The Mahones
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The Mahones

Toronto, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 1990 | INDIE | AFM

Toronto, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 1990
Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Album Review: The Mahones – “The Very Best: 25 Years of Irish Punk”"

The Mahones have had a lasting impact on the world of Irish punk. Since their start on Saint Patrick’s Day 1990, they have been one of the hardest working and most successful bands in their genre.

With the announcement of their career-spanning compilation album titled “The Very Best: 25 Years of Irish Punk”; we here at Dying Scene thought we should take some time and tell you what we think.

The album is a collection of the finest from The Mahones throughout their career and with 18 songs to choose from on the album, you’d be crazy not to find one that you like. With songs that have becomes staples in a punk’s playlist, both young and old, the band has summed up their 25 years of experience into one excellent album. Now I know what you are thinking, revisiting and re-recording the classics could change the way they sound after all of these years. Let me assure you, these guys haven’t lost a 4/4 beat; and I will do my best to give you some insight in the short time we have together.

The album starts off strong with a re-release their track “A Great Night on the Lash”, a song all about drinking, making noise, and having a good time. The raw emotion from the first rendition has easily carried over to the new recording, letting you share in the pandemonium of a long night/early morning out with the band. It kicks just as much ass as the first version and is a great way to get you in the mindset for a nice thick beer. Overall, this song was already a classic for me, but the revisited version is just as good and will put your mind in a barstool next to a slumping irishman.

The next few tracks on the album give you a strong taste of authentic Irish sound. Heavy fiddle, flute, and accordion give that almost folky vibe to the punk chugs and chanting that they accompany. The straight-fowardness of the drums mixed with the multiple layers of instruments and countermelodies give you something to bop your head to and something to smile about.

One song I particularly liked on the album was “Streets of New York”. It brings that slow side to punk that makes the speed hit so heavy. The song brings the feel of that waltzy ¾ time traditional of Irish folktales. The song was good when it was first released on their album “Paint the Town Red”, but since then you can tell the band has really embraced the song because the version on the new album has a passion and soul in it that you can only get from living the Irish punk scene.

Their song “Past the Pint of No Return” was probably my favorite on the new album. The original version has a upbeat, rushed feeling which, for some older bands, can be tough to keep going after all these years. I thought The Mahones did an excellent job keeping that feel in this song while putting a little bit more wisdom and soul into how it is performed. It seems that the band grew with the song and it shows in the music. Also, it’s always awesome to hear someone rip out a fiddle solo mid-song!

Overall thoughts: The album as a whole is one of those ones you listen to straight through. When I sat down to write this piece, I wanted to get a taste of the new sound and to hear some songs I haven’t heard before. I started the album at the top and I didn’t touch the skip button once before it was over. It is easily listenable and doesn’t beat you over the head with the irish or the punk; the nice mix of both give the album a spice, but the garnish doesn’t overpower the flavor of the music or of the messages. They have a genre, and they do it well, but they frequently pull from other genres to give variance to what, for some, can be a slightly repetitious sound.

The album contains a passion that you can only get from performing for 25 years, and it shows up in force for this ‘greatest hits’ album. Overall, I rate it a 4.5. It is definitely worth the attention, if not for the true professionalism of a timeless Irish punk group, then for the awesome music that this group puts out. - Dying Scene

"The Mahones Mark 25th Anniversary"

KINGSTON — When Finny McConnell cobbled together a group of friends back in 1990 for a St. Paddy’s Day gig at the Toucan pub in downtown Kingston, he thought it would be a one-off performance.

“Our first setlist back in 1990 was basically 30 Dubliners songs,” McConnell recalled with a laugh in reference to the prolific 1960s Irish folk group.

The other band he was in at the time, the punk outfit The Reckoning, had an album’s worth of material and were hoping to record it, but that plan was soon shelved.

“People wanted to book The Mahones and they wanted me to play this music,” said McConnell, who had just returned from a five-year stint in England, where he learned to write songs. “There comes a point in life where you have to listen to your audience a little bit. ‘Follow the yellow brick road’ is the term I used back then. Sometimes whether you know it or not, you’re good at something. … You know what? They want me to play Irish music, and I do it pretty damn good. I do it faster and more furiously than anybody else does it.”

And so The Mahones were born, and this year marks its 25th anniversary. The band, whom many consider Irish punk pioneers, plays in Kingston Friday.

McConnell hadn’t been particularly keen on Irish music when he was younger, having grown up above the Frontenac Hotel, which, at the time, housed two pubs that featured Irish music.

“It wasn’t my favourite music because I was young at the time and rebellious, right? I was listening to punk and rock and all that instead,” he suggested.

