Sunday, May 29, 2011


Paddy and the Rats "Hymns for Bastards" Nordic NR02
Release date: 2011
Running time: 57:02, 16 tracks

I feel that Paddy and The Rats are one of the best Celtic punk bands that have come out from Europe in these last years. I voted them as the best newcomer of the year in 2009 and the best album in 2010 at the “Lieblinge der Redaktion” poll at So, I was looking forward to hearing “Hymns for Bastards”. It was the same feeling that I had when Firkin, the other excellent band from Hungary, released their second album.

Hymns for Bastards” is 16 tracks and around an hour of music. It’s clear that the Hungarian bands are crazy. They don’t follow the normal trend. We have to wait for other band’s releases 2 or 3 years and normally the running times are around 40 minutes or less. But Paddy and the Rats and Firkin are releasing one album every year. Somebody told me that this means that a band is prolific, but not that the songs are good. In this case, I must say that the songs are top-notch.

Which are the differences between “Rats on Board” and “Hymns for Bastards”? Both albums have been produced by Paddy O’Reilly (lead Vocals, acoustic guitars) However, this time Paddy O’Reilly and Seamus Conelly (drums) have been the recording and mixing engineers too. Multi-instrumentalist Sam McKenzie, apart from fiddle, mandolin and tin whistle, plays now low whistle, piano, bagpipes and banjo (bagpipes and banjo were previously played by guests, Sam only played banjo in “Clock Strikes Midnight”)

Lyrics are about drinking, friendship (“Brotherhood”), Irish emigration (“Immigrants Song”, Irish mythology ("The Three Little Thieves”)… and we hear again about characters such as Sailor Sally (“The Irish Washerwoman”), Jimmy (“Droppings Down the Floor”,“Smuggler’s Booze”) or places like the Pubmarine (“The Pubmarine”).

This is OK, but, what about the music? Amazing. No pub standards, but great Irish tunes in songs such as “The Irish Washerwoman” or “Pack of Rats”. DKM influences in some songs (“Brotherhood”, “Working all the Week” and “Wicked Suicide”). Cow punk and even Argentinian tango sounding accordion in “Farewell to Jenny”. Celtic pop numbers like “Never Walk Alone” (featuring low whistle and piano) or “Paddy’s Ballad” ( a little bit Corrs with a Beatles end).And the Paddy and The Rats stamp on every single song, with their infectious choruses.

Some comments on the tracks that stand out:

Brotherhood” is a great track, a The Cherry Cokes meet Dropckick Murphys song. Maybe the influence of DKM is too obvious (bagpipes and banjo) and it seems to come directly from the last DKM album.

Working All The Week” is clearly a Paddy and the Rats song. All the elements are there. A good guitar work that reminds me of The Clash.

Droppings Down the Floor" is one of my faves. Excellent bass. The lyrics make me think of The LevellersCarry Me”:

Paddy and The Rats

“Dave’s on rehab,
Mike’s in detox
and Jimmy’s in the jail
screwed up lifes and fucked up friends”.

The Levellers

“ But Jane is taking heroin
and Paul is getting pissed,
Steve is getting stoned
too fucked to fight
Sarah’s on acid
and Sean has blown his mind
someone’s busy hiding
too fucked to fight”

Smuggler’s Booze” a fantastic sing a-long

Off the Wagon”, a catchy tune with great mandolin, guitar and whistle.

Immigrant’s Song”, featuring Denis Jelly from The Moorings. Wonderful accordion.

Wicked Suicide” Another song featuring pipes, another one of my faves. Some lines at the end remind me of Ramones:

“A big cleft side one step to fall
Darin your fucking blood for the rock’n’roll
One for fun, two for the show
Make some breaking news in the radio”

Paddy and The Rats have recorded the album that all of their fans were expecting. “Hymns for Bastards” will be one of the Top 10 albums this year, sure. And don't forget that the band will be playing in Lublin (Poland) at the Hello Folks Festival sharing the stage with the likes of Brutus’ Daughters and Mr. Irish Bastard. Don’t miss them!


01-Brotherhood 3:34
02-Working All The Week 4:00
03-Droppings Down The Floor 3:52
04-Irish Washerwoman 4:18
05-The Three Little Thieves 3:08
06-Never Walk Alone 4:29
07-Farewell To Jenny 4:07
08-Smuggler's Booze 2:29
09-Off The Waggon 2:50
10-Pilgrim On The Road 3:40
11-Pack Of Rats 3:25
12-Immigrant's Sons 3:33
13-Wicked Suicide 3:26
14-Place For Hell 3:03
15-The Pubmarine 3:22
16-Paddy's Ballad 3:47

Review by Kinksmarkham


Thursday, May 26, 2011

REVIEW – STONE ROW "ALIGNMENT" Self-released (2009)

Stone Row "Alignment", Self-released
Release date: 2009
Running time: 66:22, 14 tracks

Add the name of the band (Stone Row), the title of the album (Alignment) and the artwork. You will think that the band from Buffalo (NY) Stone Row is a Celtic new age band. Even if a few tracks are a little bit ethereal or have overdubbed vocals, Stone Row is not a Celtic new age band, but a folk rock band. A good folk rock band.

Stone Row is Kevin Auwarter (acoustic guitar, vocals), Glenn Bernardis (bass, vocals), Nick Corallo (drums, percussion, vocals), Katie Panfil (fiddle, vocals) and Dave Schmeidler (vocals, electric guitar). "Alignment" has been produced by Glenn at his own GB Audio studio.Six tracks are self-penned songs and the others are well known traditional songs.

The highlights of the album could be:

South Australia”. The song begins with a didgeridoo and some tribal vocals. After that, some excellent rocking guitar and fiddle.

