Live at Cockpit on Saturday, 17th May 2003
Now you know you're in for a good night when the stage is awash with cans of Guinness even before seven downtown LA agro Celt merchants take to the stage. Before a note is played the atmosphere is electric, and you can just sense that the 300+ crowd are in for 90 minutes of Guinness-soaked fun. True. Flogging Molly tell real stories, their music backing up real life experiences that you just know actually happened. No nonsense made-up rubbish here, no sir! The day the King of the Kilburn High (that's a road by the way) left for London - "Oh Mary, this London's a wonderful sight" - to the fist raised rebels of the Sacred Heart - to a song dedicated to the worst day since yesterday, an ode to the girl every man takes home after a drunken night out: Miss Hangover. When you are good storytellers, you have a great platform from which to preach to those who are hanging on your every word and I always thought politics reached out to youth better through music; an opportunity that Flogging Molly don't intend to miss and tonight is a point in case: left wing anti (any) war rompathon Drunken Lullabies, the title track from one of the albums of 2002, receives a roar as it is dedicated to world peace - "Must it take a life for hateful eyes to glisten once again". All of this and we haven't even discussed what Flogging Molly sound like? Does it matter? Well, ok, so there's an accordion; a tin whistle; a mandolin; a fiddle and the usual guitars, bass and drums. Put together and you get a riotous punk rock show from a classic mainland Irish point of view. Which aspect is more prominent, should I put that the other way around? Celtic rock band do punk. Whatever, you just know it's fun! Ace.
Before this Molly spectacular, we witnessed a ska-less Mr Shiraz. Well, ska-reduced more like. And it sounds great. It's been over a year, must be nearing two now, since I last saw them and my god have they matured. The brass section has been restricted and the mental metal aspects have been brought more to the fore. It's party time on stage - as it usually is with Mr Shiraz - but this time around, you know, there's a little sparkle to the show. They really mean it and they've tightened up tenfold. Great songs to boot, and a new single out soon.