here they are spreading their wings around Europe and will also be touring around most of Europe in Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain, Serbia, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands so get over to their web site here to find a show near you!

Rumjacks Gig At The Garage 2015

PS- Watch out for some awesome support bands playing on this tour, the cream of our scene. The Cundeez, The Lagan, Matilda’s Scoundrels, Black Water County, East Town Pirates, Mick O’Toole. Many more to come as well!

 

SINGLE REVIEW: MICK O’TOOLE- ‘False Flag Collapse’ (2016)

No egos, no divas just working class men having a good time.
Mot
Back in 2012 in the deepest darkest Shire, Wiltshire in a town called Calne a bunch of mates came together and feeling bored with heavy metal decided to get a celtic punk band together. They called themselves Mick O’Toole. Named from a character in a song from fellow celtic-punk local legends The Boys Of County Hell who have been the major inspiration for the band along with likes of The Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, Gogol Bordello and The Pogues not to mention many other great punk bands such as The Clash, The Sex Pistols,The Adverts and Rancid. Mick O’Toole’s great sound comes from combining the ethos of punk with traditional folk music. With their first EP ‘Deep In Cider’ they set the benchmark sky high but managed to outdo even that with the release last year of ‘1665 Pitchfork Rebellion’ and it has shaken the celtic-punk world. Going on to claim EP of the year at both Celtic Folk Punk And More (here) and us as well (here) in our ‘Best Of 2015’ list. With hundreds of gigs behind them including blowing down the house at the London Celtic Punks New Years Eve bash in Camden the bhoys have but one goal. To keep making music that brings people together for a good ole knees up and a grand old sing along. They showcased this new single at that gig and it went down super well. Have a listen via the Bandcamp player below or the YouTube video above and I’m sure you will agree. Fast, furious, folky punky fun with a serious message of unity. The story goes that the inspiration for the song was hearing Johnny Rotten sticking it to the man while being interviewed by Jon Snow for the Channel 4 news programme.
‘Vile, nonsense, stupidity, lying and deceit. Modern politicians right now are uneducated morons and over privileged. Really bloody learn to love each other properly cause you only get one go at it”
-John Lydon

“Come gather round people politicians are preaching
The white Collars heating the fire of fearing
To scare us to war to fight for meaning
That wide open eyes have trouble in seeing
So black out your senses and all of your feelings
Let hatred immerse leave sympathy hidden
Yeah you boys and girls and people of ages
Hate on our neighbours for different agendas
We will go to war We will kill them all
It makes no sense at all But we still go to war
So why don’t we question what we’re told
When we fall like trees to the authorities
They’ll take what they want They’ll use all they need
Cut us wide open for their pleasure and greed
They abuse us, they use us, they tear us apart
Turn the lights off so we can’t see in the dark
We’re pawns in their games they use us to shield their comfortable lives as we die in the fields
We’re all brothers and sisters, we’re daughters and sons, fathers and mothers we all come from one
So why aren’t we all at peace
It’s time to take back the world that is ours
Let’s parade through the street and party all hours
Let’s refuse to conform to the hierarchy of old
We’re all this together no more us against the world
Load up guns and sharpen knives Strap bombs to yourself your kids and your wives
The powers have spoken and we have forgotten
That we’re here to love not for death and destruction”
100 Club

Mick O’Toole at The 100 Club, January 2016

Special guest vocals on the track are supplied by the Jamie Oliver of the UK Subs and was recorded, mixed and mastered by George Lever at G1 Production. Extra instruments and writing credits go to ex-O’Toole and all round top fella Johnny ‘Reprobate’ Edwards. Yet another great track from Mick O’Toole and the news we have all been wanting to hear from them is that they will be hitting the recording studio again soon and with several of the celtic-punk scene’s most favoured bands set to have 2016 album releases I am certain Mick O’Tooles will rival any of them for the Best Of 2016!

Contact The Band

Facebook  Bandcamp  ReverbNation  YouTube  Twitter

Buy The EP

FromTheBand– only £1!!!

you can watch this interview we done with the O’Toole lads a while back here.

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…

ALBUM REVIEW: FIRKIN- ‘Finger In The Pie’ (2014)

Firkin- The crazy Irish band from Hungary!

