The Go Set: O’Brien’s Pub in Allston MA

The Go Set, BeanTown Boozehounds, The Pint Killers, The Disquiets

9/22/2017 at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston MA

Road Tripping. I was to Boston for this insane line-up. I roped in a mate and we shipped up to Boston from Kingston, NY, a 4 hour drive. We headed out at 1pm to arrive at 5 to check into our flophouse, The Farrington Inn. It smelled like a morgue to me, I could smell dead bodies, musk or wet dog anyway. Highly recommended. Affordable- if you know what I mean.

We had just enough time to grab a bite with my life-long friend Dave Tree  of Boston’s TREE and SEE THIS WORLD and John Murphy who was guest listed for the show but had already bought two tickets that he was going to simply GIVE us. What could be better than to meet at old school Italian Greg’s Restaurant in Watertown? The waitresses only yelled at us a little- “Sit in the lounge! Sit in the Lounge!”

We got to O’Brien’s a bit after eight and met Lachlan McSwain (pipes, whistle) and Chad Blaster (drums/ Ramshackle Army) of The Go Set who were already there. Had a lot of fun downing some pints and catching up. I had played in NYC with The Go Set last year with Alternative Ulster before that band broke apart. We learned Justin Keenan lead singer of the Go Set’s plane wasn’t going to land until 10PM. The bass player shortly before that was landing from Toronto. All I could get was that his name was Shorty. Those two were simply going to have to run in the door, set up and play. F**k-tons of fun! (That’s for you Chad). Did you know that in Australia there are kangaroo warnings when a troop jumps along main street and schools go into lockdown? Chad laughingly informed us cuz he also teaches at a drum school. None of them called us a c*nt , a word that in Australia is used more than “the,” but we were taught how to slide it into a conversation for maximum effect.

Talking to a lad at the bar in a Black Irish Texas shirt- said he was bass in The Gobshites- Tom Hughes. Both soon realized we had met, we played an awesome event Phil Duckworth put together last year in Danbury CT, when I was with Alternative Ulster. The Mighty Ploughboys had hosted and headlined on their AOH home turf.

To be honest we missed the first band, The Disquiets, looking for a cocktail- some bourbon- and to walk off Gregg’s food. When we got back The Pint Killers were just getting ready to go. It was an insane set of all originals except for the closer, Skinhead by Darkbuster. Raise a Glass, Around the Hood, Friend, Devil & Me, Walk away, Who, Just a Man , Lights Out, and  Skinhead. Mark Doherty, the lead singer of The Pint Killers is a complete human bull-dawg of solid muscle who leaps completely into the air over and over during songs. It’s awesome to watch. A puppet-man on an invisible string. During a spoken word intro to Walk Away, a song he wrote for a girl he was breaking up with at the time but is now reunited with, he said ‘it may get him solo again for singing it,’ – a funny moment. Sober for two years, that’s freaking fantastic!  The rest of The Pint Killers are Bill Jolliemore (guitar), Dean Calamari (bass) and Johnny Fencer (drums). All sing backing vocals and Jolliemore is a monster on guitar. Enjoyed watching him play. My friend from home liked this band a lot, too.

Next came the Beantown Boozehounds, Chad (guitar /mandolin), Gallows (guitar, vocals), Rob B. Ridiculous (bass, vocals), and Rocky Magic (drums).

This set was an insane alcohol-fueled car-crash of mayhem and beer fountains spraying on fans and band alike. Chad was soaked to the bone. Dozens of double shots of some brown booze were brought to the stage and hastily thrown down by all like thirsty pirates. I’d guess it was Jaeger, but what the hell, rum and black currant? Darker than whiskey seemed to be to me. Haha.  Rob B., the bass player, had some ridiculous band shirt with the Hamburgler on it called Mac Sabbath– a Ronald McDonald themed Black Sabbath tribute band he explained to me later. Ok things were getting weird. Their cover of the Ramones’ Bonzo Goes to Bitburg was simply brilliant and has been playing in my head for four days now. Great beer laden Boston set- a classic. How does Chad Beantown imitate a beer-spewing fire hydrant so well? Years of practice. Seems like it’s a Boston tradition to wear a baseball cap while you play. Now I know it’s to keep the beer spray out of your eyes.

