Honestly, I don’t know too much about The Dead Rabbits except that they are from Texas and they seem to have been around since about 2009. I’m guessing they are named after the infamous New York Irish gang rather than a deceased bunny.
The vinyl version of 7 Ol’ Jerks which I’m reviewing is a mini album i.e while it plays at 45 RPMs they manage to squeeze in an impressive nine songs.
Side A opens with the pure hardcore of “A Mic, A Band, A Pint, A Fan”. The Pogues’ “If I Should Fall From Grace With God follows” in a hooligan plays bluegrass style. “L. Elaine” the first original is great aggressive Celtic-punk with strained vocals from the appropriately named Seamus Strain. “Fr. McGregor” is Dropkick Murphys meets classic Blood or Whiskey in a brawl in the confessional box. Side A closer “Danny Boy Medley” is more fast Celtic-punk that swings from “Danny Boy” to “My Bonnie” to “The Gambler” to “You’re Not The Boss of Me”.
There are 4 tracks on the flip side opening with the aggressive yet catchy Celtic-punk meets Americana “Train Song” which rolls into a bruising “Leaving of Liverpool”. “7 Ol’Jerks” is very Dropkick Murphys-ish. The side closes with a powerful cover of The Cranberries “Dreams”.
I’m very impressed with the whole thing. Here is a band that is as aggressive as hell but never loses that sense of melody while they make a huge racket. Now I need to track down their back catalog.
Blaggards are the long running Celtic-punk’n’rock’n’a bit of country band outta Houston, Texas. Fronted by the irrepressible Dub, Paddy Devlin. Amazingly Blagmatic is only Blaggards second studio album, the first being “Standards” from the early 2000s (and to think I gave The Peelers a hard time over the gap between their albums).
What we have here on Blagmatic is 11 tracks of fun and energetic celtic-punk with a Texas swagger. The songs are almost evenly split between originals and traditional Irish standards punked-up and countrified (the album Standards was, well, all standards). The originals songs to me sound like they have as much a hard-rock / metal influence as punk – the intro of Lights of El Paso is pure Danzig until the song takes a cow-punk twist. Wild Rover (“and I spent all my money on the hookers and beer”) is an irreverent punk’n’hoedown. The only disappointment is that I was speaking with Paddy a few years ago and he mentioned a song he was writing about growing up on some of Dublin’s meanest streets (cough, cough) called The Slums of Killiney but it’s not here.
So if you’re looking for a good time (musically speaking) then Blagmatic is the place to head to.
SnO – Palace of the Fiend is in my list of top 5 Celtic-punk albums of all time (and depending on the mood sometimes it’s #1). After six plus months of spinning your newest release, Down and Out in the City of Saints, it is catching up fast on Palace of the Fiend. Looking back on the album, were you happy with it? How do you think it compares to Palace? It must have been a disappointment not to be able to go on tour to support.
Dave – Hey John, I understand the question in terms of the tonal differences between the two albums, ‘Down & Out’ being much more guitar driven, and I see how that could isolate fans of ‘Palace’, much like that album is different from ‘Liquordale’. The most obvious explanation for the disparity between the two, is what I was going through at the time; ‘Palace’ is a darker album. I was dealing with some personal issues when I wrote it and that’s evident in the lyrical content. ‘Down & Out’ is me coming to terms with a lot of that, and I think it’s a much more positive album. Maybe that’s why it’s more aggressive?
I am happy with ‘Down & Out’, it’s the album that we needed to make at the time. I think first and foremost, it’s a well written, well performed, and immaculately produced album. The personnel in the band has changed, and that’s a part of the evolution of the sound as well. There are currently only two original members in The Peelers, me and Eric (Irish Whistle/ Organ). When we started the band in Glengarry County in Eastern Ontario, Canada, the players were mostly local musicians whose background was rooted in traditional Irish and Scottish music, and I was as well… but I was also a punk, a fan of The Ramones, Clash, Two-Tone and Oi, and for me ‘The Pogues’ were the perfect melding of both genres. The writing on ‘Boots and Suits’ and ‘Liquordale’ reflects both the lineup and the influences in my opinion. It was always my goal to get a little dirtier in terms of guitars and you can see that through the progression of the last two albums.
