The is something very special about Greenland Whalefishers for me, it’s not just the great music, the great songs and the unbridled enthusiasm that is just as infectious in 2014 as it was in 2004 and 1994 but it that GWFs are the band that made me realize that this whole Celtic-punk thing was a real musical scene and not the product of our American and UK cousins getting musical revenge on their Irish parents for inflicting upon them The Dubliner and The Clancy Brothers in their formative years.
Here is a band from Bergen, Norway with a love of Thin Lizzy, The Waterboys and of course The Pogues (where main-man Arvid’s vocals sound more like the great man’s then the great man has sounded in years). GWF play great Celtic-folk-punk purely for the love of the music. I’m not sure how I first came to hear of GWF but I do remember downloading some tracks that were hosted on a free mp3 punksite and being so impressed that I wrote to them and duly received a copy of their debut Mainstreet Sword to impress me further. Lobville the next album was my album of the year in 2002(2) and still is one of my favorite Celtic-punk albums ever!
20 Year A Waiting is a DVD documentary of the band which combines the history of the band through interviews with various members, fan’s and friends of the band telling the story of how a Celtic-punk band from Norway went from playing small Irish bars in Bergen to becoming festival favorites in Eastern Europe and touring Japan and America. The DVD while a DIY effort (produced by bass player Atle-Hjørn) still has a high almost professional quality. The interviews are in-depth and there is a ton of great archive footage including lots of doggy material from pre GWF bands and a great shot of drummer Ørjan in his Black Metal days and of course the great music that flows through constantly. For the fan like me this is a wonderful viewing experience though as an introduction I’d say start with Loboville and Songs from the Bunker and Down & Out then do the DVD.