Celtic-Punk Rock – Made in Savoy in the Western Alps. The debut release from Sabaudia Mob.
A new band from France this three track EP was released into the Celtic-Punk world with little to non fanfare at the end of March and only came to our attention by pure luck. Not a great deal of information on the band is available so feel free to check them out yourselves at the links below. The self titled EP begins with the famous trad Irish instrumental ‘The Morrison Jig’. The song is named after the Sligo-born, Irish-American fiddler James Morrison, who recorded it in the 1930s. Tom Carmody, who played accordion in Morrison’s band, tells this story of its origin
“Jim was up at my house the night before we were to go to the studio, and I played him this jig. Jim asked me where I had got it from and I told him it was my father’s jig called “The Stick Across the Hob”. Jim asked me to play it again and he wrote it down as I played, then he got the fiddle and played it off. “I will put that on record tomorrow”, he said, and we’ll call it “Maurice Carmody’s Favourite”.
From such humble beginnings the song has become internationally famous and been performed across the world by, I dare say, every Irish trad artist of the last fifty years. It’s also a song that has had a a handful of Celtic-Punk covers with Swagger, the Krakin’ Kellys and The Dead Irish all recording it. Sabaudia Mob record it fairly faithfully to what you’d expect but the stand out thing here is the amazing accordion. We can often forget that ‘in’ France they have a very strong Celtic tradition and Breton people like in the rest of the Celtic nations have migrated around the country spreading their music and culture so that even a band from the western Alps can sound authentically Celtic as Sabaudia Mob. Their are only three songs here and the production is a but muddy with the vocals not particularly sharp but despite this the music is outstanding. The second track is a cover of The Dreadnoughts ‘Battleford 1885’ (from 2022’s Roll And Go) telling of the hanging on November 27, 1885, of eight Indigenous men for murders committed in the North-West Rebellion. Fast and angry here the song is played as much more Punk than Folk but again superb accordion lifts it up. The last song is another cover this time from Italian band The Rumpled. ‘Stand Up’ is from 2020’s Toss The Coin and while i’d have loved to hear more of their own material the choice of cover is very interesting. Again they don’t stray too far from the original but inject plenty of energy and vim into one of The Rumpled’s best tracks.
(You can stream or buy Sabaudia Mob via the Bandcamp app below)
In the olden days of cassettes I suppose this EP would have been labelled a ‘demo’ and as such is a great way to announce the band to the world. At €7 to download for three songs it is perhaps a little (!) ambitious to charge so much but it’s well worth a listen and a look forward to what they have planned for the future.
The year is flying by and as usual March was a fantastic month for Celtic-Punk fans. Some big hitters released their first albums in ages and here’s your chance to catch up with some of them and the others in this month’s Odds’n’Sods. All the news fit to print on what’s going in our wonderful Celtic-Punk world. From the scene’s bands big and small, established or just starting out it’s all in here!
We start this month with one of my favourite Celtic-Punk bands. The new single from ‘Yorkshire Banjo Punks’ SHANGHAI TREASON is The Lighthouse and is taken from the bands upcoming second album.
THE RUMJACKS newly released video of ‘Tell Me What Happened’ off their Hestia album. Shot and edited by Mike in Reggies, Chicago.
THE TOSSERS have a new album out and it’s imaginatively called The Tossers… A mix of auld songs, some interesting and unusual covers and a smattering of some effing brilliant new songs including this the opening track. True heirs to Shane MacGowan’s legacy.
THE LONGEST JOHNS are a Bristol based, acapella folk music band, born out of a mutual love of trad folk songs and shanties. They rock maritime songs alongside the more unusual and less traditional folk tunes. Here’s the lead single from their new &-track EP.
The reb’s are sung loud and proud in NYC with THE IRISH MUTTS giving it plenty live down at the Bungalow Bar last week in Rockaway Beach, NY.
Dutch band MAGGIE’S FLOCK released a great new single dedicated to St. Patrick’s which we somehow missed for the last Odds’n’Sods but here it is!
