Review: The Two Man Travelling Medicine Show “A Snake’s A Snake”

Id like to start with an apology to The Two Man Travelling Medicine Show because I have taken bloody ages to get around to doing this. Life rarely feels hectic, but these last few weeks have been non-stop.

Without further ado, the new 3 track e.p. from The Two Man Travelling Medicine Show’s follow up to last years album “Weeding out the Wicked” with “A Snake’s A Snake.”

IMG_0846 (1)


First up to avoid the confusion I have had there is more than 2 in the band, they are not all men and are quite different from the 20’s style medicine band that I was expecting from the name. In fact they seem to borrow from a whole host of genres from folk to punk to bluegrass to Americana to indie to just about anything. What I am trying to say is there is a lot of variety to enjoy even within the space of a short e.p.

We kick off with the title track of the e.p. “A Snake’s A Snake” which is a brilliant country-esk song with a bit of punk venom in the lyrics (bad pun, don’t care) saying basically a leopard can’t changes its spots. With a catchy chorus that will have you singing along by the time you get to the second one. Surely will become a fan favourite in very short amount of time. There is a great bit near the end of the track where the reverb on the vocals goes right up and for about 20 seconds turns into an Alabama 3 for a bit of that sweet country acid house music all night long.

“Flood” is an uplifting mix of brit-pop and folk rock imagine if you will Ocean Colour Scene mixed with a bit of Billy Bragg and you are heading in the right direction. A fairly chilled out song that is perfect for Sunday afternoon but still makes you want to get up and dance. I think it’s the arpeggiated chords going twice the speed of the rest of the band that is often used in house music make me think this could turn in to a country rave live with the right crowd.

“Sick and Tired” is the final track and another change of pace, change in vocalist and change in feel. This folk ballad is a great close to the e.p. which shows off the diversity of the band and ability to change the mood at the drop of a hat. Even with the sadness of the lyrics its sometimes good to hear that moving on in life can be a struggle for everyone. Just wonderful.


This multi talented folk / country / indie band have so much to offer and are surely on there way to become firm festival favourites up and down the country. With this release they are well on their may to becoming favourite in the UK folk community and beyond.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

  • Elliott (Mersey Celt Punks)


The Band



Review: Bastard Bearded Irishmen – Drinkin’ To The Dead (2018)

We’re already into May, and it’s fair to say there’s been a few really good releases this year of the celt-punk persuasion. However, you can add one more to that list, as the boys from Pittsburgh, Bastard Bearded Irishmen, have their new album out today, and coverbasically, it’s a corker.

The Steel City natives have been around for a couple of years now, having grown from a one-off tribute for a departed friend, to doing the rounds in local pubs, to three full albums and being in such prestigious company as The Rumjacks, Dropkicks, Gogol Bordello and The Mahones on tour. And, on listening to the latest release, “Drinkin’ To The Dead”, they’re certainly not out of place in comparison. 15 tracks blending folk, punk, gypsy, and balls-to-the-wall rock n’ roll guaranteed to get you singing, swaying and pogo-ing along. In a sense, the band have come full circle back to their origins, in that this album is a tribute to departed friends and family in the only way they know.


The album opens with a blasting 3-and-a-half minutes of celtic punk on “Salutations, Memoirs, Denouements”, then quickly shifts to the bouncing gypsy melodies of “No Problems, No Drama”, a track that shows off the range that these guys are capable of. From raucous sing-a-long parts to a slower mesmerising instrumental and back again, it sets the bar for the rest of the album.

“Let’s Have A Party” is a good time call-to-arms that is exactly what the title suggests, and just when you think they’ve slowed it down again with a cracking cover of “Dirty Old Town”, they then go and speed things up for the final couple of minutes. This is a band that I’d imagine would keep you on your toes live.

The celtic and gypsy folk elements continue to come through on the next couple of tracks, “Harvest” sounding like it could be a Dubliners instrumental, and “Ya Ya Ya” standing up to anything on a Gogol Bordello album. A brief intermission in the middle of the album about, you’ve guessed it, having a drink and a good time, will still have you singing along at the top of your voice after the first chorus.

