Uncle Bard & The Dirty Bastards "Get the Folk Out!" Release date: March 10,2014 Running time: 57:49, 15 tracks
When a new Celtic punk band is established, one can trace their musical lineage to The Dubliners-The Pogues, The Dubliners-Flogging Molly or to The Clancy Brothers-Dropkick Murphys. But from time to time bands with different musical lineages arise. For instance, the Italian band Uncle Bard & The Dirty Bastards, whose musical lineage could be The Chieftains-Four Men and a Dog-The Tossers. Most of the bands out there play tribute to the balladeers and to the biggest Celtic Punk heroes. But Uncle Bard & The Dirty Bastards are different. Lots of Italians migrated to Ireland during the last two decades, because of the good career opportunities in the Emerald Isle. The band members saved their money to visit their friends in Ireland and they got in contact with Irish music. They fell in love with the tunes and the culture behind them. Then, they began to play in Italy and the band was born. Later, in 2012, some of the band members did a busking tour around Ireland, England and Wales. They met a lot of musicians and they played a lot of pub sessions. Taking into account this background, their Celtic punk/rock music should be different.
After their “Up the Bastards!” EP, the six guys from Busto Arsizio have recorded a 15 track album based mainly on their self-penned songs. The approach has not changed. The sound is based on Luca Crespi’s tin whistle, Irish flute or Uileann pipes, Lorenzo Testa’s banjo and Guido Domingo’s lead vocals, who are perfectly backed by Silvano Ancellotti on electric guitar, Rob Orlando on bass and Francesco Fabris on drums and percussions. The songs always include an Irish traditional tune or a tune written by Luca and the lyrics to their songs are mainly auto-biographical or about experiences that the band members have lived. The main songwriter is Lorenzo (6 songs), but most of the members have written some stuff too: Silvano (2 songs), Guido (1 song), Rob (1 song) and Luca (the instrumental “Blue Velvet Glove" and several tunes for different songs).
It’s not easy to pick up only some songs, since there is a bunch of amazing compositions. The catchiest song might be “I Only Got One Pint”, the booze number on the disc, a sort of an Italian answer to The Mahones "Down the Boozer". A couple of songs with a Tossers twist would be “Skedaddle” and “Black Sheep”. The powerful ballads are “The Rambling Bhoys of Pleasure” and the cover of “When the Boys Come Rolling Home”, which has been improved with the addition of “The Rambling Pitchfork” tune. There are two top-notch autobiographical songs about their busking tour, “The Road”, and Rob’s difficult days in Ireland when the crisis arrived, “Green Shamrock Shore”.
Regarding the tunes, Luca’s “Blue Velvet Glove” featuring Uileann pipes and keyboards has a slight Davy Spillane twist. On the other hand, the traditional set of tunes “1.21 Jig-O-Reel Set” is perfect: the march “Stananivy” has an Alias Ron Kavana sound; the next tune, the jig “The Girl of the House” is an electric Chieftains number; and, finally, the reel “The Guns of the Magnificent Seven” is a Wolfstone meets The Bothy Band number.
Uncle Bard and Dirty Bastards have chosen a couple of well-known songs, “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” and Johnny Cash classic “Ring of Fire”. The former has got the band’s treatment. Instead of playing “Tabhair dom do laimh” (the “Give Me Your Hand” tune) like Planxty, they have added “Tarbolton”, the tune that opens The Chieftains “7” album. The latter is also rounded by adding “The Galway Rambler” tune.
Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to the lyrics to “Off in the Jacks”, about the dangers of the social networks: “Ring-diddle-daddle-oh / Ring-diddle-daddle-oh / When did we unlearn to listen / When did we unlearn to talk? / I guess the time it happened / I was off in the jacks”. It was already said by Dropkick Murphys back in 1999: “Get off your computer and get a life!”. Now it’s a little bit different: “Get off your smart phone and your tablet and get a life!”
To finish up, some words about the packaging. Fantastic digipak with a 16 page booklet: all the lyrics to the songs, pics of every band member and the full band and the best credits and liner notes that I’ve seen in a while. A small introduction to every single song and all the titles of the tunes that are featured on them are clearly mentioned. Hats-off!
