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Hello!

Well, it’s taken a while to get round to this, but we’ve put a basic site together (finally!). Hoping to get album reviews, future gig info, band news and anything else we think might be worth a look on here in the months (and hopefully years!) to come, and as the site expands we’ll add more stuff  as and when we can.

There’s probably no better time to do a little introduction, so if you’re interested: We’re the Mersey Celt Punks, a mad drunken idea set up by two mates from Birkenhead (just a ferry hop over the river from Liverpool) to get a Merseyside gig/drinking/football collective going for all manner of reprobates, inspired by the brilliant blog/social media phenomenon that is London Celtic Punks. Hopefully we can be the Northern comrades for the boys in the “Big Smoke”, and together further promote the brilliant Celtic Punk scene going on at the moment. It’s early days on here so far, so in the meantime while we get this sorted, give us a like on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MerseyCeltPunks/), a follow on Twitter (https://twitter.com/MerseyCeltPunks), and some love if you like what we’re doing! Here’s to the future!

Cheers,

Mike

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Review: Rumahoy – The Triumph of Piracy (2018)

Welcome to the Sea!!!

Let’s start by saying I don’t listen to a lot of metal and until very recently thought the genre of pirate metal was used just for describing Alestorm. In great news there are quite a few bands flying the Jolly Roger high for pirate metal across the world.

Today (9th Feb 2018) see the debut release of “The Triumph of Piracy” by North Carolina 4 piece Rumahoy on Napalm Records.

rumahoy

The Triumph of Piracy is just that a triumph! The album seamlessly blends heavy metal with classic sea shanties and a whole lot of rum. Imagine if you will Lamb of God and Hans Zimmer working together and you wont be far off.

Rumahoy as a band have a sound much bigger and complex than you would ever think possible for a 4 piece with a classic thrashy metal back bone finished off with a screaming guitars and tales of both the classic and modern day pirate.

The stand out tracks from the album are for me personally the first single “Forest Party” (video link below) and “Huffman, The Pirate King” which are probably the least heavy songs on the album and closest to traditional pirate music with a polka / sea shanty feeling to both of them.

My favourite song from the album will have to be “Netflix and Yarr” a ballad of the life of a pirate not being what it used to be and the struggles of being a pirate in a modern world. Just brilliant.

The biggest shock when listen through was when the track “Pirateship” came on and I was convinced that my pc had decided it wanted a change from Pirate Metal for a bit and decided that 90’s euro techno would be a better choice, but no it was still Rumahoy. Sang almost entirely in what I think is German (I speak no German, it’s a guess) “Pirateship” is a shocking piece of genius which I can see becoming an obsession as it sounds like the “Scooter goes pirate metal” album that never existed (to my knowledge).

The album finishes with the title track “The Triumph of Piracy” a 10 minute epic that if you wanted to introduce someone to pirate metal would be a great start and if they don’t like it make them walk the plank you don’t need those people in your life.

Great band cant wait to see them tonight.

Rumahoy start a UK tour tonight in Liverpool supporting Alestorm on the Piratefest Tour.

Feb 09 – Liverpool @ o2 Academy
Feb 10 – Sheffield @ Corporation (SOLD OUT)
Feb 11 – Newcastle @ Northumbria Uni
Feb 13 – Aberdeen @ Garage
Feb 14 – Glasgow @ o2 ABC
Feb 15 – Belfast @ Mandela Hall
Feb 16 – Dublin @ Tivoli
Feb 18 – Manchester @ o2 Ritz
Feb 20 – Leeds @ Stylus
Feb 21 – Norwich @ UEA LCR
Feb 22 – London @ o2 Forum
Feb 23 – Brighton @ Concorde 2 (SOLD OUT)
Feb 24 – Bristol @ Motion (SOLD OUT)
Feb 25 – Southampton @ Engine Rooms (SOLD OUT)

 

https://www.facebook.com/rumahoy/

Buy the album:

https://shop.napalmrecords.com/rumahoy-the-triumph-of-piracy-cd.html

Forest Party video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fgV_AnGIYY

Us:

https://www.facebook.com/merseyceltpunks

https://www.twitter.com/merseyceltpunks

 

 

Review: FEROCIOUS DOG “RED” (2017)

Ferocious Dog are arguably the outright kings of the UK folk-punk scene right now; ever since the release of their stunning self-titled debut in 2013, the Nottinghamshire boys have built an incredible career so far with their blend of sociopolitical comredmentary in the spirit of Billy Bragg with the musicianship of the legendary Levellers and the furious energy of the Pogues. What’s even more remarkable is that they’ve done it almost entirely off their own backs, endless self-promotion and crowdfunding from the legions of ‘Hell Hounds’ that are about as passionate a fanbase as you’ll find anywhere. This has resulted in some fantastic achievements so far, sell out hometown shows at the iconic Rock City venue (the first independent band to do so in its history), consistently positive reviews all over the place, and major tours with The Levellers across the UK and Europe.

