Tag Archives: Blood or Whiskey

St. Patrick’s Day Podcast

Your virus free podcast from Shite’n’Onions.

Playlist

Neck – Every Day’s St Patrick’s Day
The Skels – Have A Drink Ya Bastards
Black 47 – Green Suede Shoes
The Muckers – Let’s All Go To The Bar
BibleCodeSundays – Drinking All Day
Sons Of O’Flaherty – Dead and Gone
The Rumjacks – An Irish Pub song
The Mahones – Shakespeare Road
Big Bad Bollocks – Guinness
Bodh’aktan – Black Velvet Band Featuring Paddy Moloney
Charm City Saints – Dicey Riley
Bill Grogan’s Goat – The Galway Races
Jackdaw – Come out you Black And Tans
The Pourmen – Too Old To Die Young
Murshee Durkin – The Pogues & Whiskey
The Woods Band – Finnegan’s Wake
Irish Whispa – Bold O’Donohue
Pat Chessell – The Mother-in-Law
Greenland Whalefishers – Joe’s Town
The Tossers – St Patrick’s Day
Sharky Doyles – Everybody’s Irish
Kilkenny Knights – Dance!
The Gobshites – Alcohol
Horslips – The High Reel
Horslips – Dearg Doom
Kilmaine Saints – Foggy Dew
The Bucks – Psycho Ceiled In Claremorris
Blood Or Whiskey – Follow Me up to Carlow-Holt’s Way
The Peelers – A1A FLA
The Electrics – Seventeen Bottles Of Porter
Sir Reg – Stereotypical Drunken Feckin’ Irish Song
The Templars Of Doom – Mamma Weer All Crazee Now

Podcast# 68, 999 Years of Irish History (part 1)

January 19, 2013

Battle of Clontarf

The Prodigals – Boru’s March

Ceann – Blame The Viking

1014 is the best place to start Mustard Finnegan’s history of Ireland. It in that year Brian Boru defeated the Danes. For hundreds of years, Ireland was known as the Isle of Saints and Scholars – the image of monks in monasteries; smoking pot, lovingly illustrating copies of the gospels, praying and guiding the heathens in Europe outta of the Dark Ages. Though not  all of that is necessarily the true. Ireland was made up of a bunch of small kingdoms with kings more like Afghan warlords or the Bloods and Crips – I’m the king of from here to that rock over there and I’m gonna steal your cattle and run back to my ring fort. Ireland had big problem with the Vikings. The Vikings were a bunch of dudes from Scandinavia with helmets with horns sticking out of them who loved to vacation in Ireland and plunder the Irish monasteries and murder the monks. After a few hundred years of this the Vikings started to stay around and started, like all the cities in Ireland and meddled in Irish politics (bit like the EU these days).

Vikings. Horny fellows coming to rape and pillage
comely Irish maidens

Brian was an ambitious sort of fella and conquered one Irish kingdom after another and made them pay tribute to him (this is not like Michael Jackson’s Tribute, Brian would take hostage of the kid of the lesser kings and if the lesser king didn’t do his bidding and pay taxes and send solders when Brian needed them then that was the end of the young fella). Once the Irish were under his heal he went after the meddling Vikings of Dublin. Coming face to face for battle on Clontarf beach on Good Friday 1014 – the Irish warriors kicked serious Viking ass along with kicking the asses of the Dublin Viking’s mates from the Isle of Mann and Denmark – many of whom after the beat down drown in Dublin Bay trying to escape the Celtic axemen, starting the long tradition of pollution in Dublin bay. Unfortunately, for Brian, who being wicked old (he was about 73) and was praying in his tent as the battle raged so he did not notice a sneaky Viking who suck up on the big B and buried an axe in Brian’s back and that was the end of him.

The Norman Invasion

Belfast Andi – Irish Ways Irish Laws

Diarmait does the dirty deed dirt cheap
Strongbow gets the girl and the Kingdom

After 1014, Ireland went back to it petty warlords fighting with each other over this bit of bog and that sheep over there and all was good and dandy until a woman got in the picture. In 1167, Diarmait Mac Murchada (that’s Murphy in English), King of Leinster (the east bit of Ireland) ran off with Derval (the woman in question), the daughter of the King of Meath (the rich bit of Ireland in them days and these day) and the wife of Tighearnán Mór Ua Ruairc (Terry O’Rourke in English), King of Bréifne (a strip of fields and bogs that ran from Meath to Sligo these days called Leitrim). Tighearnán was pissed off of course and with the help of the High King, Rory O’Conner, they ran old Diarmait outta the country. Diarmait being a schemer and a general a-hole approached a Norman Knight called Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke also known by the name Strongbow (Strongbow is much more Knightly and Ciderish name, Richard de Clare sound more like the name of the owner of chain of ladies hair saloons). Diarmait promised Strongbow his daughters hand in marriage, who by all accounts was a pretty hot chick, as well as succession rights as King of Leinster, if he’d help him out. Strongbow not having much going on as the King of England when not hammering the Scots was beating up on his own Knights, took him up on the offer and arrived with his mates (Fitzgerald, Fitzgibbon, Burke, Butler and Prendergast) and the best in 12th century military technology gold pieces could  buy. Shortly there after Diarmait was back being King of Leinster but over old England, old Henry II didn’t like the idea of one of his knights becoming a king of anything and setting up a rival kingdom so he called up the Pope and asked for the OK to invade Ireland (of course this is the one time the Pope is a bloody Englishman) and once permission given Henry arrives and declares himself Overlord of Ireland.

