We finally wave goodbye to 2022 with the announcement of who you the beloved readers of this site have chosen as the best of ’22.
2018 – KRAKIN’ KELLYS 169 votes (524 total)
2019 – MICKEY RICKSHAW 94 Votes (476 total)
2020 – THE GO-SET 281 votes (1105 total)
2021 – FEROCIOUS DOG 430 votes (1576 total)
The response to this year’s poll has been incredible. Almost every year the poll has run, the number of votes has increased dramatically. This time, by nearly 200 votes to 1,726. From the very start this year it was a two horse race between England’s own Ferocious Dog and Sweden’s Finnegan’s Hell with both way ahead of newcomers to the Celtic-Punk scene Reina Roja from Madrid. For the first time ever the artist with the winning number of votes hasn’t been an album but still an excellent show from Finnegan’s Hell. A mention here for Yorkshire banjo Punks Shanghai Treason too finishing in sixth place. There were over 600 votes in the ‘other’ section which I had to count individually and then go back and double check as some results were very close. Over here we believe in getting things right when people vote (!) so that’s why it’s taken a couple of days to tally up the final scores but here at last they finally are. Congratulations to everyone and cheers and beers to all who voted!
We have had such a diverse group of artists to win this award and this years winners Finnegan’s Hell are no different. We could see the writing on the wall with all the people from Sweden voting. Not that their fan base is reserved to their home country. They’re pretty popular in Hackney too! Reina Roja have done exceedingly well for a new band to these pages, coming in second place. In the Murphys Vs Mollys competition it was Flogging Molly who won easily winning over their Boston rivals in both the official London Celtic Punks Best Of 2022 awards and the 2022 Readers Choice.
1. FINNEGAN’S HELL – One Finger Salute
2. REINA ROJA – Hooligan Folk
3. FLOGGING MOLLY – Anthem
Usually it stands to reason that most votes will go to the ones that were actually listed on the poll but this year Ferocious Dog stormed away with the title with 455 votes. A record for our Readers Poll which they already held from last year! Only two other EP’s gathered any significant votes with loads more getting only single figures.
1. FEROCIOUS DOG – Too Late
2. BRICK TOP BLAGGERS – Obey The Tyrant
3. THE DEAD IRISH – Four Corners Of Hell
Thanks dear readers for taking part in the poll and congratulations to Finnegan’s Hell and Ferocious Dog. The further away we move from the covid lock downs the more it seems like some dystopian nightmare. Those days could have destroyed the Celtic-Punk scene, but on the evidence of last year’s releases the scene has bounced back and is as strong as ever. Our dream is that 2023 will bring these bands the recognition and success they richly deserve. Thanks to you for supporting London Celtic Punks and we ended ’22 with our highest yearly readership of all time, so expect good things from us too! Why not consider subscribing and never miss a post (the box is on the left when viewed on your lap top) or send us your email through the Contact Us page.
It’s that time of year again for the London Celtic Punks annual Best Of list. Has it really been a year since The Peelers waltzed (or should that be jigged) off with album of the year? It’s been possibly the best year for Celtic-Punk since we started doing this site and this was easily the closest it has ever been in that time. Pretty much all the big hitters, with one or two one notable exception (The Tossers where were you!), released records and on top of that a bunch of debut albums that were top class too.
so without further ado…
CLICK ON THE GREEN LINK TO BE FORWARDED TO REVIEW
2022’s #1 was the amazing new album from THE MAHONES. That they are as prolific as they are and yet can still put out quality like this 30 + years on is incredible. Well done Finny & co. FLOGGING MOLLY won the battle of the big Celtic-Punk 2 with the DROPKICKS and were also the best gig of the year for me personally (August in Dublin with Ferocious Dog). THE LUCKY TROLLS followed on from their Best EP award from 2019 with the highest place for any ‘outsider’ this year while Scandinavian stalwarts SIR REG gave us possibly their best album yet. REINA ROJA from Spain were another highly placed new band and their were several others among the Top 30. Their were also a handful of albums that didn’t qualify for the chart but were worth noting including a couple of greatest hits albums THE REAL McKENZIES – Float Me Boat and UNCLE BARD AND THE DIRTY BASTARDS – The Story So Far that were both superb introductions to the bands, the second volume of the Black 47 covers compilation AFTER HOURS VOL. 2 and finally the HEADSTICKS 10th anniversary album of the best songs of their career to date re-recorded.