“Another Bottle Of Booze” kicks off the second half of the album, and it’s a swaying, drinks in the air moment, appropriately enough, and “Green Side Of The Hill” is a slow-burning, dub infused highlight with a rip-roaring finish. “Drunken Drinkin’” is rock n’ roll folk punk at its best; “Slip (the) Jig” and “Pirates Of Three Rivers” channels their inner nautical selves, and “What A Life That Would Be” leads you into thinking it’s a ballad until it kicks you in the face with their full on folk n’ roll style.

It’s the end of the album where they save the most ambitious part for. The titular “Drinkin’ To The Dead” is in two parts: a piano-led prelude that evokes the memory of those gone but not forgotten, leading into an absolute belter of a closing track that at times has shades of the live version of “Black Friday Rule” to it. It’s a storming 7+ minutes showcasing the enormous talent the band has, and is sure to be a massive favourite at gigs.

Put simply, BBI are here to have the best time they could possibly have, and it shows with this release. Grab a beer or whiskey, put this on, and fail to be able to sit still. One of the best albums of 2018 is here.


Top tracks: “Drinkin’ To The Dead”, “No Problems, No Drama”, “Green Side Of The Hill”.


Bastard Bearded Irishmen

Get the album here:



Review: Paddy and the Rats – Riot City Outlaws (2018)

In 2017 Paddy and the Rats released their fifth album “Riot City Outlaws” to the good people of Hungry and the in April 2018 they released it to the rest of the world via Napalm Records the gap between felt like significantly longer to I am sure a lot of you.


I first heard Paddy and the Rats around 2013 when they where promoting their third album “Tales from the Docks” (2012) and was instantly invested in the idea of pirate punk and became fairly obsessed with the track “Ghost from the Barrow”.

Between then and now came the release of “Lonely Hearts’ Boulevard” (2015) which was a strong change indirection with a huge pop punk injection giving the album a kind of Green Day meets Flogging Molly feel.

Now “Riot City Outlaws” (2018) in away picks up where “Lonely Hearts Boulevard” left off as there still seem to be a lot of pop punk influence but the pirate punk has come back stronger than ever and as much as I loved the last album I for one could not be happier because not many can do it better.

With awesome pop punk riff led tracks with strong harmonies like “The way we wanna go” “Blow” and the insanely catchy “Summer Girls” will keep the newer fans happy as they are closer to the sound of Lonely Heart Boulevard.

But, if you are looking for anthems to a soundtrack to drink on the seven seas then look no further with tracks like “Sail Away”, “Where Red Paints the Ocean” and “Castaway” you can’t go wrong. These songs feel much closer to what I am sure a lot of you expect from Paddy and the Rats. Within seconds you will be raising a skull and cross bones and raiding the cupboards for all the rum you can find.

The next day when you are looking for sympathy because the life of a pirate is riddled with hangovers stick “I Wont Drink Again” on and know that you are not alone in this feeling. Followed that with “Another Life” a slower paced almost ballad that shows off more the variety of sound Paddy and the Rats have mastered. After that if you still struggling try the hair of the dog press play and start the process all over again.

Paddy and the Rats have produced a well-rounded album that blends folk influences with pop punk influences which is a great change to the harder street punk influences which are more common within the genre. Add in a pinch of piracy and get ready to enjoy.

Riot City Outlaws is out now worldwide.


Paddy and the Rats:


Join the Riot Video:

Castaway Video:

Where the red paints the Ocean Video:


Buy the Album:




Review: Sinful Maggie – S/T (2018)

So, we at Mersey Celt Punks have been waiting for an album from Sinful Maggie for what feels like an eternity even if they set out to be a band with an accordion that does not play folk, gypsy or celtic punk. That aside good music is good music so of course we are interested.

Formed in 2014 have been gradually building a fan base this 4-piece from Dorset recently seem to be getting noticed on a wider scale and this year will be playing Fuelled By Cider’s Cursus Festival and Boomtown Fair as well as shows with The Rumjacks and Matilda’s Scoundrels.

March 2018 saw the release of there long awaited self-titled album with is 11 tracks of fast fun punk rock with accordion (not folk punk). Not to say fans of folk punk wont enjoy it just that its much more punk orientated think Street Dogs instead of Dropkick Murphy and you will be heading in the right area.
The overall sound is very similar to Rancid around the time of “Lets Go!” (1994) with element of punk, ska and rock blended together to give an incredibly unique sound that will allow you to easily identify Sinful Maggie. If Sinful Maggie are following the style of Rancid then the follow up to “Lets Go!” is my favourite album of all time “…and out come the wolves” (1995) so no pressure there then.