The Pale and Beyond

Blood or Whiskey – Follow Me up to Carlow/Holt’s Way

BibleCodeSundays – Clew Bay Pirates

The Dreadnoughts – Grace O’Malley

We can skip ahead to the 1590’s now, the Norman Knight have gone native (more Irish then the Irish themselves) and the English rule is now pushed back to the general Dublin Area – known as The Pale. Ever heard the expression “Beyond The Pale”? Meaning being outside proper behavior, well that was where the wild Irish lived with their new Norman mates, fighting with each other over this bog and that bog and the odd goat.

Grace O’Malley telling Lizzie 1 to stuff it.

One of those Chieftains was a woman called Grace O’Malley,  the Pirate Queen who was so fearsome that she show up bare breasted in Queen Lizzy’s court in London to demand the removal of the Queens representative in Connacht.

The Flight Of The Earls

Black 47 – Red Hugh

Queen Elizabeth was a tough old boot in her own right and took a leaf outta ol’ Brian’s book raising the sons of the Gaelic Chieftains in her court. One of these lads was Red Hugh O’Donnell of the Tyrone. Hugh and his mate O’Neill of Ulster (The O’Neills are the oldest and biggest family in Europe, there is something like 3,000,000 descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages the original Neill running about, the O’ meaning descended from, talk about virile) played a good game with the Queen. When in her court they played along by English rules and when back home in Ulster they did what ever they bloody pleased. But Lizzie’s henchmen in Ireland keep pushing in on O’Neill and O’Donnell business and enough to piss’ em off that they stopped playing the game and rebelled. The Irish chieftains were able to push the Perfidious Albion almost out of the country but were finally defeated a the Battle of Kinsale in 1601 – Kinsale is as far as you can get from Ulster, being on the south coast in Cork. O’Neill and O’Donnell and most of the other O’s fled the country for Spain and that was the end of Gaelic Ireland.

The Plantation Of Ulster

The bollocks of Henry the Eight

Being traitors to the crown, all of the lands of the O’Neill and O’Donnell went to the crown who decided that the best way to control the Irish was to get rid of ‘em and replace ‘em with good English protestants – this was after the reformation of course.

“Here’s a health to the Protestant Minister And his church without meaning or faith For the foundation stones of his temple are The bollocks of Henry the Eight” – Brendan Behan

This plan didn’t work out so well as most of the smart English with ambitions for advancement went to the America’s and stole the Indians land so in Ulster the numbers had to be made up with low class, lowland Scots. The Irish got kicked out and the planters got the good land (and the natives the views).

Cromwell in Ireland


Flogging Molly – Tobacco Island

The Fisticuffs – Young Ned of The Hill

Ollie Cromwell, Lord Protector and general bastard. Warts’n’all

The 1600’s was an ugly time to live in Ireland. When the civil war broke out in England the Catholics of Ireland, Gaelic and Old English supported the cause of Charles I and took the opportunity to try and get their lands back from the planters – much slaughter followed. With the end of the war in England and Chuck’s head on a spike Cromwell turned his eye on Ireland and took revenge in the Irish for rebelling and waged holy war on the population. Cromwell was by far the biggest Fu#ker in Irish history, his soldiers laid wasted to much of the county, butchering the citizens of Wexford and Drogheda when the garrison of those cities didn’t surrender fast enough. When he didn’t murder you, then he transported you to Barbados to your death as a slave in the sugar plantations or worse to Connacht and eternity as a bogger. Allegedly Rihanna is descended from one of those Irish transported to Barbados…..I told you Cromwell was a fu#ker. Cromwell eventually dies (of malaria of all things) and the Stuarts are back on the throne of England. Cromwell’s body exhumed, hung, drawn and quartered.

Ollie Cromwell, Lord Protector and general bastard. Warts’n’all

 The Battle Of The Boyne

Roaring Jack – The Old Divide And Rule

Hugh Morrison – Ye Jacobites By Name

Prydein – Minstrel Boy

James II

The Tossers – Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye

William of Orange
(only one of these guys was was in Poison)
Patrick Sarsfield

The Stuarts were bad new. It would have been in everyone’s favor if Guy Fawkes had his way……BOOM! Things calmed down under Chuck II but there are problem when his brother Jimmy II replaces him. Well wee Jimmy was a Celtic support and the England parliament, Huns. They manage to live with him until a son was born and then they realism  the Catholics won’t be going away. Jimmy is given short shift and exiled to France with his daughter Mary and her Dutch son-in-law William of Orange put in his place. Jimmy II raises any army with the support of the King of France and sails for Ireland to join up with his Irish supporters.

James manages to set back peace, love and understanding 1,000 years in Ireland when he lays siege to the walled city of Londonderry. The siege is only lifted when Williams ships arrive with solders and supply’s . The two sides play cat and mouse for a little while and finally meet on the banks of the river Boyne on July 12th, 1690. James’ French and Irish army verses Willies Dutch, German, English troops. William wins and James runs away. The most ironic thing about this is the bad history that still abates- the brethren up in Ulster regard this a a victory over the Pope and Popery, yet the Pope was playing politics here not religion and supported the protestant William and most of Williams army was Catholic – the Pope was trying to stick it to the French. With Jimmy gone, the Irish fell back to Aughrim under the command of Patrick Sarsfield, defeat followed and then on to Limerick. The City of Limerick was put under siege (that it still needs to clean up after) but William didn’t want to wait it out and offered a fairly decent treaty – join me or go to France and join the French army. The Irish took the French route and spent the next hundred years dying on the battlefields of Europe for the ungrateful French. With Willie back in England and Sarfield and his men dying for France. The over loards in Ireland we left to their own devices to introduce the penal laws

“Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach!” – “Remember Limerick and Saxon Perfidy”

.