The band is now based in a major city, rather than rural, and in a definite way the sound has followed suit. I can tell you that there was a conscious decision to push the guitars on ‘Down & Out’. This was due to the musical stimuluses at the time of writing, so there are some songs with a more traditional punk feel. It was also a concession to the constraints of touring as an independent act. It’s almost impossible to put a seven-piece traditional Celtic punk band on the road in 2021, for a myriad of financial and logistical reasons I’m sure you understand. Driving the sound electrically fills in the holes when you’ve only got one or two trad instruments on stage.
Having this album as the first release for our label Stomp Records, has opened our music up to a whole new audience as well. That is important to me and I was aware of this during production. The last thing, nearest to my heart, is that I made this record with some of the best and closest people in my life. And in the end, that’s what I’m most proud of. And yes, it’s been disappointing not to have toured to support the album yet, but we’ll just call it a delay, and that’ll happen beginning in March. We began recording it in December ’19 and like everyone else, we had no idea what was coming. We just played our first show in 617 days, since we had everything cancelled mid-tour in March 2020. It felt great.
SnO – 617 days! Quebec City, right? How did the show go?
Dave – Quebec City, the old town, very beautiful. The actual performance was ‘acceptable’ lol, a few hiccups here and there but that was to be expected. We could’ve used a few more bodies in the room, but with the Covid numbers jumping back up a bit recently up North, I think people are still a bit wary.
SnO – You mentioned Down & Out being the peelers first release on Stomp and that it’s opening your music to a whole new audience. Who is this new audience? Down & Out also came out on vinyl. Has the vinyl release been successful? Any chance the peelers back catalog gets the vinyl treatment?
Dave – When I say “a whole new audience”, I mean it in terms of music fans being exposed to us who might not have been without the exposure of the label, lovers of our genre or not. I feel like we’ve always kind of floated in this netherworld doomed to wander aimlessly between trad and Celtic punk with no real definition. Stomp Records, have given us a platform and admittedly credibility on the scene and we’re grateful for that. I’ve had people say, “we had no idea there was a Celtic punk band in Montréal” lol despite the fact we’ve been around for 22yrs. So yes, visibility has been a big part of the label experience.
The vinyl release of “Down & Out” has been successful in as much as people are actually buying records anymore. Record sales are still not staggering, but we’re stoked to have the option. And moreover, as child of the waning years of the heyday of vinyl, it’s still hard to believe there’s a 33 rpm option with our music on it. And we had fun doing the artwork and content. As far as the back catalog; I have spoken to our business manager Eric, who also plays Irish whistle and organ in the band, as well as our producer and it’s a definite possibility. At least for ‘Liquordale’ and ‘Palace’. We wanted to wait and see how the new album worked out first. The problem with vinyl right now, is that Covid has created a massive backlog in production. So we’ll concern ourselves with the upcoming album and then address the old stuff later.
SnO – You mention the upcoming album. Where are you in that process and what can we expect from the new album?
Dave – We are still in pre-production. Songs and lyrics are written, and tracked for recording. Drums are up first, probably just after Christmas. I would say it’ll be similar to ‘Down & Out’ in style, maybe a bit less guitar driven. But it’s hard to say until we start laying down tracks and hearing the songs develop in the studio. I think I mentioned before that there’s a big backlog on vinyl production right now, so we want to get it recorded asap, but also not compromise anything by rushing
SnO – Thanks Dave. Final question. Will we every get you across the border and playing shows in the US (esp. Boston) when the world gets back to normal?