As funny as it may seem the Best Debut Album award for 2022 was decided way back in January last year when the long awaited self titled debut album from Yorkshire banjo Punks SHANGHAI TREASON arrived in the post. Eleven original songs of high tempo energetic Celtic-Punk with some of the best banjo we heard all year long! On top of that later in the year they released a 3-track EP of songs that didn’t make the album that was also superb! That’s not to say it was a easy choice as by the end of the year REINA ROJA, THE LUCKY TROLLS and ZECKYBOYS all put out albums that challenged the Treason and in any other year could easily have won the award themselves.
A well deserved top two for THE RUMJACKS and their new singer Mikee. The split EP with FLATFOOT 56 in particular was absolutely flawless! Their were fantastic debut releases from THE DEAD IRISH, THE GALLOWGATE MURDERS and THE RAMSTAMPITS out of the Celtic nations of Ireland and Scotland that completely blew us away and were eagerly anticipated. A word here for BOG IRON from California who I found completely by accident and been playing ever since.
In what is usually the hardest category to choose from we actually had a very easy choice this year with the new album from Boston singer-songwriter BRYAN McPHERSON never off our play list all year long. The great news is that Bryan is heading to these shores in the Summer and we are very happy to be helping out. Dundalk’s THE MARY WALLOPERS were busy all year round and ended 2022 with a sell out London show and a debut album in December. The debut album from THE WINTER CODES saw a welcome return to the wider music scene for Barney the original vocalist for Blood Or Whiskey. Some may be surprised to find the first solo album from MARCUS MUMFORD listed but it really was a great album both musically but especially lyrically.
A new section this year and the first winner is THE OUTCAST CREW out of Laois in the Irish midlands. A new single and video directed, filmed and edited by Thomas Moyles that came out at the end of the Summer. Laois is famous for an abbey, some gardens, a castle and a couple of lakes and now a kickarse class Celtic-Celtic-Punk. They won the 2020 Celtic Punk debut album of the year and it’s about time we heard some more guys!
The competition for best Celtic-Punk video of the year was incredible so next year (which will be our 10th anniversary) we will make a bit more effort and maybe even include you in the decision!!
There were several people involved in the collation of these results and so it is that some of those people may not have heard every album listed or released through the year. If you’re album is not listed maybe you didn’t send it us or not all the folks here heard it so couldn’t give a opinion so really don’t feel too put out. We’re not perfect but we do try our best.
This is the ninth year we’ve been doing these Best Of lists. It seems incredible looking back at some of the previous winners and also-ran’s just how many bands are still with us from Year 1. Have a look for yourselves just click on the year below to redirect.
If you like what we do then why not visit our shop where you can buy all manner of Celtic-Punk tatt including t-shirts, badges, stickers, CD’s, fridge magnets, patches, Celtic nations flags and we just got in new for ’22 some bobble hats and polo shirts.
Alongside the Best Of polls we also run a special Readers Choice poll where you get to pick your favourite release of the year. This will be the fifth year it’s been running with Krakin’ Kellys, Mickey Rickshaw, The Go-Set and Ferocious Dog our previously champions! Last year we had well over 1500 votes (the most ever!) so remember the auld Irish adage ‘Vote Early – Vote Often’. There is only room on the form to list the Top Ten albums but there is an option for YOU to write in your favourite release (album or EP) of the year.
Poll will run until midnight on Tuesday 31st January 2023. You can vote twice. If the release you want to vote for is not listed then you can write it in.
Keep up to date with London Celtic Punks web-zine for all the latest news, record reviews, features and plenty more. Find all our social media here
Debut album from Spanish Celtic-Punk hooligans Reina Roja. Seven songs and a song or two you’ve never heard done quite like this!
Back when we started doing this Spain was a major player in the Celtic-Punk scene but over the years things have gone a little quiet. Their are still some great bands and releases (this years album from Drunken Fighters for starters) but I think the decision to retire the Spanish based web-site Celtic Folk Punk And More had a knock on effect. The bands are still there but we hear less from them and about them. One of the bands out there that are new to us have actually been together for eight years! Reina Roja formed in 2014 in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, a suburb of Madrid in central Spain. Their name means ‘Red Queen’ and though many faces have changed in the band from those early days the commitment to Hooligan Folk remains the same. Their style of music perfectly captures the traditional melodies of Folk and Celtic music but played fast and hard and with a freewheelin’ Punk-Rock attitude that the band themselves label as Hooligan Folk.
“the festive atmosphere and full of attitude that is generated in a neighbourhood party, after a game of the local team or at the bar of a bar. An atmosphere of celebration, but that does not forget the daily problems and that underpins the consciousness of the working class.”
