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
Could the new princes of hard Celtic rock be a bunch of French speaking Canadians? Seriously! I’m very, very impressed by Ride out the Storm, the 2018 English language album from these Québécois.
Ride out the Storm album opens with some short Celtic orchestration that would do Horslips proud then charging into a full fledged jig and roll drinking ode that is Nothing But A Game. Get Loud came as a complete throwback surprise back to me, classic 1980s radio friendly metal with a fiddle – this could have easily been a standout track on Mama’s Boys 1985 Power and Passion album (my first introduction of Celtic meets hard rock). The maritime Heave Away gives fellow Canucks, Great Big Sea, a run (sail?) for their money. While the legendary Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains guests on the traditional Black Velvet Band and having Paddy on your album is about the biggest endorsement you can get from one of the true greats. Ride out the storm is a magnificent Celtic-rocker and The Bridge another hard rock throwback while Reels is just that and shows Bodh’aktan can reel with the very best of ‘em.
In all, a really great album with top notch songs and musicians a tight as that ducks ass. Very highly recommended.
Bodh’aktan is the self titled fourth full length album from Quebec based French-Canadian’s Bodh’aktan. Now if you haven’t heard Bodh’aktan before they play big ‘ol bagpipes punk’n’roll influenced by both the maritime and Celtic traditions and they do it all Francais…..and why not. Kind of like legendary French punk/metal outfit TRUST on a weekend bender in Connemara. Check’em out.
If I was to describe Bodh’aktan based to the cover of their English language debut Against Winds and Tides, I would liken them to a biker gang taking over an Irish pub. Listening to Bodh’aktan that description isn’t too far off base. Quebec based Bodh’aktan have a huge rock foundation (Sabbath & Voivod tee’s on the cover), layered on with big, all-together, though melodic gang vocals and on top of that a wall of trad instruments – bagpipes, tin whistles, banjo, fiddle, bodhran to name a few.
Against Winds and Tides is basically the bands debut Au diable les remords re-recorded with English language vocals and lyrics (Au diable les remords was in French) and four new tracks added for good measure. Against Winds and Tides is a really strong album with as previously mentioned a huge rock sound married to Celtic, Breton and Maritime traditions. While every track on the album is excellent I would highlight “Sink Another” a drinking classic, the party “Dansez (Dance Hey!)” where Bodh’aktan are joined by Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea and “The Ballad of Jonathan Lewis” a Dirty Glass style girl/guy duet that sucks you in as a ballad but end like a fistfight. A special highlight is the cover of RAtM’s “Killing in the Name” where the fiddles replace guitar when none of the power of the original is diluted.
Celtic punk is not an exclusive preserve of those with Celtic genes or even the English (Hiberno-English) speaking world. We’re all familiar with the great bands from Germany and Japan and even Indonesia playing Celtic punk. But did you know there is a French-Canadian scene and it does not include The Mahones even though Finny move the band to Quebec. We’ve previously reviewed releases from Farler’s Fury now I present you francophiles with Bodh’aktan. Disagree with me that fidddles, French and fecking jigs and Reels don’t work then listen to either A Borie or Le medley du mal de pieds – still disagree after an ear full then your the Duke of Wellington.