Dave – Ha!! Well we used to play quite a bit in the U.S. before we took that hiatus. But strangely enough, we’ve never played in Massachusetts. I’d like to, Boston is a city close to my heart, wandered her streets many times. So yes, we want to get back to playing U.S. dates, and we’ve been looking for a booker down there. We have Canada and Europe covered, but nothing stateside, as we always booked ourselves. So if anyone knows a good agent… wink wink.
The other impediment to crossing the border that no one likes to talk about is the red tape for Canadian bands. A work visa is required for all members, and the initial admin and application costs before we even set foot there put us way behind before playing a show. It’s not easy. And it’s disappointing. I understand completely the goal of keeping jobs in country, but I love travelling stateside. I write about the places I’ve been before, and we just want to spread the love and see all the faces. It’s not a monetary thing at all. Hopefully we can get back at it once the border opens up fully. And we’ll make Boston a priority. Thanks John
Congratulations to Ferocious Dog on their recent overnight success (after 32 odd years together as a band), when they almost cracked the UK top 10, charting ahead of Drake, with their new album, Hope. We here at Shite’n’Onions HQ have admired Ferocious Dog since its 2013 debut for both its music and DIY spirit. Hope, is the band’s fifth studio album and in my opinion their best to date. If you are unfamiliar with Ferocious Dog, the Nottinghamshire based six-piece, play fiddle infused, English folk-punk with an occasional ska or reggae undertone and a nod in the direction of The Levellers and McDermott’s Two Hours mixed with old fashioned English labour politics. Hope, contains 17 tracks and each one is as deserving as the next to be on the album – there is not a filler to be found. Though, if I had to pick my absolute favourite tracks they would include the first world war inspired ballad, 1914, the old school Punk Police, Born Under Punches and Broken Soldier, a track about PTSD, a subject very close to the band.
Shite’n’Onions – First of all apologies for being so late to the game – I read a write up on you in London Celtic Punks a couple of months back and was so impressed by what I read that I ran out and bought your album “All Manner of Ways”. After a few spins, I really like it but I’m struggling to put a label on your sound. I hear outlaw or alt-country – you remind me of people like Townes Van Zandt and Blaze Foley, yet I also hear Christy Moore – it’s almost country with a Celtic soul. How would you describe your music and who influenced you?
Dylan – Yeah, Eddie & London-Celtic-Punks do great work in raising awareness for artists, glad to have had their support recently. You know yourself, most publicity is bought & paid for, so when people like yourselves reach out to an artist, on your own time, purely based on the fact that you’re actually interested in the artist & their work, well, it’s more of a genuine thing isn’t it? I’ve never paid for PR myself & I self released that record, so I expect it to continue to reach people as time rolls on, rather than it having reached a lot of people from the get-go. Naturally, when you first release a record, after all the hard work that goes into making it, you do what you can to get it heard. My drive for getting an album heard, is always geared towards the gigs. I’m a live artist, not so much a studio artist, so other than working on the songs themselves, I’m always thinking of the gigs. As much as that record is considered a studio album, my own performance is completely live on there, I didn’t use click tracks, headphones or overdubs or anything like that. I sat in the room, in front of a couple of mics & played the songs live. With having moved to Nashville from Dublin, via London, I did have distribution issues in getting hard copies across seas to folks, but we live in a digital age, so it was available to be listened to anyways. I’m sure all this played a part, in the album reaching people quite some time after its release, but a lot of new listeners found that album during the pandemic.