SELFISH MURPHY formed in 2011 in Transylvania, Romania and until then Celtic / Irish Punk-Rock was unheard there. These folks are real trailblazers! In 2016 the band re-located to Budapest in Hungary where i’m hoping to see them soon!
London Irish Folk and Americana band FOLLOW THE CROWS released ‘Don’t Mind The Rain’ at the beginning of March and accompanied it with a rather good video too.
Bit of a slog at over three hours long but watch the official live stream as the New York Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment once again leads the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade as it marches down midtown Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in New York.
THE GO SET – The Warriors Beneath Us
THE LEVELLERS – Together All The Way
THE DREADNOUGHTS –Green Willow
FLOGGING MOLLY – ‘Til The Anarchy’s Restored (EP)
THE TOSSERS – The Tossers
UNCLE BARD AND THE DIRTY BASTARDS – These Are The Days – Live In France
CRUACHAN – The Living And The Dead
LANKUM – False Lankum
THE EAST RIVER RATS – The Year Of The Rat
DAOIRI FARRELL – The Wedding Above In Glencree
THE KILMAINE SAINTS – Same Again Tomorrow
THE MUCKERS have started a kickstarter to help fund their next album. You’re invited to help out this amazing band by donating to get the ball rolling! They are offering all sorts of limited-release bonuses to folks who help fund their trip to the studio.
THE KILMAINE SAINTS have a new album Same Again Tomorrow out on April 14th. Six years on from Whiskey Blues And Faded Tattoos it’s their fourth studio album We’ll be on it as soon as it comes out as we bloody love them!
One of the best new bands around are FOGGY DUDE from the Czech Republic. They make great videos and brilliant music and even better for us all is that all their music is available for free download on the Bandzone site here https://bandzone.cz/foggydude
Our good friend CALLUM HOUSTON – Made in Bretagne. Inspired in Ireland – has just released a seven track mini album of acoustic alternative Folk Rock. Accompanied by his friend and regular contributor Alban Bauduin. Pub Poetry is available for download.
THE HEATHEN APOSTLES have a new single out and also announced a whole bunch of live dates for the UK. ‘Gothic Western Haunt’ is from an episode of the animated series “The Goodbye Family”, which made the Top 10 animated series list of 2022 from Vulture magazine.
“This is our newest labor of love: “Green Willow”. Sea shanties, war chants, wassail songs, songs of the sea, and even an Irish-rock rebel tune. Enjoy, eh!!”
So went the announcement for THE DREADNOUGHTS new download album Green Willow. Head straight to song 5 for the best version of ‘The Foggy Dew’ I’ve heard in an age!
Rising Of The Doom the 3rd full length studio album from NYC’s the TEMPLARS OF DOOM has been released this week on vinyl but is also available for download.
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. Today is the turn of American Celtic-Folk-Punk band BOGTROTTERS UNION from Nevada. A variety of old and popular Celtic tunes reorganized by the band including an amazing version of the Wolfe Tones ‘A Song Of The Celts’.
Totally out of the blue we found out that THE YOUNG DUBLINERS are hitting London at The Hootananny in Brixton on Wednesday 5th April supported by rowdy London Irish Folk-Punks ARSE CRAIC. Saturday 8th April sees THE MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG live at the Powerhaus. THE LAGAN of-shoot SUCKIN’ DIESEL are playing The Lamb in Surbiton (see below for directions) on Thursday 13th April. Great venue that’s always free entry. With the demise of the 4 piece Wolfe Tones and the inevitable split into two bands and while both offer a great night out we can’t recommend DEREK WARFIELD AND THE YOUNG WOLFE TONES enough. Power, passion and history with their charismatic leader. Playing the 229 on Great Portland Street on Friday 2nd June. American Folk-Country-Doombilly band the HEATHEN APOSTLES play The Lexington in Kings Cross on Wednesday 19th July. The founders of Alt-Country THE LONG RYDERS are coming back to these shores with a full Europe and UK tour.
BRYAN McPHERSON / ANTO MORRA PLAYING LIVE IN LONDON!