A lot of bands from the mainland have been haunted by Irish music with a punk twist. Some of them have “pretended” to be Irish. Uncle Bard & The Dirty Bastards don’t pretend to be Irish. As they state on the liner notes, they are showing “huge gratitude and all the due respect to Irish music and culture”. They are really Ireland’s adopted sons and have brought a new breeze to the European Celtic punk/rock scene. I wish them all the best, since they deserve it.
01 - The Road 3:29 02 - Black Sheep 3:34 03 - The Rambling Bhoys 3:48 04 - Green Shamrock Shore 4:52 05 - The Dark Side of the Leaf 3:56 06 - We Ruled the Seaside 3:39 07 - Blue Velvet Glove 2:31 08 - Skedaddle 3:10 09 - When the Boys Come Rolling Home 3:33 10 - 1.21 Jig-O-Reel Set 4:00 11 - Raggle Taggle Gipsy 3:41 12 - I Only Got One Pint 3:14 13 - Off in the Jacks 4:40 14 - Ring of Fire 3:25 15 - Be 5:34
Another song from Deiedra's upcoming album: "Dublindarrak". The music is that of "Molly Maguires", but the lyrics to the song are a tribute in Basque language to Dublin's finest:The Dubliners. Deiedra - Dublindarrak
Lugh "Quando os canecos batem" Release date: 15 March 2014 Running time: 31:43, 12 tracks
2014 is The Year of Brazil. The FIFA World Cup will take place in the land of the “futebol” and the Celtic punk-rock scene is skyrocketing. Lugh have just released their debut album “Quando os canecos batem” and another band from Sao Paulo is releasing their second album soon.
The band from Santa Maria,Rio Grande do Sul, is following the Ketamina footsteps in order to place Brazil in the Celtic punk map. We have love their previous work (the “Coisas, músicas, ceva ... vida” EP and the video for “Sete Mares”) and therefore we were looking forward to hearing their debut album.
The quintet’s CD is an amazing album blending Celtic infused tunes with Brazilian folk influences. The accordion fronted sound is fresh and addictive and all the musicians in the band have been able to achieve a Brazilian identity while keeping their songs faithful to the Celtic genre rules. Just listen to the sing-a-long choruses and gang vocals.
There is a festive atmosphere all over the album. The lyrics for the different songs are anthems about pirates, weekends, friends and, above all, beer. One could say that the band’s motto is “cerveja gelada” (ice cold beer).
The beginning of the album is perfect with songs like “Grito da noite”, with a fantastic electric guitar work and infectious gang vocals, “Sete Mares”, a shanty that could rival with North American bands’ stuff, and the classic song “O que eu preciso”, a great sing-along number.
The instrumental part at the beginning of “Dias actuais”, has a U2 twist, and the song sound is a little bit different from that of the previous numbers.
“Chinaski” is one of my faves on the album. It’s a sort of a Celtic soul song to be file together with Dexy’s Midnight Runners “Too-Rye-Ay” album or The Pogues “London Girl” song.
The following song is a re-recording of another classic song, “Sexta feira”. Brilliant stuff with excellent accordion and gang vocals. After that, the band delivers “Quando os canecos batem”, a true gem featuring a mix of fiddle, accordion and electric guitar. Then they move to the Dropkick Murphys territory with “Nosso Cla”.
Track 9, “Vida seca” is probably the softest number on the album. The band shifts to reggae, but IMHO it doesn’t work. The next number goes to the ska-punk end and then things go better: the Rancid influenced song “Do outro lado do mar”.
Accordion and electric guitar shine again on “Tudo que há para viver”. Finally, I love the blend of Brazilian music and Southern rock from the USA on “Jack”.
As we have noticed in the last years, Celtic punk has already gone global. We also have our own BRICS in the Celtic punk scene, and the bands from those countries are gaining ground. Download Lugh’s debut album (it’s free), grab your favourite beer and practice your português brasileiro. Cerveja gelada !!!!!!!!!!