I guess All Manner Of Ways is the sound of my life’s journey. That album wasn’t designed with a certain audience in mind, like how a lot of genre based albums are. When other musicians join in on my songs, I only really know when it’s not right, which is more of a feel thing, I don’t to ask them to play a particular way. I’ve never had a contemporary sound either, so I think that record will always sit a little outside of whatever is current, ye know? Songs inspired me, not genres. In my formative years, I just followed the songs. I was brought up on Christy Moore & at that time, I wouldn’t have even known what a genre was. Of course, eventually, we learn more about the journey of songs & where they came from, which helps us to describe their sound, but artists like Townes & Blaze just had great songs & I believed them, that’s what was most important to me. Townes sang Dirty Old Town & Christy sang Song To Woody. A lot of the Irish folk song pioneers, of the 60s & 70s, were immersed in American song traditions in their formative years & of course, Irish music is a root of American Roots music, so I never really felt any restraints in that regard. It was immediately obvious to me, how connected it all was. Van Morrison would be the most obvious example of that. As soon as I became aware of genres & the likes, I knew the artists that communicated important things to me, wrote outside of those restraints. I enjoy the fact that you mentioned Celtic country here & that you came across me in a punk article. That makes me feel good. ‘Celtic soul got country’, we’ll go with that for All Manner Of Ways.
Shite’n’Onions – You are originally from Dublin and you followed the natural route of many Irish musicians to London but now you are based in Nashville. How did you end up in Nashville? I’ve been there a few times and it’s a culture shock to me (and I’ve been in Boston 25 years). How do they accept an Irish guy playing in Nashville? Is there a good alternative scene in Nashville (outside of Music Row and the Broadway Honkey Tonks?
Dylan – Yeah, I was born & raised in Loughlinstown, a very working class area on the south eastern outskirts of county Dublin. From an early age, I had a hunger to experience the diversity I imagined a big city would offer. By my late teens, I had my eye on New York, but I ended up in London instead. For the guts of ten years, I lived all over London, in places like Kentish Town, Crystal Palace, Tottenham, East Finchley, Acton & Forest Hill. I had arrived in London with a guitar & songs to sing, but it was during my London years, that I learned how to be a live solo performer. Towards the end of my time in London, I began to venture over to the continent of Europe, which led to me performing at Muddy Roots fest in Waardamme, Belgium in 2013. Muddy Roots fest is run by a label of the same name & they are based out of Nashville. In 2014, I was invited over here to the States, to play some gigs & record for that label. During that visit, I met my now wife. So initially, it was music that brought me over here to Nashville, but eventually, I moved here to be with my wife.
Nashville is an interesting town, it’s very much its own thing. There’s nowhere else like Nashville, not in my experience anyways. You could draw some comparisons with Austin, Texas maybe, but even then, Nashville could still be considered, to be more of a self-interest-music-biz-town in a lot of ways. Many people move here, in an effort to further themselves within the music industry, but I don’t tend to be around those people much, as it’s not really where I’m at in life. I become friends with people, for who they are, not for what I think they can offer me, ye know? I think you can find alternative scenes in most towns & Nashville has a lot going for it, but you would definitely have to dig a little deeper, to find alternative scenes here, especially if you’ve lived in a place like London, or even Dublin for that matter. This isn’t Country Music City, It’s Music City, but in fairness, you’d be hard pushed to even find some of the more mainstream genres, like Reggae or Celtic Punk. Bill Herring of 1916 just moved here from Rochester, New York & there’s a strong possibility, that he may very well be, the only active Celtic Punk singer currently living here. No joke. My wife & I love Nashville & it’s a town full of great people, but we do keep an eye out for other places to live though too.
Speaking of honky tonks, Broadway & alternative scenes, there is a very healthy local honky tonk scene here in Nashville, away from the downtown areas. Over towards East Nashville, there are important events like Honky Tonk Tuesdays, which have to be seen to be believed. It’s a revival of sorts I guess. You could also maybe say, that there’s another folk revival currently in bloom too. When it comes to traditions, I’m not much of a fan of the term ‘revival’, continuity has always been there for me, but those traditions have been entering mainstream culture again, in an obvious way. There are a handful of honky tonks on Broadway, that the locals will still go to, like Robert’s Western World or Layla’s, & some of the best & hardest working musicians are in those places to, but for the most part, locals don’t tend to visit the majority of honky tonks on Broadway or the bars over on Music Row.
