“Just as you thought things couldn’t get any wackier along comes an off-the-wall music combo which looks set to give Scottish folk music a whole new meaning: Celtic rock band Whisky Chaser.”
“It was in the summer of 2004 that vocalist-guitarist John “Fanny” Adams got together with drummer Wal, vocalist-penny whistler Klaire and vocalist-guitarist Will over a few pints, and began to experiment with music of a decidedly folkish feel. At first they leaned toward the Irish side of Celtic, but with the arrival of bagpipes-bohdran-mandolin supremo, Stripey McDoog, and bassist-vocalist James, the band’s focus shifted North of the Border.”
Sadly, Will has since gone on to other pastures but the core of the band remains and bravely carries on.
Anyway, the disc is really a cover of other tunes, some being traditional. There’s nothing you may not have heard elsewhere but who doesn’t do that now? I mean, everyone covers somethin’ now and again.
On to the disc then…
At the start you’re greeted by the spirited pipes of Doog “Stripey” Grant into a jaunty version of “Scotland The Brave” which leads to a rousing cover of “Leaving Of Liverpool”. The oft done “Whiskey In The Jar” is next with a punkish slant featuring Klaire on the whistle followed by a heart-felt rendition of “The Skye Boat Song”.
This could well be the signature song of the disc if not for the nicely done “Wild Mountain Thyme” and “The Torch” ably done here with the afore mentioned Will and Klaire on vocals. This is a nice change a pace and bridge for the disc.
From here we get to the faithfully done Dropkick Murphys “Heroes Of Our Past” which takes us to “Amazing Grace” which always leaves one with a tear in the eye as it’s done here even with a bit of an edge. The disc wraps up with a nice version of “The Wild Rover”.
So, I know what you’re thinkin’…who the hell is Whisky Chaser and how the feck did they make the Shite n Onions top ten?
Well, I’ll tell yas…
Simply put…heart and a sound everyone likes. There’s nothing new here, no argument there but they’re here because they play with conviction and they love what they do. And while the CD is good, their real strength is in their live show. They’ve played with some damned good bands, most notibly Neck. They pull out the stops each and every night no matter how big the crowd and give it all they’ve got.
They’re what most of us like in a band and they do a bang up job doing what they do. They’re like us given what they like, the way they play and they entertain us and what more can we ask for, really?
If you get the chance to see this lot live, go ahead and do it. You won’t be cheated. They’re great folk that put their hearts into it and it’s definately worth it.
“One thing’s for certain…the image of the lone piper will never be quite the same once you’ve seen Whisky Chaser explode into a mad blur of tartan, kilts, sporrans and bagpipes.” Having seen them, I can attest to that!
Review – The Blackstuff