2 years ago, Sheffield-based Shanghai Treason played their first gig. Now the wait is over…January ’21 sees the release of their self-titled debut album! If you’re partial to a bit o’ Dropkicks, Flogging and Roughneck Riot (and if you’re reading this, you probably are), then these “Yorkshire banjo punks” should be to yer liking. This record sounds like a band working hard, having fun, and determined to make a difference.
As we all know, the banjo is a firm favourite in any Celtic punk line-up. And on this record, the instrument makes its mark immediately. “Emerald Causeway” is a cracking tune to start things off, an energetic number where banjoist Tom Hardy leads the way.
This is a sign of a band that shows promise, and we’re not the only ones who’ve noticed. The boys have been picked up by none other than The Rumjacks, who’ve taken them out on their current UK tour. Sadly, some shows have been cancelled – including Glasgow, dammit – but it’s a great early opportunity for the band in any case.
Now, the music might make an impression on the listener, but so too do the lyrics. In next track “Gatling Gun”, which has been released as a single, we hear clever lines from singer Sam Christie such as The city sucked me in, and moved the goalposts. A better one is Would you sew my eyes shut? I got a needle – you got any thread? That one’s from “The Fiendish Blue”, and I had to grin when I heard it. It’s always good to see a band using words in an intriguing way, right down to their band name.
Shanghai Treason stays true to the Celtic punk tradition, by boasting its fair share of speedy, 2/4-time songs. Listen to “On The Ropes”, where the accordion takes over and gives the banjo a wee rest. “Wildfire” sounds like it’ll be another thrasher, but a break in the middle saves it, before we’re plunged back into the fast-paced fun. Importantly, “Wildfire” also features Dan Booth, well known for his work with Ferocious Dog. Dan played fiddle on the track, and also co-handled production of the album. For Shanghai’s take on FD’s “Crime And Punishment”,
Despite the faster numbers, the band is apt at writing slower tunes too. “Uphill Battle” is a good example, with a steady jig rhythm commencing halfway through, making the song one of my favourites on the album. A much sadder example is “Hero’s Welcome”, a song about a POW returning home from war, only to be suspected of being a spy and tragically killed. Closing track “Boatman” is the other acoustic-led one, where the eponymous boatman could be literal, or maybe a metaphor, leaving it up to interpretation.
Where can I hear the album?
The best way to show these lads some support is to head to their Bandcamp page. There, you’ll find not only the album but some kick-ass merch. If ye fancy a listen first, there’s a wealth of videos on the band’s YouTube page for you to try, and be sure to subscribe!
If streaming’s your thing, and ye wanna contribute some royalties to the band, you can also give them a listen on Spotify or Apple Music. Last of all, be sure to drop ’em a message and stay in touch on either Facebook or Instagram. Their Facebook page lists lots of upcoming shows as the world slowly gets back to gigging ways.
Thanks for readin’! Or as they say in Scotland…slàn leat agus pòg mo thòin 😁☘️
Summer’s here, the pubs are re-opening, live music is returning and the world of Celtic-Punk is getting back to normal as well! This months Odds’n’Sods features all the band news, record releases, videos from bands big and small across the Celtic-Punk scene.
Kicking off this month with the new video from THE DROPKICK MURPHYS continue their tradition of celebrating their bagpipers with this beauty dedicated to new piper Lee Forshner. The vid is animated by Adam Murphy (@adammurphyart).
A whole host of new tour dates have been released too with several English and Scots dates culminating in a gig at Wembley Arena!
New tour dates announced today from THE RUMJACKS of their most extensive tour of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland ever for Jan/ Feb 2022. Supported on most dates by the fantastic SHANGHAI TREASON. Check both bands FB pages for dates.
Speaking of SHANGHAI TREASON they put out the third track from their upcoming debut album last week. ‘On The Ropes’ tells of a boxer approaching retirement and again shows their the hottest band in Celtic-Punk at the moment.
English Celtic-Folk-Punk rockers FOLK THE SYSTEM release their second album soon and it’s available for pre-release sale from http://www.folkthesystem.co.uk
Eddie Lawlor from the fantastic Aussie Celtic-Punk band MEDUSA’S WAKE has been releasing the odd solo track here and there and his new one ‘The Orange And Green’ shows what a great talent this fella is. You can watch it on Facebook here.
Exciting news from the Orient (and I don’t just mean the appointment of Kenny Jackett) that the new single from Chinese/ Liverpool Irish band GRASS MUD HORSE lands next week and features the incredible vocal talents and tin-whistling of yer man himself FRANKIE McLAUGHLIN. Tune in here on June 8th to hear it.
