All posts by Mustard Finnegan

Celtic Punk Superfan –   Recaps & Reflections Chapbook, 2002-22 by Michael Croland

Celtic Punk Superfan is to my knowledge the first* book written on the genre of Celtic-punk.  Michael Corland is a New York based, long time fan of Celtic-punk and the previous author of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk (Praeger, 2016). Superfan is a short collection (think Cliffs Notes size) of essays that Michael has written over the years. The essays are very well written and bring back fond memories to me of the early days (i.e., the 2000’s) of Celtic-punk. What is particularly insightful is that Michael is coming at this from a strong Jewish-American background and it goes to provide you don’t need a drop of Irish blood to be a Celtic punk Superfan (though a drop of Irish Whiskey always helps).

Superfan is available in paperback and for the Kindle via Amazon.

*I bought a book on amazon a number of years back about Celtic-Punk but it was essentially a collection of Wikipedia articles so it doesn’t count.

The Rumjacks / Flatfoot 56 split EP

I love the idea behind split releases. They allow bands to share each other’s audience. Here we have two of the more established bands on the Celtic-punk scene splitting some vinyl. Australia’s The Rumjacks and Flatfoot 56 from the US. Since this EP is an Australian release I’m guessing this is more an introduction of Flatfoot to fans down under then The Rumjacks to the US.

Both bands contribute three tracks here with The Rumjacks kicking off on side 1 with the hooligan-ish Celtic punk of “Whitecaps”. The catchy “Fifth Ward Firestone” is more of the same. The side closes with a version of the old music hall standard “What Was Your Name in the States?” The flipside finds Chicago’s Flatfoot 56 initially with a little bit more of a laid-back groove on “Mud” before ramping up the energy. Tracks 2 and 3, “Sorry” & “Trouble”, are the bagpipes and punk rock growling vocals that Flatfoot 56 is best known for.

https://www.flatfoot56.com/

https://therumjacks.com/

Horslips 50th anniversary box set

Celtic rock granddaddies, Horslips, have announced the release of, More Than You Can Chew, a career retrospective boxset containing an incredible 35 disks.

33 CDs with 506 audio tracks – 252 of which (16 hours) are previously unreleased

2 DVDs with 60 video tracks and 2 documentaries – 43 of which (4.5 hours) are previously unreleased

2 books – On The Record (a lavish new recording history of Horslips) and Lyricography

5 signed vintage 8 x 10 photos

A collection of fan club facsimiles from the ’70s and a National Stadium, Dublin 1972 poster

The box will be retailing at €299/$439. Shite’n’Onions will be starting a gofundme to be able to afford a copy.

http://www.horslips.ie/

AFTER HOURS VOLUME TWO – BLACK 47 TRIBUTE COMPILATION

Valley Entertainment has released the second volume of the Black 47 tribute series. Complied by Pete Walsh of The Gobshites. Contributions are from Finbar Furey, Barleyjuice, Jonee Earthquake Band, Finny McConnell, Bangers and Mash, The PoguestrA and The Muckers.

The album is available from https://www.valley-entertainment.com/products/black-47-after-hours-volume-2

Canada or maybe the worlds only Celtic polka punk klezmer band have a new single, Problem, and a new album, Roll and Go, out soon. From the press release……

https://thedreadnoughts.bandcamp.com/

The Dreadnoughts have just announced their new single Problem to support the release of their upcoming full length out June 24th on Stomp Records. The new album “Roll & Go” was written primarily by singer/guitarist Nicholas Smyth in his one bedroom apartment in New York City at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, with a newborn infant, during lockdown. With band members based in New York, Vancouver, London, and Edmonton, the band decided to record in the unlikely location of Norwalk, Connecticut at the Factory Underground Studios. After ducking and weaving through countless travel restrictions, the Dreadnoughts managed to learn, record and mix an entire album in nine days. It was a harrowing, intense experience, one made even more intense by the fact that six guest musicians were recording their own parts in six different cities around the world, and that all of this had to be coordinated with virtually no time.  But they got it done! The result is Roll & Go: the Dreadnoughts fifth, and possibly finest, studio album.

Reflecting on the meaning behind the advance single Problem, Smyth remarks, “This song is about our love-hate-mostly-love-but-sometimes-really-hate relationship with Poland, a country we’ve toured many times.  In particular, it’s about a winter tour we did where everything just kept breaking and going wrong, and we kept fighting it and raging against it until we realized that this was normal in Poland, and that you needed to just do what everyone else did: sit back, have a beer and a smoke, and say “to hell with it.” The Poles are amazing at this, it’s actually a really healthy attitude to have in a lot of situations.  The song’s title comes from a word that means the same in English and Polish, and we quickly realized that we were going to hear it from our tour manager (who spoke no English) about 18 times a day.  ‘Ah…’ he would say, his face scrunching up and worry-creasing his forehead… ‘Problem’.”

Shite’n’Onions at 21

It’s hard to believe but Shite’n’Onions is about to hit the legal drinking age – that’s 21 for anyone not in the USA. Shite’n’Onions was started because I couldn’t find anything about Celtic-punk in one place on the web. The original inspiration was a paper zine called BROADSIDE that features folk-punk. Having some basic HTML skills I decided to replicate online. Grabbing some CDs from my collection I reviewed them and posted the reviews. Next, I wrote to various Celtic-punk bands and, asked them to send in music to review and to my delight bands like The Mahones and The Town Pants did. Here Shite’n’Onions was officially born. Over the years, on top of hundreds of reviews, Shite’n’Onons has released two Celtic-punk compilations CDs, a split CD, watched the death of CDs as a medium, released two vinyl albums by legendary Irish punk band The Radiators from Space as well as a Celtic-punk tribute to Horslips.

