The best of 2014


Running a little late with the list but whatever, great music doesn’t go stale. So without further adieu.

The top five:

#1 The Mahones: The Hunger & The Fight (Part 1)


Twenty five years on and more tour miles driven then the rest of the entire Celtic-punk scene combined, The Mahones on The Hunger & The Fight still have the enthusiasm of a band in the studio for the first time (but thankfully the 25 years and many albums under their belt studio experience).

Read the full review here

#2 Whiskey of the Damned: Monsters are Real whiskey of the damned  

I’ll go out on a limb and say McCarthy has the finest voice in Celtic-punk (and that includes Dave King), maybe Van the Moan threw in a few vocal lessons to boot. Of course a good voice won’t do it alone, the band are tight as f#*k, loud and fast and the songs first class and while still fast and trashy


Read the full review here


#3 Blood or Whiskey: Tell The Truth And Shame The Devil bow

Pissed and angry but still a party. Its great to have’em back.








Read the full review here


#3 Kilkenny Knights: Brady’s Pub Tales download

Honestly not a bad song over the entire almost hour of music and more then a few that could wake the dead and induce them into jig.






Read the full review here


#5 (joint) Black 47: Last Call

#5 (joint) Black 47: Rise Up – The Political Songs B4716CD_lg                   Black 47 Last Call

Black 47 hung up their green suede shoes in November, 2014 after 25 years of hard jigging and gigging. Two albums were released in 2014; Last Call, their final original album, full of fresh and originals ideas and, Rise Up – The Political Songs, a collection of, well, political songs as a reminder of how good this band was.










Rise Up – Read the full review here

Last Call – Read the full review here


The best of the rest (in no particular order):


The Pourmen: Too Old to Die Young









Read the full review here


Finnegan’s Hell: Drunk, Sick And Blue









Read the full review here


Craic: Amongst the Mischief and Malarkey


Read the full review here


Wages of Sin: Queensbury Rules









Read the full review here


Bastard Bearded Irishmen: Rise of the Bastard









Read full review here


The Biblecode Sundays: Live Near Abbey Road (Park Royal)









Read full review here


Bodh’aktan: Against Winds and Tides









Read full review here


Best of ballads and folk:


Irish Whispa: Irish Whispa









Read full review here


The Canny Brothers Band: The Guinness Situation









Read full review here


Hugh Morrison: Scotland is Free










Read the full review here


The Fenian Sons: 617

FSons_Front Cover









Read the full review here

Punk rock shout out

The Hex Bombs: Everything Earned










Read full review here 





Greenland Whalefishers: 20 Years Of Waiting (DVD)












 Read full review here


And a very special shout out.

Radiators from Space: Sound City Beat


Bastard Bearded Irishmen: Rise of the Bastard

I’ll give The Pittsburgh-based Bastard Bearded Irishmen high marks just for the band moniker. I’ll also give them high marks for those thick silky beards each has member has cultivated – all six of them – even ZZ Top couldn’t manage a full band of hairy faces and I’m sure the legendary Boston based bearded bastard Paddy Keys of The Larkin Brigade is a smidgen jealous of these beards.

And beyond the facial hair?

Rise of the Bastard is the Bastard Bearded Irishmen’s second full length release following up on their 2011 eponymous debut. Fifteen tracks in total, twelve original and 3 covers (All For Me Grog, Tell me Ma and Three Drunken Maidens being the obligatory covers). All Fifteen pretty much touch on our favorite clichés – Booze, Biddies and Bastards. The music has a distinct Flogging Molly influence though fasted and sometime almost skull rattling faster. The guitars are fast (obviously) and trashy and occasionally metallic though the fiddle, mandolin and banjo always manage to keep up. At time I’m also reminded of the sound and good times drinking attitude of the original Jersey Bhoy’s The Skels. Another influence I hear is some Eastern European / Gypsy (on Mama) but hey they toured with Gogol Bordello.

Highlights for me include: –

Land of the Free, Bartender’s Friend and Whiskey Rum, Bourbon, Beer.

A nice find.