Tag Archives: Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys: Ryman Auditorium, Nashville

The Dropkick Murphys and the Ryman Auditorium are two things I would never have expected to collide. Now, you all know who the Dropkick Murphys are if you are reading Shite’n’Onions. The Ryman, if you don’t know, is a former revival hall in Nashville, Tennessee that for the last 100 years or so has been the spiritual home of country music. The hall itself has two levels of church bench seating in a half circle around the stage with some of the best acoustics of any venue in the US. When I read the Dropkick Murphys were playing here I jumped on getting a ticket and a flight down. Being Nashville I was real curious to see who made up a Dropkick Murphys crowd – like most places its was the seven to 70 set and if Waldo had a bushy beard and scally cap you’d never find him, but being Nashville there were plenty of trucker caps and and more then a few cowboy hats. 

So what brings a bunch of Boston Micks and the Mother Church of country music together? Legendary American folk icon Woody Guthrie is the catalyst. Shipping Up To Boston, Dropkick Murphys big breakthrough is of course a Woody Guthrie song. The Murphys were approached by the Guthrie family to put music to some of Woody’s original lyrics that had not previously been released leading to their new album, This Machine Still Kills Fascists, and an acoustic tour to support and this date at the Ryman.

Woody’s grandson Cole Quest who joined the Murphys on stage

Counting tonight I think this is my 10th time seeing Dropkick Murphys since 1999 and the first time in a few years. The line-up is very different, Ken Casey on vocals, Al Barr is not touring due to family commitments. A new bass player allows Ken to jump around the stage like a man half his age. Scruffy Wallace is gone but the main stays of Matt Kelly and James Lynch are still there. 

Tonight’s set was rocking hard despite being an “acoustic” set with nine songs from the new album that went down really well despite being unfamiliar to most of the audience. The rest of the set were old favorites with songs you would of course expect them to play – Fields of Athenry, Boys on the Docks, and Rose Tattoo (which brought the house down) and a few you wouldn’t expect given the acoustic set – Citizen CIA, Barroom Hero and Skinhead on the MBTA. No stage invasion was allowed at the Ryman in case someone broke a hip as Casey quipped though this may have been directed at his mother who was in the first row. 

Ma, I told you no stage diving

The night had two openers, The Washington state raised but Nashville based Jaime Wyatt, who played to my ears authentic old school country (her guitarist looked like a reincarnation of Blaze Foley), she was really talented but not my thing. 

Jesse Ahern from Boston was first on. Jesse was one man with an acoustic guitar that he occasionally swapped out for an electric. I’d best describe Jesse as what Springsteen would sound like if he had to work a real blue collar job for a living or Bob Dylan driving a Mac truck. Authentic blue-collar folk’n’punk with engine grease under his finger tips.

Dropkick Murphys: This Machine Still Kills Fascists

Dropkick Murphys have announced a September release for their new album, This Machine Still Kills Fascists. If the title seems vaguely familiar it’s because it’s based on the ol’ Woody Guthrie slogan. The album itself is a collection of new acoustic music set to the lyrics of Guthrie – hence the title I guess. Dropkick Murphys interpretation of Woodies’ Shipping Up To Boston pushed the Murphys into the big time and endeared them to a nation of Firemen, Bros and Soccer Moms.

This Machine Still Kills Fascists was recorded in Tulsa, OK., Woodie’s hometown, and produced by Ted Hutt (Walker Roaders). The album will be without Al Barr who is currently absent from the band due to family health issues. The Murphys will support the album with an acoustic tour in October. I’m seeing them at the Ryman in Nashville. So if you’re there, buy us a pint. 

The best of 2021

Best album

#1 The Peelers: Down and Out in the City of Saints

The best band in the whole Celtic-punk universe and another great album.

#2 Ferocious Dog: Hope

Hope is FDs breakthrough into the big time. 

#3 The Dropkick Murphys: Turn Up The Dial

A nice back to form album. No surprises but we don’t want or like surprises from the Murphys. 