Near midnight and Justin Keenan from The Go Set had arrived by some miracle and Shorty was tuning up his bass. A “calling-on song” ? The band was busy getting beers so Justin jumped up and started sing his Aussie stones off to a Robert Burns’ poem MacPherspon’s Rant. The rest of the band started to hurry their arses to get on stage and go. It was just stunning. His crazy 30- hour on a plane voice and manic- OJ Simpson- running-over-the –turnstiles– look had the crowd spellbound.  Then they came in together with Drums of Chelsea and O’Briens went mad. Raise a Glass was next and the shots of brown Jaeger kept coming. Four songs mixed into the set from their first 2004 album was a killer treat- MacPherson’s, Old Dark Brown, 1788, and 5 AM. The rest of the sixteen song set were spread out from brand new to mid, about two songs from each record. The girls love it when the Go Set gets intimate and Justin and the drummer go acoustic and step into the crowd and do an acoustic number, 5 AM. Except there were no girls there, not one that I remember- a f*ck-ton of fun. Haha.  Brought it right back up with four more Aussie pub-rockers capped off by Davey closing the show- you thought. Everyone was on stage for the encore closer-  AC/DC’s It’s a Long Way to the Top, that had the Beantown Boozehounds and The Pint Killers all up there singing, drinking shots, and beer-spraying along. If there is an Irish Punk Valhalla, it looks like this.

Oh, and hat’s off to the doorman who had gauges as big as a 40 oz. He said it took him 12 years to stretch it out. Dedication.

Review, Michael X. Rose

The Go Set, Ramshackle Army at The Midway Cafe – 10/3/15

 

First up were Boston area based BarRoom Heros, a three piece power-punk trio consisting for the Rice brothers on guitar/bass and vocals and a wild, arms flailing, mass of dreadlocks on drums. Probably best known for opening for the Dropkick Murphys when they were something like 12 years old, I saw ‘em last year opening for Justin Keenan and it was great to see them again and without sounding like an old aunt they have really grown – musically and physically, in fact they could probably now get served in a bar if they had decent fake ids. Early Dropkick Murphys and Darkbuster are the obvious influences – Darkbusters Skinhead was covered and as was a great punked up version of The Dubliners Seven Drunk Nights.

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Aussie band Ramshackle Army were up next. They are one of those bands that people speak highly about but I haven’t to date invested a lot of time in listening too ’em. Well I will after tonight, these guys and gal were a high intensity sweat drenched riot  – fiddle, banjo, punk rock and the rock star that is Gaz in full flight with shapes thrown and face contortions

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Between each of the sets there was an acoustic set from Live Nude Girls (actually two girls and a guy who all kept their clothes on) –  fiddle, double bass and girl on guitar with a big voice. A nice touch that kept the momentum going as the bands changed over.

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Its been about five years since I’ve seen Boston party punks the Beantown Boozehounds, good to say they are still slamming shots, guzzling PBR and playing hard. Lot’s of ragging on the touring “Austrians”. I do remember last time I saw ’em a lot more beer was spat in the air – maturity possibly? Nah, never.

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Finally up were The Go Set who have been one of my favorite bands from when I heard them first over ten years ago. I got the taste of them live last year when I saw Justin Keenan on his solo tour so my expectations for the full band were high. The set started with bagpipes from the back of the venue and as the band were lead to stage the pipes turned into full force punk and pipes and occasional punk and double pipes with the addition of second piper Sean from Alternative Ulster. Expectations were met – the Go Set were as good live as so disk – great songs, tight and they had the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands. I’m not sure how may fans The Go Set had in the venue at the beginning of the set but by the end of the set I knew – everyone including the bartender. All the classics were done – 1788, Davey, Old Dark Brown, Sing Me a Song and a very special off the stage, in the middle of the floor, totally acoustic version of 5AM .I have to give a shout out to The Go Set drummer, Agostino Soldati – John Bonham raised from the dead with veins pumped full of redbull – I’ve never seen or heard drums hit so hard and so fast. The set ended with a cover of AC/DCs Long Way to the Top with help form  Gaz and the Boozehounds. The Go Set promise to be back next year for another tour of the US and they are not to be missed.

 

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