We rarely touch upon Folk-Metal on the site but when we do we tend to love it and Swede’s Rådarna have a new 3-track EP out now. Several Metal genres and even a touch of Celtic-Punk make this an EP well worth checking out.
Outside of the Celtic diaspora in places like north America, Australia and the UK Celtic music has always been popular but in a strict ‘Folk’ style but in the Scandinavian countries they have married that traditional Folk sound to their own native music and to Heavy Metal music rather than Punk with bands like the Finnish bands Finntroll and Korpiklaani. The sound spread to Ireland with Cruachan drawing inspiration from Black Metal with the Folk music of Ireland. These days Folk-Metal has become popular throughout the world and thrown up bands that play music with various influences including Folk, Celtic Folk, Pirate and Medieval influences. All of which crisscross at regular intervals and sometimes barely a cigarette paper can be found to separate them.
Today’s review is of the Swedish band Rådarna and while not really a band as such and more of a collaboration group of musicians founded by Rikard Falk with José MiguelMartinez who came together to write an album. That album, 2021’s The Fomorian Horde was very well received and even won Best Debut Album of 2021 on the excellent Folk-Metal web-site Folk-Metal NL. As Rikard says
“it’s sort of like the Frankenstein monster, he was just the monster but since everyone called him Frankenstein you eventually have to give in and be like, yes that’s Frankenstein! I and Jose Miguel Matinez write the music. Alexander VanTrue, Felipe Gruber, Salpien & Hector Ruano does the recording under my supervision.”
They have followed on from that album in pretty much the same vein with the new release, a 3-track EP called Heavenly Demons. On first track ‘The Braggarts Ballad’ everything that made the album so popular is in place. Mythology, drinking and plenty of dark humour bounce off each other and I’m sure Folk-Metal purists won’t mind me saying that it can be quite a humourless genre but Rådarna nail it without falling into parody. Various Metal styles are invoked here plus their are moments where they stray into Celtic-Punk too and it’s that mix of influences that gives the EP such a winning touch. Not having heard a great deal of the band Finntroll but it is to this bunch of Finns that Rådarna owe their sound they say and if you can get over the harshness of the vocals at times then for the typical Celtic-Punker it’s worthy of a listen.
Title track ‘Heavenly Demons’ follows and switches pace throughout and swirls around your head while Alexander Van True grunts and growls and occasionally croons over hard and brutal Metal accompanied by some wonderful accordion and fiddle. The EP ends with ‘Ballybog Boogie’ and if it makes sense – ‘more of the same but different’.
The EP will be a preview for our next album which will be thirteen tracks long and while that may be a bit much for the casual London Celtivc Punks reader for some like be it will be well worth waiting for.
2022 is nearly over and hasn’t it gone quickly blah, blah, blah. But it has hasn’t it? November already and almost time to raise a beer to the freedom fighter Guy Fawkes. The only person to enter parliament with good intentions!
A brand new Odds’n’Sods round-up of all this months Celtic-Punk entertainment from the scene’s bands big and small, established or just starting out.
Irish sensation (that’s the only word possible!) THE MARY WALLOPERS released their debut album a couple of days ago. The self titled album is eleven songs and forty minutes and is a collection of both unusual and rare and a some pretty well worn covers but brought to life in the unique Wallopers way. Looking forward to them visiting London in December as they head off on a major tour of the UK and Ireland.
We often repeat the mantra that Celtic-Punk man cannot live by Dropkick Murphys alone but we are as guilty as anyone with being obsessed with them! With their new album out a month now here’s the guys with a short eleven minute set recorded live at The Boch Center Wang Theatre by the The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame.
During the recording Ken mentions the new video they filmed of ‘The Last One’ that features Evan Felker of TURNPIKE TROUBADOURS who will be supporting the Murphys in Boston on March 16.
In case you missed them we recently had the pleasure of interviewing a couple of Dropkick Murphys with ex-member Marc Orrell and drummer Matt Kelly gracing these pages.
We featured MADIGAN’S WAKE and their debut single last month and here is their follow up a song written after the night terrors and they can be added to the list of great Aussie Celtic-Punk bands in my head! Available on Spotify or to pre-order.