#4 The Rumjacks: Hestia

Still fighting strong after the messy departure of original vocalist, Frankie. 

#5 Blaggards: Blagmatic

Blagmatic may have taken a while but it was worth the wait.

Best new band

The Dead Rabbits: 7 Ol’ Jerks

Not exactly a new band but new to Shite’n’Onions. Pure Celtic-punk.

Best acoustic solo album

Finny McConnell:The Dark Streets Of Love

I’ve always said Finny is a first class song writer.

Best Celtic-punk zine

London Celtic Punks 

Well written and always new content. The go to news source.

https://londoncelticpunks.wordpress.com/

Best Celtic Punk memoir

Celtic Punk Superfan (Recaps & Reflections Chapbook, 2002–22)

by Michael Croland

Special shout out

Trouble Pilgrims: Blood, Glass & Gasoline

Nips’n’Nipple Erectors: Bops, Babes, Booze & Bovver (reissue)

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.

https://www.roughtrade.com/us/nips-n-nipple-erectors/bops-babes-booze-and-bovver

Shadows of Boston: Demo

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.

https://shadowsofboston.com/

https://www.facebook.com/shadowsofboston/

The Dropkick Murphys: Turn Up THAT Dial

Even though Dropkick Murphys may have rebranded to “The Dropkick Murphys” this is still the same band of Boston scally punks we know and love. Dropkick Murphys have kind of reached that AC/DC plateau when it comes to new releases – there are no surprises – you get what you expect and no matter what the Murphys put out the new release will always be compared (unfairly) to their genre defining early releases.  

Turn Up That Dial is The Dropkick Murphys 10th studio album, in AC/DC terms it should be their Blow Up Your Video. I’m glad to say Turn Up That Dial is a much better release then AC/DCs 10th effort (except for the classic Heatseeker). In fact, Turn Up That Dial is a really solid release, it’s classic DKM sing along, chant it out, Celtic-punk – no surprises as expected (or wanted). Turn Up That Dial is a stronger release then 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory and holds itself well up against releases by the various young pretenders to the Celtic-punk crown.

The pre-release single, Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding is a great fighting piece of Celtic street punk as is Smash Shit Up. Chosen Few, a call to unity, reminds me of a punkie version of Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions. L-EE-B-O-Y is a lot of foot stomping piping fun (and a better song about a piper then “The Spicy McHaggis Jig)

What’s missing though is that one outstanding track, Shipping Up to Boston or Rose Tattoo or even a Heatseeker to make this a classic. Still a fine album.

Dropkick Murphys: Turn Up That Dial

The Dropkicks drop (good ‘eh?) their new album, Turn Up That Dial, on April 30th. The first single from the album will be “Middle Finger”. Turn Up That Dial is the bands 10th studio album and here’s to hoping that its more rowdy celtic-punk’n’roll – I somehow suspect it will be.

Track listing:

1. ‘Turn Up That Dial’
2. ‘L-EE-B-O-Y’
3. ‘Middle Finger’
4. ‘Queen Of Suffolk County’
5. ‘Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding’
6. ‘H.B.D.M.F.’
7. ‘Good As Gold’
8. ‘Smash Shit Up’
9. ‘Chosen Few’
10. ‘City By The Sea’
11. ‘I Wish You Were Here’

http://www.dropkickmurphys.com/

Shite’n’Onions on Spotify

I know we all hate Spotify but sometimes if you can’t beat’em you have to join’em. So here is the official Shite’n’Onions playlist as it stands with 8 hours of the best Celtic-punk.

DropKick Murphys: Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding

Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding is the new digital only (boo!) single release from our favorite Boston hooligans, the Dropkick Murphys. Side-A, the title track, is the classic Murphys we’ve come to know and love – punkie, spunky, shout it out Celtic-punk. The B side is a cover of Black 47’s James Connolly, one of the songs that was my gateway drug into Celtic-rock when I heard it first in 1992, the Murph’s do a very fine job of a classic.


http://www.dropkickmurphys.com/