The Pogues Announce Bluesfest Sideshows

The Pogues

Contrary to some international reports Irish folk-punk-rockers The Pogues have announced two sideshows when they hit the country for Bluesfest next year.

The Pogues (Shane MacGowan, Jem Finer, Spider Stacy, James Fearnley, Darryl Hunt, Andrew Ranken, Philip Chevron and Terry Woods), will be stopping by Sydney and Melbourne during their visit with tickets going on sale on the 11th November. The full list of dates are below:

Wednesday 4th April – Festival Hall Melbourne
Sunday 8th April – Byron Bay Bluesfest
Wednesday 11th April – Hordern Pavilion Sydney

Full First Lineup Announcement for Bluesfest 2012

Image Courtesy of Bluesfest

Following on from the “leak” earlier it seems we now have the full first announcement for next year’s Byron Bay Bluefest. Are you ready?

Roger Daltry (The Who), Earth Wind and Fire, The Pogues, John Butler Trio, My Morning Jacket, G3 (Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Steve Lukather), Yes, Buddy Guy, Maceo Parker, Brian Setzer’s Rockabilly Riot, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Yann Teirsen, Bettye Lavette, Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle, Trombone Shorty, Great Big Sea, The Jayhawks.

No mention of John Fogerty who was in the original leak but still a hell of a lineup. And it will only get bigger and better from here we think!

Whiskey in the Jar: A Drunken St Patrick’s Day Playlist

Ben David
Image Courtesy of Ben David

We asked Ben David, front man of Adelaide folk-punks The Thieves, to order himself a pint of Guinness and give us a list of his favourite Irish drinking songs for St Patrick’s day. The results speak for themselves – and if you’re not a fan of bad language and drunken revelry we recommend you click away now.

Drinkin’ Drinkin’ Drinkin’ Drinkin’ Drink Til’ You Throw Up!

A bottle of Jameson in one hand and pint of Guinness in the other. A drunken mouth, aching to sing at the top of yer’ lungs. All the words that you don’t know to the songs you are too drunk to remember. An out of tune acoustic guitar and beaten up banjo. A stolen Mandolin and a drunken choir of the whole town young and old.

This is what i like to think it would of been like years ago at your local irish pub, (you know before The Pussycat Dolls and Kei$ha signed a deal with PJ O’Briens – the finest in hip and happening irish pubs)

So lets drink to forget what we won’t remember. Keep the folklore flame alive and learn a thing or two from Irish. Drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and fight.

Happy St Patrick’s Day – Drink Your Guts Up Tonight

Here’s some of my favourite Irish and Irish influenced drinking songs from yesterday and today. Enjoy!!!!

11. “Sally MacLenanne” – The Pogues
“So buy me beer and whiskey cos I’m going far away” another Shane McGowan hit. Not one of the Pogues’ biggest hits but definitely one of their best.

10. “Kiss me, I’m Shitfaced” – Dropkick Murphys
Honest as all hell punk-rock-Irish by Dropkick Murphys. Being drunk and being everything your not, getting laid and passing out alone. A few American quotes here but fuck it let’s get drunk.

9. “Dirty Glass” – Dropkick Murphys
Dropkick Murphys featuring the female stylings of Stephanie Dougherty of Deadly Sins. A kick ass duet for that special someone who drives you right up the boozer…

8. “Barroom Hero” – Dropkick Murphys
Another Dropkicks pearler so sing your guts out ‘n’ raise those dirty glasses for your local barroom heros.

7. “Fuck You I’m Drunk” – Various (feat. Flogging Molly)
“And I’m gonna be drunk til the next time I’m drunk”

6. “Dirty Old Town” – The Pogues
Traditionally an English song written by Ewan MacColl in 1949. The Dubliners adapted it but here it is by The Pogues. “Chop her down like an old dead tree”.

5. “Bound for South Australia” – Traditional (feat. The Thieves)
Packing up and leaving home. Bound for South Australia. What a state and what a Country. Grab a pint and grab a brother. The best Patriotic sing along i know to date. Possibly the unrecognised national anthem. “Heave Away, Haul Away”.

4. “If I Should Fall from Grace with God” – The Pogues
I’ve said too much.

3. “Drunken Lullabies” – Flogging Molly
Flogging Molly, as Irish as you can get, kick ass song to sing to, drink to, skate to, fu** to and fight to. Banjo driven and full of balls. If you don’t know this song, you’re shit.

2. The Belfast Mill – The Fureys
Storytelling at its best. Thanks Ben and Simon (The Timbers) for this one. A favourite from the very first breathe. Surprise is, no reference to drinking. Just a kick ass song.

1. “Seven Drunken Nights” – The Dubliners
My personal favourite. “As I came home on Sunday night as drunk as drunk can be, I saw a thing inside her thing where my old thing should be. So i called me wife and said to her would you kindly tell to me who owns that thing inside your thing where my old thing should be. Your drunk your drunk you silly old fool still you cannot see, that’s just a tin whistle that mother sent to me”. I have heard versions of this track, some missing the last 2 verses (the best 2 verses). Make sure you check out all seven nights. Leaving nothing to the imagination, once again for the special two timing son a bitch you fell for. I know I’ll shore as hell drink to that.