Words can’t describe how happy we are to be able to put on BRYAN McPHERSON. Eight years on from his first and only visit to these shores it’s been a long time coming. Born and raised on the mean streets of Dorchester, a blue collar working-class Irish-American Catholic neighbourhood in Boston, that was also home to half the members of the original Dropkick Murphys. He was inspired at a young age by the raw energy and angst of Punk Rock, as well as the lyrically driven American folk songs of the early 1960’s. His first performances were street corners, house parties, and subway stations in Boston’s inner city. In 2001 he burst onto the acoustic music scene, he has played the length and breadth of North America and was recently spotted opening up for the Dropkick Murphys’ at their famed St. Patrick’s shows in Boston. This is passionate, acoustic-punk from the heart. Street life, politics, addiction and moments of beauty, anguish, clarity and dissent litter the alleys of McPherson’s songs. Recently he was awarded the #1 Folk/ Roots Album Of 2022 on the London Celtic Punks web-zine. The words are as honest as they are urgent…every second counts! http://bryanmcpherson.com/
He is supported on both nights by the London Irish Punk Folker – Anto Morra. A staple of the London Irish music community sightings of Anto have been restricted die to the lockdown but pleased to have him trod the boards for us again with his extra special brand of Punk-Folk. https://www.antomorra.com/
Bryan is playing two nights for us the first at The Bird’s Nest. One of the great last standing live venues in SE London and one of the best. Located at 32 Deptford Church Street, Lewisham, London SE8 4RZ. close to New Cross and New Cross Gate tube stations so easily accessible from across London. http://www.thebirdsnestpub.co.uk/
The following night sees them take the stage at The Lamb, 73 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NF. Ph. No. 020 8390 9229. Just a couple of minutes walk from Surbiton station only 20 odd minutes from London by train and walking distance from Kingston it promises to be a fantastic night. https://www.lambsurbiton.co.uk
Entry for both shows is free but their will be a whip round (as you can imagine getting here from the States as a DIY musician isn’t cheap) and every single penny from London Celtic Punks merchandise on the night will go directly into Bryan’s pocket.
Our gig last month with The Whipjacks was a great success and great fun but now we are broke again! All money we raise from our merch we put back into the Celtic-Punk scene so if you like what we do then you can support us by checking out our online store and buying something. The Harp’n’Bones design is back in all sizes and also on black or white shirts. Also we have the last few remaining polo shirts, nifty woolly hats and Green’n’White ‘Skully Cap’ ringer shirts that we need to get rid of. 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 rubbish and I can’t wait to see it go broke and a return to the era of paper flyers and fanzines. It has a stranglehold on all forms of expression that is far from healthy. If you are thinking of leaving and still want to keep up with us you can do via the London Celtic Punks 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/
The response to the new London Celtic Punks badge has been amazing. Not surprising really as they are just about the nicest bit of merchandise in Celtic-Punk if you ask me! Comes with butterfly clip and made in Ireland (Guaranteed Irish!) 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 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!
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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
The folk-punkers from Vancouver are back, with a new collection o’ songs to get ya up and dancing. Following our review of 2019’s Into The North, we now present some o’ the finest moments from the band’s latest offering, Roll And Go. Let’s get into it!
In case ye don’t know ’em so well, The Dreadnoughts are a 6-piece band hailing from the West coast of Canada. They refer to their brand of Celtic punk as “world-core cluster folk”, and these humorous songs are brought to you by a cast of musicians with equally humorous nicknames. Examples include Wormley Wangersnitch on fiddle, Drew Sexsmith (aka. Dread Pirate Druzil) on mandolin and banjo, and – perhaps best of all – The Stupid Swedish Bastard on drums. I wonder what fellow Celtic punkers Sir Reg would make of that one…😁
On a more serious note, The Dreadnoughts have toured and recorded pretty relentlessly since they started out in 2006. This new record gives the band another chance to showcase their experience. We kick off with “Cider Jar”, a short and unnerving intro complete with glockenspiel, of all things, and a bastardisation of “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”. This is, of course, only the quiet before the storm.