File:The Battle of Fontenoy, 11th May 1745.png
Irish revenge for Limerick at Fontenoy

Blood or Whiskey: Telling The Truth & Shaming The Devil

March 14, 2014

It’s been a while since we spoke to Blood or Whiskey so with Paddy’s Day coming up we took the opportunity to speak with founding members Dugs (guitar and vocals) and Chris (drums) about their new album Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil and the struggles of the last few years. Hat’s off to the toughest band on the planet.

Shite’n’Onions: It’s been a while since the last the Blood or Whiskey album studio album, Cashed Out On Culture, about 8 years I’m thinking and I know the band has had many struggles over the last few years with your health, Alan Confrey’s (tin whistle) tragic death, line up changes and record label shit. Can you share with us some of the going ons with the band over the last few years?

Dugs: Yes its been a while alright since Cashed Out on Culture our last studio album, too long in fact! But as you said various reasons where contributing factors to that, poor Alan’s untimely death back in 2006 and legal issues with our last record company kind of stopped us in our tracks because we were building up a nice head of steam back then and then all these problems started to manifest themselves and it halted us in our tracks. When you lose a band member due to death its a bitter pill to swallow because it opens up a lot of doors inside of yourself that you wouldn’t usually think of but when you lose a band member and a friend I may add, its kind of hard to put rhyme or reason on a lot of things not just band stuff but life in general as he left a young family behind and also his parents and brothers and sisters so you do ask yourself all sorts of questions like should we carry on? should we keep going? A lot of “what if’s?” and so on ,so we carried on and started to tour again playing big supports, tours and big festivals, the Reading and Leeds festivals, Rebellion etc and just when things started to look good again I got diagnosed with cancer and that stopped us again in our tracks which was a battle for 2 years and in a way in those two years I learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know about myself and about life, so before I got cancer we had a bunch of songs ready to go to record in the studio but the cancer put a stop to that. But now when I look at it clearly, I would have got cancer even if I wasn’t in this band, but shitty things happen in this life to all and sundry and that’s the painting from the cradle to the grave such is this big mountain we climb we call life and when life hits you hard and you fall down you just got to take it, get back up and move on because you never know what tomorrow brings some good and bad that’s just the way it is, and we have a song on our new album called ‘Rutland’ about that, but the lads in the band showed their metal by sticking around and seeing this album out as we are all very excited about it but to say it wasn’t easy to keep it all together is an understatement but I’m so glad we roughed it out and it now seems to be getting back on track again, fingers crossed.

Chris: Yes it has been way too long but with all that has happened we are delighted to have had this chance to get this new album ready for release. What happened to Al and Paul was a tragedy for us because when you are in a band on tour with friends you become much more than just band mates you become a family, so it hurts when something happens to any of us.

Things like the record label shit as you put it are insignificant when it comes to life, so then when Dugs got back on his feet we knew the only thing to do was keep going at what we love and are lucky enough to do and give it another real hard shot for Al, Paul and thank god, Dugs.

It wasn’t hard to hold the band together because we had a common goal and that was when Dugs gets better to get this album out so we were in studio a lot over those dark days and got this album to where it is now.

Shite’n’Onions: Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil is the title of the new album. I haven’t heard it so can you describe the sound of the album and how does it compare to the previous releases? Cashed Out on Culture had a much harder punkie sound then the previous two albums have you continued in that direction?

Dugs: Yes the new album is called “Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil”, an old Irish saying I picked up from the old school in pubs and hanging out a lot down the west of Ireland. To describe its sound from previous B.O.W Albums its our most advanced work in terms of different styles of music and sonically, a lot of ska , punk, Irish , I like to think a cross breed of the Dubliners / Clash / Pogues / Specials etc in places, would describe the new albums direction best. I honestly think its our best work by far for me personally because as you say Cashed Out on Culture was a lot harder than the previous two albums by Bow, the first two albums were from their time and for various reasons line up changes etc that’s why they sounded like that but we have evolved in our music as each album progressed , no band is going to write the same album over and over again because of various reasons, who is going to write the same song as they did when they were a teenager to when they become an adult? Because you don’t think the same way for one and secondly you meet a lot of hurdles in life that you have to cross when you get older, so of course your music is going to change, develop and mature.

So this album is a different direction from all our previous releases. I know one thing I’m sure of, change is inevitable regardless of what you do in life, that’s just the way it is. But I’m very proud of this album because it took a lot of hard work to get this on the table after what we have been through as a band, but if you like punk, and ska with a topical feel I think people will like this one, there is even a Johnny Cash sounding song on it called ‘Montpelier Hill’, about the devils appearance at a card game in the hellfire club in the Dublin mountains, hence why the album title fitted so well, I think most styles that influenced us all to be in a band is on this album, we hope you all enjoy it.

Chris: The sound of “Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil” is a progression from “Cashed Out” in my eyes and ears, our usual influences are still in there beating there way out: (The Pogues, The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Specials etc). We collectively as BOW love similar music, yet have very different tastes at times and when that all comes together, BOW is what comes out the other side. As for how does this album compare to our previous releases, to me its the best we have ever done which is not in any way knocking our previous albums, it is just where we are now. As musicians you always try to create something you can be proud of and stand over which is what we have done again. “Cashed Out” had its differences alright but at the end of the day it was still very much be BOW to us. To answer your question, yes we have continued to progress in this direction and really feel we’ve nailed it again.

Shite’n’Onions: One of the things that always struck me about Blood or Whiskey was the attitude and realism in the lyrics. Given the shit the band has been through in the last few years how are the songs/lyrics on the album influence by what’s happened to the band.