“And then I got a taste for it when I was in England, seeing the Pogues and Waterboys in the early days of Celtic music and Irish punk. That’s why The Mahones were one of the first bands to play it in North America, because nobody was doing it at the time.”

The band released a number of albums in the ensuing years and saw its lineup change as band members grew older, grew tired or other priorities came to the fore.

“I’ve been the captain of the ship the whole time, though, that’s for sure,” chuckled McConnell.

While they have had some of their songs appear on soundtracks — including having their song “Paint the Town Red” on the Oscar-winning film The Fighter, in which they even received a “shout-out” — the group has never had a hit single or received much in the way of radio play.

“All the work that The Mahones did over the past 25 years was really all grassroots, word-of-mouth, on-the-street touring,” recalled the Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute alum, who first toured with a cover band called The Filters.

About five years and three albums ago, the band has finally found the groove McConnell had been seeking.

The Mahones of the 1990s played in the vein of the Waterboys and Pogues. In the 2000s, The Mahones play a rawer, edgier punk sound, he said, which has become popular.

“Over the years, the band was evolving, looking for a sound and stuff. Lineup changes, style changes,” he said. “I think when I did the Black Irish album, I really found the sound I had been looking for. It’s kind of been consistent since then — half Irish, half punk rock, that nicely mix together. We don’t sound like the Pogues or the Waterboys anymore, we sound like ourselves now.”

The band’s last three studio efforts garnered album of the year awards in their genre, McConnell pointed out.

“It’s nice that the band is finally getting international recognition,” he suggested. “Remember, we started in Kingston, which is one of the most difficult places to start as a band because there’s no industry there for us. And then we started in Canada, which is another difficult place to start. We’re not from Boston or New York or L.A., you know.”

The band is set to release the second half its concept album — he has always been a prog rock, Who fan, McConnell said, and he has been waiting 20 years to record one — called The Hunger and The Thirst next month.

“It was a concept album of the evolution of the music from Irish folk to Irish punk, and also the Irish people from way back through time to today,” he explained. And fittingly, the last track on the first half of the album, which is more folk-focused, ends with The Mahones first playing that first gig at the Toucan all those years ago.

Not wanting to overshadow their new work, McConnell hasn’t announced plans about how he will mark the band’s silver anniversary.

“Looking back at it, yes, it’s been crazy. I haven’t done anything to celebrate yet, though, but I do have a plan and I might as well tell you first because it’s Kingston,” he said with a laugh.

“Probably in December I’m going to go to Ireland and do the recording of a bunch of the old stuff over 25 years, and do something special. Maybe do a film and a tour and some studio stuff and live stuff. I hope to release it in February and do something special for the anniversary, you know?”

What started as a one-off gig has turned into a quarter-century career.

“We’ve played more places and done more things than most bands will ever do,” he said. “We’ve toured more countries than most Canadian bands ever have. We’re really known around the world now. We’re at the top of the genre. I don’t count the years, I’m just looking forward to new projects and new music all of the time.” - Whig-Standard

"Album Review: The Mahones – ‘The Very Best: 25 Years Of Irish Punk’"

The Mahones are a Canadian Irish-punk band, formed in 1990 by Dublin-born Finny McConnell, as a one-off band for a St. Patrick’s Day party. Encouraged by a positive reception, McConnell decided to pursue the band full-time and I for one am thankful. I have seen this band numerous times when I still lived in Canada, mostly in small venues and have talked to Finny many times… well as raised a glass with. I really can’t believe that it’s been twenty five years now… do I ever feel old, but good times and memories.

On this collection we are treated to twenty one tracks that have been re-recorded for this collection, and that is why I didn’t give them a perfect score of 5/5, I loved how the originals sound and the different feel that each album had and would really show off the evolution of this band, but this way, you get to hear how they sound the way that they play them now. I did like the collection and the new recordings are pretty good, lots of energy and you can hear the progression of the band since the beginning, but I do miss the originals… ok, enough of me beating the dead horse. The band just seems to get tighter and more punk rock, if you can believe that, since most bands get wimpier and lose that edge, this band got sharper. The songs are a great mixture of fast-paced drinking, pogoing songs mixed with some slower songs to grab your sweetie and sway back and forth, so you will be able to keep most of your beer in the glass. Basically this is a party on a CD and as soon as you hit play, you have everything you need, minus the beer(s) for a great night. The songs are catchy, played with the love and energy that gets under your skin and gets you pumped up, and you can hear the emotion and dare I say, sweetness in Finny’s voice on the slow songs. Yes, even a raspy voice can be a little sweet.