Cool as hell video from THE POSITIVE AUTISM of the Murph’s ‘Shipping Up To Boston’. The Positive Autism is 2-Man Band featuring an autistic singer (Micah) and his dad (Danny). We make music to promote autism acceptance. Micah has difficulty talking to people so music gives him a voice. Exact;ly what music ought to do. Support the guys and if you have a song request for Micah leave it in the comments.
Norway’s Premier League Celtic-Punk hitters the GREENLAND WHALEFISHERS have re-visted, re-mastered and re-released their first four albums. Mainstreet Sword, Loboville, Streets Of Salvation and the collection of B-Sides and other crap, Amazing Space (b-sides and other crap). The albums are available on all digital platforms now.
Toronto band OLD MAN FLANAGHAN’S GHOST have a new album out. Re-mastered and re-jiggered from their Covid Live Stream performance. Fourteen tracks of covers and originals they have never recorded before.
I can’t remember how I came across TEDDY HORSE but imagine a sound somewhere in the middle of Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Will Oldham and the Godfather of Celtic-Punk Shane MacGowan. A sort of Celtic-Emo if you will. Unusual but a real grower.
FIDDLER’S GREEN premiered their new track ‘Haul Away, Joe’ on You Tube this month and it features the comforting sound of a hurdy-gurdy!
THE POKES – Sail
LEWIS BURNER – Dark Wheels Turn Above Our Heads
LIDDINGTON HILL – Cow
SHAMBOLICS – Goin’ Off
THE BLACK CLOVER – Just Another Pub
remember we can’t review what we haven’t heard!
The ever prolific London Celtic Punks fave TIM HOLEHOUSE has a new album out called simply ‘?’. It’s a collection of tracks from compilations, and some other unearthed gems.
Galician street punk / Oi! band KELTOI! celebrate 15 years together in 2021 and have just released a 2-track single. If you’re into bands like the Cockney Rejects then check these guys out. The very definition of a CELTIC-punk band!
This month we are re-visiting my favourite album from Canadians KNACKER’S YARD. High energy traditional Celtic-Folk from Victoria, BC, since late 2012. Gangers, Chancers And The Craic was released on July 6, 2018 and features an amazing seventeen songs and is available as a ‘name your price’ download on Bandcamp. Strongly committed to the preservation of over four centuries of Irish, Scottish, and English traditional music. For fans of The Dubliners, Pogues, Wolfe Tones, Ryan’s Fancy, Stan Rogers, Ewan MacColl, Shirley Collins, Dominic Behan, Planxty, and many more! Knacker’s Yard are still playing and releasing albums and are now up to seven with last year’s Strayaway Child.
Facebook has become an unlikeable monster with more and more good folk leaving. Can’t say I blames you. So we have set up a Telegram group. Similar but better (and easier to use) than What’s App and free from Facebook control. Join us on Telegram and don’t miss a single post!https://t.me/londoncelticpunks/
All we need to do now is for you to help fill this page with news and remember if you are new to the London Celtic Punks blog it is easy to subscribe / follow and never miss a post. Also if anyone is interested in helping out on the reviews front then let us know via the Contact Us page.
Well here we go again. It only seems like five minutes since I was compiling all the votes into last years Best Of that saw The Rumjacks romping home with Album Of The Year. This year has been a bit quieter on the Celtic-Punk front but as last year was so busy that is perhaps not surprising. That’s not to say their weren’t some fantastic releases as their were plenty and it was still really difficult to come up with the various lists below. Not so many big bands this year so it was left to the lesser known bands to shine but remember this is only our opinion and these releases are only the tip of the iceberg of what came out last year. Feel free to comment, slag off or dissect our lists. As a bonus we are adding the Readers Poll again this year so you can even vote on your favourite release of 2019 yourself. If it’s not listed then simply add your choice.
We don’t pretend to be the final word as that my friends is for you…
(click on the green link to go where you will find more information on the release)
How to compete with last year? Every single top band in the genre released an album so things were always going to be a bit quieter for 2019. Top spot this year unsurprisingly goes to The Walker Roaders Celtic-Punk super group! With Pogues, Mollys and Dropkicks making up the team how could they possibly go wrong! Everyone’s ‘next big thing’ Mickey Rickshaw came in a well deserved second and Ferocious Dog took third after releasing their best album, for me, since From Without. Greenland Whalefishers celebrated 25 years on the road with their best album for quite a while and what Best Of would be right without some bloody brilliant Irish-American bands challenging at the top too. Pipes And Pints new album with a new singer received acclaim from across the Punk media and The Rumjacks couldn’t follow up last years unanimous victory despite having two album releases (both sort of live) in the top thirteen. Fiddlers Green continue to make consistently great albums and go into 2020 celebrating thirty years together! Good to see homegrown bands The Whipjacks, The Tenbags, The Filthy Spectacula and Sons Of Clogger making it too. The top thirty was made up of thirteen countries from USA, England, Norway, Czech Republic, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Argentina, Japan, Quebec, Hungary, Spain and Japan.