So happy St Patrick’s Day. I’ll meet you in the gutter…

Ben DavidThe Thieves

Spotlight On: William Elliott Whitmore

Image courtesy of William Elliott Whitmore

Don’t you just love it when an artist’s voice in no way matches their appearance? I was expecting William Elliott Whitmore to be a 50 something overweight African-American with greying stubble and a limp. Instead I found a skinny 30 something man with white skin regularly interrupted by bad-ass tattoos. A musical anomaly, there is no doubt; this honky’s got soul.

William Elliott Whitmore produces bluesy, soulful folk songs made unique by his deep and raspy voice, which comes with all the persuasion of a bygone era. I find Whitmore‘s music to be well balanced. With a voice such as his it would be easy to get bogged down in re-creationism, which could only lead to becoming gimmicky and stale. Like a lot of the music I enjoy, Whitmore does new things with old flavours. A particular favourite of mine is the song “Mutiny”, which is the first track from his 2009 album Animals in the Dark. The 4 minute song is made up of entirely vocals and percussion, and is themed around the age-old idea of the masses overthrowing tyranny. How often is a song actually convincing enough to empower a person, and for a fleeting moment, restore one’s belief in humanity? I must say, after one listen I was ready for revolution. The beauty of it is that Whitmore is not just another old guy in your local pub showing off his old-time stylings to half a dozen drunken, disenchanted men; Whitmore‘s music actually stands tall enough on its own right to be enjoyed by a young and global audience. Proof of this is his touring with the likes of City & Colour, Frank Turner, The Pogues and Frontier Ruckus.

Whitmore still lives on the family farm in Iowa where he was born, and apparently receives most of his inspiration whilst out working the land (which brings a whole new meaning to the term “roots music”). Having been a recording artist for over a decade, it looks as though William Elliott Whitmore‘s best years are ahead of him. His latest release is my favourite one, and the incredible sharing power of the internet will ensure that Whitmore‘s remote and isolated habitat should cast no hindrance on the success of his future releases.

Country of Origin: America

Sounds Like: Ray Charles with a banjo

File Under: Americana, Roots, Soul, Blues, Folk



The Best Christmas Songs of 2010


One of the greatest, kitschiest parts of the whole Christmas experience is that of the Christmas song. And given that folk music has been intrinsically linked to Christmas from the very beginning (most of the best loved Christmas songs from “Jingle Bells” to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” are in fact traditional folk songs) we thought it was our duty to share some of the best folk-tinged holiday tunes released this year. So turn on your twinkly lights, make sure your eggnog is nice and strong and prepare yourself to get into the Christmas spirit.

The Priests feat. Shane MacGowan – “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth”
The Pogues’ Shane MacGown was involved in probably the best modern Christmas song of a generation. Sadly this isn’t it. But it is certainly a different take on the classic Christmas song “Little Drummer Boy”. Although there’s something about teaming a group of opera singing priests with Ireland’s most famous drunk that sounds a little too close to a plot from Father Ted

Kate Miller-Heidke – “White Wine in the Sun”
What got lost in the controversy surrounding Kate Miller-Heidke’s version of Tim Minchin’s ode to Christmas Day is just how perfectly it captures the Australian holiday experience. No matter where you sit on the religion fence you have to admit that “White Wine in the Sun” really is exceptionally touching.

Paul Simon – “Getting Ready For Christmas Day”
We have to warn you – Paul Simon’s Christmas song is very … earnest. But it’s free to download from his web site so if you like what you hear you don’t have to go far to own it.

Emily & The Woods – “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”
Our favourite UK folk blog For Folk’s Sake have released their first ever Christmas album titled For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas. It’s jam packed full of awesome indie folk goodness but one of the best has to be this gem from Emily & The Woods. Just simple vocals and guitar. Gorgeous.

Sufjan Stevens – “Silent Night”
Sufjan Stevens has never been one to shy away from Christmas songs and this year is no different. This version of “Silent Night” also features Aaron and Bryce Dessner from The National and Richard Parry from Arcade Fire (I’m pretty sure you can’t get any more indie than that) and is part of an unreleased EP titled Gloria! Songs for Christmas Vol. 6 that you can listen to here.

John Conolly – “I Am Christmas”
For the tradionalists amongst you “Fiddler’s Green” writer John Conolly has produced the lovely “I Am Christmas” from his album The Grumpy Old Men of Old England.

Liz Frencham – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
According to the YouTube blurb for this track “This is what happens when you get Vince & Tan for an afternoon close to Christmas and then you add some beer & Sauv Blanc”. It’s kitsch and Christmassy and just wonderful.

And if that’s not enough for you make sure you head over to A Folk Song A Day where Jon Boden has been featuring some of the best in traditional Christmas music.

Merry Christmas!

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