They’ve now returned with their third studio album, “Red”, and while it may seem a tall task to follow 2015’s masterpiece, “From Without”, the Warsop six-piece have done it brilliantly. Unmistakably keeping their signature sound that’s worked so well, they’ve continued to develop and grow, every track sounding completely fresh. It rips along at a fair old pace, opener “Black Gold” starts with blistering mandolin backed by watertight guitar, bass and drums. “American Dream” sounds like it could easily fit onto any of the best records the Dropkicks have ever done, and “Spin” channels trad Irish folk with superb tin whistle throughout. The pace continues with “Black Leg Miner” and “Together We Are Strong”, but it’s “A & B” that showcases how this band has widened its range. A beautifully stripped-back and slower track, it’s effortlessly performed with heartfelt vocals, layered with guitar and violin that works perfectly together. The rest of the album throws you straight back into classic FD territory, including a rip-roaring cover of “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya”, but the biggest surprise is left until the final track (if you’re not familiar with the band). “Class War” is 7 minutes of ska/reggae/folk/punk magnificence, railing against the powers-that-be and the effect it’s having on the working class. It’s got elements of Edward II in its fusion of dub and folk, with a sudden burst of straight up punkiness in the middle. It’s a brilliant closer and one that further shows that this lot could put their hands to almost anything and still be top class.

Although the entire band is supremely talented, for me there are two stand out elements. Frontman Ken Bonsall is probably the most authentic working-class voice out there right now, combining honesty and accessibility in equal measure, and up there with some of the best folk singers to ever come out of England’s towns and cities. Violinist Dan Booth, however, is the member that elevates the band’s sound above all others. In my humble opinion, he is quite possibly the best violinist in the scene, switching from bow-shredding speeds that put some punk guitarists to shame, to emotionally charged melodies that could bring a tear to the eye of the most hardened souls. All in all, this is another triumph for a band doing things the way they want to do it, and succeeding in every which way. Get this on your Christmas list, or just buy it for yourself. Either way, get listening.

  • Mike (Mersey Celt Punks)

 

Buy the album here:

http://www.ferociousdog.co.uk/music.html

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/ferocious-dog/507424216

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Album-Explicit-Ferocious-Dog/dp/B077R9WJPN

https://www.facebook.com/FerociousDog/

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/MerseyCeltPunks/

https://twitter.com/MerseyCeltPunks

 

 

 

Review: KILMAINE SAINTS “WHISKEY BLUES AND FADED TATTOO’S” (2017)

Whiskey Blues and Faded Tattoo’s is the fifth release from Pennsylvania 6 piece Kilmaine Saints. After forming in 2009 Kilmaine Saints have released album of a consistently high standard, Whiskey blues and faded tattoo’s is no exception to that.

Blending influence from traditional Irish and Scottish folk music, sea shanties and combining it with a health amount of classic rock and punk fans they fit perfectly between Dropkick Murphy’s and Flogging Molly on the musical spectrum at yet for some reason they remain under the radar by comparison. A perfect addition to anyone’s music collection.

ks

 

 

 

This 17 track monster of an album features a few reworking of tradition classic such as The Foggy Dew and No awa tae bide awa which is a beautiful, stripped down, mandolin lead change of pace but don’t worry the time to get rowdy will return momentarily.

As you may have come to expect with Kilmaine Saints the bagpipes feature quite prominently throughout the album and can be used as a marker for my favourite tracks. Not enough bands have multiple people capable of playing bagpipes to such a high standard.  I guess if you form a band as a side project to being in a drums and pipe band it should be expected.

Instant favourites from the album would have to be “Long Shot Nag”; A high intensity ceilidh song about drinking too much, gambling and poor decisions (Guess it stood out for reasons I’d rather not talk about) and “Innocent Hand” because of its pirate punk feel due to incredible violin lead mixed with gang style backing vocals and the gravelliest singing on the album.

I always like an album that you can imagine in a live setting and has been arranged similar to a set list “Idiom” is a great start with a slow intro and then kicks in full force as a command to get up and sing and dance all night until “Last Call” when you throw your arms around you friends and strangers alike ready for one last song and one more drink before you head back to reality.

With Whiskey Blues and Faded Tattoo’s, Kilmaine Saints provide the perfect soundtrack to jig the night away whilst trying to drink more than you spill. Another musical triumph!