Ukrainian band O’HAMSTERS have a 13-track album out soon and available for download as a pre-order from Bandcamp for $7. A band we have followed for a few years always great music and we look forward to more. All money raised from this album pre-order will go to HMV.UA– the team of volunteers headed by our friend Alex Sedov helping the army of Ukraine.
Another band we have been huge fans of over the years is ZUNAME Punk-Rock with bagpipes from Moscow. They just released a new album as well called Vertigo. Their fifth album and is on all streaming platforms https://band.link/vertigo. Recording of Vertigo began four years ago and events since then no one could have ever foreseen so they decided to stop postponing the release again and again and hope it will give folk the strength to get through these hard times and the best way for the band to support you.
The Black Tartan Clan were onew of the best and most popular Celtic-Punk bands in Europe with their McKenzies-ish bagpipe heavy Scots Celtic Rock’n’Roll so we were all saddened to hear they were non more but they re-surfaced and began life again as THE BLACK TARTANS and have been recording and playing live. They have a new song called ‘F’Corona’.
Even as this is ready to publish I’m still adding to it and THE MULLINS from the South of France have a new album, Gold In Our Hands, that I am writing the review to at the moment. It’s a cracking 40+ minutes of uptempo Celtic Punk’n’Roll I can’t wait to share with you. In the meantime here’s the latest single from the album.
This is an incredible live performance from French Celtic-Punk band CelKILT recorded live at this years Hellfest Open Air Festival in Clisson, France. Fifty glorious minutes!!
Great video from the Horslips influenced THE POXMEN. Formed in the bogs of Donegal thousands of years ago and recently ventured out into the cold modern air, with a bag of songs and a wheelbarrow full of instruments. Fuelled by Poitín, mushrooms and spuds, roaring and shouting and singing and playin, about the horses, the wee folk, the witches, the turf, the thunder and lightnin’, and the silver tractors of ancient times.
Not quite a new video from SWAINN but I only just rediscovered it so here it is again. It is from their awesome Under A Willow Tree album which we did review last year.
Brilliant Argentinian Celtic-Punk band RAISE MY KILT were on the telly last week. It’s all in Spanish of course but there’s a wee interview and the music starts about a minute in. They have 2 (two!) pipers!!!
Kings of Cow-Punk PRONGHORN still out there entertaining the masses in the South-West of England. This is them with an old traditional Ukrainian Folk song just a few days ago as I’m writing this.
THE REAL McKENZIES – Songs Of The Highlands, Songs Of The Sea
THE MAHONES – Jameson Street
MARCUS MUMFORD – (self-titled)
ZUNAME – Vertigo
MAN THE LIFEBOATS – Soul Of Albion
ZECKYBOYS – Dirty Brands (reviewed last week)
THE MULLINS – Gold In Our Hands (review coming!)
THE MARY WALLOPERS – The Mary Wallopers
Remember we can’t review it if we don’t hear it!
We’ve been doing this now for nearly 10 years and in that time we have covered 100’s of bands and musicians but still plenty of bands have passed us by. We can’t see everything after all so this column is to remind us of bands that never made these pages at the time but deserve another mention. These hopefully come with a free download like today so you can help yourself to some free music. DOOZER McDOOZE is a singer songwriter from Essex with a passion to play everywhere and anywhere! This is his debut album from 2014 but look a little closer and all his music is available for ‘name your price’ download from Bandcamp. In a download world of media solitude, Doozer likes to give music back to the people. He has a new single out now ‘Pirate Captain‘ and as usual if you can afford to leave him enough for a Guinness or two as a tip please do so.
The BIBLECODE SUNDAYS are at the Powerhaus in Camden (formerly Dingwalls) on Saturday November 5th. NEW MODEL ARMY play 3 Christmas dates ending at the Roundhouse starting on the 10th. SHEELANAGIG play groove heady traditional folk and have quite the following and play November 18 at their regular haunt in Brixton, the Hootananny. An interesting night in store on Decem,ber 15 with both THE SCRATCH and THE MARY WALLOPERS playing in Camden (mad I know!) so if you’re stuck check out our preview, One Night In Camden, to help you make your mind up which way to jump on the day itself! DROPKICK MURPHYS have announced THE RUMJACKS, PENNYWISE and JESSE AHEARNE as support for their Euro tour starting in Jan. One for the diary now and DAMIEN DEMPSEY is back at the Electric Ballroom in Camden the day after St. Patrick’s day which means he’ll probably be at the St. Patrick’s Parade in the afternoon though that is now shite and I promised myself I would never go again after last years abomination!
