The Pubcrawlers
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The Pubcrawlers

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF
Band Rock Punk

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""Another Night On The Floor" Review 09/05"

If New England became a nation unto itself (God knows it probably should be), its chief exports would include the following: clams, horrendous drivers, and Irish car-bombs. The latter has produced, in recent years, a slew of hard-drinking, jolly old Irishmen who picked up a few guitars on the way home from the local pub. All jigs aside, The Pubcrawlers are apparently true to their name. Their tales of whiskey, beer, and blue collar life are definitely suited for a spot in your favorite jukebox under Irish drinking songs. Perhaps it goes without saying that they’ve got the Irish Rover covered? The line-up is comprised of six individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Andy is on drums and bodhran, Chad plays guitar, Tony sings and plays bass, Kevin sings and plays mandolin, The Rabbi plays the tin whistle and accordion, and Seth plays guitar and the banjo. The band’s musical influences range from everything from Celtic to punk to metal. And if you ask me, they’re probably down with local legends the Big Bad Bollocks and the Dropkick Murphys as well.

The Pubcrawlers’ logo includes three extremely crucial things: a hot broad, a pint of Guinness, and a Celtic cross. Their music illustrates these elements further. “All for Me Grog” is about what happens when you spend all your hard-earned cash on booze, lassies, tobacco. It also incorporates other words that rhyme with grog that I didn’t know existed. “Boston Subway” exemplifies why Boston probably shouldn’t have a subway. But then, wasn’t public transportation made for drunken hooligans? One thing that stands out about the Crawlers’ is their musicianship and their ability to break it down, Celtic stylee in the middle of a song. I can’t play the mandolin, can you? It’s not everyday you come across a band who actually knows their stuff. And Celtic stuff at that.

As far as touring, the band has shared the stage with The Skels, Leftover Crack, and The Hudson Falcons. If you happen to by in the NYC area around, oh, say, 7pm on September 16th, The Pubcrawlers are playing a show at Connolly’s. If you’re lucky, maybe they’ll share some whiskey with you. But don’t count on it.
- Northeast In-Tune Magazine


""Another Night On The Floor" Review 09/05"

The Pubcrawlers have come a long way from their rough and ready first demo recorded a little over two years ago and while they band still retain that early enthusiasm they have come on in leaps and bounds as a band in terms of musical and studio skill - fans of straight ahead, no frills Celtic-Punk like The Porters, The Real McKenzies and Dropkick Murphys will certainly get a kick outta this and all others should keep an eye on 'em cos that classic is just around the corner. - ShitenOnions.com


"Live Review - Boston, 5/26/07"

A seven piece with tin whistle, bagpipe, and accordion, The Pubcrawlers hit the stage. Irish wakey punk with a dose of rock in style, they are definitely a step up song-wise. The drummer Andy is a tank whom I witnessed drinking directly from two pitchers of Guinness (Celt-style) yet is still somehow excellent. The singer has a great bassy rattling voice. They’re good. The tunes credited to their piper seem extra well done. I like the punk flavor; they can really pull it off. An impromptu tribute to their new guitarist shows a glimmer of classic rock ’n’ roll ability before they jump back into their Irish New England Celtic romp. The band can sure play, the singer can sure sing, the piper writes a mean song, and the drummer can certainly drink andstill perform exceptionally well; it’s a rip-roarin’ good time. - The Noise Magazine, Boston


""One Too Many" Is Never Enough"

This time of year always brings about a bunch of talk about the Irish, but we’ve really been inundated of late, no? From this whole sister-city-with-Bushmills contest to Jonathan Papelbon dancing a jig with the Dropkick Murphys every time you turn on the television to that silly story about the owner of Foley’s refusing to allow “Danny Boy” to be played (seriously, how did that last so long in the national news cycle?), we can’t seem to escape the Irish and their drinking, singing ways lately. Some ethnicities might oppose a reputation as a drinking, carousing, brawling bunch. Not so the Irish.

Just check the new release from the Pubcrawlers, One Too Many Again, yet another delicious blend (that’s a Jameson reference, people) of traditional bagpipe, accordion, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and tin whistle paired with a ferocious kick drum, thrumming bass, growling electric guitar, and a propensity to play at 150 bpm. You’ve got trainwrecks, shipwrecks, and plain old drunks all over the place, the ’crawlers mixing the morbid with the mundane while never having anything less than a blast.

