Friday, 10 February 2012

Dropkick Murphys- Liverpool 02 Academey Feb 8 2012

DROPKICK MURPHYS Liverpool 02 Academy
The Dropkick Murphy’s are mysteriously not so well known in Liverpool. Here’s a band who celebrate the underdog/the working classes and trade union values (things Liverpool prides itself on) but very few of my English and Irish friends seem to be aware of them…and also, considering the majority of my friends come from Irish descent, love Irish music (from Christy Moore, to the Dubliners, to the Pogues) and punk……and the Dropkick Murphy’s play a crossover of punk and traditional Irish tunes…not many have followed me in my decade long obsession with this band. It seems that the trad Irish fans find them too punky and the punks don’t get the influx of Irish-ness. It can’t be because they aren’t from Ireland as most of me mates loved the Pogues, and everyone knows that the majority of that band were actually English. To be honest, I don’t give a shite.
The Dropkick Murphy’s are fucking brilliant…and recorded the finest version of Fields of Athenry that I’ve ever heard. They’ve recorded with the Dubliners, Shane McGowan and Bruce Springsteen to name but a few. They’ve covered Stiff little Fingers, The Dubliners, Woody Guthrie and hundreds of Traditional Irish classics Like The Wild Rover, The Rocky road to Dublin, Finnegan’s wake and the aforementioned Fields of Athenry. But its their own songs that set them apart from the 1000’s of other bands and musicians who follow the Irish path. Rip roaring Songs like The Dirty Glass , Captain Kelly’s kitchen, Caught in a jar, boys from the Docks, barroom hero, Road of The Righteous, bastards on parade Shipping up to Boston etc…with their pro trade unions and anti establishment odes, they just demand to be sang along to with treble Jameson’s in hand.
And so it was, with a few treble Jameson’s consumed, that I headed to the 02. To make it even more memorable it was the 1st time I’d been out for a drink with, and gone to a gig with my 17 year old daughter Charlie..and my wonderful niece, Laura (both of whom have no doubt been subliminally forced to love The Dropkick Murphy’s after a decade of having to listen to them in me car, or at 3 in the morning at the weekend when I’ve had a few too many). Unfortunately my mate Paul was a no show, after he received the devastating and tragic news…….......that his son had got a school report that didn’t live up to his expectations….all of our thoughts are with you during this stressful time mate (in case this isn’t blindingly obvious, I am being fuckin sarcastic here!)

The first thing I noticed on the night was the surprising amount of people going who weren’t from Liverpool. In the Head of steam Pub, before the gig, I met people from Middleborough, Bradford, Barnsley and, bizarrely, Philadelphia who had travelled to Liverpool specifically for this gig. After loading up with whiskey and beers we headed up to the 02. Unfortunately I missed the first support act, Bible code Sundays, a new very promising London based celtic rock band, who who have already amassed a loyal following. I was really looking forward to seeing them. Gutted. Check them out here
Next up were American band, The Bouncing Souls,( ) who were quite good. They reminded me a bit of Rancid, but with less variation
Some 20 minutes or so after the Bouncing Souls lbounced off stage, Dropkick Murphy’s entered the arena to a tumultuous welcome from the sell out crowd and launched into a riotous “Hang em high”, from their 2011 album Going Out In Style. This fat old man was immediately moved to dancing and singing along with his niece and daughter and 99% of the crowd (some miserable cunt behind me never cracked a smile, never mind sang along!)..and set the tone for the rest of the evening. A blistering set had the crowd on fire. A mixture of songs covering their whole career interspersed between songs from the Going out in style album satisfied old fans and new. We had tried to guess the set list based on their recent shows in Europe, but we were hopelessly (and delightedly) wrong . We had, Barroom hero, The gangs all here, peg o' my heart, Citizen CIA, boys on the docks, take the bastards down, going out in style, Shipping up to Boston and the irish rover..all performed immaculately at break-net speed. However, what sets apart a great gig from an amazing gig is those stand out moments that make a punter think “I’ll never forget this”…and this gig had them by the score. For me, a throwback to their punkier days “skinhead on the MBTA” had me in raptures…and then the was the part when main Dropkick, ken Casey acknowledged the night…and the new connections between the band and Liverpool (the Dropkicks hail from Boston, and are rabid Boston red sox fans…The red sox are now owned by John W Henry…who bought the red sox and after a period in the doldrums helped them win their first world series since 1918..the same John W Henry who has now bought Liverpool FC and is hoping he can help break Liverpool’s Premier League duck and win their 1st title since they last won it back in 1990. In honour of the world series triumph, Dropkick Murphy’s reinvented the red sox fans anthem, Tessie and played it live in the world famous Fenway Park stadium…so in recognition of the connections we got (something along the lines of) “Fuck me! What a night!…why the hell don’t we play Liverpool more often??…..especially as we now have this new connection with John W Henry, the Red sox and honour that we’re gonna play two songs just for tonight” this was met by cheers from reds, and pantomime boo’s from the bluenoses, then the Murphy’s burst into Tessie and a wonderful version of Fields of Athenry that brought tears to my eyes.. For me though, the highlight of the night was a barnstorming version of Johnny I hardly Knew ya (Harroo!) that just defied you not to chant along with it (I think even auld fuckin’ misery guts behind me even managed a Harroo! or two!) To cap it all, during the encore when a massive section of the female section of the audience invaded the stage for kiss me I’m shitfaced, my daughter was high jacked and sent crowd surfing as she tried to get to the stage! By the end of the night we were we merry as fuck, voices hoarse from singing and completely exhilarated. This could not have been further from a Mumford and sons gig than you could ever imagine ..and Thank fuck for that! Boss night.
Full set list;-
Hang 'Em High
Sunday Hardcore Matinee
The Gang's All Here
Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
Deeds Not Words
Climbing a Chair To Bed
Fields of Athenry

Going Out In Style
Barroom Hero
The Warrior's Code
Take 'Em Down
Devil's Brigade
Boys on the Docks
The State of Massachusetts
Peg O' My Heart
Heroes From Our Past
Broken Hymns
The Irish Rover
Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced
Skinhead on the MBTA
Citizen C.I.A

No comments:

Post a Comment