Dropkick Murphys’ Live on St. Patrick’s Day

cover art, Live On St Patrick's DayI suppose if you want to go from the sublime to the ridiculous, this album might just do it for you. I had heard some good reports about this band from my youngest son, who has seen them live at the Leeds Festival. You have to face up to it: you either like punk/thrash rock music or you don’t. Dropkick Murphys take on from where The Pogues or The Family Mahone leave off.

The album was recorded live on a recent St Patrick’s Day at the Avalon Ballroom in Boston, Massachusetts. This surprised me a little, because the overall sound is that of an open-air festival type concert. The sound quality and mixing could have been a lot better, especially in a confined space like a ballroom. Having said that, with this type of music, I don’t suppose it matters much. Throughout the album, the band is obviously having a great time as are the audience, who are obviously up for it. I can only imagine that one or two glasses of sherbet have been consumed beforehand, with it being St. Patrick’s Day! And they are playing before their home crowd.

There are no fewer than 26 tracks on this album, with many traditional folk songs thrown in; not that you need to know that, for many of the words are indecipherable, as are the tunes. But this is the nature of punk rock as it is, blended into a kind of very loud, chaotic, rhythmless mix. You might say, “It’s so bad it’s brilliant!” Songs like ‘Rocky Road to Dublin’, ‘Finnegan’s Wake’, ‘Wild Rover’, ‘Amazing Grace’, and ‘Gang’s All Here’, all go under the hammer with this band — nothing is sacred. However I did rather like the songs ‘Dirty Water’, ‘Nutty’, and ‘Spicy McHaggis Jig’.

I suspect other albums by the band are much better than this one, but it does have that certain live appeal that I like. Gary has recently cast an ear over their 2005 album The Warrior’s Code.

So if you are up for a bit of fun, or perhaps you were there on the night and just want a souvenir of the evening, well, this one’s for you.

(Hellcat, 2002)

Peter Massey

Born in 1945, Peter Massey, Senior Writer, is now living in the city of Chester, England with his wife Sandra. Now medically retired he worked for 35 years in the shoe business. He has been a semi-professional musician and singer performing mainly traditional / contemporary folk songs for over 38 years as part of the duo (and sometimes trio) 'The Marrowbones'. His musical interest started at the age of 14 with Rock 'n' Roll and by the time his seventeenth birthday came along he was already playing rock 'n' roll and R&B in and around the local dance venues and clubs such as the Cavern in Liverpool. Thankfully he was saved from the evils of rock 'n' roll when he discovered real music and folk clubs. His collection of recordings houses over 3500 folk songs alone. Other interests and hobbies include Computers and Amateur Radio (he has a class A G4 call sign) His latest project is 'The Little Room Studio' dedicated to making 'live' recordings of folk artists and producing their work on to CD using a portable digital recording studio. To date he has written and composed over 12 folk songs and co-wrote with Gordon Morris another 10 that have been recorded on CD. The song writing has continued and they have another 10 songs in the pipeline not yet recorded to CD. Favourite music / bands at the moment are Steeleye Span, The Battlefield Band, Little Johnny England and Fairport Convention, (in that order), and much admires the work of Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson, Roy Bailey, Vin Garbutt, and Bob Fox, to name but a few! You can visit the crummy Web site here and read about The Marrowbones and how to get your free songbook.

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