- 06 Sep 19
James Fearnley put the time in with The Pogues and, if his excellent memoir Here Comes Everybody is anything to go by, even managed to remember most of it. He resurfaces here, in a punk-folk super group, with Flogging Molly’s Ted Hutt and Marc Orrell of Dropkick Murphys, two bands who, with the greatest of respect, wouldn’t exist if The Pogues hadn’t done it first. This conglomerate is therefore a good fit.
The music holds no surprises; it’s the kind of din you’d expect these men to make, which is fine by me. Opener ‘Lord Randall’s Bastard Son’ – there’s a title for you – kicks off with a roaring scream and things go steadily forward from there. I could go all thoughtful and tell you that it’s inspired by the same 17th century ballad that Dylan tapped for ‘A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall’ but it’s more fun to shout along as accordions, whistles and acoustic guitars race for the finish. Seo Yun’s tale of Eastern love could’ve fitted on Hell’s Ditch (The Pogues’ finest hour), and ‘Will You Go Lassie Go’ and ‘The Story’ are as rousing as an after hours pub sing-song.
‘A Meteor At A Time’ and ‘Old Tar Road To Sligo’ are in a similar vein, songs to be sung arm in arm with best friends, all sheets cast to the wind. ‘Here Comes The Ice’ finds our heroes freezing on the farm alongside the “cattle with their arses to the wind” but by the time things finish up with ‘Turned Out Nice Again’ “all the valleys will bloom again.”
If you were enamoured with the drunken joy of The Pogues in full flight - and who in their right mind wasn’t? - then this is the kind of atomic diddly-aye you’ve been waiting for. It’ll sound even better live, with a glass in your hand and a smile on your face.