Drink it Up”. The pace is not as fast as the Great Big Sea version, but it’s a great version. Glenn’s vocals are quite subtle and the instrumentation is also very good: acoustic guitar, mandolin and fiddle.

Colors” is a sort of a Celtic pop song. It’s quite simple, but a nice song, with a good electric guitar playing and, obviously, a great fiddle. Kevin's vocals in this song.

Night Visitor” is also sung by Glenn and it’s one of my faves. Every band member shine in this song

Chicken Water”. A catchy instrumental featuring written by Dave.

Morning Glory”. It seems an Albion Band song, or even better, an Oysterband number. In fact, the guitar sounds like that of Alan Prosser. Maybe the most British folk rock song of the album. I love it. Kevin's vocals again.

Donald McGillivray” The classic Silly Wizard song (OK, it’s a traditional song,but who made it well-known?). Excellent vocals by Glenn, well backed by his great fellow musicians.

Apart from these songs, “Rocky Road to Dublin” features some Mike Oldfield style guitar playing and “She Moved Through the Fair” and “Alignment” have some Arabic influences à la Loreena McKennitt. “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” is also a good song, with a sound partially influenced by Fairport Convention.

Yes, Stone Row is a good Folk Rock band. Top-notch musicians and great arrangements of some standards. I don’t remember something similar in the USA, maybe Celtic Soul from Florida. But their sound was based mainly on the female vocals and the fiddle and Stone Row is more than that. The fans who enjoy Steeleye Span, but feel that their sound is a little bit old-fashioned won’t be disappointed with Stone Row. And the fans who like Loreena McKennitt’s atmospheres, but miss the rock influences should also check Stone Row.


01. Rocky Road to Dublin 4:57
02. Singing Again 4:49
03. Bound For South Australia 4:34
05. Magic In His Hands 3:39
06. Raggle Taggle Gypsy 4:36
07. Colors 4:44
08. Night Visitor 3:53
09. She Moved Through the Fair 7:23
10. Chicken Water 3:58
11. Morning Glory 2:39
12. Poor Mans Blood 7:10
13. Donald McGillivary 3:39
14. Alignment 7:02!/stonerowband

Click to buy from CDBaby:

Review by Kinksmarkham


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


(From the band's Facebook)

"The Scally Cap Brats formed in the summer of 2010 out of a chance meeting between Mike Pusiak and Mike McWhiskey. They quickly discovered a mutual love for Punk, Oi and Celtic music which led to talk about starting a band. They got together in Mike Pusiak's basement, and quickly began writing songs and learning a few traditional tunes. Soon Kevin Grace was added on drums, and practices moved to his basement. A couple months passed before the lineup was complete with the addition of Katherine Maziec on bass.

Since their formation, The Scally Cap Brats have had one goal: To make honest music for regular people and have a fun time doing it. There are no gimmicks or theatrics, just a love for music and a desire to share that love with all who come to their shows. The influence of bands such as Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys is evident on songs such as "The Scally Cap Brat" and "Take a Shot" yet just as much appreciation is owed to the bands and artists of yesterday such as The Dubliners, Wolfe Tones, and Stan Rogers.

Mike Pusiak - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
Mike McWhiskey - Mandolin, Vocals
Katherine Maziekc- Bass
Kevin Grace - Drums, Vocals

Debut Demo/EP available for free from the band on FEB 16th. 4 Tracks of folking goodies. Recorded at CKCU for Ottawa Live Music



Saturday, May 21, 2011


(From the band's mailing list)

"Please go to the link for the Warped Tour battle of the bands and vote for us! Spread the link around on your facebook, twitter, myspace pages and ask your friends to vote and do the same!

Vote early and vote often!!!

Thanks for the support!"



01 - CHARM CITY SAINTS - Bars and Scars (from Bars & Scars" 2011) 2:46
02 - RAISE YOUR GLASS - Bersama (demo version) 2:59
03 - THE CLOVES AND THE TOBACCO - Railway (digital single) 4:21
04 - THE BLUE CASKET - The Irish Witch's Broom 2:42
05 - THE BLUE CASKET - Nothing to Lose Anymore (tin whistle version) 2:31
06 - THE BLUE CASKET - Mother's Pride 3:16
07 - THE BLUE CASKET - Mary Rose (from "Right to the Left of the Centre") 2:03
08 - THE BLUE CASKET - Carnival Lions 3:05
09 - BETWEEN THE WARS - You Were the One (Demo) 3:31
10 - BETWEEN THE WARS - The Ballad of the First Fleet (Demo) 3:05
11 - BETWEEN THE WARS - Superhero Song (from "Carried Away") 3:55
12 - PLADDOHG - Donal McGillavry (from "Hair of the Dog") 3:38
13 - PLADDOHG - Fofar Sogder (from "Hair of the Dog") 4:07

1) CHARM CITY SAINTS (Baltimore, MD, USA)!/charmcitysaints

Band members:

Ayres - Guitar/Mandolin
Damon - Drums
Ben - Guitar
Doyle - Bass
Jesse - Vocals
Tim - Bagpipes/Tin Whistle


"Never go Home Again" (4 tracks, 2005)
"Bars and Scars" (2track promo CD, 2007)
"Hooligans and Saints (17 tracks, 2009)

The track is available at Reverbnation.

2) RAISE YOUR GLASS (Bandung, Indonesia)

A new Indonesian band.

Band members:

Ipoyopi Godfriend - Guitar
Riiza Rossalia - Pianika
Riki T'tonks - Drum
Reza Cangkir Godfriend - Bass
Azzi erlands - guitar & vocal

The link to the track is available at Facebook.