All in all, we’re spoiled rotten here for music, both in quality & in quantity. It’s a very vibrant town & like everywhere else, it’s fast changing. As for myself, I really haven’t played in Nashville much, during the time I’ve been based here, but that’s about to change.
Shite’n’Onions – Speaking of Celtic-punk you have written/recorded with James Fearnley of The Pogues and The Walker Roaders. How did that come about? Any plans for future collaborations? And you have toured with Flogging Molly, The Mahones and the odd metal band – how did those tours go?
Dylan – Well, most of those things would be linked. I met Flogging Molly here in Nashville in 2016. We got chatting, they had a listen to my music & I got an invite to perform on their punk rock cuise in 2017. The Flogging Molly Cruise was an amazing experience. The cruise ship left from Miami & it travelled through the Bahamas for a few days, with bands like DeVotchKa, The Skatalites, NOFX, The English Beat, Voodoo Glow Skulls & of course, Flogging Molly too. Flogging Molly’s accordion player, Matt Hensley, is also a renowned skateboarder, so they had a skate ramp up on deck, between the pools & the stage. Matt got his old skateboarding crew together & they skated away while the bands played. The cruise ship had various venues throughout its decks & we all performed multiple times over the course of the few days. By my last performance on there, quite a crowd had gathered for my set. Flogging Molly’s singer, Dave King, joined me on stage too & that helped a lot with the momentum of things. Dave & his wife, Bridget Regan, couldn’t have been more supportive of me. I’ll always be very grateful for that. Once I finished out, the last song of my last set, Dave & Bridget told me that they wanted to take me on tour with them. Later that same year, they did just that. I went on a US & Canadian tour, as the third & opening act, with Flogging Molly & The White Buffalo.
I didn’t write with James Fearnley of The Pogues, but James did add accordion to two of my songs from from that album, All Manner Of Ways. I’ll try not to make this confusing, but again, it’s all linked up. My actor & musician pal, Zander Schloss, was also performing on The Flogging Molly Cruise. Zander had his then manager, Tom Barta, on board with him too. Zander has been in many bands, such as The Cirlce Jerks, The Weirdos & The Latino Rockabilly War with Joe Strummer, but Zander & his then manger, Tom, were also in a band together, known as The Low & Sweet Orchestra. Well, James Fearnley was also in The Low & Sweet Orchestra. So Zander, Tom & James were all in that band together, they are all friends & they are all based out of LA. Are ye still with me? Hah. Just to further confuse things, at that time, Tom had also started to manage James Fearnley’s new band, The Walker Roaders. While I was on the punk rock cruise with Zander, Tom said that he also wanted to manage me. So, for a time, Tom Barta ended up managing Zander, James & myself. My tour with Flogging Molly & The White Buffalo, started at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California, so my wife & I flew out to LA, a day or two before the first show of the tour, to meet up with Tom Barta & James Fearnley there. I kept in touch with James after that & he added accordion to a couple of songs on All Manner Of Ways for me. We’ve already spoken about the flavour of that album, so it was important for me, to have someone like James on that record. Especially on the songs that he performs on. I grew up on The Pogues & having James on Where Dublin Meets Wicklow, the only song on that album that references home, really grounded the spirit of the album for me. James used the same accordion, that he used on The Pogues album, Rum Sodomy & The Lash too. Back in Nashville, I had recently opened for Spider Stacy, who was also in The Pogues, so it was all a real buzz for me & a serious honour.