The album kicks off with the spirited ‘Dragón Verde’ and instantly the tune goes into ‘Drunken Sailor’ but then veers off again. Plenty of gang vocals and that stop-start Hardcore approach that I particularly love. The fiddle and tin whistle is amazing and put to such great use too. The lyrics are all in Spanish, something we don’t mind at all. Bands shouldn’t be afraid to sing in their own languages. These days Celtic-Punk is international but bands still prefer to song in English despite by it’s very nature the English language being a foreign language in the very places where Celtic music comes from. Still it does make things easier for me when it comes to reviewing! The catchy ‘Sigue Luchando’ sees Agnes, vocalist of Lilith y Miss October, starring alongside Gonzzz on vocals. Their is a certain way Spanish Punk bands sound making them instantly recognisable even when not sung in Spanish and Gonzzz’s voice is strong and shouty but still tuneful and able to hit them notes well. ‘Tensión’ comes from their earliest days as a band and hits all the right catchy as f*”k buttons. Chugging guitars and pounding bass and drums all combining for one hell of a sound. ‘Johnny. ¿Qué Ha Pasado?’ is trad Celtic-Punk with a real Irish tinge to the first half showing a real talent for Folk music that you must have to be a successful Celtic-Punk band and ending with a cool terrace chant! ‘Banshee’ flits along between Metal and Punk but still with the Celtic influence leading. Reina Roja are joined for a second time here on guest vocals for ‘Lo Que Nunca Fuimos’ by Fernando Madina of Reincidentes and Ángel of Envidia Kotxina and is in much the same vein. Fast,catchy, tuneful, spirited Celtic-Punk party music. Hooligan Folk comes to an end with ‘Barriles de Revolución’ and this may, or may not, be a drinking song as the English translation is ‘Barrels of Revolution’! They save the fast till last and go out in a blaze with the same winning formula.
Only seven songs but 25 minutes of music means the songs all have time to develop and Reina Roja use the time well. Punk songs tend to be short and even at three minutes bands tend to wrap it up as soon as possible so it’s nice to hear longer songs that still keep the attention. As amazing as it was to only just hear of a band that had been together as long as this the biggest surprise was that this was their debut release. What have you been doing guys? The album was recorded and produced at the Corleone studios by Mr. Chifly the guitarist of Habeas Corpus and he has done a grand job capturing things especially the Celtic instruments. Hooligan Folk is a great album capturing the spirit of Celtic-Punk perfectly.
(Stream / download Hooligan Folk from the Bandcamp player)
Remember the heat-wave couple of weeks ago? Well it’s raining here now! Welcome to a typical English summer. Never mind though here’s another Odds’n’Sods to keep you occupied for a bit. A whole load of Celtic-Punk entertainment from all the scene’s bands big and small, established or just starting out.
Sadly we start with news of the death of three figures that London Celtic Punks can say were close to us. First our great friend and comrade Scott very sadly passed away last month. To say this was a shock is a massive understatement and all of us here will miss the stand up guy that Scott was. Sometimes you meet folk who are universally loved by everyone they meet. So much that when they share some of their time with you you feel it is a real privilege. An all round good guy was Scott and he will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all who crossed his path. Our thoughts and prayers to his family and his many friends.
Irish singer Cathal Coughlan, frontman with acclaimed indie bands Fatima Mansions and Microdisney, recently died aged only 61. His family announced the news, saying he “slipped away peacefully in hospital after a long illness”. Born in Cork, Coughlan formed Microdisney in 1980, relocating to London in 1983. Playing smooth jangling indie-pop they were much admired though chart success eluded them. Splitting up in 1988 he formed Fatima Mansions, whose output included everything from intense punk-adjacent rock to Europop and romantic balladry, with Coughlan celebrated for his intense delivery. Their masterpiece was their second album, Viva Dead Ponies, on which you never know if you’re going to get something as hauntingly melodic as ‘The Door-to-Door Inspector’ or something metallic and industrial-influenced like ‘Look What I Stole for Us, Darling’. Here is a link for a free download of this classic album and our thoughts are with Cathal’s family and friends.
Finally Mark Astronaut of the 80’s /90’s /00’s /10’s/ 20’s band THE ASTRONAUTS. Born out of the English Anarcho-Punk scene it was Mark’s lyrics that lifted the band into another world and while the music often flirted between Folk, Punk and Prog-Rock it was his words that made the band. A typically shy English eccentric who seemed to be born into the wrong era sometimes. I had the good fortune to meet him and put on his band numerous times even to the point when he once told me that I was the only promoter who would book him. Beautiful story telling lyrics sung with passion and belief.