The opening medley alone is densely packed with historical anecdote. A mash-up of “Itchy Fingers” and “Wreck of the Old ’97” with a delicately picked electric guitar segue, the opening bagpipes stand like a bulwark against digital music’s progress before being shoved aside by heavily distorted guitar chords. Though it’s a traditional Irish reel, it can’t help but recall the Rolling Stones outtakes disc, Itchy Fingers, with those two versions of “Cocksucker Blues,” and the Pubcrawlers do seem to embrace the fuck-all tone that infuses those studio sessions from the late ’60s. Except they have this great feel for nostalgia, evident from the outset on “Wreck,” a train-tragedy tune from the early 20th century. Not only is that tune one of the benchmarks of American music (the first million-selling record; the subject of the first great copyright battle), and the inspiration for the Old 97s (one of the first great alt-country bands to bring Americana back to the mainstream), but it’s such a phenomenal ode to working-class ethic: “When the whistle turned into a scream/Well I found him in the wreck with his hand on the throttle.”

Then they turn the same trick with a pair of originals, marrying “The Loss of the Americus” to “The Friel Jig.” This time it’s a boat that’s gone down, the Americus being a crab boat that sailed out of Anacortes, Washington, on Valentine’s Day 1983, only to be found keel-up in the Bering Sea. Here, the banjo paired with nothing but a kick drum is haunting as hell in the bridge, and the “Friel” finish manages to be jaunty enough to lift your spirits.

This constant pairing of the traditional and the contemporary, the band’s ability to somehow make the ancient seem fresh and immediate, make the album way deeper than just a bunch of rollicking pub tunes.

Both main vocalists, Ron Peddle and Brian Stone, have big growling, hairy pipes. On “Sail the Horn No More,” Peddle is Hagrid on a sailboat, with a tin whistle in the chorus that’s about four octaves higher for the harmony: “We’ll sail the Horn no more/We’ll drink black rum till we drop.” The bridge is a swirling thought-piece, with ripples of cymbal waves washing, the central melody line from the whistle building like a house fire belching smoke for long enough that the anticipation is palpable. Then comes the full-on punk thrash guitar and it’s hard not to jump from your chair (assuming you’re sitting down).

Stone takes the front on one of the album’s better pieces of candy, “The Boys in the Red and the Black,” an ode to the Portland Pirates that should certainly be played before every mid-ice puck drop. After the loss of the Mariners, it seems, hockey fans in Portland quailed: “‘We need heroes,’ came their shouts/and off in the distance, lo and behold, what could it be that we spied/A ship with black sails, strong men on the rails, and pirates who’s say do or die.” If this can’t get people fired up, they better check the carbon monoxide levels in the Civic Center.

Stone and Peddle then pair for “The Pub,” a take on “Loch Lomond,” which is one of those songs you find yourself whistling sometimes without having any idea where it comes from. It’s that “You take the high road ...” song, you know, except with Pubcrawlers it’s in double time, and “I’ll drink a whiskey, you’ll drink a beer/And I’ll be in the bed long before you/And I’ll be on the floor, and you’ll be out the door/And you’ll find me asleep in the morning.”

Yes, this is the kind of album you might find yourself sleeping off. But that’s okay. If you don’t remember what happened, just press Play again. - The Portland Phoenix, 3/12/08


"Pubcrawlers Drink 'Again' - Portland collective brings out best in intoxicated lawlessness"

Unsurprisingly, The Pubcrawlers’ sophomore album, “One Too Many Again,” is best listened to in the midst of the ultimate social lubricant – beer, and lots of it. Field research aside, the most accurate summation of the Portland band’s sound can be cribbed from its MySpace page: “The perfect soundtrack to a rowdy, drunken night out (and the morning to follow).”

Following in the tradition of sonic forefathers such as The Pogues and high-profile contemporaries in the vein of Boston mainstays Dropkick Murphys, The Pubcrawlers’ formula consists of an Oi! punk head flowing off of a frothy glass of Celtic tradition. With a roster of nine multi-instrumentalists, toting everything from electric guitars to bagpipes to accordions, linguists would argue whether this troupe more closely resembles a band or a gang.

This “more is more” approach to musicianship works well for such a collective, whose aim is to document the lives of an endearingly motley crew of vagabonds and ruffians, with so much speed and swagger that you can practically feel the thud of pint glasses being thrown in agreement.
“One Too Many Again,” the follow up to 2005’s “Another Night On The Floor,” is a step in the right direction for the group, with no less energy but rather a tighter, more skillful delivery. It is something to be said when a nine-man ship can be run so efficiently, and it is clear that the group’s frequent live shows have allowed it to further improve its chops.

Working in their favor is the fun and inspired music the boys put together. Refreshingly unpretentious, The Pubcrawlers engage in a storied genre history of glorified debauchery. Emotions run the gamut from booze-soaked battle fatigue in “Sergeant Billy’s Brigade” to “I’ll Tell Me Ma,” the tale of the girl all the boys fight for (when she’s not fighting back).