Dugs: Yes our lyrics on this album are pretty true to life and very self autobiographical in places, so in that aspect yes the new album doesn’t change in that respect, we basically write about what affects us from a personal point of view to what happens in our country and the world around us, there are songs about sickness a song about cancer diagnoses (Rutsy), our old unwelcome friend called emigration that has been a blight on Ireland from day one both of the past and today pop up in places on this album with Seanie o Keeffe, Emigrant, Cannibal Economy, Gone and Forgotten, to world issues in Dirty Auld War, Gernika, to some light-hearted tales of the devils appearance in Dublin at a card game in the hellfire club where the rich and the elite used to get up to all sorts of skullduggery back in the day (Montpelier Hill), so yes I think we touch on a lot of important issues but we also like telling a tale or two as well but yes nothing has changed in that regard of Blood or Whiskey with the lyrics.

Shite’n’Onions: BoW are one of the longest running bands on the Celtic-punk scene and in fact predate the scene. Are Blood or Whiskey part of a Celtic-punk scene and does the scene influence you? As a band from Ireland what are your thoughts on the scene? What hasn’t there been any other bands from Ireland playing Celtic-punk?

Dugs: Yes, thanks for reminding us were ancient hahahaha , when we started there was no term for this music, I certainly didn’t hear the term Celtic Punk, or Paddy Punk, I think folk punk was the most consistent when people labelled it, and there was only a handful of bands doing this, but did the scene influence us??? , Well hell yeah there would be no BOW if we hadn’t heard The Pogues, but it wasn’t a movement back then like it is now, The Pogues, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, I suppose are the first that spring to mind, but as I said it wasn’t a big deal like it is now, The Pogues were regarded as more of an alternative act because the term Celtic Punk hadn’t really been invented then and if it had we didn’t hear it much in the media, but also I have to say there would be no Blood or Whiskey without the punk scene and ska movements from the Pistols, Clash, to The Specials who were equally as important to us as The Pogues were as making us want to be in a band in the first place, regardless of what style we were playing, because in Blood or Whiskey we always wrote about personal stuff or stuff that effected our lives, we just happened to be Irish and could play those instruments like the tin whistle, accordion etc because we were force fed them at a young age either in school or by our parents, it was just part of growing up in Ireland, so we basically used what we knew and started to play this kind of music with a punk attitude and that’s how we started to play this celtic punk which now kind of reminds me a bit of the 2 tone movement or punk explosion all of a sudden there is loads of bands doing this music from all over the world which is pretty cool as it shows are little isle has touched many hearts around this globe with its songs , but I don’t really think about it too much to be honest, I like some of the bands in this scene and don’t like others but in general that goes across the board in all types of music, some songs you like some you don’t but in general I don’t have a real view on it ,as I’m a big fan of all types of music from across the world, but hey if people want to be in an Irish celtic punk/ rock/ folk/ band well good luck to them enjoy the music but your right in Ireland there is not many paddy punk bands as people were brought up with this kind of music at a very young age and its ingrained in their psyche at this stage they would rather be in bands that don’t celebrate their Irishness because they know their Irish if that makes any sense.

Chris: Yes we have been at it a long time kind of makes you feel a little old, in saying that we have just arrived home from watching the mighty SLF in Dublin tonight and they proved yet again that age doesn’t matter whatsoever when you love what you do, they are around a good few years more than ourselves and you wouldn’t tell from looking at them tonight they were brilliant.

Yes we are without doubt a part of the Celtic Punk scene simply by the instruments that we have in the group and that is a good thing, it always makes me smile when I see how far Irish music and our culture has travelled, we have played everywhere from the US to Japan and all over Europe and every where we go there is a love for this small nation it makes you proud to be Irish and proud of all the great music and musicians from Ireland that came before us and managed to influence people all over the world. Going from what I have just said the Celtic punk scene makes me personally proud to be Irish as it shows me how the rest of the world loves and enjoys Irish music and culture. I’m not sure why there has not been many other bands from Ireland playing Celtic Punk because you do get other bands mixing folk with rock etc just not so many doing the Celtic Punk thing. Maybe it’s because the Punk scene isn’t as big here in Ireland as it is in the likes of the US and Europe, mainly due to the size of our population I suppose.

Shite’n’Onions: Is Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil going to be available in the US and on what label?

Dugs: At this initial stage ‘Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil will be available by download on iTunes etc as we were talking to various labels that wanted to take this album but we decided to bring this out ourselves on BOW records and its 100 percent self-funded by our own personal pockets, we could have gone down the pledge route that a lot of bands seem to be doing these days, but for various reasons we didn’t feel comfortable with that alternative, so we scraped what little savings we had and recorded this album ourselves. But I am sure in time you will be able to buy this album in whatever record shops that are left these days as the music landscape has dramatically changed since we last released a record, but you will be able to buy the album via iTunes and the other digital download sites and if you want to buy physical copies you can buy directly from BOW records or catch us on the road at gigs.

Chris: We absolutely want to release this album in the US and are working hard to make it happen, not just for download but also physical copies in the shops, because lets face it there is nothing like having the CD or Vinyl. We have great fans in the US who come out to see us anytime we make it over to play, so we want to make it as easy as possible for them to get there hands on Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil.

Shite’n’Onions: Can we expect Blood or Whiskey back on the road in support of Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil and especially the US as it been a while?

Dugs: Yes of course we are going to tour this album as much as possible , and we hope to be back in America as well hopefully all going well, hope you enjoy the new record first and foremost and we get to play it to you all in a city or town near you, peace and love, Dugs.

Chris: One thing I can say for definite is that we (Blood or Whiskey), want to tour the hell out of this album, we love touring and want to play this new material and the old classics to as many people as we can reach. As for getting back to the US if we were told the flights were booked for tomorrow morning we’d be on them. So here’s hoping we see you very soon in a town near you. Securing the right booker would speed up getting back to the US.

Blood or Whiskey: Barney Murray, Leixlips Finest

October 2001

Leixlip County Kildare’s Blood or Whiskey are one of the finest if not finest Folk-Punk bands on the planet (and I’m not just saying that because I discovered I went to the same High School as Barney). Their second CD “No Time to Explain” is out on Eire Records. Thanks to Barney for taking the time to answer my questions.