01 - Grito da noite (Scream at Night) 2:08 02 - Sete mares (Seven Seas) 1:46 03 - O que eu preciso (What I Need)2:40 04 - Dias atuais (Nowadays) 2:47 05 - Chinaski 2:49 06 - Sexta-feira (Friday) 1:59 07 - Quando os canecos batem (When the Jars Clash) 2:36 08 - Nosso cla (Our Clan) 3:19 09 - Vida seca (Dry Life) 3:25 10 - Do outro lado do mar (From the Other Side of the Sea) 2:57 11 - Tudo que há para viver (All you Need for Living) 2:47 12 - Jack 1:59
The Real McKenzies will be touring Europe this Summer (July and August) Aspy (Bastards on Parade piper) will play with them the whole tour again. These are the dates so far: July 10 Berlin, Germany @ SO36
July 11 Tabor, Czech Republic @ Mighty Sounds Festival
July 12 Nordenham, Germany @ Fonsstock Festival
July 14 Hannover, Germany @ Bei Chez Heinz
July 16 Hamburg, Germany @ Hafenklang
July 17 Glaubitz, Germany @ Back To Future Festival
July 18 Jarocin, Poland @ Jarocin City Festival
July 19 Espenau, Germany @ Rocken, bitte! Festival
July 22 Kiel, Germany @ Schaubude
July 24 Arendal, Norway @ Canal Street Festival
July 25 Essen, Germany @ Cafe Nord Open Air
July 26 Selestat, FR @ Rock Your Brain Fest
July 27 Lichtenvoorde, The Netherlands @ De Zwarte Cross Festival
July 30 Bordeaux, France @ Heretic Club
August 02 Viveiro, Spain @ Resurection Festival
August 03 Albi , France @ XTREMFEST
August 06 Tolmin, Slovenia @ Punkrock Holiday
August 07 Feldkirch, Austria @ Poolbar Festival
August 08 Villmar, Germany @ Tell Bells Festival
August 09 Ieper, Belgium @ Ieperfest
August 10 Lyon, France @ Sylak Open Air
August 14 Villena (Alicante) @ Festival Aupa Lumbreiras
Concept albums used to be popular in the 70’s. A lot of musicians (mainly progressive bands) recorded their concept albums then. Later, some bands have recorded their concept albums in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. I’m not sure if there are other Celtic punk concept albums, but SIGELPA’s “TerraMorta”, an album on which all the songs are linked by a story, could be the first one.
“TerraMorta” is a story about a group of seven people (a sort of a Magnificent Seven) who arrived in a cross-shaped city which is run by a king called Saint Patrick. The men living in Terramorta are serfs and must love his leader. The septet push the people from TerraMorta to start a revolution against their leader. However, the people from TerraMorta are scared and decide to put the 7 strangers into the “sewer”, the local jail where all the “insane” people are gathered.
The seven strangers, together with the so-called insane people, implement a plan and as a result the local people from TerraMorta go mad and kill their half-god leader. At the very beginning they are happy, but then they become aware that they cannot live without their beloved leader. They feel that they have sinned and that they need to be punished. Through a ceremony their old leader Patrick resurrection becomes a fact and they are happy again.
The seven strangers are aware that they have failed. Freedom was offered to the whole town, but they should have offered individual freedom to every citizen from TerraMorta. So they get drunk and leave the town.
SIGELPA is a band from Terrassa, near Barcelona. The band’s name is an acronym of Supèrbia pride) , Ira (wrath) , Gula (gluttony), Enveja (envy) , Luxúria (lust) , Peresa (sloth) and Avarícia (greed), that is, the 7 deadly sins. “TerraMorta” is their first album, but some of the songs where already recorded in their previous demos. The band members play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, drums, fiddle and button accordion, and vocals duties are shared by a girl and a guy. Even if they have a fiddler and a button accordionist like their neighbours Drink Hunters, their sound is totally different. The traditional instruments arrangements are top-notch too, and fiddle and/or button accordion truly shine. But the music on “TerraMorta” covers different genres such as folk punk in the British vein, folk metal, rapcore or ska.
