Anyone familiar with the Makem Brothers, Tommy Makem’s boys folk group? Irish Folk for the young people, anyone? The Town Pants remind me a hell of a lot of Tommy Makem’s spawn, they are a folksy three piece with acoustic guitar, banjo and tin whistle, but just a lot more spunky and a lot less nerdy (I doubt you’ll ever hear cracks about “hairy backed wife’s” in a Makem Brothers set).
Vancouver’s, The Town Pants are the dual lead vocals of brothers Dave and Duane Kehoe along with Aaron Chapman, a former member of Scottish punk rock gods the Real McKenzie’s. The music is traditional or traditional sounding Irish and Scottish folk in the tradition of the Dubliners, the Clancy’s and the Corries, all played with a punk rock kick up the arse and a wicked sense of humor.
On “Piston Baroque” you’ll find original folkie tales of mutineers (“Monahan the Mutineer”), sheep shaggers, sorry! shearers (“New South Wales”), a victim of Jack the Ripper and relative of Aaron’s (“Dark Annie”) and a humors warning about kitchen hygiene in the ballad of Typhoid Mary (“Hell’s Kitchen”).
The live CD “Liverdance” I’m assured came out before the screensaver of the same name. This is The Town Pants “PC” CD, that is “Pre-Chapman” and it’s all entirely traditional Irish covers. Recorded one July night in front of a rowdy crowd in Vancouver and if this is what they sound like in the middle of the summer, I know where I’m going sucking down my Guinness this coming St. Patricks Day. Somewhere near the front at a Town Pants gig.