3) THE CLOVES AND THE TOBACCO (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)

The second song by this Indonesian band (they were featured in the last sampler too)

Band members:

Adit - Vocals
Piztt - Fiddle, Acoustic Guitar, violin
Abey - Electric Guitar/Back Voc
Bagus - 4 String Banjo
Gay Aji - Tin Whistle, Acoustic Guitar
kojack - Bass
Koro - Drums and Percussion

The link to the tracks is available at their facebook

4) THE BLUE CASKET (Liverpool, England, UK)

This band is defunct. The Blue Casket were a Liverpool based punk trio from the 51st state the UK. They started in 2004 and were writing and recording in the bedroom "studio" since.

Band members:

Ben J - Guitars and vocals
Dan Stevenson - Bass
Jon Allan - Drums


"Right to the Left of Centre"

The tracks are available at Soundclick and i-Sound.

One of their members is playing now in a band based in Leeds:!/pages/ACiD-DROP/64328479364

5) BETWEEN THE WARS (Melbourne, Vic, Australia)

"In the same way that the Pogues and Dropkick Murphys stayed true to their own genre while blending in a strong Irish influence, Between The Wars are setting Melbourne stages on fire with their clever and unique fusion of Irish folk music with punk rock. This makes it mainstream enough for everyone to find elements they can enjoy, without losing their edge and unique flavour.

The label of Irish folk music gives connotations of fifty-something year old men on stage, playing songs they learnt as children from relatives of eras long ago. However, Between The Wars take this image and rip it to pieces, cementing their place in the live music scene and showcasing the amazing live talents of all the band members’ vocal and musical abilities.

The sum of their parts is so great that their music is taken to a whole new level which allows their audience to be a perfect blend of young and old, never alienating one in favour of the other. In the time they have spent together so far as a group, they have garnered much acclaim all over the greater Melbourne area for their energetic and entertaining sets.

Between The Wars have performed at The Esplanade Hotel, Station 59, Bridie O’Reilly’s and the Rainbow Hotel just to name a few. On top of this, they performed a run of five shows at the Echuca Moama Celtic Festival in March 2010 as well as two at the Kilmore Celtic Festival in June 2010. The band also won their heat and semi-final of the Last Band Standing competition at Bridie O’Reilly’s, finishing the Grand Final in third spot (out of 40 bands). Between The Wars are certainly a band you won’t want to miss out on when they perform near you."!

Band members:

Jaymz Stevens - Vocals/guitar
Jason Hatcher - Vocals/ukulele
Aaron Allen - Mandolin/guitar/vocals
Paul Trevorrow - Bass/vocals
Sam Humphrey - Violin/vocals
Jess Carlton - Violin/trumpet
Damien Evans - Drums

Who is "the miner"? and "the docker"? and the "railway man"? I dunno ;-)


"Carried Away" (11 tracks)

Click to buy

The tracks are available at Triple J Unearthed and Reverbnation.

6) PLADDOHG (Oackland, CA, USA)

A band that plays one Mahones cover in the Tribute album.

Band Members:

Erin Bloom - Vocals, Bodhran
Robin DeMartini - Flute, Piccolo, Vocals
Bruce Isom - Percussion, Accordion
Eric Sorensen - Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
Joshua Canete - Vocals, Bass
Scott Kambic - Drums, Vocals
Patrick Russ - Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals


"More Songs About Drinking and Fighting"
(14 tracks, 2007)
"Hair of the Dog" (12 tracks, 2010)

Click to buy from CDBaby

The tracks are available at Sonicbids.



Thursday, May 19, 2011


Celtas Cortos filmed one of the shows of their "Introversiones" theatre tour. Now this video can be downloaded for free from their website. Every track has to be downloaded one by one. Enjoy!



Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The Lagan "Work Away" EP
Release date: 2011
Running time: 11:19, 3 tracks

The Lagan is a 7 piece band hailing from London, UK: guitar, ukelele, tin whistle, fiddle, bass, drums and trumpet. They define their music as "beer-soaked Celtic folk/punk/ska!" and their tracks have already been included in both Paddyrock and Shite'n'Onions podcasts

It's a little bit difficult to review this EP, since it has only three tracks and all of them are different. But, as it has been previously said, they have already made it clear, they play "beer-soaked Celtic folk/punk/ska"

The opening track, "Work Away" is a catchy Celtic punk number.

The next song, "Sunny Day in Southie" moves between Brit Pop and Dexy's Midnight Runners. A good song, with good fiddle and tin whistle arrangements

The last track, "Guinnes & Chips", is a ska number. I feel that this song is not as interesting as the previous ones.

Right now, The Lagan are working hard in order to be the opening band for Flogging Molly at The Garage in London next June 29th. I'm looking forward to listening to more songs from this band and see how their sound evolves.

Track List:

1 - Work Away 3:55
2 - Sunny Day in Southie 4:20
3 - Guinness & Chips 3:00

Click to buy

Review by Kinksmarkham


Monday, May 16, 2011


Billy Liar is an acoustic folk punk singer from Scotland . He has been touring the UK and Europe relentlessly for the last four years and his latest EP was produced by Acey Slade (Murderdolls/Amen/Trashlight Vision/Joan Jett) and features Robin Guy on drums (The King Blues/The Grit/The Business/Lars Frederiksen/Rachel Stamp/Faith No More).

Billy Liar has had songs played on Radio 1 by Mike Davies on the Radio 1 Punk Show, and Vic Galloway, and has had sessions on XFM, with Jim Gellatly. He also recently completed his first tour of New Zealand (with The Rabble) and his first slot at Rebellion Festival, which was one of the busiest acoustic sets of the weekend.

