The Pokes: Mayday

Mayday is the fourth album by Berlin based Pokes as they continue on in their quest to be the worlds greatest Polka-punk band. Loads of growling vocals and heavy on the accordion (polka style). Mayday is a nice balance of attitude, humor and strong German beer. Bitch-Cow-Darling must be a contender for love song of the year. In all a very enjoyable album. God Save the Pokes, Indeed!

1. God Save The Pokes
2. Bottoms Up
3. Mayday
4. Get Me Out Of This
5. Countryside
6. Bitch-Cow-Darling
7. I Wish
8. Yesterdayman
9. Skip This Song
10. What I Don’t Know
11. Touch Me
12. Brooding
13. Neverending
14. Yesterdayman Koma

Shite’n’Onions Podcast#54 – Sláinte to Germany

A show dedicated to one of the most fertile countries for Celtic-Punk, Germany of course (and yes I know Jamie Clarke is English but he’s been in Germany so long it makes him German enough)

Fiddler’s Green – Bugger Off
The Porters – Too Many Pints Of Guinness
Jake & The Blades – Hell To Hell
Mr. Irish Bastard – Isn’t It Grand Boys
Jamie Clarke’s Perfect – Beatboys
The Porters – Weila Weila
The Ceili Family – Fall Face First
Auld Corn Brigade – Muirsheen Durkin
The Pokes – High Hopes
Fiddler’s Green – Sports Day Theme
Jamie Clarke`s Perfect – Tobi`s Fall (Orginal If I Should Fall From Grace With God)
Across The Border – Irish Airraid Over Germany

The Pokes: High Hopes

Germany’s The Pokes are back with another chapter in their own book of German/Celtic Folk punk in the form of High Hopes, their third full length release.Germany’s The Pokes are back with another chapter in their own book of German/Celtic Folk punk in the form of High Hopes, their third full length release.

The band continues with its highly recognizable profile, dominated by an accordion and a banjo, that fit together so cohesively and complementarily that it is difficult to hear where one ends and the other begins, (no mean feat for such diverse instruments!), and those jarring, staccato vocals that start and stop like a ransom note yet never fully leave the basement register.

Some very subtle fiddle is also present on High Hopes, especially on my personal disc fave, Dinosaur, a toe tapper laced with some snappy snare and that aforementioned fiddle’s scales keeping the thing smack dab in the ‘danceable’ range. Dos and Don’ts and Gone is Gone are also stand-outs for me, simply for their catchy melody and each one’s simple chorus.

High Hopes continues with its folk-punk leanings that, although vaguely Celtic in instrumentation and lilt, don’t seem altogether committed to the sound. The band’s German roots are only fully revealed in the track “Ich Werde Verfolgt“ (“I am Pursued,”) both with the use of language and the “Oom-Pah-Pah,” beer-hall sound of the track. Aside from this obvious entry, there are no other blatant signs, foreign language or accent detected throughout the disc. But still, there is something… different. Accessible, yet foreign, and not in a bad way, either.

High Hopes sees The Pokes, with their ‘Germano-Celtic Folk-Punk’ sound, creating a solid follow-up disc to 2007’s Poking the Fire. In fact, although High Hopes doesn’t seem to have the immediately grabbing tracks like Poking the Fire’s title track or big hit, (and video star,) The Day I Pass Away, it seems to me to be a more enjoyably consistent release with out a low point on the disc!


Review by Christopher P. Toler, THE Blathering Gommel