Bastards on Parade: Empty Bottles & Broken Things

“Empty Bottles & Broken Things” is the follow-up full length by Galician Celtic-punk band Bastards on Parade to their very fine debut album “Tales from the Death Shore”. The bands new label Wolverine Records must have had a lot of faith in Bastards on Parade and are certainly willing to spend the dough on the band bring in producer John Rioux (Street Dogs) and I think that faith has paid off in another very fine album. No surprises here if you’ve heard BoP before, hardcore punk with pipes influenced by The Real McKenzies, The Street Dogs and Dropkick Murphys of course.

Standout tracks include Outcasts (with Finny from The Mahones guesting) and Shallow Waters (my personal favorite). Like I said a very fine album and if you like stuff like Warriors Code era Dropkick Murphys then this you’ll love. The band are on the road in Europe and if you can, catch ‘em.

The Best of 2012

The Best of 2012:


1 Joint) The Radiators From Space: Sound City Beat

Dublin ‘s original punks masterful tribute to the long forgotten beginnings of rock music in Ireland, 60’s beat and garage given a ’77 style kick up the arse. Not exactly Celtic punk but there wouldn’t be any Celtic punk with out these guys (or U2 but we won’t hold that against them) and main man Philip Chevron is a Pogue as is guest Terry Woods. Henry McCullough also guests (he of the guitar on Joe Cockers, A Little Help From My Friends, at Woodstock)

The Review


1 Joint) The Mahones: Angels and Devils

21+ years on the go and The Mahones keep it alive and screaming and as authentic as fu#k. While the band may not as of yet have had the level of success of some of those who followed in their wake, Angels and Devils, puts to rest any doubt who the true masters of Celtic-punks are (and Finny can write a nice mushie love song as well)

The Review


2) The Langers Ball: The Devil or the Barrel

Gone from a two person bands from previous releases to a true contenders with drinking problems.

The Review.


3) Kilmaine Saints: Drunken Redemption

US Bagpipes’n’Punk rock at its finest.


4) Bill Grogan’s Goat: Second Wind

Detroit sludge meets Celtic, Danny Boy must be heard.

The Review


5) Greenland Whalefishers: Live At Farmer Phil’s Festival

The Norwegian masters live and raw and on vinyl too.

The Review

The Next 5 in no particular order…


Jamie Clarke’s Perfect: Beatboys

Former Pogues (on the Pogue Mahone album) Paddy-punk meets rockabilly (Paddy’a’Billy?)

The Review


Handsome Young Strangers: Here’s To The Thunder Lads

Colonial punk, the best new band outta Down Under in 2012

The Review


Smokey Bastard: Tales From The Wasteland

Polished yet powerful – Celtic folk punk from the UK

The Review


Nick Burbridge & Tim Cotterell: Gathered

Songwriting master from McDermotts Two Hours solo album – stipped down and scary

The Review


Compilation of the Year:


Paddy Rock Volume 4

What else could it be. Having do a few of these I take my hat off to Mr. Paddy Rock Bowels

The Review


EP’ s worth a holler:


2012 was a great year for short releases and these are the best of ’em:

In no particular order:


Circle J: Diggers

The Review


Bastards On Parade: Shallow waters


Auld Corn Brigade: Our Flag

The Review


Lexington Field: Poor Troubled Life

The Review


Murder The Stout: 6 Track EP

 The Review

Sharks Come Cruisin – Hardtack

The Review

Shite’n’Onions Podcast#61

Shite’n’Onions Podcast#61: Featuring the best of Celtic and folk punk. We have new music from The Mahones and Tomfooligans as well as some deep dives into the Shite’n’Onions vault with classics from Blood Or Whiskey and Neck plus the best of the latest releases.We also have a very unusual cover and to protect the guilty the name of the band is to be withheld.
Surfin’ Turnips – Scrumpy Swillin Time Again
The Mahones – Angels & Devils
Handsome Young Strangers – Augathela Station
Tomfooligans – McGregor’s Pipes
Blood Or Whiskey – Your Majesty
Bastards on Parade – St Patrick’s Day
The Langer’s Ball – Mackey’s Daughter
The Gobshites – Guinness Boys
The Dreadnoughts – Grace O’Malley
The Fighting Jamesons – Johnny On The Island
Siobhan – Jakey’s Gone To Germany
Across The Border – Soldier John
Auld Corn Brigade – A Mother’s Heart
Bodh’aktan – La ballade de Jonathan Lewis
Charm City Saints – Dicey Riley
The Mighty Regis – Real Deal Irish
Neck – A Fistful Of Shamrock
Not Revealed – to protect the guilty

Shite’n’Onions Podcast#51 Liva La Espana, Catalonia, Galicia, Asturias

Celtic punk from Spain and it’s Autonomous communities – featuring the Drink Hunters new album “With My Crew” – Thanks to Waldo at Celtic Folk Punk for the suggestions and the tracks.

