The staggeringly brilliant … Flogging Molly!

November 11th, 2008 • Posted in Music, Recommendations |

This past Sunday I was lucky enough to catch Street Dogs, Skindred, and Flogging Molly in Bristol on the last UK date of their Eastpak Antidote Tour (unfortunately we turned up too late to see Time Again).  And I have to say, this was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in many, many years.

My mate Gary Greenwood and I spent a couple of hours in a pub first (I was driving … J20 is not my friend), then we went on to the gig, just in time to see Street Dogs‘ performance.  I’m a big fan of Fading American Dream, and I was looking forward to seeing them …. but I have to admit, I wasn’t quite prepared for how professional and polished these guys are, and what a fantastic perfromance they put on.  Lead singer Mike McColgan is a superb frontman, engaging the crowd from his first moment on stage to the last.  Their songs are fast, punchy and intelligent, and the audience were obviously heavily into them.  Gary and I stood about 20 feet from the stage, and from us forward was one big mosh pit.  They made some kid’s night by inviting him up on stage (it was his 18th birthday … he won’t forget this one in a while), then after the last song McColgan threw himself on the mercy of the audience.  Last I saw of him he was being carried away towards the bar, and maybe they’re still carrying him somewere down the M5 now …

I picked up their new album State of Grace after the gig, and it’s brilliant.  Go.  Buy it.  Back already?  Then let’s move on to ..

Skindred.  Again, the frontman was a true professional, having a real rapport with the audience from the start.  Didn’t realise that they’re from Newport, very close to where I live!  Their music is a merging of reggae, rap and thrash, and they put on a stunning show.  I was again struck by their professionalism – it’s unusual to go to a gig and see three such talented bands on the same line-up.  Good stuff: fast, powerful, brutal.

Now, then.  Flogging Molly.  I’ve been a fan for years.  Always wanted to see them, and now I’m kicking myself for not doing so sooner.  This is one of those gigs I’ll remember for a long, long time … and out of the hundreds I’ve seen, this is definitely one of the best.  They all have a great time on stage.  You really get the feeling that they’re enjoying themselves, and that can’t help but transfer to the audience.  And it did, big style.  The mosh pit grew, the jumping and singing was loud and exuberant, and the mix of songs they played – at least 6 songs from the first album Swagger, and just as many from the latest, Float – shows the consistent quality of the music this band’s putting out.  Dave King is a great frontman, chatty and funny, and he took that audience and made it his own.  They did such a slew of great songs that it’s difficult to pick out favourites: Within a Mile of Home, Drunken Lullabies, Float, Swagger, Salty Dig, Whistles the Wind, Seven Deadly Sins … fantastic.

Every album this band has produced is a classic, in my mind, from their first Swagger, then Drunken Lullabies, Within a Mile of Home, and the new album Float.  Then there’s the brilliant Whiskey on A Sunday, of course, which contains some fine acoustic and live versions of some of their best songs.

First encore?  Dave King on his own, acoustic guitar, couple of great songs … True class.

What more can I say?  Best gig in years.

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6 comments on “The staggeringly brilliant … Flogging Molly!”

  1. Ron Dickie says:

    I’m jealous as hell you got to see Flogging Molly! I’ve wanted to see them for years myself, but they rarely play anywhere near me. >:(

  2. Rich says:

    Sounds great! I’m going to see Rancid tonight at the Pyramid Centre in Portsmouth and if it’s half as good as that gig sounded, I’ll be well happy.

  3. Tim Lebbon says:

    Ron, I’d advise you to travel:-)

    Rich, hope Rancid were good!

  4. Jeff Coffield says:

    You’ve made me a fan just from your blog comments. Working on buying a couple of cd’s this week. They have had shows here in North Carolina in the past, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  5. Rich says:

    Rancid were very good!

    Pete and the Test Tube Babies on the other hand…well let’s just say it might be time to call it a day, lol.

    I’ll definitely check out some Flogging Molly, saw a lot of their t-shirts at the gig.


  6. Tim Lebbon says:

    Must check out Rancid, too.

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