Category Archives: Review

The Go Set: Of Bright Futures…and Broken Pasts

The Aussie version of Of Bright Futures…..and Broken Pasts, was released as two separate EPs. I was lucky enough to get my grubby paws on the German vinyl version where each EP becomes a side of the LP. The “Of Bright Futures”, side is The Go Set rocking out at their very best Weddings Parties Anything inspired blue-collar bagpipe infused punk’n’roll. The flip side “…and Broken Pasts”, is more introspective acoustic flavored folk punk. I’ve been a big fan of pretty much everything The Go Set has release over the last 15 year yet Of Bright Futures…and Broken Past might be to these ears the best thing these guys have ever done (at least since their mighty Sing A Song Of Revolution debut).

Ferocious Dog: Live At Rock City

Live at Rock City was recorded in 2015 (released in 2016 and I just picked it up in 2020). Rock City is a legendary 2,000 capacity rock club in the band’s hometown of Nottingham, England. Ferocious Dog has the distinction of being the first independent band to ever sell out the venue (in 22 minutes). If you haven’t heard Ferocious Dog, they play folk-punk that takes its start from The Levellers, New Model Army and The Pogues yet have their own distinct speedy English folk punk sound. If Live At Rock City is an indication of the band live, then I really, really want to see them play.

Alternative Ulster: Craic Agus Ceol

My favorite lawn killers are back with another slab of bagpipe wailing, hardcore punk rock. Alternative Ulster straddle old school punk and more hardcore sounds. Opener, “It Took A Lot of Love (To Hate You The Way I Do), even has some great melodies – shock, horror. Vocals are nicely split between Wendy Henry on the more (melodic) old school punk sounds and the growling Todd Henry on the hardcore stuff. Alternative Ulster are not for the faint hearted but always a fun listen.

The Pogues: BBC Sessions 1984 – 85

Another RSD release this year on vinyl is The Pogues, BBC Sessions 1984 – 85, a collection of sessions that The Pogues recorded for various BBC radio shows during their early years. Most, if not all of these tracks were released on 2007’s excellent box set, Just Look The Straight In The Eye and Say Pogue Mahone, and have been floating around on various bootlegs prior to that. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have these songs on vinyl and nice to be able to buy something kind of new from The Pogues.

Broadcast April 17, 1984 (as Pogue Mahone) – The John Peel Show
1) Streams Of Whiskey
2) Greenland Whale Fisheries
3) Boys From The County Hell
4) The Auld Triangle

Broadcast 9th July 1984 – David ‘Kid’ Jensen
5) Dingle Regatta
6) Poor Paddy On The Railway
7) Boys From The County Hell
8) Connemara, Let’s Go

Broadcast 16th December 1984 – John Peel Show
9) Whiskey You’re The Devil
10) Navigator
11) Sally MacLennane
16) Danny Boy

Broadcast 11th July 1985 – Janice Long Show
16) Wild Cats Of Kilkenny
17) Billy’s Bones
18) The Old Main Drag
19) Dirty Old Town

Blaze Foley: Live at the Austin Outhouse

I’ve been listening to a lot of old Outlaw Country recently, especially Steve Earle, Towns Van Zandt and through them I discovered this gentleman, Blaze Foley, probably the most authentic outlaw of them all. Live at the Austin Outhouse is a limited edition RSD release of a recording of one of Foley’s last live shows – recorded in 1989, 3 months before he was shot dead. The recording was originally supposed to have been a fundraiser for the homeless in Austin but the then cassette only release ended up being used to raise funds to have Foley’s body freed from the undertakes and to give him a decent burial. Bad luck, bad behavior and an unwillingness to ever compromise ment Foley was pretty much unknown outside the Austin bar scene (where he was pretty much banned from most of the venues in the city – the Austin Outhouse had just let him start playing again). His legend has grown in his death primarily due to the absolute strength of his songwriting – John Prine and Tim Barry have both covered his masterpiece Clay Pigeons, while Towns Van Zant and Lucinda Williams both recorded tributes to Blaze. This is the absolute real deal and not that bad Bon Jovi ballad like shite that Nashville brands as country music these days. For more on Blaze checkout Ethan Hawks biopic of Foley or the documentary Duct Tape Messiah.

Raglan Road: Raglan Road

Despite being named after a Dublin street made famous by Patrick Kavanagh’s poem, Raglan Road, are from the eastern seaboard of Canada. Their self titled debut album is a very fine slice of Celtic-rock with the obvious maritime influences. There are some great vocal harmonies to be found here. Reminiscent of the Great Big Sea and The Town Pants (Lamenter’s Lament is covered). A nice start though hoping for more originals on the next album.

The Krusty Moors: A Good Strong Start…

2020 sees the Krusty Moors celebrate their 20th year together and as the house band of the legendary Scruffy ‘s Irish pub in Karlsrube, Germany. Well, I guess after 20 years this is a good strong start..
If you don’t know the Moors, they are one of Germanys finest purveyors of rowdy Celtic-folk pub rock. Somewhat reminiscent of The Levellers at times. A Good Strong Start is a nice collection of originals mixed in with some standards and a great cover of The Wonder Stuff‘s, Welcome To The Cheap Seats. Here’s to the next twenty years, lads.

The Real McKenzies: Beer & Loathing

Beer and Loathing, is the new album from one of Celtic-punks oldest and longest running bands, the manic bagpipe wailing, Canadian-Scots punks, The Real McKenzies. Beer and Loading is a solid McKenzies album once you get beyond the dud of an opening track, Overton Bridge, i.e fast and punky with bagpipes and sounding just like The Real McKenzies.

The Mahones: Unplugged

I’m not sure if Unplugged was ever released as a physical product, I think it may just be an online only release. Unplugged is a best of The Mahones recorded live and unplugged in the studio. It’s nice to hear some old favorites in a new stripped down format and Unplugged continues to prove what I’ve always said, that Finny McConnell is a really great songwriter. In addition to the Mahones originals, the Johnny Cash cover of NINs Hurt is covered. Hopefully I can get my grubby paws on physical copy. In the meantime it’s here on SoundCloud.

The Muckers: Irish Goodbye

Irish Goodbye, is the follow-up from The Muckers to their excellent last release, One More Stout. If you haven’t heard The Muckers (and why not?), they are a very fine Georgia based, Celtic-pub-rock outfit.  

Irish Goodbye, is a folk-rocking album of both originals and covers.  I love their galloping version of the Wolfe Tones, Rock on Rockall, and the cover of The Rumjacks, My Time Again. The Ramones, Sheena is a Punk Rocker, has been transformed into, Saoirse is a Folk Rocker. Their original, Buzzards Bay, is a nautical throwback to lead Mucker, Jeff Shaw’s time in New Bedford’s, The Pourmen, while, Out On My Ass, is a great piece of hedonistic alt-Country.