  • Elliott (Mersey Celt Punks)

Buy the Album

http://www.kilmainesaints.com/new/Shop

 

https://www.facebook.com/TheKilmaineSaints/?ref=br_rs

https://twitter.com/kilmainesaints

 

https://www.facebook.com/MerseyCeltPunks/                        https://twitter.com/MerseyCeltPunks

 

 

 

 

Review: BLACK ANEMONE “IN IT FOR LIFE” (2017)

Celtic punk and Scandinavia doesn’t immediately seem to be the most likely of combinations, but it’s a part of the world that has brought us the likes of Sir Reg, Finnegan’s Hell and the legendary Greenland Whalefishers, so it’s safe to say that the region is producing some top quality bands. One that has somehow managed to fly under our radar is Sweden’s Black Anenome, until now.

a2866898490_10Their second album, “In It For Life”, has been described by the band themselves as a tribute to the love of simply playing music, playing live and bringing good times to the masses, and it shows. 8 slices of high-energy, raucous celtic-punk that will have you swigging and jigging along with a fist in the air and a smile on your face. The opener “Freedom And For All” comes flying out of the traps and sets the standard for the rest of album to follow, frontman Mattias’ vocals are up there with the best the scene has to offer, sounding like elements of Shane MacGowan, Al Barr and Frankie McLaughlin all rolled into one. The musicianship from the rest of the band is superb throughout the album, with guitars, banjo, accordion and mandolin blending perfectly together to create a sound that’s up there with the very best of the genre. Even though it’s a short runtime, the album sways effortlessly between more traditionally folky tracks like “Ambers Point” and “Every Dog Has It’s Day” to the punkier tracks like the titular “In It For Life” and “Hellhounds On My Back”, never compromising the energy and obvious enjoyment to shine through each note and beat.

What highlights the enormous talent of the nine-piece, however, is the cover of “Drunken Sailor” halfway through the record. It’s not that it’s my outright favourite, but it’s one of those covers that could be dismissed as a lazy addition as it’s so well known. Not so with Black Anenome. They absolutely own their version, injecting an urgency into it that makes it still seem fresh and new. That takes some doing in my opinion. Add a brilliant cover of the Irish folk standard “Banks Of The Roses” as an album closer and you’ve got one cracker of a record that is more than worthy of your attention (if it isn’t already).

 

Mea Culpa, Black Anenome. You’re definitely on our radar now.

Buy the album here:

https://blackanemone.bandcamp.com/album/in-it-for-life

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/BlackAnemone

 

Follow us here:

https://www.facebook.com/MerseyCeltPunks/

 

 

 

THE DREADNOUGHTS “FOREIGN SKIES” 2017

When myself and Elliott started talking about who would like to review what for this site, I replied with one word: “Dreadnoughts”.  The Vancouver band have been one of my own long-standing favourites, ever since hearing 2009’s “Victory Square” for the first time, and being blown away by the borderline genius/insanity of their unique blend of folk, punk, polka, klezmer, and cider. They’ve now been doing their thing for 10 years, and there’s now a long-awaited (and overdue) release in “Foreign Skies”, the first new album for 6 years.

The-Dreadnoughts

A sort-of “concept” album themed around the experiences of the First World War, it starts unexpectedly sombre (for this lot) with “Up High”, but by the time the title track rolls around, the bands signature folk frenzy takes centre stage, quickly switching from crunchy punk, polka instrumentals, sea shanties, to an Ennio Morricone sounding intro that leads into a kick-you-in-the-face punk lament with “Anna Maria”. After this the album lurches back into the 100 mile-an-hour punk polka that The Dreadnoughts do so well with belters like “Jericho” and “Gavrilo”, until near the end of the album and the tone shifts again with the piano-led poem “A Broken World” and “Black Letters” (which is fittingly reminiscent of Street Dogs’ “Final Transmission”). Of course, any album by this band would be incomplete without some form of love letter to the West Country (“Back Home In Bristol”), although in keeping with the theme of the album, from the point of view of a normal soldier out in the hells of the frontline. It rounds the album off on a more positive celebration of home, familiar settings, and of course, a pint of cider.

The masterstroke of The Dreadnoughts is that they’ve consistently made the different influences work together, so that none of it ever sounds out of place or used just for the sake of it. Every bit of this album feels essential to what they were aiming to achieve, fusing Europe-wide folk roots and the energy and anger of punk, with the personal viewpoints of the average working-class men finding themselves thrown into the mouth of hell itself. There’s no triumphalism here, just real stories being told with a pint-in-the-air tribute, always respectful of the subject matter but still danceable, sing-a-long brilliance. A must own album for 2017.