(S’n’O) First some band history questions. Can you give me a brief history of the band, how did you get together and who’s in the band?

(BM) “We have been together since 1993. I knew a few of the lads and we got together for a jam and played a few of each other’s songs and it went from there. My feeling was that The Pogues had lost their way after “If I Should Fall From Fall From Grace..” and that we should take it from where they left off. We recorded the first album in 1996. It was all done in three days. Then we went on a never ending or going anywhere tour for about three years till we called a halt to do the second CD. Nearly everyone in the band is from Leixlip, Co Kildare.
The line up is: Barney Murray – Vocals, Bouzouki; Dugs Mullooly – Vocals, Guitar; Paul Walshe – Banjo; Chris – O’Meara – Drums; Tom Touhy – Bass; Aishling De Claire, Tin Whistle (the only girl and the only one not from Leixlip!)”

(S’n’O) Are you happy with the new CD and how would you compare it to the first? It’s an Irish only release right? Any plans for a US release?

(BM) “I’m totally happy with it. The first one was a hard act to follow but I think we have done it. I think there is a greater variance of styles on “No Time to Explain” but I didn’t want to loose our basic sound or compromise the songwriting. It was a hard album to make because with the first one we didn’t have much choice, we were put in the studio, we had to get it done in three days and we were kept away from the mixing. This time we had complete control and loads of time and all these choices to make ourselves and it wrecked our heads. That said, I love the first one and I love this one. I wouldn’t have let them be released if I didn’t. We are trying to get it released in the US and hopefully it will be soon.”

(S’n’O) How’s the CD doing in Ireland, did you get any airplay or support from the Irish music establishment (2FM, Hot Press, Etc.)?

(BM) “The CD is selling well but we have not got much (if any) support from the Irish music establishment. The Punks have kept us going over here. The established media is now just an extension of the major labels marketing arm. It’s been like that for a long time.”

(S’n’O) What do you think of the current state (or non-state of) of Irish rock right now?

(BM) “Non-state is right. It’s rubbish. The bands here just copy the latest trend from England or America. When we started out they were all trying to be Nirvana, now they want to be Coldplay or Blink 182. Next year it will be something else. They have no balls. If it wasn’t for the Punk bands there would be nothing.”

(S’n’O) Do Blood or Whiskey listen to any of you peers (Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys)? What do you think of the whole scene that’s developing stateside?

(BM) “We played support to The Dropkicks in Dublin in 1999 so we know them fairly well and I listened a lot to Flogging Molly. I was surprised how big the whole thing is in America. It’s different in that its a lot more guitar driven than we are. Maybe we are Trad. with Punk influences and they are Punk with Trad. influences or that could be just me talking more shite.”

(S’n’O) You just completed an American tour, how did the tour go, any particular high points?

(BM) “Despite everything it was the best tour we ever did. All the gigs were great and I’ve never been able to say that about any other tour. The Irish bars that we played in never once asked us to do any cover versions or to tone it down and we got a great response in the venues that were pure Punk despite us not having electric guitars and stacks of amps.”

(S’n’O) The WTC disaster took place right in the middle of the tour and I know you actually visited the WTC a couple of days before. Any thoughts, opinions about what happened, did you feel there was a noticeable effect on the remainder of the tour?

(BM) “Like millions of people I still cannot get my head around the whole thing. I’d never been to Manhattan before and I’m sort of tired of cities so I didn’t expect to like it but it struck me as a really vibrant and multi-cultural place with an energy all its own. I still can’t believe what happened. We didn’t know what to do so we just said to the venues that if they wanted to cancel we would be ok with that. They all wanted us to play. It seemed that people just wanted to keep going. I never said a word about it from the stage. It was like everyone wanted us to shut up and play, so that’s what we did. We didn’t play the last gig in Yonkers, it was supposed to have been a benefit night for Firefighters and it was understandably cancelled.”

(S’n’O) Any plans to return to the US in the near future?

(BM) “We would love to go back. It’s the most accepted we have ever been anywhere. More than Ireland. It would likely be next year though at the earliest.”

(S’n’O) What are the future plans for Blood or Whiskey?

(BM) “Its very unPunk of me but I’d love to make it big just to show the bastards that we can do it. I’d love to be doing this in twenty years or more. The lads feel the same. Why should Bono, Britney and all the other talentless wonders live in mansions while Punks go around broke ?”

Blood or Whiskey: Sticks and Stones – an interview with Beano

November 14, 2004

(S’n’O)

1. First of all, congregations on the new US record deal with Punk-core. How did the deal come about? I know when we spoke back in April, you mentioned you had a few labels interested in signing the band but none would commit on tour support. Will Punk-Core be giving you the necessary tour support and can we expect to see a lot more of Blood or Whiskey in 2005?

(Beano/BoW)
YEAH THANX, THE DEAL CAME ABOUT ‘COS BASICALLY WE WERE FISHING ABOUT FOR A NEW DEAL BASED IN THE U.S. WITH GOOD DISTRIBUTION IN THE U.S. AS WELL AS THE REST OF THE WORLD.I KNEW WHAT PUNKCORE’S CAPABILITIES WERE, BUT I MET DAVE THE LABEL BOSS SOCIALLY FIRST WHEN HE WAS ON HOLIDAY IN IRELAND SO AFTER THAT I KNEW HE WAS SOUND ‘COS WE DIDN’T TALK ABOUT THE BAND OR BUSINESS, WE JUST TALKED ABOUT WHAT THE NEXT ORDER AT THE BAR WAS! SO WE HAD TO WORK WITH SOMEONE WHO WE COULD GET ON WITH PERSONALLY SO THAT WE WEREN’T JUST A “PRODUCT” TO THEM, THAT THEY WERE PEOPLE INTERESTED IN US AND NOT JUST IN FUCKIN DOLLARS.BUT SO FAR WE’VE BEEN TREATED GREAT AND THEY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING. PUNKCORE WILL GIVE US WHATEVER RESOURCES THAT THEY HUMANLY CAN IN ORDER TO SEE THIS JOB THROUGH COS LIKE US OURSELVES , THEY BELIVE IN WHAT WE’RE DOING AND WHAT WE PLAN TO DO. YEAH WE’LL BE GETTING A U.S BOOKING AGENT AS SOON AS, THEN THE ALBUM WILL COME OUT EARLY FEBUARY 2005 THEN WE’LL BE ON BASICALLY A NEVER ENDING TOUR.

