Deaf Havana

Deaf Havana
‘Fools And Worthless Liars – Deluxe Edition’

I have to admit, when I first heard Deaf Havana‘s material after the departure of unclean vocalist Ryan Mellor, I couldn’t help but feel a bit disheartened. It really lacked the punk bite that their early work was full of. But eventually 2011’s ‘Fools And Worthless Liars‘ began to grow on me, and I’d happily put it up there as one of the most solid rock albums to come from the UK that year.

Via a short documentary put out in summer 2012, the band announced they would be re-releasing the album later this autumn. Rather than just doing some fancier album artwork and a couple of bonus tracks, Deaf Havana went the extra mile and re-recorded the whole thing. Ever the pessimist and never fully content, front man James Veck-Gilodi admitted he didn’t feel the album completely reflected his taste in music where as this re-release does.

All of the songs have been reworked, some slightly, others completely, making the album a totally different listen to the record that appeared first time around. Tracks that were previously acoustic are now performed as a full band and rockier numbers are now toned-down gems. Its beautiful. Lets pick a few stand out tracks to discuss…

Opener ‘The Past Six Years’ feels like its heavily influenced by Irish Rock (think Flogging Molly), and despite being a million miles away from DH records such as ‘It’s Called The Easy Life’ it gets this album off to an optimistic and quite literally stomping start. Piano and vocal track ‘Anemophobia’ is absolutely stunning. Broken down to structurally core elements, James Veck-Gilodi sounds vulnerable and desperate against the lonely notes. Its a heart wrenching performance that could connect with even the emptiest of souls. During ‘Hunstanton Pier’ the guitar tone adds nostalgia and brings the lyrical content to life, but its ‘I’m A Bore Mostly’ that epitomises why this album is a must have.

The recording process of using multiple microphones placed around an old warehouse is slightly bizarre but the effect it has on the track puts it into a different dimension. As the music reverberates through your speakers it feels as if you are there with James as he passionately performs. Even the sound of him slamming the door as he leaves the ‘studio’ is included on the track, a unique element that adds a personal touch to the piece, emphasising the emotion.

Again it has to be said, this isn’t Deaf Havana of old, but thats not a criticism. Its not their early punk/hardcore style, its not their most recent mainstream rock vibe, it’s something else. It is a showcase of the band’s (and in particular their dynamic front man’s) extraordinary talent. It is a touching album which has re-worked a commendable original into something worth treasuring.

Words: Emma Wallace

Flogging Molly live at the Garage

29/6/11

“We’re off to Greece this weekend – they won’t know what tear gas is until they’ve seen us!” cackles Flogging Molly frontman Dave King, shortly before his band rip into the barnstormer of a title track from recent album ‘Speed Of Darkness’. Flogging Molly have sold out far bigger London venues than the Garage, and although Dave’s frequent one-liners are hardly the stuff of comic genius, they do add to the sense of intimacy that just wouldn’t exist at, say, the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Let’s not forget, also, that Flogging Molly cut their teeth in small bars and clubs for quite a while before their hard work started to pay off, so tonight represents something of a return to their roots. By the time they hit the stage, the booze has been flowing freely for a good couple of hours, and the sing-along for the opening ‘The Likes Of You Again’ is proof enough that the band’s loyal following hasn’t deserted them in their two-year absence from these shores.

There isn’t really much in the way of musical surprises on offer tonight, with a handful of newer songs on offer, plus most of the old favourites – the drum and banjo intro of ‘Drunken Lullabies’, in particular, inciting absolute mayhem amongst the increasingly sweaty and delighted crowd. Flogging Molly remain a true band of the people, and even if tonight sees them doing little more than what they usually do (albeit in a smaller setting), they still do it better than most other Celtic punk bands around today.

Alex Gosman

Flogging Molly announce UK tour

Flogging Molly have announced some UK tour dates for November.