The rowdiness continues musically as well. A bagpipe introduction to “The Pub” is simultaneously expendable and essential, preceding a melody with more than a few apologies to Rod Stewart’s easygoing jukebox classic “Rhythm Of My Heart.” “Back Home In Derry” makes for an extremely gruff acoustic listen, while “Itchy Fingers/The Wreck Of The Old ‘97” is a solid summation of what is current in the Celt-punk scene.

“One Too Many Again” is not meant to change the world, but rather be the inspiration for boozy Saturday night fun and fights. In that spirit, The Pubcrawlers stay loyal to their roots and rock. - Portland Press Herald / Switch Magazine


"Are You Scared? Don't Be. (Full-length CD review)"

The six members of the Pubcrawlers sound like they are having too much fun on their new release, "Another Night on the Floor." For any of you out there who have found yourselves out until last call on a school night … again … here is your theme music.

Fever pitched and thoroughly irreverent, this album is all about having a beer and singing along with songs about beer. You might even stomp your foot a bit while listening. I haven’t been able to stop since the fourth track, "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate." At times it seems as if there are two bands playing owing to the mix of electric guitars and instruments like banjo and accordion that you would find in traditional Irish folk bands. It works nicely. The sound is huge and unrelenting on all 13 tracks, which are, for the most part, traditionals that have had the dust gleefully kicked out of them.

I spoke to Andy (drums) and Kevin (vocals, mandolin and acoustic guitars) on St. Patty’s day at the Barley Pub in Dover as they "prepared" for a show later that night, and Kevin warned me that I wouldn’t be able to make it through this record without a beer. He was right. - The Portsmough Herald


"Best World Music Act - Phoenix Best Music Poll '05"

There is absolutely no doubt that you are having one hell of a time when you’re listening to the Pubcrawlers, whether it’s a live show, or you’re playing their new CD, Another Night on the Floor, at a house party. Authentic Irish jigs are infectious. You have to drink and you have to dance. You have to get rowdy. The Pubcrawlers inspire just that kind of vibe, along with some kicking, wrestling, and general flailing about, while slamming beers in a collaborative cheer of knowing you’re having the best time of your life. Oi! It’s no shock that they won Best World Music Act. They’ve got the Celtic history thing down and they rock out. In kilts. (How hot is that? I’m so having the Pubcrawlers’ baby.)

And we thought these guys just rocked the hell out of traditional Irish tunes. Noooo. They’re friggin’ heroes. If you were at the Award Show, you know just what I mean. Thanks, Pubcrawlers, you saved my life.
- Portland Phoenix


"The Pubcrawlers: Finding The Perfect Mix"

Every band tries to make its own unique sound, using its blend of influences to create something original and special. The Pubcrawlers have found just the right ingredients for their recipe in creating the perfect mix of punk and hardcore topped off with a blast of traditional Celtic music. Their blend of Irish jigs and raw power has moved many feet over the years, and the band has no plans of doing anything but just that for years to come.

The Pubcrawlers are as unique an act as a local music fan can find, establishing themselves as the only Celtic punk band in Maine. The music is fast and hard, but uses a blend of traditional Irish instruments including the banjo, mandolin, tin whistle, bodhran and accordion. The group has been influenced by a number of Celtic rockers, including the UK's The Pogues, [California's] Flogging Molly and traditional Irish singers The Clancy Brothers.

The Pubcrawlers provide their audience with the best music for drinking, dancing and getting rowdy. They pack bars and clubs wherever they play, bringing their love of the music to an extremely warm crowd.

The band is getting ready to head into the studio after the New Year to record their first full-length album. "Another Night On The Floor" will contain more than a dozen original and traditional tunes that will surely delight the band's broad fan base. - Good Times Magazine


"Drink 'em if you got 'em"

Sure, originality is a quality you look for in new good music, but sometimes you want something that's aware of its past. You want a band who's aware of what's come before and is interested in taking the past into the future. Of course, you also want a band who's great for the rowdy, beer-swilling crowds in your favorite bars. Especially with St. Patrick's Day on the horizon.