The Lucky Trolls took #1 spot with their brilliant self-titled EP following on from fellow countrymen the Krakin’ Kellys multi award winning 2018. Trust me it would have taken an exceptionally good release to keep The Party by Drunken Dolly off the top spot but that is what happened. Dolly’s excursions over to these shores this year j=has seen them grown in stature and you can’t go to a Ferocious Dog gig without spotting at least a dozen of their shirts. Loretta Problem wowed us with their single ‘Waltz Of My Drunken Dream’ which took us right back back to The Pogues glory days and what about that accompanying videotoo!! If we had a award for best video then that would have walked it. The Kellys had a quiet year with comparison to ’18 but still managed a respectable #5 and great debut releases from The Placks our sole representative from a Celtic nation (big things are going to happen to this band in 2020 mark my words), Italian/Aussies The Cloverhearts and, from just down the road from my Mammy, Shanghai Treason from Sheffield who only put out one song… but what a song! Eight countries represented from Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Scotland, Argentina, Australia and Yorkshire!
Argentina is becoming a bit of a hot-spot for Celtic-Punk with not only some well established bands but also some new ones starting up too and with this release Aires Bastardos announced their arrival on the international scene too. Not afraid to dive straight into a folk number after a Cock Sparrer cover they veer from standard Celtic-Punk to Folk and back to fast as hell Punk but in that really accessible way that only Celtic-Punk (and maybe Ska-Punk) bands can do.
The Dreadnoughts don’t really think of themselves as Celtic-Punk so I reckon they’d be happier to win this than Celtic-Punk Album Of The Year. A superb collection of sea shanties that is a pleasure to listen to that was always going to be #1. Crock Of Bones representing the London Irish in 2nd with an album of trad folk with punk rock attitude and it’s especially good to hear some originals done in the style of the ‘auld ways’. 6’10 challenged for the top spot as they always do with everything they release and Bryan MacPherson and Callum Houston both produced great releases of singer-songwriter acoustic folk with Irish roots.
Sadly the Celtic-Punk world has shrunk a little regarding Web-Sites. Winners of the last two years the Mersey Celt Punks have been slacking (sort it out lads!) and enjoying their gigs too much to tell us while Shite’n’Onions have been too busy transferring everything onto a different platform and preparing for a bit of a re-launch I expect. Sadly celtic-rock.de have shut up shop after twelve years so it just makes it all the more clear how much we all miss Waldo and his fantastic Celtic-Folk-Punk And More site. As regular as clockwork and all the news that was ever fit (or not!) to print. Closing down the site in its 10th year in March must have been a tough decision to make and so this year we award best Website to Waldo and let it be known that no Celtic-Punk site will ever come close to replacing you. We would certainly not exist without his kind help and inspiration. All the best comrade enjoy your retirement! One welcome addition is Michu and his Celtic-Punk Encyclopediasite from Poland. Worth checking out especially if you are in a band.
We are not alone in doing these Best Of 2019 lists in fact all the major players in celtic-punk do them so click below to check out what they thought.
So there you go. Remember we don’t pretend to be the final word on things in fact if you check the other Celtic-Punk media I’m sure we’ve all come up with relatively different lists. Our Best Of’s are cajoled and bullied out of the admins from the London Celtic Punks Facebook page. The assorted scraps of paper and beer mats were then tallied up please remember not all of us heard the same albums so like all the various Best Of’s ours is also subjective.
This is our 8th year of making these Best Of lists so if you would like to check out out who was where in our previous ones then just click on the link below the relevant year.
Last year we introduced a new feature THE READERS PICK. We had no idea if it would work or not but it was a raging success so we going to do it all again this year. With well over 500 votes cast you lot chose the debut album from the Krakin’ Kellys as a worthy winner. Only the Top Ten albums are listed but there is an option to write in your favourite release or just to send us love… or abuse!
You are allowed to vote twice but not for the same artist.
The Poll will close at midnight on Friday 31st January with the result announced soon after.
remember any views, comments or abuse or slander we would love to hear it…
Sláinte, The London Celtic Punks Crew- January, 2020