Firkin- Finger in the Pie (2015)

Well here we go again and I feel a sense of deja-vu here as we find ourselves reviewing yet another Hungarian celtic-punk record. We seem to have done so many this year it’s hard to keep a track of them all and once again its yet another outstanding album. The quality of the music and the bands is simply unbelievable and it completely baffles me how they can manage it. Lets face it the Hungarian scene dwarfs the scene here in England in both number of bands and releases. What attracts Hungarians in such numbers to celtic/Irish music is for others more knowledgeable than myself to comment on but I for one am sure glad they are.

NYE Firkin

Firkin are one of the biggest bands in Hungary and are these days quite a draw all across Europe too. They were formed in 2008 and have released a whole bunch of albums as well as official DVD’s and toured numerous times. If putting in the work gets you the glory then certainly Firkin have been working overtime.

Though it was released last year ‘Finger In The Pie’ sees Firkin ploughing much the same field as previous albums and we are not complaining one iota. Sadly the vocalist on this album, Barna Marthy, has since left but new singer Andy has stepped ably into his shoes and Firkin carried on without pause or catching breath! The first of the album’s fourteen tracks is an old Irish trad classic, and a personal favourite of mine, ‘Donegal Danny’. From the very first bars you’ll be amazed at how clear Barna’s vocals are and he could easily pass as a local! Fast as anything but still staying close to the traditional roots of the song, about a crew of fishermen from Killibegs, who are drowned at sea, bar one, in the wild ocean of the Atlantic. Written by Phil Coulter, a genius of Irish songwriting who counts ‘The Town I Love So Well’ and ‘Scorn Not His Simplicity’ among his most famous works.

“So here’s to those that are dead and gone
The friends that I loved dear
And here’s to you then I’ll bid you adieu
Saying Donegal Danny’s been here me boys
Donegal Danny’s been here”

Followed by ‘If I Could Be The Pope’ and this strikes a chord with me. About being brought up a Catholic and it never really leaving you. Great tune with again Barna and his vocals and lyrics on fire with the flute up front and as catchy a chorus your like to hear. Love this song and definitely one of the album stand out tracks.

(not brilliant sound quality but WHAT a spectacle!)

‘Kind And Fine’ is put to the tune of ‘The Foggy Dew’ and is sung by another former band member Pali. ‘Molly Malone’ you would have heard before numerous times I am sure and if I have one minor quibble it is that while theirs nothing wrong with including songs like this in your live set I don’t see the point of recording it but this takes nothing away from Firkin who make a great stab at it with the fiddle work and whistle especially standing out. Flute starts ‘Parasite’s Lust’ and if you think its heading into Jethro Tull territory you couldn’t be more wrong as soon the band are pulling it back into classic celtic-punk territory.

‘High And Low’ sees Firkin really pushing the boat out. A string sextet accompanies them on this epic ballad that has more than a wee nod to folk-metal but without the showoffery. The song occasionally feels like it may take off but the band show great restraint in holding it back. That restraint was certainly due as the following track shows Firkin’s metal edge much more clearly and ‘The Child Of Fire’ would be at home in any folk-metal bands repertoire. Judit Bonyár guest vocals on ‘I Am Who I Am’ and her voice suits the fast celtic- rock out perfectly. The fiddle is amazing on this track and the whole song despite the female vocals has the traditional Firkin feel about it that we have come to love. ‘Loch Lomond’ sees the band step into Scots territory and the pipes begin and even if the songs title doesn’t ring too many bells as soon as Barna begins to sing you’ll be accompanying the song along. Very nicely played and again played as fast as possible but with one foot firmly in traditional music. The album’s title track is up next and ‘Finger In The Pie’ begins slowly but soon speeds up into the album’s stand out track and guaranteed to have you leaping out of your chair.

“Early in the morning with the devil in my belly
Singing nasty little tunes of the drinks last night
My finger on the phone, but I throw it on the telly
and I reach out for the bottle right by my side”

During the early slow bits of this tale of unrequited love you can feel a surge is coming and it won’t disappoint when it arrives with fiddle, flute and a electric guitar solo all at play here with the frantic drumming.

