Category Archives: Review

Mickey Rickshaw: Home in Song

I caught Mickey Rickshaw live for the first time earlier this year opening for The Tossers at the Middle East Club in Cambridge. The show was also the album release party for Home in Song, the Boston based Celtic punk outfits third full length album. Mickey Rickshaw are a massive band with 8 members, making a massive sound as they completely took over the small stage of the Middle East with a wall bodies creating a wall of Celtic-punk sound. The live sound translates very well to the recorded sound here on Home in Song. If pushed I’d say that Mickey Rickshaw reminded me most of Blood or Whiskey with their mix of Celtic, punk and some ska. A band to watch out for.

The Walker Roaders: THE WALKER ROADERS

Celtic-punks first supergroup here! LA based The Walker Roaders consist of a Pogue, James Fearnley (vocals and accordion) and former members of the Dropkick Murphys (Marc Orrell) and Flogging Molly (Ted Hutt, a founding member of the Mollies and later producer). Musically, The Walker Roaders are closer to the Pogues then DKM or FM though even closer to James two post-post Pogues bands, the 1990’s Low & Sweet Orchestra and the more recent Cranky George but with stronger Celtic melodies then either which meshes so well with his north of England grittyness.

Alternative Ulster: Merry Feckin’ Christmas

Actually a 2018 release but I missed the opportunity to review in that seasonal window but Christmas comes but once a year so here it is. 

Merry Feckin’ Christmas is the musical equivalent of that once a year uncle who shows up with bagpipes, drunk for Christmas dinner, gropes the hostess, scares the kids and old people, knocks over the Christmas tree and pukes on the presents. 

12 tracks in all with both the standards we all expect (Fairtytale of New York, Auld Lang Syne, 12 Days of Christmas)  and some originals coming to Christmas carolers near you (All I Want For Christmas is A Divorce and The Gale Killed Christmas)

Marry Feckin’ Christmas and Pog Mo Thoin

The Radiators: Ghostown (40th anniversary edition)

This is the 40th anniversary re-issue of Ghostown, the 2nd album by Dublin’s original punk band, The Radiators (from Space). Ghostown is many things; a post-punk masterpiece, a document of Dublin as it was in 1979, the first modern Irish rock album. Not an easy album initially to get into but stick with it, it’s well worth the listening effort. The re-issue is 45 tracks on two disks with disk one the original album plus related b-sides from the albums supporting singles and disk two for the hardcore fans – various demos and outtakes. A true masterpiece.

The Templars Of Doom: Hovels Of The Holy

Hovels of the Holy is the 2nd full length release by Ulster county NY’s Templars of Doom. Similar in style to the bands debut, which I believe, I described as old school punk with kilts and bagpipes (and if I didn’t, I should have). The album itself is a mix of originals, including the stand out Tattooed Covered Hag and H-Block Escape, traditional and rebel songs as well as inspired covers of the Ramones, Chinese Rock and Slade’s, Mamma Weer All Crazee Now. Very enjoyable. The album is available on CD and vinyl (and I really love the album sleeve as painted by band basses Michael X Rose)

The Wakes: No Irish Need Apply

February 6, 2010

The Wakes are the un-official musical wing of Glasgow Celtic FC – for American readers Celtic are a Glasgow, Scotland based soccer team with strong Irish roots and one of the biggest sports brands in the world.

The music of The Wakes clearly reflects the team they support – pub rock meets the Irish ballad tradition – sort of somewhere between The BibleCodeSundays meets The Wolftones -and though the rebel songs are toned down, scratch below the surface of football and drinking and Irish songs and it’s there.

While all Celtic and Irish sports fans will love this you don’t have to know the first thing about soccer to get carried away in the roar of the crowd (though Huns and Hearts fans will loathe).

Must hears include Drinkin’ Song, Pirates of the League and the cover of David Rovics St. Patrick’s Battalion

The Rumjacks: Saints Preserve Us

March 3, 2019

Saints Preserve Us is another balls bustingly good album from The Rumjacks. Classic Clash meets the Dubliners – fast and punky with a slight reggae undertone while downing pints with Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew on a Friday night in O’Donoghue’s.  Frankie McLaughlin’s lyrics are as sharp as ever – “though its been eight generations since we’ve kissed Erin’s shores, my bloods greener then yours”. I love the cover of the traditional, “An Poc Ar Buile”, sung (or snarled) in gaelic. Saints Preserve Us continues to prove that The Rumjacks are one of the premier Celtic-punk bands – but you knew that already.