“TerraMorta” can be an acquired taste for some fans. The album needs several spins to be enjoyed, as some numbers are longer than 5 minutes and the way in which the girl/boy vocals share their vocal duties is not the usual one. Regarding the length of the songs, some of them have several parts because they are telling a story, but they don’t become “long”. As far as the vocals are concerned, sometimes they follow a lively approach on which the girl sings a line and the boy sings the other. One needs to get used to them, because of the fast pace, but after a while they fit OK.
The catchiest songs on the album would be numbers such as “Saint Patrick” (I love the accordion and the ska part), “Molly Malone” (an upbeat song with kick ass fiddle and accordion), the opening number “L’attac des Ultrapirates Pecadors” with their fiddle part à la Tofu Love Frogs, the danceable song “Metamorfolkcore”, “Aquest cos es meu” with its infectious accordion, “Explotar”, a fun number with a guitar solo, the short version of “The Night Paddy Murphy Died” titled “La nit que el Rei Pat Murphy ha mort” and “La Passió del Trist”, a song with several parts, but with the right flow.
All the songs are sung in Catalonian, with the exception of “Bule Bule” which is sung mainly in Galician and a small part in Catalonian. The album can be bought/downloaded for free from Bandcamp (name your price). The front cover artwork is included in this digital version, but there is also an artwork for every single song by Gerad Pla Cadafalch. These drawings can be watched at the YouTube streaming videos.
SIGELPA “TerraMorta” is not your standard Celtic punk album. But the boys and girls have taken a different approach and probably the current Celtic punk scene needs new ideas. SIGELPA have taken a risk and they have bet on their self-penned songs (there is only one cover). So they really deserve to be heard. Get the album and give it some spins. It will grow on you.
01. L'atac dels Ultrapirates Pecadors 03:36 02. A les portes de TerraMorta 01:48 03. Molly Malone 02:08 04. Nens Perduts 04:09 05. Sant Patrick 05:00 06. Bule bule 03:47 07. La cloaca 05:37 08. Aquest cos és meu 03:09 09. Explotar 03:25 10. La nit que el Rei Pat Murphy ha mort 00:39 11. La Passió del Trist 08:47 12. Metamorfolkcore 04:05 13. Deixant TerraMorta 03:50 14. Un dia ens morirem 02:11
Shambolics "Pogue Mahone" Locrian Records BFSCD1401 Release date: 1 February 2014 Running time: 24:07, 6 tracks
After the septet from Adelaide The Gartloney Rats disbanded, three members decided to keep on folking under a new name: Shambolics. Alan (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars), Jim (vocals, mandolin, banjo, mandola) and Paul (accordion, drums, harmonica, Hammond organ and backing vocals) have recorded "Pogue Mahone" together with guest musicians Gavin (tin whistle, bass, bagpipes and keyboards) and Pat (acoustic guitar on track 6). Gavin is Gavin O’Loghlen of Gavin O’Lochlen and Cotters Bequest fame, and he has also recorded the mini-album.
Songwriting and lead vocal duties have been shared between Alan and Jim. Alan have written and sung the odds numbers while Jim has written and sung the even numbers. The guys have followed a “rough at the edges” approach and the final result is really awesome. The lyrics are about authentic pubs and the people that usually can be found there (“Halfway Inn”), painful loves (“Only You”) or sailors ("Seven Seas”), and the accordion sound together with the banjo/mandolin and the tin whistle are the main elements of the band’s identity.
The tracks I recommend: “Halway Inn”, my fave ,“Pogue Mahone”, with its main line “If my Pogue Mahone offends You … Pogue Mahone”, “Seven Seas”, featuring “Rattlin’ Bog”, and “Why Try to Change Me”, a Mexican border sound with The Pogues/The Popes echoes (“Misty Morning Albert Bridge”, “Lonesome Higway”)
The mini-abum package is a jewel case with an 8 page booklet including all the lyrics, credits and a band cartoon. Go ahead and buy a hard copy. It’s available at CDbaby, so expensive shipping costs from Australia have been cut down. Shambolics “Pogue Mahone”: The Pogues and The Dubliners influences have got an Aussie twist and it really works.