(S’n’O)
2. Speaking of touring, how did the US tour with the Dropkick Murphys go?

(Beano/BoW)
YEAH THE DATES WITH THE MURPHY’S WERE GREAT. THEY TREAT US FINE ( WHY WOULDN’T THEY?), & ALLOW US ENOUGH TIME AND SPACE TO DO OUR THING. THE BAND AND THEIR CREW ARE NICE FELLAS Y’KNOW? WE WENT DOWN WELL WITH THEIR CROWD TOO AND SOLD A LOT OF MERCH AT THE GIGS. THEY DON’T OWE US ANYTHING AND IT’S GREAT EXPOSURE FOR THE BAND AS WELL OBVIOUSLY.

(S’n’O)
3. How is the new CD coming along, with the line up changes can we expect a different sounding Blood or Whiskey to what we hear on the previous releases?

(Beano/BoW)
THE NEW CD IS GOING GREAT.WE’VE LITERALLY JUST FINISHED RECORDING AND IT’S GOING TO BE MASTERED THIS WEEK. THERE’S 14 SONGS ON IT & IT’S GONNA BE CALLED “CA$HED OUT ON CULTURE” – ‘COS A LOT OF PEOPLE CASH IN ON OUR CULTURE SO WE’RE CASHING OUT! IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU MEAN ABOUT SOUNDING DIFFERENT .WE’VE PURPOSELY GONE FOR A MORE PRODUCED SOUND SONICALLY BUT LIKE OTHER BLOOD OR WHISKEY RELEASES IT’S GOT STRONG MATERIAL PLAYED BY A BAND THAT BELIVES IN ITSELF. WITH REGARDS TO LINE UP CHANGES IT’S BOUND TO SOUND SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT, BUT WE’RE PLAYING TO THE SAME BEAT WE’RE JUST BANGING A DIFFERENT DRUM!

(S’n’O)
4. Blood or Whiskey seems to had a ton of bad luck over the last few years – contract problems, label problems, van crashes, line-up changes, illness and jail time – what keeps the band together? mearer mortals would have knocked it on the head a long time ago.

(Beano/BoW)
A BELIEF IN WHAT WE DO AND IN WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER ,A GOOD DOSE OF STUBBORNESS TOO PROBABLY. THERE’S X-AMOUNT OF DETRACTORS AROUND WHO HAVE NO LIVES AND WHO CONTINUALLY TRY TO SOUND OFF ABOUT THINGS THEY HAVE NO FUCKIN CLUE ABOUT REGARDING THIS BAND.AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED IF WE’RE DOING NOTHING ELSE APART FROM ANNOYING THESE SAD PATHETIC SACK HOLES THEN THAT ALONE IS REASON TO CONTINUE.

(S’n’O)
5. Irish/Celtic punk bands seem to be everywhere these days – from Norway to Japan and the Billboard top 20 – and while Blood or Whiskey were argubally the first of the post-Pogues and authentically Irish as well, nothing else similar has come out of Ireland. Why do you think that is? What do you think of all the non Irish bands playing trad. Irish based punk?

(Beano/BoW)
I THINK THE MAIN REASON THAT BANDS/PUNX FROM IRELAND DON’T PUSH THE “PADDY” ANGLE IS BECAUSE I THINK IT’S SO BRED INTO US THAT WE DON’T HAVE TO WEAR IT ON OUR SLEEVE.IT’S NOT SOMETHING TO SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS.IT’S JUST SIMPLY WHAT YOU ARE WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT. IT SEEMS IN THE U.S. PEOPLE ARE REALLY PROUD OF THEIR FAMILIES ORIGINAL ROOTS TO GO ALONG WITH THEIR AMERICAN ROOTS HENCE THEY’RE “IRISH-AMERICAN” OR “ITALIAN – AMERICAN ” OR WHATEVER.THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT BUT PERSONALLY I COME FROM AN ANGLE IN PUNK WHERE NATIONALITY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH PUNK ROCK.IT DIDN’T MEAN YOU WEREN’T PROUD TO BE IRISH OR WHATEVER IT JUST WASN’T AN ISSUE Y’KNOW? IT WAS AN ANTI-SYSTEM THING I THINK.OBVIOUSLY FOR SOME BANDS IT’S A PRIDE THING OR FOR OTHERS IT’S A COMMERCIAL THING BUT FOR SOME OF THE BANDS I’VE HEARD FROM GERMANY AND THAT IT’S JUST A FUCKIN SAD THING! THINGS LIKE THIS DON’T REALLY BOTHER ME EITHER WAY , EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN TAKE ON IT. A GOOD EXAMPLE IS THE AMOUNT OF ENGLISH OI! BANDS WHO I WOULD PERSONALLY KNOW NOT TO BE NAZIS/RIGHT WING, BUT AS SOON AS THEY SING ABOUT ENGLISH PRIDE THEY GET A NAME FOR BEING RIGHT WING.WHY IS IT OK FOR “IRISH” PUNK BANDS TO BE PROUD AND NOT ENGLISH/BRITISH ONES?? THIS TO ME IS WHY NATIONALISM FUCKS UP PUNK ROCK. ANYWAY WHEN I HEAR THE TERM IRISH PUNK I DON’T THINK OF US OR THE MOLLY’S OR THE MURPHY’S , I THINK OF THE OUTCASTS, SLF,DEFECTS, RADIATORS ETC. ANYWAY.