In 2011, Billy Liar is touring Scotland with TV Smith, touring Finland, touring Germany/Holland, playing Rebellion Festival for the second year running, playing Nice n Sleazy Festival, playing Strummercamp, recording/releasing his debut album, and a lot more still to be announced!

Click to buy the EP:

More info at


Sunday, May 15, 2011


have just started their second European tour:

SIR REG - “A sign of the times Tour” (2011 – 12 – 24 May)

12 Beta @ København

13 Schwarzer Adler @ Egelsse, Germany

14 France Day Off

15 Pacific Rock @ Cergy, France

16 France Day off

17 Canadian Café @ Tours, France

18 O’Sullivan’s @ Beziers, France

19 Country Rock @ Nimes, France

20 O´sullivan´s @ Albi, France

21 Le Poulpe @ Reignier, France

22 Mac Callary’s @ Ste Savine, France

23 The Scruffys @ Karlsruhe, Germany

These two vids were shot at their first date in Copenhaguen.


SIR REG "Feck the Irish Tiger"



'Folk N Glory' Nearly Ready!

Two Announcements:

A - If you want to hear a preview of a couple of songs from "Folk n Glory" can check them out on our MySpace page! Give us some feedback.

B - Our good friend Mr Shitter has asked us to mention that we are playing his new festival. As some of you may remember, Mr Shitter used to run a damn fine festival called 'Shitfest'. But now, Old Shitter has got into bed with Hole in the Wall fest in a collaboration that everyone wanted to call 'ShitHole Fest'. Sadly, they didn't run with that, and so it is:

15 July: Hole In The Wall Festival, Hopton Court, nr Ludlow, UK

VISIT or better still come along on the day and see us play!


Hi there, yup it's been an age ain't it! Sorry about the lack of activity on updating our page. Several factors have contributed to this:

Work - our lovely Govt have been sacking shed loads of people so I have been busy defending jobs and services for UNISON.

Elections - I stood and lost on behalf of the Green Party but aim to keep going.

Voluntary Work - I do stuff for a welfare/employment rights organisation and we have had a funding crisis, so have been crisis managing and fundraising for them, a crisis again thanks to our wonderful post-Thatcherite, Thatcherite thinking Govt.

And finally, the long awaited album... yes, this has taken the best part of 3 months also.

Anyway, our soon to be current offering 'Folk N Glory' will be 11 tracks long. It is a self-recorded effort, done in the conference room of UNISON, so thanks to Worcestershire County UNISON! It was recorded on our budget recording system laid down on to a computer - oh yes we are hi-tech ain't we eh!?

Although we actually recorded it in February/March, it has taken me until now (as engineer/producer/technician/chief swearer when things go wrong - and they have on plenty of occasions - like when all my presets which took months to develop decided to go AWOL meaning a recovery session was needed, phew) with everything else going on to mix and master it, largely at home. For those of you who have ever done this kind of thing you'll know it is a painstaking process, which even when finished could always be started again as there is always something else to tweak - but there comes a point when you have to say 'enough is enough', this is the version we'll run with, and so we are there..... kinda.

Gaz has been similarly busy putting the final touches to the artwork after the same kind of tweaking. His dannies are bare to the bone.

All in all, given we are an unsigned band, doing it on a budget we haven't got, we are happy with it. It represents a shift away from the sound of previous albums and it has a lo-fi charm all of its own, with quite a retro feel to the music and artwork which we think you'll be pleased with. Deffo folkier, but with some rocking moments.

We is on i-Tunes

Those of you who are missing our earlier albums will be pleased to hear they are now on Spotify, as well as being available to download from iTunes, Amazon MP3, Play, 7digital, and many other fine vendors of digital music.

The forum

Or blogspot as it is now called is still going (not so strong recently of course) with mini inside views of life on the road, we hope you have read them and enjoyed them. I'll keep them going and let you know how the album progresses too.


We have a 'B' sides collection of tracks too that we plan to record later in the year with a couple of surprises thrown in for good measure. Keep an eye out for that! I want to call it 'Worcester Sauce' as it will be a recording in Worcester and its saucy, trust me you'll have to run with this idea...

Finally finally... As you may see, we have not many gigs this year, so all the more important you say hello when we do play a gig. This is a re-building year for us so the album and promo of it has to be a priority. We'll see where that takes us, and hopefully the new album will mean more gigs in the future... so fingers crossed.

We hope to see some of you, all of you, new friends, old friends, lost friends at a gig soon, when they eventually happen, so don't be strangers!


GIGS 2011

3 June: Germany tbc

4 June: Irish Folk Festival, Poyenberg, Germany

18 June: Festival, Germany tbc

25 June: The Wheatsheaf, Leighton Buzzard, UK

15 July: Hole In The Wall Festival, Hopton Court, nr Ludlow, UK

2-4 September: Festival, Germany tbc

7 October: Germany tbc

8 October: OctFest, Area 51, Hilden, Germany

12 November: The Wheatsheaf, Leighton Buzzard, UK

26 November: Katie Fitzgeralds, Wollaston, Stourbridge, UK

(more gigs will be posted if/when/as they come in)


Saturday, May 14, 2011


Zuname/Drunken Fairy Tales "Saint Patrick's Punx Day" Split
Release date: 2011
Running time: 26:48 (10:53 + 15:55) 13 (5+8) tracks

Celtic punk is a global genre. We have seen how the scene has grown in countries such as Japan, Australia, Hungary, the Czech Republic or even Indonesia. And, obviously, a Celtic Punk scene is growing very fast in Russia, one of the biggest countries in the world.