Soon, we’re launched into “Cider Holiday”, which kinda speaks for itself 🍺 Everything that the Celtic punk fan knows and loves is on offer here – the 2/4 polka rhythm, the band’s street punk attitude, a chorus singalong and – of course – a nod to the ol’ West Country influences (i.e. Bristol way, to anyone outside the UK). Sean Astin pulled off a decent West Country accent in Lord of the Rings. In my estimation, these North American dudes aren’t too bad at it either.
One of the standout tracks on Roll And Go has to be track #4 “Problem”. Not to be confused with the Sex Pistols song of [almost] the same name, the band get the klezmer/polka punk out here, and to brilliant effect. Slow Ride’s accordion and Wangersnitch’s fiddle link up well, and the lyrics are witty, funny, and very catchy. So call some mates, get some drinks in, and get dancing round the room to this one. There’s a “trippy” break in the middle of the song, if you need to catch your breath!
Don’t forget to check out the official YouTube video to this song too. In contrast to the energy of polka punk, this clip features the band doing absolutely nothing 😁 Fortunately, the fans in the video more than make up for it.
“Battleford 1885” is more of a straightforward, hard rock song. It does have its Celtic influences, however, and I quite enjoyed this number meself. For those of us interested in history, the song refers to a wee town in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. It was looted in the late 19th century by a party of Cree Native Americans, who were short on food supplies at that time.
Love music…with a difference
To sample the band’s own polka-powered take on a love song, try “Vicki’s Polka”. This is a touching, but bouncy tune with some sweet accordion passages to break it up. The Dreadnoughts regularly perform as a trad polka band at certain festivals, under the name of Polka Time. This song is a nod to that factor. Next time you’re thinkin’ of ideas for a date, don’t take your other half to a club. Go polka with them ☘️ As we all know, it’s a barrel o’ fun and you’ll both love it.
“Scrumpy-O” is a different kind of, er, love song, as it’s another dedication to the band’s favourite beverage. Scrumpy, for those who ain’t sampled it yet, is a cider originating in the good ol’ West Country of England. An angry-sounding bass intro by Squid Vicious (great name there) leads us into another Celtic punk thrash rhythm, complete with a West Country “Cider!” growl. I quite fancy a trip back to Bristol and a pint in the pub after listenin’ to this one. Make mine a Guinness though, please, my wife’s the cider fan 🍻
The loveliest song of all, though, is saved till last (well, second from last). Track #12 is the band’s take on traditional sea shanty “Bold Riley” – or “Reilly”, by their own spelling. Many a musician has covered this one, from Kate Rusby to fellow Canadians The Wailin’ Jennys. The ‘Nought’s rendition is similarly beautiful, while a soft percussive tap keeps time. One of my favourites on the album, and a song that puts me fondly in mind of “John Kanaka”, another sea shanty.
Roll And Go
Last of all, we’re treated to the epic title track. The band pack everything they’ve got into this finale: a quiet acoustic intro, a build-up on drums, and then the heavy guitars to kick our ears into gear. The klezmer-polka influence makes a final return during the instrumental breaks. But it’s interesting how the band dial back the typical 2/4 thrash rhythm on this one. A well-worked ending to a well-worked album, and The Fang’s closing lyric made a particular impression upon me:
I’ve never known a better bunch of bully lads than you. And we’ll be back some fine and lucky day.
– The Dreadnoughts, “Roll And Go”
Give the title track a spin here:
What The Dreadnoughts have delivered here is a strong collection of songs, with clean and crisp mixing and mastering values. The six-piece continues to show its experience, but they’ve lost none of their Celtic punk grit on this latest offering.
Now…to support the band directly, buy yourself a copy of Roll And Go on the band’s Bandcamp page. If your CD or vinyl player’s long been consigned to the ocean floor (or the local dump), then you can get the album in digital format as well, from the same link above. If streaming’s your thing, then listen to it on Spotify or via Apple Music.
Last of all, communication is key as they say, so stay in touch with the band on their social media channels. They’ll tell ya what’s next, and when they’ll be appearin’ in your neck of the woods. Find ’em on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.