Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I'm On Point.

Sweet baby Jesus, am I actually going to get a music Wednesday to myself? Oh man, this rules.

I had a couple of days off sick the other week. On the second day of snot and sleeping I woke up with Dicey Reilly in my head.

When folks think of Irish influenced-punk, they go immediately to The Pogues, which is fair enough, and who we'll talk about later, but really, it all began with The Dubliners. They were among the first to use traditional music to talk about alcoholism, female desire (and infidelity!), and gambling your days away. Their lyrics read like a Bukowski novel. Definitely not to be written off just because your parents like them.

And then, of course, a good Irish lad by the name of Shane MacGowan fell in with some London punks, got drunk, and figured he could meld the music of his childhood with the music he was surrounded by.

Incidentally, though not chronologically consistent, this is probably where Melbourne band Mutiny stylistically fits best. Man, I saw these guys play so often in the late 90s. Though they're still allegedly an ongoing concern, they aren't the same band these days. Still, this rules.

As time went on, the punk became more prevalent in folk-punk, even if the bands in question were covering traditional songs.

The Dropkick Murphys, unquestionably a terrible band, whose lyrics were largely summed up by Little Sean as "Let's drink beer and we'll be mates, and solidarity is really great", were also singlehandedly responsible for me knowing all the words to The Wild Rover. This knowledge was inevitably called into use in any pub throughout Ireland, minutes after I'd already offended all and sundry by refusing a pint.

Once I went to see this traditional Irish band play on St Patrick's day, because it seemed like the thing to do. Folks were wearing green hair and badges that said "Kiss Me, I'm Irish." I kinda thought the whole scene was pretty naff, until the band launched into a version of this song, played on the bodhran, tin whistle, mandolin and fiddle. Then I threw down like it was 1999. Oh, wait, I think it was.

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