Drink Hunters-Welcome to Happiness

Bastards on Parade – GAELIC

Brutus’ Daughter – Born A Girl

The Fatty Farmers – A Drunken Night In Temple Bar

Oi Nast

Drink Hunters – Drinking Song

Skontra-La to sienda

Bastards on Parade – OUTLAW REBEL SONGS

La MODA –  Sinking & Singing

Drink Hunters-She was 56

Shite’n’Onions Podcast#42 w/ The Fisticuffs

Podcast#42 featuring Chicago’s The Fisticuffs and their new release, You’ll Not Take Us Alive.

The Fisticuffs – Paddys NNA – You’ll Not Take Us Alive
The Fisticuffs – Dead And Gone – You’ll Not Take Us Alive
Catgut Mary – Melbourne Tram Song – The Mahones Vs Catgut Mary
The Mahones – Give It All Ya Got – Black Irish
Sharks Come Crusin’ – Farewell-to-Nova-Scotia – A Past We Forget That We Need to Know
Bastards on Parade – INFAMOUS – Tales From The Death Shore
The Fisticuffs – Silent On The South Side – You’ll Not Take Us Alive
Blood Or Whiskey – Your Majesty – No Need To Explain
Bloody Irish Boys – Dirty Little Town – Auld St. Patrick
The Fisticuffs – In Heaven There Is No Beer – You’ll Not Take Us Alive – 2001 to 2011 – 10 years spreading Punk’n’Irish noise pollution


Yup, the Bastards are back! Galicia’s own Bastards on Parade seem to have tossed aside their “annual 4-track E.P.” motif operandi with their latest offering, the full-length CD, Tales from the Death Shore.

But this is hardly the only change for this band with this release! The Bastards’ journey of evolution seems to be similar to that of one of their main influence’s,The Dropkick Murphys. But with each step, the band moved ever away from being yet another DKM-esque Paddy-Punk outfit. And with Tales from the Death Shore, the Bastard’s have begun to well and truly carve out their own place in this ever-growing field.

Without question, the Bastards have the song-craft down. This would probably be where many of the lesser bands have stumbled, but where BoP truly shine. They have honed their style to be a solid, rocking, yet accessible Celtic Folk-Punk sound, seamlessly incorporating all instruments, (guitars, bass, gaita, drums, whistle and mandolin,) into each song to create a true focus. But this has always been the strength of this band. And happily, this is still the case on Tales from the Death Shore.

No, it is Identity that seems to be the Hydra tackled on this release.

You see, early on, the Bastards decided to incorporate the gaita, (or Galician bagpipe,) into their instrumentation. Now, I don’t know if this was a conscious choice to assert the band’s Galician identity, or one made out of necessity from the availability of pipers in the Galician area, but I do know that it has lent a nice cultural signature to the band’s music.

And now, on Tales From the Death Shore, a distinct accent in the vocals has become apparent. Far more-so than with the Bastards’ previous three releases. Now, call me paranoid, or simply over-analyzing, but I can’t help wondering if this is, again, a conscious decision to express the Iberian-Celtic identity of the band. If this was a planned one, it is not only a good idea, but one that has proven successful for band influences, The Dropkick Murphys, (Ken Casey’s Boston accent drips all over every one of that band’s material.)

And then there are the songs themselves. Local references are peppered amongst Tales from the Death Shore, (most noticeably in the immediately catchy track, Gaelic,) but the inclusion of two Galician traditional tunes, all “Bastardized up” to BoP standards; opener Marcha do Antigo Reino de Galiza, (“The March of the Old Kingdom of Galicia,”) and “Chantada’s Jig,” (also known as Muiñeira de Chantada, one of Galicia’s most popular folk tunes!), really cements this argument.

Now, the incorporation of cultural pride is fine, expressing feelings toward one’s home, an’ all that, and makes for great subject matter for any band. However, in the case of the Bastards on Parade, it really elevates the band up to a higher level. It gives the band more personality, not just the authors of a collection of songs. This metamorphosis is either a very smart marketing move, or an extremely fortunate development. It also makes for some damned good listening.

In the Celtic Folk-Punk genre, there are a few well-overused clichés: the old “Shane-like” vocals, massive accordion-focused production, and the most blatant, and tired of all, the excessive drinking songs. Used in moderation, a good drinking song is great. However, nothing but drinking songs makes a band come across as shallow; a one-trick pony. The Bastards have successfully avoided all of these pitfalls, throughout their brief yet productive career to date. And the inclusion of Galician traditional songs and tunes can only open up the ink-well for further material for these guys!

After all, it is the songs that are the meat and potatoes of any good CD. And this is a really good CD! The Galician elements add a nice flavor to the mix, but nothing here is too “foreign” or unusual. Every track, (or should I say, “Tale!”) is accessible and familiar and in keeping with the BoP sound. My personal faves on the disc, (aside from the aforementioned ‘Gaelic,’ which I dig a lot!) must be the moody and introspective ‘Raging Sea’, the staunch and proud battle hymn, ‘(Black) Flags and Torches,’ and what might be considered the band’s first official single from this release, the driving and unrelenting, ‘Infamous,’ with its rousing chorus and pervasive mandolin wandering.

I have been lucky enough to follow along with Bastards on Parade’s growth and evolution, and although I know that Tales from the Death Shore is only the current stage in their development, it is really good one. Thanks, guys!

File under “highly recommended.”

Review by Christopher P. Toler, THE Blathering Gommel