This is an album that both long time fans and people that are trying to play catch up should buy and make sure that you buy some beer when you get this album. A great compilation/collection of great songs that stand up with the best bands, mostly because this is one of the best Irish punk bands around. LONG LIVE THE MAHONES! - New Noise Magazine

"Scruffy Wallace Joins The Mahones"

Bagpipe player Scruffy Wallace (Dropkick Murphys) has joined The Mahones. He will be recording the pipes on the Mahones new albums 25 Years of Irish Punk and 25 Years Of Irish Folk (The Very Best) and playing some shows with the band in Canada next month. Welcome aboard Scruffy!

The Mahones updated their fans via Facebook tonight:

We have HUGE news to announce! Our brother Scruffy Wallace has officially joined The Mahones.

Around 20 years ago, at a show in Calgary, Alberta, Scruffy joined The Mahones in exchange for beer and pizza. As soon as he did, he got the call to play bagpipes with Dropkick Murphys, and was gone for the next twelve years. We’re so stoked to have him back in the band!

Scruffy will be joining us in the studio right away to record on The Mahones’ upcoming releases, 25 Years of Irish Punk and 25 Years Of Irish Folk (The Very Best), featuring brand new re-recorded versions of our most popular songs over the past two and a half decades. We’ll follow that up with a brand new studio album for release in early 2017.

Scruffy will be returning to the stage with The Mahones for our upcoming St. Patrick’s run of shows in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and few more TBA, and a very special Veterans Benefit Show in Boston in early June…stay tuned for the details. Summer festival dates and a fall tour will also be announced soon!
We have some big news coming regarding those Best Of releases. Stay tuned, it’s gonna be a great year! - Read Junk

"The Mahones Return to Their Kingston Birthplace"

Known to many as one of Canada’s favorite Irish punk bands, the Mahones was birthed after a long night of drinking in Kingston’s Toucan Pub in 1990 between founding members Dublin-born frontman Finny McConnell and Andrew Brown.

And now the Canadian paddy-punk rockers – on a 20th anniversary world tour to promote their newest album “The Black Irish Album” – will be coming back to Kingston on June 17th to play The Mansion with openers ‘Continental’.

After the release of their debut album, “Draggin’ the Days” in 1994, the band has spent twenty years playing to hyped up crowds across North America and all over Europe, supporting their many albums which have produced such popular songs as “100 Bucks”, ”Rise Again”, “Take No Prisoners”, “Paint the Town Red”, and many more.

The band wrote a song called Celtic Pride for the 1996 film of the same name, which featured fellow Kingstonian Dan Akroyd. They have also collaborated with Johnny Fay and Gord Sinclair of the Tragically Hip, who co-produced and appeared on the 1999 album, The Hellfire Club Sessions.

The band continues to be led by Singer/Guitarist Finny McConnell, who rocks the stage with wife Katie McConnell on accordion, Dominic “The Bomb’ Whelan on drums, Sean Ryan on bass, and Sean Winter on banjo, mandolin and harmonica.

They have shared the stage with musicians ranging from fellow Irish rockers The Pogues, Flogging Molly, and the Dropkick Murphys, to legends like Billy Bragg, Sinead O’Connor and Van Morrison – and The Mahones continue to take part in many music festivals. - Kingston Herald

"The Mahones - The Very Best - 25 Years of Irish Punk"

My Celtic punk buddies up north, The Mahones, are celebrating 25 years of existence and have released a new best-of album! Instead of the usual compilation where you just have all the stand out tracks from other albums in one place, all the songs on this 25 Years of Irish Punk compilation have been re-recorded or updated.

With the 25th anniversary, the band plans on releasing a bunch of new releases besides this one, along with some extensive tours. The band has always been a tour machine, particularly in Europe so I’m sure they will hit your city in the future. If you’ve never witnessed a Mahones live show before, you’re in for a lively and chaotic set fronted by Finny and his wife Katie Kaboom.

The band have recently added former Dropkick Murphy piper/tin whistle player, Scruffy Wallace, to their lineup. The songs were in need of some bagpipes or tin whistle so Scruffy fits in well. He has an intro to start the album and then you can hear him throughout as well. The start of the album has great tracks like “A Great Night on the Lash,” “Paint The Town Red,” “Shakespeare Road,” and “Give It All Ya Got.” I love what the band has done with re-working their classic songs and their more recent tunes. This album sounds just like their live sets, which is rare for a band to recreate that. This album just sounds like mayhem….but in a good way! A perfect example of that is the track “Across the USA.”