Another female guest vocalist appears on the next song, ‘My Love John’, and again Nóra Fehér has the most beautiful voice that is simply perfect to sing this song. It has a 60’s/ 70’s classic English folk sound to it and with the strings sextet back on this number as well it shows the range that Firkin have and also how far they will go to achieve perfection for their music. ‘Dirty Julie’ shows that range again as Firkin punk it up with a daft song with a catchy tin whistle laden chorus. A nod to the North-East’s premier pop-punk band The Toydolls as well and we’re heading towards the end of the album and ‘Nincompoop’ and again its a fast paced punky number and looks like ‘Finger In The Pie’ is going to go out with a bang.

And indeed the album does end with a bang with ‘Jumpin’ Lovers’. A fast as hell instrumental using the famous ‘Tam Lin’ reel. Again this may mean not so much to you but soon as the song begins i guarantee you’ll recognise the tune. Lili’s fiddle playing has been perfect throughout the album and nowhere better than on this amazing song.

So you get thirteen songs with one instrumental of which the band penned eight and a collection of six covers of traditional songs that range from the obscure to the well known. Apart from the one tiny gripe mentioned above this is a great album and further cements Firkin’s place as one of Europe’s best and most favoured celtic-punk bands. At well over forty minutes you certainly get your monies worth too and the actual CD is put together with a lot of thought and devotion with band photos galore and lyrics included.

Firkin NYE

to be re-directed to the Facebook event simply click on the flyer

Firkin are heading our way later this month for a gig at the famous Dublin Castle in Camden on New Years Eve. They will be joined on stage by another band who recently lost an important member but have come back stronger than ever in Mick O’Toole. To say I am looking forward to this is an understatement and I can honestly say there’s no better way to see in 2016 than in the company of these two great bands.

Buy The Album

FromTheBand  iTunes  Amazon  

Contact The Band

WebSite  Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Soundcloud  Spotify

if you are interested in finding out more about the great scene in Hungary (and you’d be mad not to be) the best place to visit is the ‘Celtic Punk/ Irish Folk Hungary’ group on Facebook here.

for an alternative view of this album check here and read ‘Celtic Folk Punk And More’ and their view of ‘Finger In The Pie.

  • Firkin released ‘Revox’ this year which was a three track single featuring the songs ‘If I Could Be The Pope’, ‘Finger In The Pie’ and ‘Parasite’s Lust’ featuring new singer Andy and as stated above he has filled Barna’s shoes and more!

INTERVIEW WITH WILTSHIRE BAND MICK O’TOOLE

Well here’s a first for the London Celtic Punks web-zine… we have for you a video interview with Mick O’Toole a five piece southern cider swilling folk band from the deepest darkest Shire! The latest in our ever growing roster of bands we love.

Mick O'Toole

Now it wasn’t intended to be like this no. I expected a reply by e-mail but I had seriously misjudged how lazy they are and instead they done a video (anything to get out of typing)! Anyhow on reflection it seems a lot more fun and it had me creasing up. So grab yourself a big cup of tea and a packet of biscuits and settle down to hear the who, where, why, what, when and how of Mick O’Toole.

Sooo pretty much all you need to know about the Bhoys for now. You can check out their great EP ‘Deep In Cider’ by simply clicking play on the Bandcamp player below. OR the lads are playing in London next Saturday in Camden or in Kingston on Sunday with our good mates The Lagan and Matilda’s Scoundrels. Both gigs are free…yes *FREE* so you have no excuse to miss them! You can check out the event page here

You can read our review of their excellent second EP ‘1655 Pitchfork Rebellion’ here.

(from left to right)  Arron Heap, Mandolin and Vocals Tyler Shurmer, Guitar and BV's Johnny Edwards Vocals, Banjo, Accordion and Penny Whistle Guy Shergold Bass and BV's Jamie Squires Drums and Bv's

(from left to right) Arron Heap, Mandolin and Vocals
Tyler Shurmer, Guitar and BV’s
Johnny Edwards Vocals, Banjo, Accordion and Penny Whistle
Guy Shergold Bass and BV’s
Jamie Squires Drums and BV’s

Contact The Band

Facebook  Bandcamp  ReverbNation  YouTube  Twitter

EP REVIEW: MICK O’TOOLE- ‘1665 Pitchfork Rebellion’ (2015)

no egos. no divas. just five dirty cider drinking working class lads having a good time with a goal to make you jig and pissed..