1 - Pogue Mahone (Kiss My Arse) 3:47 2 - Halfway Inn 5:48 3 - Only You 3:40 4 - Seven Seas 3:32 5 - Why Try to Change Me 3:58 6 - Filfee Fievin Bastards 3:20
Keltikon "Agenbite of Inwit" Rock Archive/Folks Alive Release date: 21 February 2014 Running time: 54:06, 10 tracks
is band hailing from Pfäffikon, Zurich (Switzerland). The band is
fronted by Olaf Ohl (vocals and lead guitar) and Iain Duncan (vocals,
bagpipes and guitar, born in Scotland). Their band mates are Rino Bollin
on bass and backing vocals, and Patrick Feuz on drums, percussion and
backing vocals. “Agenbite of Inwit” is their debut album and the 4
guys have been helped by Adrian Studer on flute and whistles, Eva Wey
on fiddle and Felix Waldispühl on keyboards.
and eclectic Celtic rock moving from fast-paced Celtic punk-rock to
soft ballads or progressive numbers. The title of the first song is that
of the album, “Agenbite of Inwit”. It’s a bagpipes rock number with a horror-punk twist. If you are not familiar with the term “Agenbite of Inwit”, the band says that “it’s
an old English expression used several times by James Joyce in
“Ulysses” to denote a crisis of conscience or a deep remorse some people
never suffer from” and they add ”This is a song for anyone whose
life has in some way been damaged by the decision of someone in “power”
that doesn’t give a jot for the consequences it causes us.” I’m
sure that now you’ll understand why the likes of Donald Trump, Dominique
Strauss-Kahn and Silvio Berlusconi are mentioned on this song.
The following number is Keltikon’s rendition of “Bonnie Ship the Diamond”, a well-known song that has already been covered by bands such as Wolfstone, Fiddler’s Green or Brick Top Blaggers.
is an amazing number with a Scottish traditional flavour. A guy wants
to marry a girl, but the girl’s father feels that seven ships are not
enough for his girl. So the poor guy borrows money and gets the fifty
ships that the girl’s father finds enough for her. But then the girl’s
father says that he should own 100 ships. The guy borrows again and
finally he can marry the girl. But a financial crisis arrives, the
shipping market sinks and the happy couple loses all their possessions
“Mariner’s Tale” is the first spoken part of a tale that continues on the following track, “The Diving Dutchman”.
It’s a updated version of the Flying Dutchman myth. This time a Dutch
nuclear submarine explodes around the Cape Of Good Hope and the atomic
zombies will glow with ghostly green light. The song is an awesome
fast-paced 77 punk rock number.
Track no. 6, “Away to Fight”, is a slow ballad featuring the small pipes. The other number featuring the small pipes is the last song, “Taliesin’s Poem”, a long progressive song.
“The Blackbird” is a traditional tune that Celtic punk fans will love: bagpipes hardcore at its best.
The next song is titled “Hold on Tight”,
an epic number featuring tin whistle, acoustic guitar and fiddle with
female backing vocals. Lyrics deal with the greedy behavior of those who
“own the earth”. Many years have gone by, but it may seem that the
medieval times are back again.
Finally, “Each Other’s Dream” is a soft rock number featuring keyboards and fiddle, but no pipes.
Keltikon “Agenbite of Inwit”
CD is delivered in a jewel case with a 8 page booklet with lyrics to
the song, band’s pics and credits and a superb front cover design. The
album is also available at the main digital platforms (iTunes, Amazon…)
but I strongly recommend to buy the CD version.
01 - Agenbite of Inwit 4:15 02 - Bonnie Ship the Diamond 4:28 03 - Seven Ships 6:01 04 - Mariner's Tale 3:49 05 - The Diving Dutchman 3:53 06 - Away to Fight 7:37 07 - The Blackbird 3:09 08 - Hold On Tight (The Battle Begins) 4:31 09 - Each Other's Dream (Aphrodite) 6:36 10 - Taliesin's Poem 9:42