Prydein – Run Run Away The Mahones – The Hunger & The Fight The Placks – Rebellious Son The Placks – The Mountain Men Clovers Revenge – Old Hag, You Have Killed Me-Dinny Delaney Clovers Revenge -The Merry Misadventures Of Sister Mary Margaret The Tosspints – Blood or Whiskey Neck – Psycho Ceilidh Mayhem Set Biblecode Sundays One Step Beyond Devil’s Advocates – Taneytown
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).
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
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.
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
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
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
The Tossers – Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye
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”
(SNO) So who are PRYDEIN (when formed, band members, where are you from)? (Pryden – Aron) Prydein actually started out as a band I formed with some friends back in college in 1995 out of a desire for something new in the music scene. There weren’t too many rock bands with bagpipers back then so we thought we’d give it a shot. That band was called Whisky Before Breakfast. After that band split up in 1998 I got to keep the bagpiper in the divorce settlement. Our fiddler, Ellery Klein, went on to play with Gaelic Storm and we became Prydein. Prydein now consists of myself (Aron Garceau) on Guitar, Vocals and other random things found round a studio, Iain MacHarg on Highland Bagpipes, flute and pennywhistle, Andy Smith on Bass and Caleb Bronz on drums. We recently a new member to the band, Dan Houghton of the band Cantrip also plays highland bagpipes as well as bouzuki, flute, whistle, etc. As we say on our website, the sound of two bagpipers playing tight harmonies backed by a rock band is enough to make the blood shoot right out of your eyes!
(SNO) What inspired the formation of the band?
(Pryden – Aron) In the 90s, all the music being played on the radio either sounded like Sound Garden or R&B Hip hop pop-a-lop. Not for us. We wanted something different… very different. I think we found it! We also noticed quite a lack of young kids in the trad music scene, we felt like this was a way to trick them into getting interested in what was going on.
(SNO) Describe your sound (and influences)?
(Pryden – Aron) We are a Celtic rock band blending the influences of our piper Iain (who grew up listening to NOTHING but bagpipe music, Tannahil Weavers, Bothy Band, Battlefield Band, Gordon Duncan) and myself who grew up listening to… well, everything else. I was a huge Zeppelin fan as a kid as well as Jethro Tull and so I think of this as Scottish-Folk-Zeppelin.
(SNO) What going on with the band right now (recording, touring etc)?
(Pryden – Aron) Since the lot of us are a bunch of public school music teachers, we keep our tours heaviest in the summer time. With that being said we’re in the season deep now with a Scottish Festival in Northampton Mass this Saturday (The Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival) with Enter the Haggis, a highland games in Detroit as well as Maine and our home-state of Vermont. The big news this year is that we’re about a month away from releasing our first live album; Prydein: Live From the Fort. We can’t wait!
(SNO) What song in you catalog best defines your sound (and why)?
(Pryden – Aron) Our fans would say “Stairway to Scotland”, it’s our show ending mashup of Amazing Grace and Scotland the Brave. However I think that the reel rocker, “Loud Pipes (save lives)” is probably the one that captures it best. A couple of reels put to a pretty straight ahead rock background, it’s strong, it’s solid and I think it is, in its entirety, Celtic Rock. It’s also the video on youtube that has gotten over 100,000 hits and has introduced our music to the world. We recently found out that there is a band in Russia who is covering our stuff! The internet is amazing.
(SNO) Soapbox – anything you’d like to say?
(Pryden – Aron) We’re pretty lucky, I think, to have found the niche that we’re in. It’s tough you know, often times we find that we’re too “rock” for folk festivals but at the same time we’re too “folk” for mainstream rock festivals. Heck, sometimes we find that we’re too Irish for Scottish Festivals and too Scottish for Irish Festivals. We take the gigs as they come and love talking to the crowd both before, during and after the show and found that we’ve got some amazing, dedicated and loyal fans and we strive to bring them 110% all of the time. Every new show brings more folks into the fold and we look forward to doing so for a long, long time.
Thanks John, and thanks for all that you do to introduce folks to new music. Your efforts are appreciated!
I think this CD is actually from 2010 though we just received a copy in the Shite’n’Onions PO box a wee while back. Prydein are from Vermont and Heads Up is the second release from then that I’ve heard – the other being the magnificent Loud Pipes Save Lives. I’m happy to say Heads Up follows (or proceeds even) in the same size 12 foot steps as LPSL. Haven’t had the pleasure yet? Well Prydein’s music can be described as loud rock’n’roll with louder bagpipes – Bon Scott era AC/DC meets the Angus MacFerguson Highland Pipe band. The cover of The J Geils Band’s Centerfold is a must hear as is the early Black Sabbath (with pipes of course) sounding instrumental The Big Apple Heist. A fine release indeed – even if it took ’em over a year to save for the postage mail it on.
When Motorhead first started out in the ‘70’s there was a comment made – a compliment actually – that if Motorhead moved in next door to you that your lawn would die – I keep thinking of that comment after listening to “Loud Pipe’s”. Though I have a feeling that if Prydein and their 2 bagpipers moved in next door to you not only would your lawn die but they would finish off your trees and maybe any domestic animals with in a block (a compliment and also a warning to cat owners actually). These guys are so loud with a massive guitar sound (think Malcolm Young riffing on classic AC/DC) and dueling bagpipes. The title of the CD “Loud Pipe’s” is misleading. I would have gone with “Loud Guitars and Really Bloody Loud Pipes”.
After reading through the Shite ‘n’ Onions review of Prydein’s Loud Pipes I was mighty intrigued. This sounded like a combination of two of my favorites styles of music; Celtic folk-punk and Classic Rock. And although the band does dip a toe into the pools of funk, ska, rockabilly, metal, and of course, Celtic music, they are at their heart a rock band.
The band, Prydein, is comprised of the bass, drums, and guitar line-up with the addition of not one, but two Great Highland Bagpipes players, and, as the disc title may suggest, the pipes are very predominantly featured throughout this release, taking a break on only two of the tracks, both uniquely arranged traditionals; the swinging rockabilly of ‘The Wild Rover’, and a laid-back, strolling ‘Nancy Whiskey’, with the latter tagging-in the tin whistle for ornamentation.
The CD runs the gamut from these traditional songs to a cover of Slade’s ‘Run Runaway’ (that almost smiles in pride of itself, and at what it has become,) to the delicate weaving of ‘Aria’s Waltz’, and wrapping the whole package up with a medley called ‘Stairway to Scotland’ that takes ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Scotland the Brave’ to a place more suited to crowd-surfing than funereal melancholy.
With seven of the eleven tracks being instrumentals, it is clear that the pipes do the talking for the lion’s share of the CD. But they a do have a lot to say, occasionally trading off licks with a lead guitar, with the band’s rhythm section provides a rock-steady forum for them to say it.
Most impressively, for me, anyways, is just how everything seems to fit together. Each tune/song gets a unique treatment from the band, but nothing seems unnatural or forced. All elements come together in a very organic mixture that covers a lot of ground but still remains securely in rock’s embrace.
My personal fave: Probably “The $17.00 Red Head.” It’s snaking shuffle-beat, a lazy, urban-groovin’ bass line and some sweet wah-wah guitar set an unlikely stage for a dueling-bagpipe melody that just keeps on building.
But, since this disc in currently out on iTunes, don’t take my word for it, grab a free, 30-second sample and see if you can sit perfectly still for it. I couldn’t.
Review by Christopher Toler, THE Blathering Gommel