To celebrate the big 21 I wanted to give a shoutout to some great bands that unfortunately flew under the radar of most folks but deserved to be heard and enjoyed by way more people. 

Catgut Mary is from Sydney Australia. (I think they are still going) and featured future founding member of The Rumjacks, Will Swan. Very similar to The Rumjacks, just maybe a little more rougher and gruffer. Only one full-length album,  BOURBON & BLACK PORTER, was released as well as a split EP with The Mahones that Shite’n’Onions put out. BTW if anyone has a copy of  BOURBON & BLACK PORTER that they want to part with let me know. 

The Bloody Irish Boys. Initially a one-man band for their (his) first album, Drunk Rock, with a sound that was just a little too close to Flogging Molly they became a Myspace sensation. The second album, Auld St. Patrick (2011), saw the Bloody Irish Boys become a full band and it’s a bloody great album. 

The Fisticuffs from the southside of Chicago followed in the steps of The Tossers and showed huge potential. Three studio albums of supercharged, attitude-filled DIY Celtic-punk were released with the last release, You’ll Not Take Us Alive, coming out in 2011. I’m not sure if they are still going or not but they have been quiet.

Nogoodnix. From update NY. Nogodnix released one album Pub Punx United in 2001. Punk with touches of Irish. They contribute Angelina to our Shite’n’Onions volume 1 comp.  

Hailing from the blue-collar, Irish American enclave of South Buffalo, New York, came Jackdaw. I thought these guys were going to be huge. Raw, nail spitting, in-your-face rock’n’roll ala classic AC/DC with bagpipes, tin whistle and accordion. The band built a huge following in their hometown, winning best of Buffalo four times. The band self-released four albums and, killed live.

Big Bad Bollocks was one of the earliest Pogues-inspired bands on the US scene. Based in western Massachusetts but fronted by English ex-pat Johnny Allen the Bollock had a certain north of England Ah-up charm and a love for whiskey in their tea.

The Skels. Despite near God-like status in North Jersey and parts of Boston The Skels profile was never as high as it should have been. Still going after 25 years so there is always a chance of well-deserved greatness happening. 

Dan Booth & Nick Burbridge: Icons

If I could get away with doing a one-word review for any release then this would be the one. The word? Beautiful!

But……even I’m not that lazy.

So expanding. Icons is a collaboration between Nick Burbridge (vocals, acoustic guitar, national treasure) who with McDermotts 2 Hours was one of the pioneers of folk-punk highly influencing both the Levellers and Ferocious Dog; and Dan Booth (fiddle) of the aforementioned Ferocious Dog and soon to be national treasures.

Icons is stripped down acoustic and fiddle versions of some of McDermotts best songs and new tracks co-written by Nick and Dan. And as mentioned before it’s beautiful – musically, lyrically, and sounding.

http://www.nickanddan.co.uk

Whiskey’s Wake: Wake Up, Whiskey

Whiskey’s Wake is a new band to me. From Salt Lake City, Utah of all places. Wake Up, Whiskey, the bands second release is a six-song collection of what I would describe as 90s indie rock – you know, all happy and jingly – meets a bottle of Paddy Irish Whiskey. Well for the first four songs at least. By song five (Bloodlust) they’ve downed the bottle of whiskey and gone is happy and jingly and now they are barroom brawling and by the close they are in Dingle, fighting with the Tinkers over Red Haired Mary.

I really enjoyed Wake Up, Whiskey. Whiskey’s Wake have great pop sensibilities, strong melodies and the music is a lot of energetic fun. The album is available digitally on bandcamp.

https://bio.link/whiskeyswake

The best of 2021

Best album

#1 The Peelers: Down and Out in the City of Saints

The best band in the whole Celtic-punk universe and another great album.

#2 Ferocious Dog: Hope

Hope is FDs breakthrough into the big time. 

#3 The Dropkick Murphys: Turn Up The Dial

A nice back to form album. No surprises but we don’t want or like surprises from the Murphys. 

#4 The Rumjacks: Hestia

Still fighting strong after the messy departure of original vocalist, Frankie. 

#5 Blaggards: Blagmatic

Blagmatic may have taken a while but it was worth the wait.

Best new band

The Dead Rabbits: 7 Ol’ Jerks

Not exactly a new band but new to Shite’n’Onions. Pure Celtic-punk.

Best acoustic solo album

Finny McConnell:The Dark Streets Of Love

I’ve always said Finny is a first class song writer.

Best Celtic-punk zine

London Celtic Punks 

Well written and always new content. The go to news source.

https://londoncelticpunks.wordpress.com/

Best Celtic Punk memoir

Celtic Punk Superfan (Recaps & Reflections Chapbook, 2002–22)

by Michael Croland

Special shout out

Trouble Pilgrims: Blood, Glass & Gasoline

Trouble Pilgrims: Blood, Glass & Gasoline

Blood, Glass & Gasoline is the second full-length release from Dublin rockers, Trouble Pilgrims. The Pilgrims arose out of the ashes of the seminal punk band, The Radiators from Space, who disbanded after the untimely death of founding member Philip Chevron in 2013. 

Trouble Pilgrims take their name from the last Radiators album of original songs, Trouble Pilgrim. Trouble Pilgrims continues on with former Rads, Steve Rapid (vocals), Pete Holidai (guitars) and Johnny Bonnie (drums) with the latterday Rad’s sound – 50’s rockabilly/surf, 60’s beat, the glam of Bowie and T-Rex and some ’77 for old times sake.  

Blood, Glass & Gasoline is a great follow up album to the band’s excellent debut, Dark Shadows and Rust, that does their legacy proud.

http://www.thetroublepilgrims.com/