So, there is quite a clear Rancid influence, but they are one of the biggest punk bands ever its hard not to be. It’s a whole different thing to be able to pull of a similar sound then make it your own. Well that is exactly what Sinful Maggie have done.
The sound of the accordion will always make me want to grab a cutlass and head for the seas. However, this is not your cliché pirate punk this is more like what punk would sound like if pirates invented it.

“Take Out the Sun” and “Rock and Roll Prowess” are the perfect opening kicking in full speed and showing off what each of the band bring individually to make up Sinful Maggie.

Well I was not expecting anything with a psychobilly feel to it but listening to “Long Walk Home” and “Zyklon B.” All they are missing is the slap on a double bass and they could have been on a Creepshow Album.

The album also goes a bit of ska, another good reason to pick it up. (sorry) “Mr Know It All” and “Everyone I Need” are a great change from the general pace of the album sounding like a cross between Operation Ivy and The Toasters. With fast upstrokes and the accordion taking the place of a what would normally be an organ in a lot of ska bands making it a wonderfully unique change. Hopefully Vic Ruggerio (The Slackers) will try it out one day.

My favourite track for this was a tough one because of the variety in musical styles though out the album but after a while I have settled on “Rebel Without a Cause”. It starts with a bass line that Matt Freeman would be proud of then kicks in full force and throws an undeniable passion direct to your ears.

The album finishes with “Nature of Man” a full on punk rock assault against humanity. Changing pace multiple times in a nofx-esque manner, live I am sure ready to give your final reserves of energy to the band and a fantastic way to end, no fading out all about going out screaming.

Sinful Maggie have so much variety within their music, crossing multiple genres and still managing to maintain a strong punk core. If you like punk rock in anyway there is something on this album for you. A serious must buy!

– Elliott, Mersey Celt Punks

FFO: Rancid, Street Dogs, The Briggs, Roughneck Riot

Buy the album:

Long Walk Home live video:

Sinful Maggie


Review: Krakin’ Kellys – Promised Land (2018)

So Belgium, not the first place I think of when it comes to celtic punk but now that I have heard “Promise Land” the debut album from Krakin’ Kelly I will be looking that way a lot more often.


This 6-piece describe blend skate punk seamlessly with traditional Irish inspired melodies to create a celtic punk masterpiece that sounds as tight as any of the more established bands within the genre who have worked for years / decades on honing their sound. If they are this good on their first album the second cannot come quick enough.

“Promised Land” will fit perfectly into the music collection between Dropkick Murphy’s and Paddy and the Rats. With great punk riffs, bagpipes, accordion and awesome vocals with instant sing along lyrics Krakin’ Kellys have created everything I want from a band and more.

I listened to the album knowing nothing about the Krakin’ Kellys so for the first 17 seconds of “Anarchy in the Double K” I thought I had a new trad. Celtic album on then it kicked in and went full speed ahead for the next 45 ish minutes.

Its so hard to pick favourite songs in an album this consistently good but the title track “Promised Land” must be right up there. Dropping down to just drums, bass and vocals for the verses then sounding absolutely massive when it goes back to the full band for the choruses. It maybe that the prominent accordion makes it sound a bit like “Time to Go” by Dropkick Murphy’s that it first stood out to me but, it’s the fact that it’s a great song that makes you want to dance is why it will stick.

Tracks like “United” “When I Die” and “One Way” have a strong street punk almost Oi! feel to them while still maintain a strong celtic influence creating songs that would fit in nicely into any Flatfoot 56 album.

I mentioned a similarity to Paddy and the Rats earlier based upon the pirate / sea shanty punk feel on songs like “Our Pride”, “The Journey” and “Hey Bro” just with a slightly more aggressive approach.  To quote their website The Krakin Kellys have “angry microphones and greasy bass lines meet bagpipes, flutes and accordion for a drunken party which will leave everyone pumped up!” and I couldn’t agree more. Anyone fancy a trip to Belgium? I want to join this party!