No band in Portland fits that bill quite like The Pubcrawlers, a band who can tell you all about the six Celtic nations and how to employ a bodhran, but also know how to plug in and rock your sox off. Their 2003 debut EP was full of drinking songs and lilting melodies and for their upcoming debut full-length, The Pubcrawlers have only gotten rowdier and more fun. Mixing up traditional fare like "The Irish Rover" and "The Jolly Beggarman" with originals like "Boston Subway" without skipping a beat, the 'Crawlers make intelligent Irish punk that's accessible on a number of levels. [interview follows] - Face magazine/Portland Phoenix


"Pubcrawlers Review"

Our player is always playing random songs varying in quality (shit..good...fantastic). So after ten to twenty shit songs a song called "the Last Saskatchewan Pirate" played; I was instantly elated, quality at last. When I realized that I had five other songs by the same band of course I checked them out also. I was overjoyed. It's always great when you discover a band that you've never heard before, and especially when they're really, really good. The Pubcrawlers are just that, and are now being played constantly in my apartment, especially when drinking is occuring which is often.The Pubcrawlers are a Celtic influenced punk-band who have definitely similarities with the Dropkick Murphy's, The Pogue's, The Real McKenzie's, Flogging Molly, and The Business. From what I've noticed most people either hate Celtic-Punk or they absolutely love it; I happen to be one of the latter. To me Celtic-Punk is symbolic of the working class, class struggle, and of course having a good time. This symbolism is prevalent in the Pubcrawlers music. They're able to write songs that each have a different feel to them, which I appreciate. If you like the Dropkick Murphy's, the Real McKenzie's, Flogging Molly, the Business, and the Pogue's you will love the Pubcrawlers; but although you can throw them in the Celtic-Punk genre you will find that this band actually has their own sound. This is a band I wish would play in the Seattle area; Shit, if I had a bigger apartment I put them up for a night or two. God-damn, they've played in the UK in the Holidays in the Sun Festival with the greats and legends of punk, but they can't get out here to play a show. A message to Northwest venues GIVE THESE GUYS A SHOW OUT HERE!!!!!!!!!!! This is a band worthy of having me wear their t-shirt, shit this is a band that deserves everybody wearing their t-shirts, in fact I'm gonna order one with my next check. We need more bands like this, bands that play great fucking music, bands with an ounce of originality, bands that perfectly accentuate a pint of Guinness, bands that deserve to have their t-shirt worn.

Note to Band: Play a show in Seattle....PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!! - Lawn Gnome Death March


Discography

Falling Through The Floor (demo, 2003)
From The Barn To The Bar (demo, 2004)
Another Night On The Floor (2005)
Shite 'n Onions, vol 2: What The Shite (comp 2006)
Backstreets of American Oi! and Streetpunk vol. 2 (comp 2006)
Paddy Rock vol. 3 (comp 2007)
One Too Many Again (2008)
The Retrad Sessions (split w/The Outsiders) (TBR 2011)

Photos

Bio

If The Pubcrawlers aren't the perfect soundtrack to a rowdy, drunken night out (and the morning to follow) then nothing is. Whether you're listening to them on a CD or, even better, live (as long as you don't mind going home wearing more beer than you've consumed), their unique, high-energy, "throw-your-fist-in-the-air-and-sing-along" mix of traditional Celtic drinking tunes and melodic punk rock will have you throwing down on the dancefloor whether you mean to or not! With songs of friendship & fighting, love & loss, damnation & redemption - and a few pratfalls along the way - The Pubs guarantee a rollicking, rowdy good time.

Starting almost 10 years ago with the meeting of three complete strangers in a Dover, New Hampshire pub, The Pubcrawlers quickly grew to a seven-member crew of friends and family on the shared dream of free beer and just maybe making a record one day. None of the members actually expected to accomplish any of those things but, against all odds, word began to spread and, on the strength of their uncompromising DIY ethics and an early demo that they now pretend doesn't exist, The Pubcrawlers soon started seeing their name popping up in blogs and message boards all across the Internet. Five years later, the band, with somewhat confused looks on their faces, realized that they were up to a humorously large 10 members and had managed to carve out a solid niche for themselves in the folk/punk world, helping to carry on the tradition coined many years ago by the legendary Pogues. Those five years have seen the band play countless shows across the Northeastern United States, receive heavy radio play throughout the US, Europe and Japan, win several musical awards, record two best-selling full-length albums, become a favorite staple of several podcasts around the world, appear on several internationally-distributed compilations, travel to the UK where they shared the stage with a veritable "who's who" of legendary punk acts and current favorites at the world-famous Wasted/Holidays In The Sun festival and, most recently, establish a yearly headlining appearance at the annual ShamRockFest in Washington DC where, along with the likes of Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, The Street Dogs, Great Big Sea and many more, they regularly perform for an audience of more than 50,000 people.

The Pubcrawlers' mere presence on stage - if they can all fit - is a sight to see, with everything from guitars, bass and drums to accordions, tin whistles, banjos, mandolins, fiddles and bagpipes on display.