"Saint Patric's Punx Day" is a split that gathers two bands from Moscow, Zuname and Drunken Fairy Tales. The listener is lucky: both bands have a different sound and they are sharing the Split for free.

Zuname is a 6 piece bagpipes punk band featuring banjo too. However, they have a small disadvantage: they are only sharing 5 tracks, while Drunken Fairy Tales are sharing 8. Perhaps the best tracks are the odd numbers. Song number 1 is a good punk song. I feel that track no. 3 is their best song, an excellent oi! number. And track no. 5 is a song which is slower than the others, but quite enjoyable.

IMHO, the tracks whose titles are in English are the weakest ones. "Reality" is a ska-punk song and "Hardcore Song" is .. just a hardcore song.

Drunken Fairy Tales have a classic Pogues/Flogging Molly line-up: guitar, bass, drums, tin whistle, accordion, banjo and fiddle. Their accordion sound moves between The Cherry Cokes and the German band The Waxie's and sometimes the tin whistle is influenced by The Rumjacks.

Normally, the songs are very short. All of them are quite interesting, but I like the last ones, since I find them more "Russian". My fave is track no. 10, but track no. 8 is very good too (even if I feel that they should have removed The Kesh Jig from it. Everybody associates that tune with Flogging Molly)

"Saint Patrick's Punx Day Split" is a good album, so go ahead and listen to the Celtic punk sound from Russia. At least I would like to hear more stuff from both bands and see how they sound evolve.



01 - (All Together) 2:41
02 - Reality 1:34
03 - (This Time) 2:11
04 - Hardcore Song 0:56
05 - Drinking Song 3:29

Drunken Fairy Tales

06 - Molly 1:32
07 - (Old Pirate) 2:19
08 - (Fell in Love with a Soldier) 2:20
09 - (Public House) 1:42
10 - Just Common Irish Drinking Song 2:42
11 - (Galleon) 1:48
12 - (Friendship) 1:29
13 - (F*cking Mad Alcoholic) 2:03

The titles in brackets have been translated from Russian.
All the other titles are originally in English.


Review by Kinksmarkham



Billy Bragg, the Bard of Barking. A show from his early years. Enjoy!



Thursday, May 12, 2011


Roger Drawdy and the Firestarters is a Celtic rock band from Kentucky. Two albums can be downloaded free from their website.

(Biography taken from their own website)

"Roger Drawdy's west County Cork background, thoughtful lyrics and trained vocal qualities have made him a stand out within the Celtic music community. Raised near the small fishing village of Baltimore, south of Skibereen, he's fished the rough waters of the Celtic Sea and northern Atlantic for hake and cod, sheared his grandfather’s sheep, had his knuckles swatted by the Christian brothers, and experienced life within the rebel county. Heavily influenced by his grandfather who himself was known to break into song at the pub, along with being a masterful seanachi (storyteller), Roger combined those rich experiences into writing his original music and the interpretations of lively traditional pub songs. The result is very genuine music delivered with fire and intensity.

Nominated TOP CELTIC ROCK GROUP 2010 by the Irish Music Association, Irish Singer/Songwriter Roger Drawdy and his band the Firestarters play a mix of Traditional and original music with a distinctive sound. "Air punching acoustic rockers" is how Irish Music Magazine described The Firestarters' intensity. Thought provoking lyrics, haunting melodies, and thunderous live performances are the keys to their success. Roger Drawdy & the Firestarters formed in 2000 and have played in numerous venues throughout the US. Drawdy's prolific songwriting promises to take them to the top of the world/roots music scene. Before forming the Firestarters, Roger released two solo albums, "Longing for Home" and "Dance in the Heather." He gained international attention with the release of his track "For Erin's Sake" on the "Trees are Life" CD produced in Dublin, Ireland by the Earth Wisdom Foundation. Together with the Firestarters CD album release have included: "The "Emancipated Hostage" in 2000, "Touched by the Sun" in 2002, "Live Fire" in 2003, "Open Seas, Empty Skies" in 2005, "Hallowed Ground" in November 2007, and their very latest release, "Pour Me Another One" in late August of 2010. The band is currently back in the studio producing their next album of original music to be released in 2011."


Roger Drawdy - lead vocals, guitar
John McBride - bodhran, percussion, backing vocals
Ric Smith - fiddle, mandolin, backing vocals
Eric Sayer - bass, irish flute, accordion, tin whistle
Mark Milliron - drums, percussion
Keri McBride* - vocals, backing vocals (* large stage performances)


"Touched by the Sun" (11 tracks, 2002)
"Live Fire" (14 tracks, 2003)
"Open Seas, Empty Skies" (13 tracks, 2005) Click to buy from CDbaby.
"Hallowed Ground" (14 tracks, 2007) Click to buy from CDbaby
"Pour Me Another Round" (9 tracks, 2010)!/firestartersusa


Go to:

Click on "Enter Site", then on "Music" and finally click on "Download album"


Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The Mighty Regis have just released a new EP, "Walking Around Lucky". It can be bought from CDbaby:

The title track can be also downloaded for free from the following site:


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This interview was firstly posted last April 7th on the Spanish version of the blog-zine.

The Fatty Farmers come from Toledo, a town which is not in the Celtic area of Spain. Could you please tell us how the band was born?

Rodri, the singer, was looking for people interested in playing in the band. At the beginning, everybody thought that it was funny, but not easy. However, after some line-up changes the band is already established. The last musician to join The Fatty Farmers has been Goyo, who comes from Soria and plays the accordion. So, we are an 8 piece band playing instruments such as Highland pipes, Galician pipes, accordion, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and so on. The youngest member is 16 years old and the oldest member is 38 years old, but we get on well.