The great Yorkshire Celtic-Punks SHANGHAI TREASON played live at Silverstone Woodlands on the weekend of the British Grand Prix last month. Here’s them performing ‘Drowning Heart’.
Our favourite Czech Republican Celtic-Punk band FOGGY DUDE have a new single out ‘Ode To Flying Spaghetti Monster’ accompanied by a fantastic video. Black Metal style beginning continued with a sea shanty and followed by a true Celtic-Punk kick ass symphony, even non-Italians should be delighted.
FORFOCSEIC is the Celtic Punk solo side project of Boston-based singer/songwriter Thom Dunn and he is releasing some absolutely stunning Celtic-Punk with just him and himself playing all the instruments. Check out his latest offering two versions of the great Shane MacGowan penned track ‘Streams Of Whiskey’. We will be reviewing his album Ní Neart Go Cur Le Chéile in the next couple of weeks after we have had a proper listen!
THE KILMAINE SAINTS released a new video of their cover of the House Of Pain classic ‘Jump Around’ recorded live at last months Celtic Fling festival.
I love a bit of Psychobilly me and here’s German band THE DIGGERZ doing a wicked cover of sea-shanty and Celtic-Punk staple ‘Drunken Sailor’.
THE MULLINS are proud to present the first single from their upcoming eponymous album! It’s coming out September 17th and you can pre-order to help the band out.
Indonesian Celtic-Punk is the best and we were taken aback at the great new single from WOLF FROM HOME from Pantura. Guys if you see this send us more information on the band.
The prolific Irish singer-songwriter KEVIN O’DRISCOLL has another album out recently Rebel Blood, Fenian Heart. You can check it out on Spotify.
Last month was news of a new Mahones album and tour and today we can tell you of the release of Time To Burn by the Punk supergroup ULTRABOMB. Made up of Greg Norton of Hüsker Dü. Jamie Oliver of the U.K.Subs and Finny McConnell of The Mahones. These guys are going to be a force worth reckoning. Their recent UK tour was cancelled and no news on it’s re-arrangement yet.
THE WORKING CLASS SYMPHONY are one of the best Celtic-Punk bands in the world? You don’t know them well that’s probably because they are from Indonesia and you haven’t given them a fair chance. We love and guarantee you will too. Check them out on You Tube and Facebook and look forward to catching them live at the end of the year. They are heading over sometime between December – January and need the help of the Celtic-Punk community. If you can help with the tour in any way then drop them a line and let them know.
REINA ROJA – Hooligan Folk (review on its way!)
THE DEAD IRISH – Lost In The City EP
RAISE MY KILT – Raise My Glass
ULTRABOMB – Time To Burn
NICK HART – Nick Hart Sings Ten English Folk Songs
Remember we cannot review it if we don’t hear it first!
REINA ROJA from Madrid have a new album out this month. Having already heard it I can tell you now it is bloomin’ brilliant and I’m looking forward to reviewing it. Hopefully they’ll have some decent live videos out by then but here’s a vid that’s a couple of years old and shows them off.
In the 9 years we’ve been doing this 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. Formed in 2005 LAD CUIG were a Catalonian Celtic-Punk band that changed styles around 2013 and released their second album album Poemes de Destrucció in 2016 and it’s available as a ‘name your price’ download. Lád Cúig are still going strong and released the album From Within at the end of last year.
SINFUL MAGGIE have a new album, Psychos And Sycophants, out soon and the album launch will be 1st October down sarf where they live. Dublin Metal style acoustic Folkies THE SCRATCH are touring in December and playing Camden Underworld on December 15th. Expect to see a few of us at that one. NEW MODEL ARMY play 3 Christmas dates ending at the Roundhouse on the 10th. FLOGGING MOLLY tour in August with support from good folk FEROCIOUS DOG (see above for dates) and DROPKICK MURPHYS play the London Arena in January. You’re welcome to post in any gig or tour info and looking forward to including some news from The Working Class Symphony soon!
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/
Facebook is shit. Proper shit. That the world’s most ‘popular’ social media site has only 2/5 in the play app store says it all! It’s stranglehold on all forms of expression is not good and it’s great 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 our wee group on the phone app Telegram. Similar in style (but better and easier to use) 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/
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 CelticPunk, Folk And Rock Fans are 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!
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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