Winners and Boozers is the mighty new album from Fiddler’s Green. 16 tracks in all of party Celtic-punk spiced up with European polka and songs of the seas – Rum and Irish Whiskey and the finest German larger. Loads a energy here, mixed with the occasional downtime to nurse a massive hangover (the slow stuff). There’s not a bad tack on Winners and Boozers which is quite an achievement for any band 23 years on the go. If I have to mention any particular tracks for highlights it would be the Celtic punk-ish Old Dun Cow and A Night in Dublin and the sea-fairing Old Polina and Buccaneer (done in a style that reminds me of Canada’s The Town Pants) and the epic Into The Sunset Again.
Fiddlers Green are a long running (since 1990) self described Irish-speedfolk band from Germany. ‘Drive Me Mad!’ their 12th full length release, featuring an incredible 20 tracks – both original and traditional standards – all squashed onto one disk. The sound occupies a space on the scale somewhere between The Pogues and Flogging Molly with a clear love of The Dubliners. Lots of fun and value for money.
Like Lady Godiva and Across the Border (both reviewed in Shite ‘n’ Onions) Fiddler’s Green is another of Germany’s well-kept secrets in the realm of folk-rock and Celtic-rock. Having recorded steadily since 1992 NU FOLK is their ninth full-length album and is characterized by (what’s become their formula of) cleverly recreating traditional pieces coupled with infectious original alterna-folk-pop songs in a manner like Great Big Sea. Unlike the previous two German bands listed, Fiddler’s Green’s music is much more polished, as is their CD packaging. Very slick indeed. I’ve always preferred their treatment of traditional material and on NU FOLK there are several such songs to choose from. Among the best are “Tarry Trousers” which employs an Eastern meets hard rock vibe and “Johnson Boys/Cotton-Eyed Joe,” two American folk songs given new life courtesy of this group from Erlangen. Curious readers are well advised to also listen to Fiddler’s Green’s first three albums FIDDLER’S GREEN (1992), BLACK SHEEP (1993) and KING SHEPHERD (1995) for a delightful trio of punk, ska and Celtic infused folk-rock recordings.