When we began to play we thought that there was no other band making the music we wanted to play. Actually there are other Celtic punk bands in Spain, but we feel that all of them are different, every band has its own personality

Have you been previously in another band?

Yeah, several members have already played with other bands. Rodri and Lalo were in a band playing ska-punk rock (in English), Juancar, Lamber and Diego played heavy rock, Goyo used to play in different covers bands and Rodri was also a member of a metal band, Hatecode, that played at the Villa de Bilbao Contest and at the Viñarock festival

People say that The Fatty Farmers sound like Flogging Molly. What do you think about that?

Well, we’re not angry they are a great band and it’s clear that we’re influenced by them, but we’re also influenced by bands such as Dropckick Murphys or The Real McKenzies.

We know that normally the new bands sound like the main bands. However, we want to draw the attention of the fans to our live shows. We feel that we are really a live act, we want that the fans enjoy our shows: they can listen, dance … and we expect that they recall the gig and think “Those guys were really crazy on stage”

In fact, we feel that the album allows us to play in more venues, but we prefer the open air shows, if the sound is good and all the instruments can be heard

The Fatty Farmers have played several contests or Battle of the Bands. What do you think about them? Have they helped you to become a well-known band? We guess that after the debut album is released you will stop that.

When we played at those contests we didn’t intend to reach a bigger audience. In fact, most of them are not well advertised. For us, it was a mean to get money to finance the recording of the album, to buy the gear,etc.

We didn’t want to put money to record the album. The money should come from the shows or from the prizes. And, fortunately, we got the first prize and the second prize in both contests we played, so we got enough money.

We will try to win more contests in order to get more funds to pay the next album, although it won’t be easy. The rules state often that the bands that have released albums cannot apply.

But, apart from the contests, we also play at weddings, High Schools … we play a lot of these private gigs. The music we play has that festive side, so we are open to all kind of events and we adapt to them.

Let’s talk about the debut album. What is the title?

We have been talking about the album for a long time, and we know that the release date has been delayed, but there are a lot of things to take into account: recording, mixing, mastering, register the songs, booklet, pressing of the CDs, how to sell it …

We are a lot of people and sometimes we have to reach a compromise or we have to vote. We expect to have it ready in a couple of weeks. It’s coming from Ireland and we are already working on the artwork, the website, T-shirts, photo session …

Then we have to make the booklet, another 15 days.

The album is titled “Down in the Streets”, like the first song or intro.

Are all the tracks original numbers or have you recorded some covers?

All the tracks are self-penned songs and we have included the songs from our demo. We have also recorded an extra track, but we don’t know if we are going to release it. Besides, it’s a sort of a piss-take, so it doesn’t match with the other 10 songs in the CD.

Regarding covers, legal issues are quite complex and we should ask for the permit to release the songs before recording them. So, for the moment we haven’t recorded any cover.

Is the track list ready?

Yeah, these are the 10 tracks:

1 - Down In The Streets
2 - Man Of Glendalough
3 - A Drunken Night In Temple Bar
4 - Homeless
5 - Welcome To Baja California
6 - The School Shooter
7 - Wild Ways To Galway
8 - Tomorrow
9 - Brisking Your Nights
10 – Island

We were wondering if you have had some guests on the album.

We thought over the possibility of adding further vocals on "Brisking Your Nights", because it’s a different number and we wanted to try another singer together with Rodri. But finally, we forgot about that, we decided to make it as simple as possible. I guess that some fans will be wondering why we recorded that track. But we wanted to try something different.

Who has produced the album? Where has it been recorded and mixed? If you have had a bigger budget, would you have chosen another producer?

The album has been produced by Luis Alberto Caballero in Dopplermedia (Madrid) I have to admit that Alberto has born with us, he has been very patient. It’s not easy to record 8 guys and he has done it quite well, taking into account the difficulties to record some instruments.

The master has been made by Richard Dowling (Foo Fighters, Kylie Minogue, David Bowie, La Unión, etc) in his studio Wav Mastering in Limerick.

We have not listened to the album yet, but we have listened to the mixes and we feel that it will sound great.

Alberto offers a ratio quality/price that is very good, so we trust him. Even if we have had more money, we wouldn’t have spent a bigger budget on the first album. Moreover, we feel that Alberto’s quality is as good as that of other people that would charge you the double. We have already decided to record the second album with Alberto, we have got on with him.

Are you going to release the album on your own or are you dealing with some labels?

It will be released by a label and we will make 1.000 copies. However, we don’t know how to proceed yet: maybe a song could be downloaded, we could sell the album at the shows or in stores… we will take a decision once the copies are available.

Have you thought over licencing the CD to an international indie label?

It’s not easy, but we will see.

And what about selling it in the USA via CDBaby or Interpunk or Amazon (CDs and/or mp3)?

It’s a good idea. We know that there are labels that could make it for us, but we have to check how it works and if we can do it on our own, we will go ahead.

You have a couple of websites (MySpace and Musikaze)? Are you going to have your own website or open an account on Facebook or Reverbnation? (remark: the website is already on line)

Yes, you’re right, we have a MySpace account, some accounts on Tuenti, one account on Musikaze and another one on YouTube.

The website is ready, but we are waiting to get the master to launch it, so I think that it could be available in two weeks. Regarding the Facebook account, it’s the same, as soon as we get the master we will be there.

What about the Saint Patrick’s gigs in Madrid?

They were amazing! We feel that the fans really enjoyed the shows. They didn’t expect that a band from Toledo could be a top-notch live band. Our drummer couldn’t go to the first show, so we play an acoustic gig. Taking into account that it was our first acoustic gig, it was really successful, the venue was full of fans.