  • Mike (Mersey Celt Punks)

 

Buy the album here:

https://thedreadnoughts.bandcamp.com/album/foreign-skies

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/foreign-skies/id1279285101

Video for “Back Home In Bristol”:

 

http://thedreadnoughts.com/

 

https://www.facebook.com/MerseyCeltPunks/

https://twitter.com/MerseyCeltPunks

MCP0005 FOLK PUNK ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2017

Folk Punk Album of the year 2017

What a year 2017 has been for folk punk it seems that almost everyone in the genre has brought out a new album from the heavyweight to the newcomer starting to make a name for themselves. It been an incredibly enjoyable but difficult task to try and work out the best of the best from this year.

When your favourite band of all time (Dropkick Murphy’s) puts out an album and you don’t think it makes your own top 10 albums of the year you realise how high the standard is for this year’s releases. Just incredible.

I have changed the order of the top 3 in every possible order over the past few weeks but there is but one top stop and I think that I am happy with my decision. (First world problems at there peak.)

This is completely my point of view and feel free to argue with it with me but I’m stubborn and probably won’t change my mind but I could have missed something wonderful due to tunnel vision that I have developed over the years.

So in reverse order is my top 10 folk punk albums of 2017.

 

10) The Scarlet – Hardfolk Shanties

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y1BFQEsfFU

https://www.facebook.com/thescarletofficial/

 

9) In for a Penny – One more Last Hurrah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjFqbPSFikA

https://www.facebook.com/inforapennymusic/

 

8) Flogging Molly – Life is Good

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWOtqAMSxpA

https://www.facebook.com/floggingmolly/

 

7) The O’Rielly’s and the Paddyhats – Sign of the fighter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lhkBxoWddU

https://www.facebook.com/paddyhats/

 

6) Biblecode Sundays – Walk like Kings

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lZqmmmKWfw

https://www.facebook.com/BibleCodeSundays/

 

5) The Tossers – Smash the Windows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mylS2xL3Z7U

https://www.facebook.com/TheTossers/

 

4) The Peelers – Palace of the Fiend

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mksnmsiDNjs

https://www.facebook.com/ThePeelersFC/

 

3) Black Water County – Taking Chances

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz4ii3NkEZw

https://www.facebook.com/BlackWaterCounty/

 

2) Matilda’s Scoundrels – As the Tide Turns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA91ppv5QEw

https://www.facebook.com/matildasscoundrels/

 

1) Flatfoot 56 – Odd Boat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neVEb078JjM

https://www.facebook.com/flatfoot56/

So anyways that’s it. I like lists. I like writing them and I like reading them. Let me know what you think. Nearly time to start next year’s list with release due from The Mahones, Roughneck Riot and Neck to name but a few there are fun times ahead.

  • Elliott (Mersey Celt Punks)

https://www.facebook.com/MerseyCeltPunks/

https://twitter.com/MerseyCeltPunks

10 of 2017

 

MCP0004 Flatfoot 56 – Odd Boat

It must have been about 10 years ago I was introduced to Flatfoot 56. Myself and a friend where just discovering the folk / celtic punk genre we had found Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly and were wondering if there was any more bands like this. That was when a very I got a phone call saying “you need to hear this, I’ll be round in a minute” shortly after that I was played Jungle of the Midwest Sea for the first time and was blown away by it and the obsession started there.flatfoot-56-odd-boat

2017 sees the releases of the bands fifth album Odd Boat. Which is in my eyes at least one of the best albums they have made (1. Toil 2. Odd Boat 3. Jungle of the Midwest Sea 4. Knuckles Up 5. Black Thorn) not that Black Thorn is a bad album but something has to come last.

Odd Boat still has everything you want and come to crave from a Flatfoot 56 album. Mandolin and bagpipes over ballads and street punk life lessons. Choruses that stick in your head and make you want to sing back every word until your lungs have nothing left to give.

Forward is most likely my favourite track due to the slow building mandolin intro before it kicks in full force and lyrically brilliant and is getting played on repeat in my house / car / work.

Odd Boat is an instant classic, feel free to disagree as someone has to be wrong. If you have any interest in folk punk at all have a listen to Odd Boat and see just how good it can be.

I adore this album from start to finish and am unable to find fault with it. All I can suggest is that you buy it and as soon as track 1 (Ty Cobb) kicks in you’ll be hooked.

  • Elliott (Mersey Celt Punks)

Buy the album:

https://www.shopbenchmark.com/flatfoot/new-products.html

Video for Stutter:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhSCSusS-qg

Video for Forward:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neVEb078JjM

 

https://www.flatfoot56.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MerseyCeltPunks/                               https://twitter.com/MerseyCeltPunks