On the back of that momentum, I met up with a Swedish booking agent, to arrange a solo headline tour of Scandinavia. During that meeting, the agent put the idea to me, of touring Europe & the UK in 2019, with the Swedish heavy metal band Avatar. Avatar had brought a one-man-band on their previous tour & they were looking to keep some of that flavour for their next tour. Originally, I was asked to be the opening & third act, on a bill with Avatar & a Canadian psychobilly band from Montreal called The Brains. The Brains weren’t able to do that tour in the end, but their drummer also drummed for The Mahones, so The Mahones joined the tour instead. That was one hell of a tour. I also joined The Mahones on stage for most of those shows & towards the end of that tour, I ended up being the only support act. When you’re a solo acoustic act, people can have a very limited perception or vision of what your gig can be. Some promoters, gig goers & event organisers, fail to understand, that it’s not only about the amount of people on stage, the type of instruments that are being played, how well known the act is, or how upbeat the music is considered to be. All most solo acts require, is the potential of an atmosphere to work with. All in all, it boils down to being able to communicate. There isn’t going to be much of an atmosphere, if you put a solo act on early, before a crowd has time to settle, or if you put a solo act on a tiny stage, off to the side somehwere, while a DJ in the background drowns them out. If you give any performer, the chance to communicate within an atmosphere, it can often become something far more special than any wall of sound could ever offer. I will say this though, if you do put on a solo act, in front of a large crowd, make sure their volume is at a decent level, otherwise they’re fucked. It’s not that you need to be loud to play to a crowd, but if there isn’t that loud place to go to, the performance can feel far less dynamic & attention spans may drift as a result. So, over the years, I was kind of on a mission to see how far I could take the solo acoustic thing & that was kind of it, being the direct support act to a Swedish heavy metal band, in countries were English is their second language. Some nights, I just stood there & sang A cappella, to a crowd waiting for a pyrotechnic metal show. That tour definitely divided opinions, but there were many beautiful & spirited moments & the magic that comes with that, will make any challenge worth the risk. That was the last extensive tour that I’ve done too.
Shite’n’Onions – This has been a great interview, Dylan. Final question. So, what’s next for you?
Dylan – No bother John. Thanks for your time & consideration. As for what’s next, I really don’t have any solid answers for that. Everything has been so unpredictable of late, ye know yourself. The pandemic hasn’t been a creative period for me, as I tend to do everything at the same time. Touring encourages me to write & vice versa. Like I was saying earlier, most of what I do is geared towards the gigs, but things are starting to pick up again & I’m getting out on the road whenever possible. I had an amazing gig at Muddy Roots Music Festival this year, it was my first time back there in five years & it couldn’t have gone better. That’s the same crowd I was also mentioning earlier, the same label that brought me over here to the States back in 2014. It was a very grounding & wholesome experience to reconnect with all that. I was in Maryland & North Carolina, there last weekend, doing a couple of great shows & that local Nashville residency has just started too. I’m currently booking for Europe & the UK, for March & April in 2022, which I’ll finish out with a visit home to Ireland as well. So hopefully that will all be able to go ahead come the time. I also recently started my own interview show, The Stirring Foot, which you’ll find on all the usual streaming platforms. Episode one was with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, episode two was with Steve Ignorant of Crass & episode three will be with John Sheahan of The Dubliners. It’s more of an audio montage series, than actual conversations, but it’s been amazing catching up with those artists through zoom calls. They’ve reminded me of why I started playing music myself, at a time when I really needed to be reminded. So I’ll keep my website updated with any further news & hope to see ye down the road. Thanks again pal
A second opinion on Finny McConnell’s solo debut from our Springfield, Mass scribe Brian Grady.
The Dark Streets of Love, is the strongest reminder that Finny McConnell is one of the best Celtic-rock minds of our time
Is this a love letter to all things Celtic rock, or rock and roll in general, maybe? Finny McConnell has penned some of my favorite songs in the genre, one of which is my wedding song (Little bit of Love). So watching him on social media building this album and working on it before and through the pandemic, I was excited to hear it when it came out. Having a mix of new and older music on it, the new versions of existing songs have such heart and soul. I’m in love with them in a completely different way.