Mick O'Toole- 1665 Pitchfork Rebellion (2015)

You would think that if anything celtic-punk moved in this country then we would be on it within seconds… well it don’t work like that and yet again we’ve come across an already established band who have somehow managed to pass us by until now. Formed in deepest darkest Wiltshire in a wee town called Calne in 2012 Mick O’Toole take their moniker from a song by local legends The Boys From County Hell who they say have inspired them the most. Combining the bands Irish roots with traditional English and celtic folk along with a strong punk ethos and a original punk sound M.O’T are firmly part of the celtic-punk scene. The band have chosen a very original, but confusing, name in Mick O’Toole. Like the rest of you I expected a singer-songwriter but soon as I pressed play and the banjo started it was not AOR folk that came out but drums followed by accordion and then some class cider obsessed celtic/folk-punk by these western lads. That was their first EP, released last year. ‘Deep In Cyder’ 3-track’s of ‘apple-core’ as Mick O’Toole put it themselves. The music is fast and furious and catchy as hell. Great shouty but tuneful vocals and mainly accordion led folky punk. Opening track ‘Cider Tonight’ kicks off the EP and is a blistering start while ‘Coming Home’ shows a gentler side to the band. The EP’s final track is ‘Ship Of The Line’ and returns the band to fast celtic-punk territory. For the first time the lead guitars are turned right up and you can see how they ended up supporting the UK Subs. A great chorus wrapped around a great tune and brings the EP to an end. You can get ‘Deep In Cyder’ as a free/ name your price download below.

press play below to hear the entire EP

With that early EP out of the way it brings us onto their new release another EP, though four tracks this time, called ‘1665 Pitchfork Rebellion’. What can I say except its more of the same except maybe a bit more punky and maybe a bit more polished and maybe even better than ‘Deep In Cyder’. The band have been gigging a lot and that shows in the songs. Sometimes they remind me of London-Irish celtic-punkers The Lagan when they speed right up. Those elements that made the first EP so good are all still there. The tuneful  shouty, and sometimes gang, vocals are still there as is the banjo, mandolin and accordion but they they’ve added tin whistle and the electric guitars are a lot more in eveidence now. Mick O’Toole have let the celtic influences seep into their sound and the result is flaming awesome.

(from left to right)  Arron Heap, Mandolin and Vocals Tyler Shurmer, Guitar and BV's Johnny Edwards Vocals, Banjo, Accordion and Penny Whistle Guy Shergold Bass and BV's Jamie Squires Drums and Bv's

(from left to right) Arron Heap- Mandolin, Vocals  Tyler Shurmer- Guitar,BV’s  Johnny Edwards- Vocals, Banjo, Accordion, Penny Whistle  Guy Shergold- Bass, BV’s
Jamie Squires- Drums, Bv’s

The EP kicks off with ‘Free Me’ and although definitly recognisable from them early days its all a lot more urgent. Mick O’Toole must put on one hell of a show but I bet their knackered by the end of it. Again it’s all their own original compositions and the standard is high. Only fifteen minutes so the whole thing leaves us gasping for more. ‘Knights In Ponty’ has tin whistle and guitar leading the way while ‘Casanova No More’ slows it down with banjo to the fore before the rest of the music comes crashing in. Final track ‘Ellie Loves London’ is also the EP’s most punk-rock song. As Oscar Wilde once said

“I love London Society! It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be”

London can chew you up as well as embrace you that much is true sadly…

Absolutely guaranteed to have you foot tapping and tankard slamming along to these original belters of a song. Mick O’Toole are that rare thing here in England a unashamed celtic-punk rock band. I say rare but the scene is growing at a alarming rate with bands popping up all over the place. The best thing is that they all have their own unique sounds and ways and Mick O’Toole are no different and their take on things is totally refreshing. They are maybe not a band for the folk purists but for those that like their celtic music with a bit of life in it will love Mick O’Toole as much as I do.

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