The Street Dogs / Contential – TT the Bears, Cambridge, MA (December 19, 2010)

December 23, 2010

Somewhat a secret gig this one – a fund-raiser for the Boston Fire Fighters Fallen Veterans Fund – the gig was billed as Continental, The Fenian Sons and Special Guests. It wasn’t hard to figure out who the special guests were – punk-rockers, firefighters and ex-members of Dropkick Muphys (and especially since Continental opened for The Street Dogs at the legendary Paradise club the prior night).

Up first were Boston’s The Fenian Sons playing for the first time “over the river” in the Peoples Republic of Cambridge. Solid workman-like Irish ballad/rock group – most of the songs were well know standards with a few originals mixed in – “Boston Irish” was a stand out. I’ll definitely go see these guys again.

10.00 saw Rick Barton and his new band Continental hit the stage and they hit the stage hard. It would be unfair to call these guys a great punk band cos that would be so limiting – maybe a great LOUD rock’n’roll band. Barton at 50 (and he proudly told us so. A lot.) plays with the energy and passion of a man half his age in fact I’d say most 25 year olds would struggle to keep up and certainly would not have the shitty life experiences that Barton bleeds through his songs. Unfortunately, the Patriots football game as playing on a big screen behind the bar and as good as the band were the game as a bigger draw.

The Street Dogs were wise enough to come on after the game ended, ensuring full attention from all. Now, the last (and only time) I saw the Street Dogs play was opening for The Pogues in Boston’s Orphium theater a few years back – big stage, empty seats cos most of punters were off buying booze somewhere else prior to The Pogues set (opening for The Pogues is tough). Tonight, TTs was the perfect place to see the Street Dogs – a small, sweaty rock club and the band was on fire and the audience lapping it up with moshing and circle pits galore. Mike McColgan was outstanding as a front man and easily broke down the wall of separation between band and audience as he brought friends and punters onto the stage and launched himself off the stage into the crowd.

It was great to hear lots of stuff off the early albums (especially since I haven’t heard the last 2 releases after their label stopped sending me their stuff to review……..bastards) – Jakes, Cutdown on the 12th, Savin Hill. Tonight, the Street Dogs were the best damn rock’n’punk band in the world.

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