With less than a week to go till their debut London gig you couldn’t ask for better timing that for the Midlands based Celtic-Punkers The Whipjacks to release their brand new four track EP.
After the success of putting on Italian band the Dirty Artichokes in August we had originally decided not to bother putting on any more gigs. A new job meant less time and I’m frankly sick to death of it so it was a easy decision to make except… no one else seems interested in putting on Celtic-Punk bands in London despite their being an audience for it. So with that in mind we decided we’ll give a chance to a band from outside London to play. The band that instantly came to mind was one that last featured on these pages four years ago. That was when The Whipjacks released their fantastic debut album This Wicked World.
Pounding drums, driving bass, screeching guitar, melodic mandolin and partial nudity! These are the things that energetic five-piece The Whipjacks intend to bring to venues around England. If they aren’t near you right now, you can be damn sure they are coming… soon!
(This coming Saturday in South London. Compered by Punk-Poet Benny Rabble kicking off at 8pm followed by Celtic-Punk legend Leeson O’Keeffe (2 x f’s) doing a rare solo set over that side of the Thames, London-Irish trad Punk-Folkers Crock Of Bones and then The Whipjacks to send us off into the night all hot and bothered. The gig is free and ends at 11pm. Spread the news and invite your friends. Lets make it special!)
Facebook event – https://www.facebook.com/events/1216347558946152/
Based in Worcester in the English Midlands their first release was the four track EP Scoundrels And Rogues from early 2017. Original compositions of high tempo Celtic-Punk. Catchy tunes that belies that (similar to a band with a similar name) they are basically a Punk band with a mandolin player. In the right hands and with the right tunes though any Folk instrument can transform a band into something much greater and much deeper.
(Stream / download Scoundrels And Rogues via the Bandcamp player)
The album came out the next year and received some great reviews from the Celtic-Punk media. Ten original tracks written by the band that crossed many boundaries and even includes a history lesson or two. it didn’t get any better than the lead single though, a foot-stomping fist in the air dance floor filler, ‘All My Pains (Are Self Inflicted)’ which appeared on many a Celtic-Punk podcast and beyond. So soon doesn’t actually mean four years but as the saying goes – better late than never! That album would later in the year reach #15 on the London Celtic Punks Best Album Of 2019 list not bad for a band’s debut.
So this all leads us into the present day and the release of their new EP A Head Full Of Snakes. Again the band ignore the likes of ‘The Wild Rover’ and ‘Drunken Sailor’ and opt to release all their own original material. Four tracks of quality Celtic-Punk where the music is inventive and far from what we usually receive here. The EP opens with ‘Devil Welcome Me’ and a swirling lilting accordion is soon joined by thrashing guitars, thumping bass and pounding drums before settling down into one hell of a Celtic rocker. As catchy as hell and a sure fire foot (and head) tapper! All the best bands use their time wisely to tell a story and sometimes you want more than just “Beer, Whiskey, Guinness”. Here they tell of balancing the good and bad in your life and coming to terms that sometimes a little bit of sin is not that bad. A great opener followed by the dark ‘Come Alive’. In places it’s almost Gothic in tone before a great chorus whips it back. The longest track here at almost four minutes its given chance to breathe and could have even gone much longer I think. It definitely has an epic feel to it about getting out of your comfort zone and embracing life.
(You can listen to A Head Full Of Snake by playing the full EP Play-list via You Tube below)
Halfway through and next up the fast ‘Idiot Grin’. The ‘goth’ touches return but not quite so blatant as they tell of an idiot who thinks that his smile is enough to cover all the stupid and annoying things he does. The curtain comes down with stage favourite and title track ‘A Head Full Of Snakes’ and the band take it uptempo again and rock out with a reflective story about summer festivals and a romantic liason with a lady who is a little bit crazy!
Four songs and only quarter of an hour but the timing of A Head Full Of Snakes release couldn’t be better with that gig just around the corner as I’m sure anyone who hears it will not miss the chance to catch them live. The years in between releases have not been kind to the Whipjacks with band members coming and going followed by the Covid clampdown and then just as the light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t a oncoming train even more problems popped up but the guys have vowed to put on an almighty show for us and we cannot bloody wait, so all roads on 25th of Feb lead to South London!
Get A Head Full Of Snakes Spotify
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