My favorite songs off the new Best-Of album are stuff from the earlier years. It’s just interesting to see how the band has updated the tracks. The Mahones started out more folky Irish rock and have embraced the punk rock side of things in the later years. So it’s cool to see them give them a punk rock makeover with their current style. Carbon Leaf is another band that comes to mind, that have done this with their songs except they actually remade 2 of their albums. I like and dislike remaking full albums since it’s a pain to put on iPod and it’s like picking your favorite child. But since this is just a Best-Of, Mahones fans don’t really have to worry about that.

Other updated tracks that I liked include “Street of New York,” “One Last Shot,” “Angels & Devils,” “Down The Boozer” and “Drunken Lazy Bastard.” Hearing all these songs makes me want to see the Mahones play in NYC again. It will be especially cool to see Scruffy with the band now too. There are 21 tracks in all and any Celtic punk fan would be happy to own this album. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have the rest of their albums as well.

Bottom Line: This isn’t just your ordinary Best-Of album!
Notable Tracks: Paint The Town Red, Give It All Ya Got, Across the USA, Streets of New York, One Last Shot, Angels & Devils, Drunken Lazy Bastard - Read Junk


Discography - All Albums Available on iTunes

The Very Best: 25 Years of Irish Punk - 2016
The Hunger & The Fight Deluxe Edition - 2016
The Hunger & The Fight, Part Two - 2015
The Hunger & The Fight, Part One - 2014
A Great Night on the Lash: Live in Italy - 2014
Angels & Devils - 2012
The Black Irish - 2010
The Irish Punk Collection - 2008
Take No Prisoners - 2006
Paint The Town Red (The Best Of...) - 2003
Live At The Horseshoe - 2003
Here Comes Lucky - 2001
The Hellfire Club Sessions - 1999
Rise Again - 1996
Draggin' The Days - 1994



The Mahones The Irish Punk Brigade. Est. 1990
*2016 Nominee for Best Rock Album - The Independent Music Awards (The Hunger & The Fight Part 2)*2015 Winner for Best Album - Shite N Onions (The Hunger & The Fight Part 2)**2014 Winner for Best Celtic Punk Album - (The Hunger & The Fight)**2013 Sirius XM Independent Music Award Nominee – Best Punk Band**2012 Independent Music Award Winners for Best Punk Album (The Black Irish)*
From an Irish pub to an Academy Award winning movie: The Mahones have come a long way in 25 years. Heralded as pioneers of the Irish punk scene, and internationally recognized as one of the best and hardest working punk outfits around, The Mahones formed on St. Patrick's Day in 1990, and have been working on their own brand of Irish punk ever since. With a working class ethic and a love of classic punk, Dublin-born Finny McConnell formed the band to combine his love of punk rock with his Irish culture. Alongside McConnell are Katie Kaboom, Michael O’Grady, Sean Winter, and Sean "Riot" Ryan. In 2016, Scruffy Wallace re-joined The Mahones after 14 years with Dropkick Murphys.
The Mahones have released an incredible ten studio albums, three compilation albums, two live albums and two EPs. Their albums have featured many guest appearances, including Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers), Simon Townshend (The Who), Ken Casey and Rick Barton (Dropkick Murphys), Dave Baksh (Sum 41), Greg Keelor (Blue Rodeo), Tony Duggins (The Tossers), Johnny Fay and Gord Sinclair (The Tragically Hip), Ian D'Sa (Billy Talent), Mary Margaret O'Hara, Ian Blurton, Damhnait Doyle, Ian Thornley and Tara Slone. Their music has been featured everywhere. Their song “Paint the Town Red” was featured in the climactic final fight scene of the 2x Academy Award-winning film The Fighter. They’ve had songs in a slew of movies and TV shows, including Irving Welsh's Ecstasy, Dog Park, Celtic Pride, ABC’s Castle, Lost Girl, and many more.
The band has toured through 35 countries internationally, headlined festivals all over the world, and has been honoured to share a stage with nearly all of their favourite bands. The band grew from Irish pubs and punk squats, to halls, theatres and arenas, touring relentlessly since their start, and is famous for an incredible high-energy live show.
In 2016, The Mahones released a best of compilation: The Very Best (25 Years of Irish Punk) featuring brand new recordings of their classics songs on Whiskey Devil Records, and a deluxe version of their magnum opus The Hunger & The Fight, the first ever Irish punk double concept album that the band recently released to critical acclaim worldwide. In 2010, The Mahones started their own record label, Whiskey Devil Records, and have already released their past five albums through it, with major distribution worldwide (eOne, Wolverine Records). Sailor’s Grave Records will released The Mahones’ 2016 albums in the US.