Tag Archives: Working Class Symphony

ALBUM REVIEW: TRIBUTE TO THE POGUES- Various Artists (2016)

A huge compilation of songs written by the world’s #1 celtic-punk band as covered by today’s generation of modern celtic-punk bands from every single corner of the world!

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Tribute To The Pogues

We were sent this brilliant album by our good mate Vladimir, who also did the fantastic artwork and also seems to do the artwork for most celtic-punk releases in Russia, just before St Patrick’s Day. I had to warn him that we wouldn’t be able to do it justice in time to put a review up on release day as we would all be in the pub busy celebrating our Irish ancestry so here a few days late is our opinion on this years must hear compilation album.

As far as I know this is the first international tribute to the Godfathers of celtic-punk – THE POGUES! Everything we hold dear in celtic-punk comes out of the influence of The Pogues and their seminal and legendary front man Shane MacGowan. What they mean to celtic-punk is unmeasurable and the only question you must ask of this album is whether or not this is a worthy tribute to them or not and the answer is of course is that it most definitely, certainly  is!!! The whole thing clocks in at nearly ninety minutes and has 27 bands from right across the entire globe with just about every corner covered. The list of countries here goes from the obvious ones like the USA, Norway, England, Italy, to some ones that may surprise you like Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic,  and Russia to some that will downright shock you like Indonesia, Ukraine or Belarus. They have all combined to bring you The Pogues most popular London Irish ballads from the era of safety pins, ripped jeans and dishevelled hair!

Now this has been put together by our mucker and artist Vladimir from Novosibirsk in Russia and has a whole host of bands that are both new to us as well as some that are already firm favourites. It would be pointless here to go too far into the history of the songs as they are surely known to even the slightest fan of The Pogues. The whole thing kicks off with one of The Pogues least known songs ‘Curse Of Love’, which was a bonus track on the Hell’s Ditch re-issue album, by Indonesian band The Cloves And The Tobacco. They recently released a new album and it has been making huge waves across the international celtic punk scene and it is a fantastic start and swiftly followed by ShamRocks from the Ukraine and Dzieciuki from Belarus before the London Irish very own The Craicheads weigh in with ‘Sally MacLennane’. They give it plenty of oompf and one of The Pogues fastest ever songs is delivered more than safely with a hint of country and bluegrass. Next up is easily one of the most inventive bands in the whole scene, and one of my own personal favourites, from California are Craic Haus playing ‘A Pair Of Brown Eyes’. You won’t have heard another band like them in the world of celtic-punk I can guarantee it. They have even invented their own genre called ‘Shamrockabilly’ and though their rock’n’roll may be a little lacking on this track it is still outstanding and worthy of you checking out the rest of their back catalogue. Another bunch of my favourite bands roll up next playing some of my fave Pogues songs. A good combination indeed. Happy Ol’ McWeasel from Slovenia doing ‘Sunny Side of the Street’ with the band I once described as being a cross between The Exploited and The Chieftains Middle Class Bastards from Russia next with ‘Big City’, Ukrainian band O’Hamsters sing ‘The Sick Bed of Cuchulain’ before possibly the album’s biggest band The Greenland Whalefishers from Norway chipping in with a brilliant version of ‘Birmingham Six’. A couple of bands I don’t know follow with Kelush and the Bastards (feat. Chris Dutchak) from the Ukraine with an absolutely fantastic skate punk ‘Fairytale of New York’ before Harley McQuinn from Russia nails it with ‘London Girl’. Keeping just enough of the originals rock’n’roll sound before adding some great guitars and gang vocals. Czech’s Benjaming’s Clan and Italians Dirty Artichokes are both bands that have impressed us here over the years and you could almost call them celtic-punk veterans compared to some of the groups here! Russian band The Real Blackbeards I don’t know but they present a great fun pirate version of ‘Sea Shanty’. Americans CRAIC are another big hitter here and they also do a Hell’s Ditch classic ‘Sayonara’ and is one of the many album highlights. Troty hail from Poland and are one of the few bands with a female vocalist. They give us a faultless Polish version of Bottle of Smoke while Hell’s Ditch is revisited again by another Indonesian band Forgotten Generation with ‘Rain Street’ and again it is absolutely superb. Amach  I don’t know but they offer up ‘Transmetropolitan’ and bloody great in its simplicity it is too. They come from the Crimea and like the best bands here they don’t over complicate things but just add a twist to add their own stamp to the songs. Yet another Indonesian band pops up next and The Working Class Symphony give it plenty in their cover of ‘Fiesta’. Never one of my favourite songs but this version bloody rocks and I have fallen for it big time. Like all the Indonesian bands here they play traditional Irish folk influenced punk and is so well played you would think they were all Irish if heard them on the radio! БНД I can’t even pronounce their name but ‘Boys From County Hell’ keeps up the high standard while The Humble Hooligans are a band I only got into recently and these Californians give Turkish Song of the Damned a right auld kicking complete with proper authentic moans and wails. Great accordion leads and Troy’s perfect vocals mark them out as a band to watch out for. Red Box from Russia again I don’t know but offer up a decent ‘If I Should Fall from Grace with God’ before Rum Rebellion from Portland, USA serve up an epic ‘Boat Train’. Been fans of these for a long time and they do not disappoint. Всё_CRAZY are from Belarus and their ‘My Baby’s Gone’ is another album highlight. Taken from the first post-Shane Pogues album Waiting For Herb it’s a brave choice and fits in and works perfectly. We are nearing the end of the album and the last band I know here is the marvellous Moscow Celtic Punks group Drunken Fairy Tales. Keep an eye out soon for the review of their new EP it’s both fantastic and free to download! Crow Dog Clan have another brave choice with ‘Oretown’ from the final (non-Shane) Pogues album Pogue Mahone. They take the song and give it a real shake to come up with something outstanding. Almost gothic country its actually great to hear something not so celtic. Finally the album comes to a sad end with Kozlobar from Russia bringing down the curtain on this amazing tribute with the mental instrumental ‘Battle of Brisbane’.