(S’n’O)
Beano – thanks for thaking the time to answer my questions – anything else you’d like to say?

(Beano/BoW)
JUST THANKS FOR THE INTEREST AND THANKS TO ANYONE WHO SUPPORTS US AS FOR ANYONE WHO DOESN’T SUPPORT US FOR WHAT EVER REASON , FUCK YOU! WE’RE DOING IT ANYWAY, GET A LIFE!!! – BLOOD OR WHISKEY WWW.BLOODORWHISKEY.IE

Blood or Whiskey – McGann’s, Boston MA (September 13, 2001)

After an INS hassle in late August, Ireland’s Blood or Whiskey managed to enter the States to bring their driving trad-Irish folk-punk to the pubs of the East Coast. The hijackers were yet new arrivals in Hell when Blood or Whiskey — encouraged by fans to press forward — played the famous McGann’s in Boston.

Allow me to quote myself from a Clancys review that appeared in the Boston Irish Reporter a few years back: “Tucked in a side street near the Fleet Center, McGann’s is a small Irish pub that books some great Irish music acts. Its walls are divided between red brick and yellow sheet rock, and they’re covered with framed photos of concerts past. The tables and the bar are smooth blond wood.” Huh — I forgot to mention that the bathrooms feature running water. A determined crowd of about 65 included members of Dropkick Murphys, Tommy & the Terrors, and the Lashes.

Blood or Whiskey are a skilled six-piece with drums, bass, banjo, acoustic guitar, bouzouki, and tin whistle. Sometimes switching to mandolin, the tin whistle player was an American stand-in — a portly fellow in an awesome Boston-Bruins-style Guinness jersey. Singer and bouzouki player Barney sometimes switched to accordion. They’re not much for onstage banter, but this band is an excellent throwback to Red Roses For Me acoustic punk. Barney’s ability to simultaneously pluck and growl intricate Irish melodies raises the bar for the genre. Drawing from both their studio albums as well as their repertoire of traditionals, the band cranked them out fast and tight, yet mellow and laid-back. Only guitarist/singer Dugs hollered and jumped around the stage. Their set was broken up with plenty of finely-cobbled instrumentals, like “King of the Fairies/Western Junk,” whose thudding bass and shrieking whistle conjured Paddy Garcia firing his pistol at the wild cats of Kilkenny. Other highlights were “Galway Town,” “Unfinished Business,” a super-fast rendition of “Kelly the Boy from Killane,” “Follow Me Up to Carlow,” and of course the very sensitive “You Can Keep the Baby, Baby.” They slowed it down for the glass-swaying “Sober Again.” And bassist Tom sang some of the ska and pop songs, like the self-proclaimed “cheesy” number “Chloe,” which Barney sheepishly introduced as having “bombed in the Irish charts.” The set clocked in at an hour and a half, as the lads finished strong with “Bucharest” and “Rudy.”

Abrasive or mellow? Blood or Whiskey sound rough, but they deliver one hell of a smooth buzz. May you have no excuse to miss ’em next time!

By Pat Kennedy

The Winter Codes: Too Cool To Dance EP (Barney Murray)

January 16, 2016

Always good to get a CD in the mail from Walter Wouk. The Winter Codes, humm; arty prog looking cover, hummm; orange sticky note with a message from Walter – “the new release from Barney Murray“, feckin’ ace!!! Long time scenesters will remember Barney as the near legendary front man of Blood or Whiskey who left the band and essentially disappeared from music after the second BoW full length. Delighted to report The Winter Codes five track EP is classic Barney harking back to the debut BoW CD though stripped down acoustic with just Barney on voice and accordion and fellow ex-Bow David Walshe on guitar and mandola. The voice has that familiar growl and the FU attitude of old is still there. Welcome back lads and looking forward to more.

http://www.thewintercodes.ie/

Blood or Whiskey: Tell The Truth And Shame The Devil

April 30, 2014

Tell The Truth And Shame The Devil is Blood or Whiskey’s first full length album in eight years. The band have been though a hell of a time over the last few years with the tragic deaths of tin whistle player Alan Confrey and former banjo player Paul Walshe as well is the serious illness (though now thankfully in remission) of vocalist Duggs and some record label shit if that was not enough. Lesser bands would have folded but not Blood or Whiskey.

Honestly if BorW made a crap album I’d be happy ‘cos they were just still around. Fortunately not only am I happy they made another album they made another great album. Tell The Truth And Shame The Devil follows in the vein of the last Blood or Whiskey album Cashed Out On Culture with the much harder, punkier sound then their legendary debut and it’s follow-up No Time To Explain. These bhoys are pissed off and they are not taking any shite, but if that was not enough the band have incorporated their love of Ska which they hinted at in Rudy but now have gone the whole hog with added horns and the like – Celtic-punk with a big P meets The Specials or even The Mighty Might Paddy-Tones.

Pissed and angry but still a party. Its great to have’em back.

Shite’n’Onions: What the Shite

What can I say really? Unless you’re dead, there’s no real reason not to own this compilation… S’n’O II contains some of the best up and coming Celt-Punk (Or whatever) bands out there. Some of them you may know, and some of them you probably won’t. Containing 20 tracks from 18 of the best bands of the “genre” What The Shite is pretty much the ultimate mix tape ever. I seriously haven’t been able to finish any other reviews because this bad boy won’t leave my CD player. (Trust me, that IS saying something.) To say the least, I was surprised (and proud) when S’n’O Volume I came out. Ol’ Murph certianly had an ace card up his sleeve for that one. Shite’n’Onions Volume II is even better! An effin’ royal flush, folks!