Overloaded with passion creating instant classics that make you want to sing and dance the night away. “Promised Land” should push Krakin’ Kellys to stand tall amongst some of the celtic punk legends for hopefully a long time to come.  No disappointment guarantee on this one!

The bar for best albums in 2018 has been set very high with this going to take a lot to beat it.

Elliott, Mersey Celt Punks

FFO: Dropkick Murphys, Flatfoot 56, Paddy and the Rats


Anarchy in the Double K Video:


Promised Lands Video:


One way video:



Krakin Kellys:






Review: Alternative Ulster – Pog Mo Thoin (2018)

This year sees the second album from New York 3-piece Alternative Ulster. “Pog Mo Thoin” despite line-up changes still manages to pick up from where “Rebellion” (2016) left off with 13 tracks of straight up in your face old school punk rock with bagpipes.


Alternative Ulster have a much more aggressive approach than a lot of other celtic punk bands out there, but with such a strong hardcore scene in New York it must be hard not to pick up on it a bit. Either way it makes them stand out from the crowd and forces you to pay attention.

My favourite track from the album is a close tie between “Drunk as Fuck” and “Free Beer Tomorrow”. Equal doses of cynicism, irony and humour to give create incredibly entertaining songs.

The album drops from its stomping pace twice and shows off a completely different sound for the band. The first time is for the cover of “Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore” which is simply brilliant and showcase a versatility to the band. The second time is on the closing track “Sgt. McKenzie” the only track to contain only bagpipes and vocals. It has a wonderfully haunting quality that must be heard to be fully understood but if you don’t feel instantly transported on the highlands of Scotland I would suggest that you go get your ears checked.

Unfortunately, the album does not feature Alternative Ulster’s St Patricks Day Song “On St Patrick’s Day I Spilt Upon my Kilt” a tongue in cheek re working of the 12 days of Christmas but if you fancy a listen.

Short, abrasive to the point songs to drink to with your mates, just like punk rock should be! If you think Dead Kennedy’s / Adolescents with bagpipes you wont be far off. Out Now!

Well if you don’t like it “Pog Mo Thoin” Pog Mo Thoin!

  • Elliott, Mersey Celt Punks



Review: In For A Penny – Sometimes its Better to Not (2018)

Great news for all involved that Georgia Folk Punk band In for a Penny’s 2017 release “One More Last Hurrah!” Was not the last hurrah for the band and they are back with a new e.p.

March 2018 sees the release of 4 track release “Sometimes its Better to Not.”


Heavily routed in celtic music but moving away slightly from the punk side of things that could be heard in “One More Last Hurrah!” (which featured in our best albums of 2017) and towards a cleaner rock sound whilst still sounding like the In For A Penny you know and love.

“ ‘Fore the devil” features more prominent bass and rounds off the usual In For a Penny sound and the low end that really sets the pace of the track. When this is combined with warm and gravelly vocals of Sean McNally gives it a fantastic classic punk feel that wouldn’t be out of place on a Stooges album.

“Dancin’ with the stars” is of a slower pace than the band usually do. Its has a hint of folky Americana and seems to build as the song progresses and creates such an impressively big sound that you would think would need significantly more band members.

The main riff from “Broken” has been stuck in my head for a few days now and is showing no sign of leaving. The drums and vocals control the track for the best part as the other guitar and mandolin are used sparsely. It feels like a great song to open a set with, creating a huge atmosphere that keeps the crowd waiting just that little bit longer before they can really get dancing.

That feeling of anticipation I get when listening to “Broken” may just be because the final track on the e.p. “Your Claddagh Heart” featuring Johnny Piper from Alternative Ulster on Bagpipes ( ) is my new favourite song by In for a Penny. A genuinely beautiful dedication from Sean to his wife that I would not be surprised if it used as a first dance for a lot of people in the future. Just listen to it, love it then listen to it again.

( )

The only negative I have is that it is over too quickly.

In For a Penny are securing themselves a firm position within the celtic punk genre with back to back high quality releases that keep you coming back for more. I really can not get enough of the is band and to quote their own lyrics back to them to make my own point, “when I said I love you, I meant forever.”

Sometimes its better to not is out on the 17th March 2018 you’re in for a treat!

– Elliott, Mersey Celt Punks.

One More Last Hurrah Review:

Top 10 Albums of 2017:

Come say hello: