Tag Archives: WARBLEFLY

Warblefly: Tenerife to Dover

July 22, 2009

“Tenerife to Dover” is the 4th full length from the UK based Warblefly and the 3rd we’ve reviewed here at Shite’n’Onions – folk, roots and punk with a groove played by PHD types with drink problems is how I’d best describe Warblefly and they don’t stray from the sound that made previous releases so good (though I do love the ska grove on ” shoplifter” as well) and as with previous release “Tenerife to Dover” isn’t an immediate release and it takes a few spins to get into – but its worth it and with each spin you’ll discover more nuggets of genius.

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.


Review By “Barnacle” Brian Gillespie

Warblefly: Crashing Through the Trees

Although their third release, this is my introduction to this British folk-rock band. For someone who’s written almost exclusively about folk-rock on the world stage for the past several years, I must admit to being pleased to have finally heard this band, while at the same time, chagrinned for having not heard them sooner. Warblefly shoots out of the starter blocks in fine form with “Folk Ruts,” an alternative rocker in classic Levellers style with aggressive rhythm and melody-driven fiddle. “New York Gals” is a more guttural, punkish piece barely resembling my first exposure to that song – Steeleye Span’s 1975 version from COMMONER’S CROWN. “Devil in the Kitchen” is a deliberate instrumental very British sounding while “Going Home” incorporates a “down home” bluegrass or mountain style. “When the Rain Came” again recalls the Levellers but don’t let those two Levellers references give you the idea that Warblefly is purposely patterning themselves after that classic Brighton-based band. With their mix of British folk and punk flavored with occasional American folk stylings, and their attention given to the instrumental passages, Warblefly are true originals. Politics notwithstanding, “The Ballad of Ali Abbas” is the highlight of this album, with its rapid-fire rhythm and vocals coupled with an incredible melody and juxtaposition of electric guitar and folk instruments. It wasn’t until after several listens that I realized that I didn’t even agree with the sentiment of the song, but I didn’t care because it’s such a great piece.

July 2004

Review By Dave Sleger

Warblefly: The Sinful, Wise & Insane

As eclectic as they wanna be, but still clearly flying the banner known as Celtic, Warblefly impress with their second album, “The Sinful, Wise and Insane.” Their press release describes them as “too folky for the indie circuit and too groovy for the folk circuit” and it seems an apt description. Not “punk” by any means, but still too fast and aggressive for the stuffy folkies (or so I’d imagine.)

The album is equal parts traditionals and originals, and opens up with the trad. number “As I Roved Out” which is done fairly straight-forward and I must admit – the musicianship impressed, especially the violin, melodion and the whistle, done by David Hassell, Ellie van Veen and Emma Dover respectively. The gravelly voices of Nigel Griffiths (bass as well) and Adrian Leach (banjo and bazouki) seem a kind of a cross between Spider Stacy and Shane MacGowan…not as gruff or slurred as Shane but a bit more rough then Spider. Good stuff.

Next up is another trad, the instrumental “The Red Haired Boy” which also plays things quite straight. Kind of like a more subdued “Wildcats of Kilkenny.” This band proved themselves very good musicians with these first two songs. When speed is required, these ‘flys can pump it out. Very capable and very well played by the band: Guitar sounds from Frank van Veen, acoustics and bodhran from Matthew Heard, mandolin and trumpet from Peter Frizzell and drums by Dave Hodgson.

Of the originals, my favorite is probably the first “The Rebel Soldier.” It is quite good. The tale relates, of course, the lament of a rebel soldier far from home. “I eat when I’m hungry and I drink when I’m dry/If the drink don’t get me, I’ll die when I die.” Lyrically very inspired stuff from head lyricist the aforementioned Adrian Leach. Leach seems to be taking his cues from not only MacGowan, but Tom Waits, Brendan Behan, Joyce, etc. The title of the CD is lifted from the line “I’ve drunk with the sinful, the wise and insane.” Haven’t we all? Well said, sir.

I also dig the speedy “Tapachula Scramble” which seems to have a bit of tex mex flavor to it showcasing the bands eclectic side indeed. “Home and Dry” follows similar pathways, it being speedy and tightly played and leads into “Dead Jose” which is another winner, with a heavy melodion line, propelled along by the vocals and a lament-type chorus for the title character before hitting 4th gear the rest of the way, and busting into a spaghetti-western type spoken word. “The Life of Reilly” begins the wind-down. The character has “lived the life of Reilly and it just don’t make me happy anymore…. A man with no ambition but at least I’m still a man.” Hear hear. Another strong original.

The album closes with two trads “The Bonnie Ship of the Diamond” and “Twa Recruitin’ Sergeants” both of which are done very well. The prior being a nice sea-shanty-type tune and the latter a “getupandsingtilyapuke” rollickin one. I really liked this one.

Warblefly proved themselves to be a force in the Celtic circuit with this effort and will surely only get better with age. If your bag is very well-played, fast, speedy folk, (not punk) with hints of several other styles involved, check it out. Nice one.

April 2002