Well what to say now in summing up. With 27 bands you’d think their would at least be a few duffers here but you’d be mistaken. I’m sure if their were any they ended up on the cutting floor as from beginning to end the whole thing is simply fantastic. From the selection of bands to the bands own selection of songs this is as good as it could have possibly have mine. Yes this is kinda dominated by eastern European groups but it has been put together by a Russian guy and I for one am glad its not dominated by American bands. If celtic-punk exists and is to prosper beyond The Pogues/Dropkicks/Molly’s then it must also exist outside the countries of the Irish/celtic diaspora like the States, Canada, Australia or England. Compilations serve a purpose in introducing you to new bands and if there was a problem in celtic-punk it is that far too many people think the scene these days revolves solely around the Dropkicks or The Molly’s. I am sure this album will introduce everyone hearing it to today’s generation of bands that are carrying the torch for Shane and his buddies and not only that but will inspire another generation of fans as well.

Tracklist

1. The Cloves and The Tobacco feat. Cathy Shannon – Curse of Love
2. ShamRocks – Wild Unicorns of Kilkenny (Wild Cats of Kilkenny)
3. Dzieciuki – Не Саскочу! (Streams Of Whiskey)
4. Craicheads – Sally MacLennane
5. Craic Haus – A Pair of Brown Eyes
6. Happy Ol’ McWeasel – Sunny Side of the Street
7. Middle Class Bastards – Big City
8. O’Hamsters – Лiжко Кухулiна (The Sick Bed of Cuchulain)
9. Greenland Whalefishers – Birmingham Six
10. Kelush and the Bastards feat. Chris Dutchak – Fairytale of New York
11. Harley McQuinn – London Girl
12. Benjaming’s Clan – The House of Gods
13. Dirty Artichokes – The Rake at the Gates of Hell
14. Real Blackbeards – Пират и Колдун (Sea Shanty)
15. CRAIC – Sayonora
16. Troty – Butelka Smoke (Bottle of Smoke)
17. Forgotten Generation – Rain Street
18. Amach – Transmetropolitan
19. The Working Class Symphony – Fiesta
20. БНД – Boys From County Hell
21. The Humble Hooligans – Turkish Song of the Damned
22. Red Box – If I Should Fall from Grace with God
23. Rum Rebellion – Boat Train
24. Всё_CRAZY – Ты Ушла (My Baby’s Gone)
25. Drunken Fairy Tales – Плот “Медузы” (The Wake of the Medusa)
26. Crow Dog Clan – Oretown
27. Kozlobar – The Battle of Brisbane
So there you have it. Don’t forget to tell all your friends about it now! Share it with all you know and let the world enjoy this superb free compilation! And a happy (belated) St. Patrick’s Day to you!!!
(you can listen to the entire record here for free by pressing play on the Bandcamp player below and follow the link below that to get the download)

Download The Album- Bandcamp

any problem with Bandcamp then you should try here)