At the Gruta 77 we really enjoyed the show, the sound was one of the best I’ve heard in a venue. The guys who called us to play that festival were very happy and they told us that they would call us again when a foreign Celtic punk band is scheduled. There were several bands playing, so the show was a lot of fun

Are you going to play a special show to release the album or go on tour?

We intend to release it in Toledo at the local Festival and we also want to play some shows in different towns. In fact we have already started to work on that in order to have some dates in September. As you know, it’s not easy to do it in Summer, because it’s the open-air festival season.

We feel that we could play a couple of shows in every town, Friday and Saturday (for instance, one day in a bigger venue and the other one in a pub or a bar). This way the costs wouldn’t be so high.

Are you going to release a professionaly shot video to promote the album?

Yeah, probably during the Summer. Some friends would make it, but we feel that the quality will be quite good. Then we will upload it to YouTube. I think that the song will be “Homeless

Bastards on Parade have just been touring Europe. Skontra toured The Netherlands and Germany last December 2010. And Brutus’ Daughters are going to play a big festival in Poland. Are you thinking about playing abroad?

Well, it’s a possibility. We have been together only two years and first of all we should try to play in Spain and then abroad. A European tour is not easy, we are 8 guys and the costs are high. Anyway, we will talk with other bands and ask them how they arranged it.

We guess that you have gone to several Celtic punk shows. Which have been your favourite bands on stage?

Flogging Molly were great in Madrid, an excellent sound. Dropkick Murphys rocked, but the banjo was hardly noticed. Then, The Real McKenzies acoustic gig was also amazing. The Mahones were not so good on stage, but we like them too.

And which are the bands that you would like to play with?

Any of them would be OK, apart from the Spanish bands that play this genre of music. But we would also like to play with other bands ,even if they are not Celtic punk bands.

We feel that a band located in Madrid has more posibilities. Have you thought about moving to this city?

No, we don’t need to move to Madrid. In fact we are only 40 minutes from Madrid and some of the members are already studying in Madrid. For us it’s quite easy to go Madrid, because it’s close to Toledo.

If we would rehearse in Madrid maybe we would have more contacts to get gigs. Anyway, we feel that this will depend on the promotion we made: radio, press, spotify, YouTube, Tuenti, Facebook … We have a lot of ideas about that.

What do you think about the European Celtic punk scene? Do you know other bands?

As we have been playing this kind of music for a short time, we have been focused on writing our own material.

Maybe it’s time to begin to check other bands, listen to their songs .. We will try to add more bands to the social networks when the songs from the album are available and, who knows, maybe we could do something together.

We feel that this genre, with the right promotion, can be a big thing, like other genres have been in the past (grunge, metal …) The shows will help to get a bigger fan base.

And what do you think about the Spanish scene? Do you know any other band?

This kind of music was not very popular here but little by little more bands are playing Celtic punk. So I feel that the main festivals will include more Celtic punk bands too.

We only know Brutus’ Daughters and Drink Hunters, they are cool. We would like to play with Bastards on Parade and Skontra soon. A festival with all the Celtic punk band from Spain would be a dream!

Do you want to add something?

The website will have a special “comments” section, so the fans will be able to tell their opinion about our music, if there is a venue near their home in which we can play, if they know any radio station that could play our songs … We will appreciate very much this feedback and we will try to play everywhere. Let’s go Farmers!

Now check their website and listen to some tracks:


Saturday, May 7, 2011


The Fisticuffs "You'll Not Take Us Alive", self-released FC-003
Release date: January 29, 2011
Running Time: 45:22, 15 tracks

The Fisticuffs are back with their third album “You’ll Not Take Us Alive”. Angrier than ever, a “show no mercy” attitude can be found all along the album, at least at first hearing.

Some changes of personnel/guests have occurred between “Neatly Stumblin'” and “You’ll Not Take Us Alive”. Original bassist Brandon Simmons has been replaced by Neal Farrell. Ian Tully (whistle, bodhrán) who was a full member in “Bruised but not Beaten” and a guest in “Neatly Stumblin’” is no longer on board. And Shaina Sedder (guest vocals on the two previous albums) is not singing in “You’ll Not Take Us Alive”. However, the core of the band remains the same: Bobby Baldwin aggressive vocals, Dave Beneventi excellent mandolin playing and Arcadia Kust great fiddling.

Lyrics deal mainly with Irish emigration/Irish world in America, South Chicago and the working class. Particularly, it seems that the fans’ favourite song is track no. 8 “We are the Workers”. Even if I like it, especially the guitar work, I feel that there are better songs. For instance, “Silent on the South Side”, a top-notch song featuring accordion, in which Arcadia and Dave stand out. Or “The Potters’ Field”; vocals on this track are a little bit less aggressive, violin, mandolin and bass sound really tight and the guitar and harmonica at the end are great too.

Other tracks that I have enjoyed are the intro (“Red Sky”), a classic Fisticuffs song, and “Paddy’s NNA”. This is one of the most ’77 punk songs in the album. In fact, Bobby sings like Johnny Rotten. “Five White Crosses” is also an interesting number that features Bobby’s harmonica. Vocals are raw and the fiddle and mandolin are … Well, you know the answer, their sound is based on them.

But, at the end of the album there are another tracks that are worth hearing: “Missin' the Bus” and “Dead and Gone”. I find Arcadia’s fiddling quite “British” on the former. (maybe I’m wrong, but she reminds me of bands such as the sadly defunct Tricks Upon Travellers or Bleeding Hearts) and similar to that of Tim O’Leary (McDermott’s 2 Hours) on the latter.

The Fisticuffs are in fine form and one cannot understand why they are still unsigned. Anyway, hats-off to them: 14 songs, around 45 minutes of music, excellent black and white digipack packaging and 8 page booklet, 12 original songs, one Pogues cover and one drinking song.