The band, who released their new single ‘Revolution‘ this week are playing the venues listed below and you can get tickets from tomorrow [July 1st] at 9am on http://floggingmollytickets.sandbag.uk.com

Thursday 3rd – Portsmouth, Pyramid
Friday 4th – London, Forum
Saturday 5th – Manchester, Academy 2
Sunday 6th – Norwich, UAE
Monday 28th – Nottingham, Rock City
Tuesday 29th – Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
Wednesday 30th – Cardiff, Coal Exchange

Flogging Molly

‘Speed Of Darkness’
(Borstal Beat)

floggingmollyspeedofdarknessIf you’ve ever seen a Flogging Molly show, you’ll most likely agree that they were born to play live; a gloriously ramshackle brew of traditional Irish folk and punk rock that could get a dead horse jigging. It’s been just over a decade since the band released their debut album ‘Swagger’, and although the Celtic folk-punk genre hasn’t really evolved musically since then, it has become more popular – with a fair few bands arming themselves with fiddles and accordions and claiming dubious affinity with the Emerald Isle.

Flogging Molly frontman Dave King, however, has a genuine working-class Dublin background, and his oft-autobiographical style has infused his band’s music with a sense of authenticity and honesty that others lack. Granted, they’ve yet to make a truly amazing record – although 2002’s ‘Drunken Lullabies’ came close – but they are consistently good, and ‘Speed Of Darkness’ is a fine addition to the family.

Whereas previous album ‘Float’ had a largely upbeat tone, the, erm, darker outlook of ‘Speed Of Darkness’ should strike a chord with anyone feeling the pinch of our Coalition government’s cuts. “I’m a working man, without any work,” spits Dave on ‘Revolution’, before railing against the effects of urban decay on ‘Don’t Shut ‘Em Down’ and ‘The Power’ Out’. Yes, he’s pretty pissed off, but the tunes are memorable as ever; with the belter of a title track and ‘Saints And Sinners’ both potential live favourites.

The biggest surprise on offer here is the five-minute ‘The Cradle Of Humankind’, which builds slowly from a simple piano and accordion intro into an anthemic, guitar-laden song that should draw a sing-along from all the but the most churlish of listeners. ‘Speed Of Darkness’ may essentially be Flogging Molly doing what they always do, but they’re still doing it well.

Alex Gosman

Win tickets to see Flogging Molly at The Garage!

Flogging Molly will embarking on Europe in June and playing a one off exclusive, sold out show at the Garage in London on June 29th following their performance at Glastonbury Festival.

The band will be playing a set of classics amongst songs from their new album ‘Speed of Darkness‘ that is released on Monday 30th May so this is the last chance to get into that show with your best mate and also to take home signed albums and tee shirts for you and a friend. You can pick up the new album here.

To enter, answer this question below and don’t forget like the Crossfire Facebook page as we will contact you via Facebook only to let you know you have won on Monday June 20th.

You can also join Flogging Molly’s facebook page here!

[competition_18]

Flogging Molly launch video competition

Celtic punks Flogging Molly are splashing $4,000 on the winner of a brand new video competition that was launched today. The band have hooked up with Genero.tv giving film makers the opportunity to make the official music video for their next single so start thinking how you can win the loot as the competition closes on June 23rd.

The winning director will receive $4,000 US dollars and their video will be serviced to global media, including TV. The band will choose the finalist and winning videos themselves, with 2 entries also becoming finalists based on the number of Facebook likes.

Click here to find out more and enter and look out for a competition ext week to win a ticket to their Garage show in London, a rare treat for fans to see Matt Hensley and the rest of the band perform in front of a small crowd for the first time in ages. The show sold out within minutes so if you didn’t get one then come back here as we will have 2 pairs up for grabs with some other exclusive prizes.

New album Speed of Darkness will be released on 30th May.

Flogging Molly play one off show at the Garage

The wonderful Flogging Molly are returning to the UK to play a one off tiny show for fans on June 29th at the Garage in Highbury after their set at Glastonbury.

The band that skate legend Matt Hensley on piano and accordion have a new album scheduled called  ‘Speed of Darkness‘ which is the first album to be released on their own label after parting ways with Side One Dummy Records after an amazing relationship that lasted a decade.

We will have exclusive tickets to this one off show to give away in the coming weeks so look out for the chance to get into this on us. if you don’t want to risk waiting though, get tickets that are on sale from today. Watch the new video for ‘Dont Shut ‘Em Down’ here

Speed of Darkness will be released on 30th May.