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ALBUM REVIEW: VARIOUS ARTISTS- ‘Wind From The Foreign Land- Indonesian Celtic Punk Compilation’ (2014)

superb

/sʊˈpɜːb; sjʊ-/

adjective
1. surpassingly good; excellent a superb actor
2. majestic or imposing a superb mansion
3. magnificently rich; luxurious the jubilee was celebrated with a superb banquet
Derived Forms
superbly, adverb
superbness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French superbe, from Latin superbus distinguished, from super above
Wind From The Foreign Land
Well what to say about this album…? Well its an album of fourteen tracks from fourteen different celtic-punk bands from across INDONESIA. Aye, that’s right. Indonesia out there in the Indian ocean and a thousand or two miles from Australia. These facts alone should have every self respecting celtic-punk fan from across the globe racing to their computer screens to order copies. First a few facts about Indonesia… they gained independence from Holland pretty much straight after the second world war. Their language is Indonesian (that’s not as obvious as it sounds when a country has been invaded and colonized!). The country itself has a population of over 230 million and comprises nearly 13,500 different islands and for a country that is 87.2% muslim this diverse bunch of bands have certainly adopted some of celtic-punks better known subject matters, if you know what I mean…
So now you know how worthy it all is the next question should be “is it any good?”. Well the answer to that is “yes its bloody brilliant”! As with all compilations there’s going to be some tracks you like better than others but this album really does showcase the Indonesian celtic-punk scene very well and everything from the albums production to the cover to the mix of songs and the order they’ve been put in has obviously been a labour of love for all involved and in fact the only fault i can pick with the whole thing is that one of favourite bands have included a ballad rather than a more punky song! You’ll be amazed at how well these guys’n’gals play their instruments and you can have hours of fun playing this for your mates getting them to guess what part of Ireland the bands are from!
Musically the fourteen tracks veer from everything from the Mollys to the Murphys to the Pogues and all points inbetween. Many sing in their own language which i love to hear, despite the obvious floor in not knowing what they’re singing about…Kicking off with a  new band to me, Party Time, and great accordion and tin whistle led punk it is too. Traces too of what I can only suppose are Indonesian instruments and tunes. Unmistakable celtic-punk though with shouty lyrics and choruses. Panglima Kumbang are more north american sounding to these big ears, nothing wrong with that, with a more celtic-pop punk sound.

Skarockoi start with a brilliantly played mandolin and fiddle and a more traditional celtic punk vocal style. Heard these before and always been impressed by them. Billy The Kid I have a few tracks by and this fantastic ballad shows exactly how good musicians they are. Black Rawk Dog is fast paced fiddle and mando punk played at breakneck speed with gang vocals. Ciusquad and Dirty Glass, another band I have heard before, and we’re half way through the album and still waiting on a duff track. No sign yet! Dirty Glass provide one of the standout tracks and its the production on this track i’m most impressed by. Gang vocals, celtic and brass instruments melting together with yer punk perfectly in a proper celtic-punk classic tune. Charlie’s Rum And The Chaplain are a band I only recently picked up on and are definitely one of the scenes leading bands. Starting off slow before heading to a more traditional fast paced tune and another of the standout tracks. Rain In Summer sound like The Pogues in their heyday with an acoustic punk song that soon turns into a proper celtic punk belter. Jeralax is another beautifully played ballad about whiskey. This track could be any of the scenes greatest bands to be honest. The Barley Hops I have also come across as well and they don’t disappoint either. Another standout track and followed by The Working Class Symphony who are quite simply a superb band. See definition at beginning of the review. Very accomplished musicians with great songs and vocals. Lots of instruments and band members but in the perfect production nothing is out of place or too loud or too quiet. Super Mario start with a bit of a DKM piss take and a great song follows.

Finally the last track and the band we’ve been waiting for. The Cloves And The Tobacco (a kind of cigarette i’m told!) are arguably the best known of the Indonesian celtic-punk bands and  they bring the curtain down on this great album with ‘The Indian Ocean’ the standout standout track. We can forget sometimes that we’re not the only sea faring race and in a country of over 13,500 islands these guys know their sea shanties. This album is, to put it as simple as i can, faultless. Great bands and great songs. Each one is worthy of following up on and each deserves to be as famous as any of the scene’s leading lights.

Contact The Bands
simply click on the band name in Italics and you’ll be directed straight to them. They are mostly Facebook pages but not all.
Buy The Album
Decent Sites To Visit
heres a couple of decent Indonesian places to check out
Punk Indonesia MP3  free music
Celtic Punk Indonesia  facebook group for all things Indonesian celtic-punk!
CelticFolkPunkAndMore Spanish blog with lots in their vaults about Indonesia.

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