Stars (Oscar Wilde) is one of those songs with a completely new arrangement and feel, you can hear a strong swell of emotion throughout this song, a vibe you get in most of this album, these are personal, almost breaking his heart to sing, it just about puts a tear in my eye to listen to them. You’re on a journey with Finny on this CD, one that may be slightly uncomfortable, but you’re going to love him even more deeply and appreciate this album the more you listen. Technically this has a garage band recording quality towards it, that feels intentional, and something I personally love. There are points you can hear him give notes to the band under his breathe in Atlantic City that clearly were meant to stay and add an atmosphere that your there in the room with him while they were recording, is this style for everyone? Maybe not, but I love it and think it adds so much more to this experience than just listening to some songs on a digital download. Also, there are points in some of the songs you can hear him well up with emotion, and my God that’s some artistry opening your heart to everyone like this, some people are great at singing on an album, but it takes a real artist to perform like this on a solo album. So the summary is its 11 tracks, some you’ll like, some you’ll love, and if you’re like me you’ll absolutely fall in love with Finny all over again. I found the album on Amazon, they are selling it on the label’s site too, and I’m sure it’s all over Spotify and Apple too. My suggestion is to get it, listen to it a bunch of times to get the fullest out of it, you’ll pick out your favorite songs, and probably keep them in a Playlist. If you’re not already following the Mahones or Finny on the socials, I suggest doing that as well, tell him I sent you.
Wild Colonial Bhoys are the long running Celtic-rock outfit from the frozen wastes of Minnesota. Remote Ruaille Buaille is the bands sixth (I think) full length studio album though, Remote Ruaille Buaille was recorded remotely as opposed to strictly in the studio given the pandemic situation – hence the title. Musically the WCBs are straight ahead Celtic-rock with an excellent command of both the traditional and rock sides of the equation. The album is a mix of originals and standard. Remote Ruaille Buaille is a very solid release and helps the band continue to build their reputation as the best Celtic-rock band in the midwest. My favorite tracks include the traditional, Homes of Donegal, Ewan MacCall and Luke Kelly’s, School Days Over, the originals, Tragedy At Duffy’s Cut (more on Duffy’s Cut here) and Aoife.
Nips’n’Nipple Erectors are of course Shane MacGowan’s pre-Pogues second wave UK punk band. I bought Bops, Babes, Booze & Bovver originally 20 plus years ago for a lot of money when I first discovered ebay. I’m not sure of the legality of the version I bought but now the album has been re-issued on Rough Trade (300 copies on yellow vinyl) so I assume all is in order here.
The Nipple Erectors (later shortened to The Nips, probably to make the name acceptable to the powers that be at BBC) were essentially a punk – rockabilly outfit with a great sense of pop melody that released two singles during their short existence. Side-A is the Nipple Erectors side, which kicks off with the glorious punk’n’roll King of the Bop, the rocking Nervous Wreck follows (the single B-side) and So Pissed off and Stravondale Rd., N5 from the same session but not then released close out that side. Side-B is The Nips side. Private Eye is Teddy Boy rock’n’Roll dragged screaming through 1977. Gabriella (produced by Paul Weller) is a pop-punk gem and the violent Vengeance (later covered by Dropkick Murphys) is a great slab (or stab) of early punk . An early insight into the genius of MacGowan.
Just when I thought we had lost Boston to the man bun wearing, latte drinking hipster types, out of the Dorchester section of Boston comes the Shadows of Boston to reclaim the streets. These guys are the meanest looking dudes this side of Scared for Life era Rose Tattoo . Shadows of Boston are a Celtic-punk supergroup made up of former members of Boston Punk bands Dropkick Murphys (with bagpipe legend Scruffy Wallace himself), Toxic Narcotic (Ben Upton who is a fine according player), The Blue Bloods and S.O.B.
Shadows of Boston first release is a four song demo that harkens back to the very early days of Dropkick Murphys and the Street Dogs – Boston street punk (though much more Celtic then the early DKM/SD – these guys have three pipers). This is a demo so the production is a little low-fi but the quality of the songs is there. I look forward to the first official release. The demo is up on the usual streaming services.