I remember reading a quote about the original line-up of Motorhead (Lemmy, Larry Wallis and Lucas Fox). It went something like “If this band moved in next door to you, your lawn would die”. This quote comes to mind as I listen to Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer the third full length by Kingston New York’s Alternative Ulster, however I’m thinking not only would your lawn die but your house would feckin fall down cos Alternative Ulster have bagpipes that go to 11.
It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything from Yonkers NY Shilelagh Law. Auld School is the band’s seventh album (I think the last one I heard was either the first or second release). Auld School according to the press release is a return to the bands Irish roots after moving to a more polished sound on recent releases. To me Auld School is reminiscent of those early releases – High energy, stripped down, sing-along interpretations of Irish-American standards that should be on everyone’s Paddy’s day playlist. Still New York’s finest.
The Arlington Arts centre is in the wilds of rural Berkshire, southern England. Not the most easily accessible of venues but one with great sound, lovely staff and one that isn’t shy of booking eclectic bands. Tonight was no exception; the Neil Brophy Band and Sweden’s finest, Sir Reg- both on the final night of their 11 date UK tour.
We’d taken our eleven year old son. He’s a veteran of the Celtic music scene for one so young; having seen Dropkick Murphys at Brixton Academy, Christy Moore, Tidelines and Ferocious Dog as well as having the Biblecode Sundays and the Lagan play in his living room! I mention this because he hates support acts. Hates ‘em. Just wants them to go away so the main act can hit the stage. He made an exception for the Neil Brophy Band who opened with Nice to Know, a tale of an emigre English troubadour returning to his home town after years abroad. Other stand outs from this Copenhagen based band included tales of Viking ghost ships, London boozers and the joys of being a musical gypsy. Drums, bass, mandolin, acoustic guitar, banjo, whistles and pipes all made for a full sound married to catchy lyrics and infectious enthusiasm. A great opening act and one which we will try to catch in the future. Their new album, True Stories is definitely worth seeking out.
Sir Reg hit the stage with their trademark high energy- a full-on Celtic punk assault which might have un-nerved some of the more folksy patrons of Arlington Arts. But you can’t not love Sir Reg. Sing along choruses, a perfect mix of fast punky tunes like new track The Underdogs sitting alongside quiet, slower more heartfelt numbers such as the brilliant All Saints Day. It’s always interesting to see a band who have a new album to promote as sometimes the gig can be a load of songs with which the audience are unfamiliar. Sir Reg got the balance right. New tracks were given an airing, like instrumental Cairbre, an ode to the MGN lion but older tracks like Emigrate were also thrown into the mix. The band were also very tolerant of fans like us shouting song requests at them- a request that resulted in a spirited rendition of Drinking like a Dane. They even managed to get the crowd singing along to The Wrong Bar- their brilliant cautionary tale of being so smashed that you confuse a church for a pub that saw Sir Reg joined on stage by the Neil Brophy band.
All in all, a top night. Great songs from two great bands. Looking forward to seeing them both again in the near future.
Big Bad Bollocks – Big Bad Bollocks (Night On The Tiles)
Sons of O’Flaherty – Dead and Gone (The Road Not Taken)
The Muckers – Let’s All Go To The Bar (One More Stout)
1916 – Tear the Pub Down (Last Call For Heros)
Catgut Mary – Melbourne Tram Song (The Mahones Vs Catgut Mary)
Hudson Falcons – Monahan’s (Desperation and Revolution)
The Rumjacks – Les Darcy (Sleepin’ Rough)
Bleeding Hearts – The Devil’s Mosh (‘The Rules of Division)
The Pourmen – Whaling City (Too Old To Die Young)
Matilda’s Scoundrels – Burn It Down (As The Tide Turns)
James McGrath – Race To The Bottom (Live At The Shed)
James Mc Grath is a very talented singer/songwriter from Tipperary and currently the new, hot thing in Ireland. James’s style is very reminiscent to Irish legend, Damien Dempsey and to my ears at least, Hamell on Trial (at Hamell’s most sensitive of course), his songwriting reminiscent to another Irish legend, Shane MacGowan and his voice reminiscent of Eddie Vedder (well if Eddie was from Nenagh it would be). Check out the Live at the Shed – EP it won’t disappoint.
Another great compilation here from our continental cousins over at MacSlon’s Irish Pub Radio. As always if you want to know what’s going on with new bands on the scene (and especially Europe) then Raise Your Pints is the starting point. Twenty great tracks in all and not a bad one amongst them. Highlights include, The Flogging Molly-ish Brick Top Blaggers, Uncle Bard and the Dirty Bastards, the might Ferocious Dog, Black Water Country, the Do or Die era Tortilla Flats and The Fatty Farmers.
New podcast with new music from Brick Top Blaggers, The Mahones, Finnegan’s Hell, Muirsheen Durkin, The Stanfields, The Peelers, Sharks Come Cruisin, Gary Miller, James McGrath and The Langer’s Ball
Brick Top Blaggers – The Fury (Raise Your Pints Vol. 3)
The Mahones – I’m Alive (Love + Death + Redemption)
Finnegan’s Hell – Shane Macgowan’s Grave (Life + Death)
Muirsheen Durkin – Itchy Fingers (11 Pints & 3 Shots)
The Stanfields – The Dirtiest Drunk (Vanguard of the Young & Reckless)
The Mahones – It’s Gonna Be Alright (Love + Death + Redemption)
The Peelers – Five Roses (Place of the Fiend)
Sharks Come Cruisin – Running Down to Cuba (When I Get Home From Across the Sea)
James McGrath – Bad Bends (EP)
Gary Miller – In The Navy (Mad Martins)
The Langer’s Ball – Picket Line Song (Hard Time in the Country)
Finnegan’s Hell – One-Horse Town (Life + Death)
Muirsheen Durkin – Drink with the Irish (11 Pints & 3 Shots)
Providence Rhode Island’s favorite salty dogs are back with another collection of sea shanties and maritime malarky. The 11 tracks on WHEN I GET HOME FROM ACROSS THE SEA are very much rooted in the original sea faring tradition as opposed to say the punk tradition. I can imagine that this is how these songs would have sounded back in the glory days of sail – rough and tumble but in almost perfect unison.
The physical product itself is a double 10″ handmade lathe cut clear record – pretty cool.
Poor Tim Finnegan, after a life of drinking the sup, brawling and chasing the shady lady he fell from that bloody ladder, struck his head and died. After the infamous wake when he was finally bloody well dead his mortal remains were tossed into Shane MacGowan’s grave and his spirit went straight to hell. But for Tim like Bon Scott hell ain’t such a bad place to be and isn’t that grand lads.
Muirsheen Durkin and Friends might be the biggest band in the whole Celtic-punk universe! The Arnsberg, Germany based outfit list an incredible 10 members including two frigging pipers!!! I’ve really enjoyed listening to Muirsheen’s latest full length offering, 11 Pints & 3 Shots, straight ahead, high energy, rowdy Celtic-punk’n’roll with a nice mix of original and traditional – Wild Mountain Thyme and Donald Where’s Your Troosers? from the Scottish traditional, Old Maui, the sea song some of you will know through the Dreadnoughts and the bagpipers favorite, Itchy Fingers. Nice to see a band list the Skels as a influence as well as the more obvious Pogues and The Rumjacks (Botany Bay Reggae is a major nod towards our Aussie friends). Check this out (or oot as they say in Glasga).