If you like what we do then you can support us by checking out our online store. The Harp’n’Bones design is back in all sizes and on black or white shirts. Also we have new polo shirts, in all sizes, and some nifty woolly hats as well as the Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer shirts. Click the link below for the full range of all our other tatt. Shirts, badges, stickers, flags, CD’s and fridge magnets all the discerning Celtic-Punk fan could ever need! Help keep Punk Celtic! https://the30492shop.fwscart.com/
It’s been great watching MAN THE LIFEBOATS career and we played ever such a tiny tiny part in it having put them on a couple of times but they truly are a great band. Funny, fast and raucous Folk-Punk with a few Celtic style flourishes. We’d call them Celtic-Punk though I doubt they would themselves still whatever they are their new album is tremendous. 11 songs but check out the first couple of songs here for an idea of the scope of their songs.
London Celtic Punks north-American writer Ray has a new EP out with his band RAVENSWALK out for Halloween. All-Hallows is 5 songs of his typical eclectic taste with spirited versions of Echo And The Bunnymen, The Rocky Horor Picture Show among 2!
RADARNA were founded by Rikard Falk after joining forces with José MiguelMartinez to write their debut album. With all the artists living in different countries live shows are unlikely to happen but they continue to record and just released a 3-track EP of FINNTROLL inspired Folk-Metal.
Accomplished multi-instrumentalist DAMIEN O’NEILL of legendary bands The Undertones and That Petrol Emotion has a solo project and has just released his third album, a collection of largely instrumental tracks, mixed by veteran producer Paul Tipler. The title ‘an crann’ is Irish for ‘The Tree’, a symbol of growth and inspiration.
I don’t know much about TIM LOUD except some people whose musical taste I respect are huge fans of his. He describes his new release as “These are some tunes I wrote for what was going to be an album but now it won’t be”. It’s available as a ‘name your price’ download via Bandcamp.
The re-released and re-mixed second album from DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS (now just to be called DEXY’S) Too-Rye-Aye from 1982 is out now on vinyl, CD, download and a beautiful 3 disc box set packed with extras. I have compared it to the original and yes it is much improved. It’s down with the treble and strip back the echo and give Kevin Rowland’s vocals room to breathe. As my mate said “it’s like they have taken off the polish and added wood stain”.
Finnish Celtic flavoured Punk band THE LORETTA PROBLEM have a new single Green ‘n Gray out in a couple of weeks. Expect a feature here of this fantastic innovative band.
Facebook is rubbish and I can’t wait to see it fold. It has a stranglehold on all forms of expression that is not good and it’s no surprise to see people leaving in droves. Don’t despair though if you are one of them as you can keep up with London Celtic Punks posts via group on the phone app Telegram. Similar to What’s App but completely free from outside interference. Join us on Telegram, don’t miss a single post and even receive the odd exclusive and special offer! https://t.me/londoncelticpunks/
Well we have been blown away by the response to the new London Celtic Punk badge. Not surprising really as they are so bloomin’ gorgeous. Just about the nicest bit of merchandise in Celtic-Punk if you ask me! Comes with butterfly clip and made in Ireland (Guaranteed Irish!) It’s available for just £5 – UK and £7 – EU post-paid and we’ll throw in a few stickers and a button badge too. For further overseas contact us and we’ll work it out. Send to Paypal (friends & family) to email@example.com
Even though we hate it Facebook does supply the (very) occasional ray of sunshine so a shout out to some good friends of ours over on Facebook. The Dropkick Murphys- Fan Page and the Celtic Punk, Folk And Rock Fansare two of the best music forums on FB let alone Celtic-Punk. Ran By Fans For Fans just like you and me. Like and join in the fun!
Finally a message to bands. Its Christmas soon (yes I know!) and if you are planning on doing a Christmas release then be sure to get the details to us by the beginning of December. Last year we could hardly keep up so give us a chance folks!
A reminder too that we need your news so anything you would like to share with the rest of the Celtic-Punk scene send it onto us.
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