Will there ever be a European tour?


01. Red Sky In the Morning 0:49
02. Fired Up 2:33
03. Paddys N.N.A. 2:10
04. Young Ned of the Hill 2:44
05. Five White Crosses 2:28
06. The Potter's Field 3:34
07. These Trying Times 3:11
08. We Are the Workers 3:08
09. The Ballad of Bill Blizzard 5:02
10. Silent On the South Side 3:36
11. Missin' the Bus 3:19
12. Dead and Gone 2:38
13. Fat Cats 3:00
14. In Heaven There Is No Beer 7:04!/thefisticuffs

Click to buy from CDBaby:

Click to buy from Interpunk:

Review by Kinksmarkham



Brick Top Blaggers “Coaster” BlagThis Limited
Release date: March 18, 2011
Running time: 34:39,10 tracks

Coaster” is the amazing debut album by the Southern California band Brick Top Blaggers (formerly The Blaggers). This 7 piece outfit consists of Steve Almond (vocals), Greg Mintz (guitars), Dustin Lindberg (vocals, bass), Matt Maulding (vocals, accordion, whistles, organ, bouzouki), Sonja Wyche (fiddle), Clement Barrera-Ng (Mandolin) and Colin McGrath (drums). The album has been produced by Matt and Greg and they have made a fine job. I love the sound, every instrument is played by excellent musicians and, moreover, all of them can be heard clearly.

Eight out of ten tracks have been written by the band members. Usually, a band has one or two songwriters, but Brick Top Blaggers have … FOUR. Yes, Matt Maulding and Steve Almond have written 3 tracks each one, Greg Mintz has written one track and arranged one traditional song, and Sonja Wyche has written another song. One could think that this could be a drawback (too many different directions in the album). However, I can state that this, had not happened and, together with the production, is the main strength of the album.

Matt Maulding’s songwriting is rooted in the modern Celtic traditional music. He has made it clear in the “Thanks” section of the booklet: “(thanks to) Kate Rusby, Ronnie Drew, Shane MacGowan, Andy Irvine and Andy Stewart, who help preserve and enrich the musical heritage of England, Ireland and Scotland and inspire me daily”

The beginning of “No Prodigal Son” has a sound that reminds me of The Whisky Priests. “Lady Liberty”, about Irish emigration to America, is also a “well-built” song, calm at the beginning, faster afterwards. And “Charlie Camden”, about an 19th century outlaw, is also a catchy song.

Government Issue” lyrics are brave: a song asking why our young soldiers are sent to lands faraway. Steve comes from Brighton, East Sussex (England). So I guess that he likes the excellent song written by The Levellers Another Man’s Cause”.

The second song written by Steve is “Goldstone Ground”. This is one of the highlights, a superb song. Steve hailing from Brighton, he had to be a Brighton and Hove Albion supporter like other East Sussex acts such as The Fish Brothers and Attila the Stockbroker. Goldstone Ground was the old BAHA stadium and it was sold in 1997. Today it’s a shopping mall. So, the song is about the nostalgia of the place. Celtic punk at its best.

Steve’s third song is “How Many Times”, which has a slightly influence by Flogging Molly.

Guitar player and producer Greg Mintz has written the other highlight from the album, “Oregon”. This song about Portland is really awesome and all the band members contribute to make it great.

Greg has not written “The Bold Harpooner” (a.k.a. “The Bonnie Ship the Diamond”), but he had really improved the song with his arrangements. This song has been recorded among others by Fiddler’s Green, but I have never been very fond of it. Now, after having listened to Brick Top Blaggers, I have really loved it.

Walk the Plank” is the song written by the fiddler, Sonja Whyche. If you were expecting a mellow song, you are wrong. “Walk the Plank” fits perfectly with the rest of the album.

Special mention to the packaging of the album. When the packaging is unfolded, an excellent artwork composition can be watched: the colours of the Irish flag on pictures of wall of bricks, a ship and a sea monster …It’s not easy to explain you have to open it and watch it. Apart from that, an 16 page booklet, every lyrics in one page together with great background pictures, a two page picture of the band and full liner notes. Please, buy the CD instead of the digital version of the album, on the contrary you will be missing this labour of love.

Flogging Molly opened the door to new Celtic punk bands from California, firstly The Mighty Regis and now Brick Top Blaggers. I expect that little by little Brick Top Blaggers will be playing more shows outside California and their reputation will be growing all around the USA and abroad.


01. No Prodigal Son 2:33
02. Government Issue 2:38
03. Finnegan's Wake/Whiskey March 4:35
04. Oregon Song 4:05
05. Goldstone Ground 2:46
06. How Many Times 3:06
07. Lady Liberty/Limerick Rake 5:27
08. The Bold Harpooner 3:19
09. Charlie Camden 2:40
10. Walk The Plank 3:26

To buy the CD from CDBaby, click here

To Buy the mp3 from Amazon, click here:

Review by Kinksmarkham


Thursday, May 5, 2011


Live from the Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana, CA on New Year's Eve 2010. Brick Top Blaggers opened for The Fenians and this is them performing an original song called "No Prodigal Son".

Live from the Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana, CA on New Year's Eve 2010. Brick Top Blaggers opened for The Fenians and this is them performing an original song called "Government Issue".

Live from the Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana, CA on New Year's Eve 2010. Brick Top Blaggers opened for The Fenians and this is them performing an original song called "Lady Liberty".

Live from the Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana, CA on New Year's Eve 2010. Brick Top Blaggers opened for The Fenians and this is them performing an original song called "Charlie Camden".



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