Track One is called “Drunken Sailor” & it comes from the Blaggards. You might have heard the song “Drunken Sailor” before, but within two seconds of hearing this version you’ll agree this is one of the better versions out there. (Shay Given approved)

Up next is “Hogjaw” from Jackdaw. it’s a damn same I live so far away from these guys, because from what I’ve heard, Jackdaw’s live show will blow the roof off. Turn up the volume to 11 if you’d like an instant skylight for your home.

Three’s a charm, as they say. The Go Set hails from the shores of Australia, and instantly became of of my favorite bands, and “Sing Me A Song” is a great example. If you like DKM’s “Do Or Die”, you’ll love this!

Track 4 is reserved for The Kissers – “Kicked In The Head” Less than a week ago, The Kissers came through town, and all night long I screamed at the top of my lungs “You Bastards! Play Kicked In The Head!!!” As I’m sure anyone within 5 blocks could tell you that night, I’m a big fan of the song. I’m an even bigger fan of the band, even if their squeezebox player beat me at pool… (The table was crooked.)

Number 5 is for all those Cow-Punks out there. “Pub With No Beer” by Boston’s own, Three Day Threshold. What do they sound like you ask? Just imagine a drunken paddy punk with a boombox on his shoulder atop a galloping horse in full stride across the wild west trying find a sixpack before the pubs close outta do it…

Track 6: “Plastic Paddy” is also on “Liquordale” by The Peelers. it’s also S’n’o’s pick for 2004’s album of the year, and rightfully so, Let me guess, I no longer need to convince you any longer right?

On track number 7 there’s a song called “Blackheart” by Jugopunch. To be honest, I haven’t heard them before. So just so you know, I too will be purchasing an album from them. Wanna race?

Tracks 8 & 9 contain a 1-2 punch courtesy of Larkin. The left jab is called “My Day Of Reckoning” and the right upper cut is called “The Devil & I” If you’re a Southpaw, I apologize, just switch it around a bit! I think I can safely say that Larkin are atop the favs list here at S’n’O land.

Track 10 and 11 are from Mutiny. Aka: “Folk Punk For Punk Folk” If you’d like to hear some Aussie folk-punk with a slight case of scurvy, I highly reccomend listening to both “Struggle Town” & this unreleased version of “Drigging for Gold” All you scallywags out there will love ’em both.

12. The Gobshites – “Cheers” Do me a favor… get this album, go down to your local public house press the play button, grab a pint, hold it high, & cheer your mates. The Gobshites are playing, & good times are here!

Track 13 belongs to The Town Pants and their song “The Weight Of Words” I found out about The Town Pants from this very website, (Thanks, Murph!) The Town Pants recently released their best album to date, and this song is just a sample of what else is to come from a band I joking like to call “The Country Shorts” My god, that was just horrible…

#14 is IcewagonFlu’s “Trinity” not only do they provide the cover art folks, The multitasking Icewagon Flu also write some of the catchiest tunes this side of the pond. if you’re not dancing to this one, you don’t have a pulse.

Track 15. McGillicuddys “On The Rocks” The song isn’t excatly the newest track on the album, (2002) but who the hell cares, these guys are timeless. In fact, I’d love to hear another album from them soon. Check ’em out and get in line.

#16. Another band I need to hear more of are the Sharkey Doyles. “Kings Of The One Eleven” is a great introduction to a band I’ve been hearing alot about.

Track 17 comes to us all the way from England. “The Ballad Of Ali Abbas” from Warblefly. Let me tell you, I have all their albums, and can’t get enough of these guys. Top notch music, and without question, one of the best bands out there. A must have.

Track 18. The Pubcrawlers have come a long way. I remember hearing their demo a few years ago, and made a note to myself to keep an eye out for them. “My Brother Sylveste” proves to me that The Pubcrawlers have evolved into one of the best examples of Celt-Core out there…

Number 19. The Porters will make your jaw drop. German streetpunk covered from head to toe in Guinness. “Weila Weila” gets my vote for best sing-along of the album. If you enjoy this track wait until you hear “A Tribute To Arthur Guinness”

20. I was so excited to hear Barney Murray was making music again. The former lead singer of Blood Or Whiskey has returned to form with the previously unreleased “Troublesome Girl” I hope to hear from Barney, but I’ll take what I can get and be more than happy about it.

So there you have it. Shite’n’Onions Volume II – What The Shite… Look for it in your local record store, or better yet order it directly from the source.

2006

Review By “Barnacle” Brian Gillespie

Blood or Whiskey: Cashed Out On Culture

So finally we have the new, much anticipated CD from Blood or Whiskey. The first without original vocalist Barney Murray, and actually it’s pretty much an entire new line up since “No Time to Explain”. Only guitarist and now vocalist Dug’s and drummer Chris O’Mara survive.

So what’s it like? Musically it’s still the familiar Trad-Punk of before just punkier, way more punkier, but old time fans will recognize the sound as distinctively Blood or Whiskeys. Dug’s does a reasonable job on vocals though he’s no Barney Murray (for those who heard the promo CD from last year, the vocals are much improved.) The attitude is still Fuck you. And the songs? When the songs are good on” Cashed Out On Culture” they are very good-the Ska tinged “Poxy Pub”, “Glory O”, “Jar’D fror Life”, “Impaired Vision” and “Ruler, Ruler” to name a few–and Blood or Whiskey are top of the game. When the songs are not, they are just average

February 2005

http://www.bloodorwiskey.ie/