Singing Drunken Lullabies

Good morning from North Carolina. I’m the first to wake (as usual) in our shared motel room, so I’m getting some work done early. The Flogging Molly tour is going swimmingly, we’re making lots of new friends, the FM guys are great (and one hell of a live band), and we love the Architects boys as well. We’re heading north up the coast right now, but thankfully the apocalyptic snow storms seem to be receding before us. Tonight we hit Myrtle Beach, and tomorrow we have another headliner in Richmond, VA. Good times.

I’ve just confirmed and announced a free instore show in New York City on March 2nd at 5pm sharp in Generation Records, before the show at the Hammerstein with Molly. Be there or be square.

A non-news-related musing, while I’m here (hey, this is a blog after all). Being on the Flogging Molly tour, we’re in the midst of an Irish, or maybe Irish American, or even more broadly Celtic American, carnival of sorts. It’s a lot of fun – the melodies, themes, and commitment to drinking that come with Irish culture and traditions are a hell of a blast, and I’ve been raising my Jameson at the merch stand every night shouting “And we’ll never see the likes of you again!”. But here’s a thought for you. I’m English, and a small but vocal minority of people I speak to at the shows say things like: “I liked your set, even though you’re English.” Or: “Are you sure you’re not Irish? Your music sounds Irish.”

It’s not a massive deal, but I’m not Irish, and, actually, my music sounds pretty English, I think. Case in point: the song “Sons Of Liberty” is based around a traditional English melody. Now, because of the culture of rebelliousness that brings Irish music and punk together so well, people are less inclined to know about English traditional music at these shows; which is fine, there’s no reason they should know about it. But if you’re unversed in the complexities of something, don’t hold forth on it. And to address the first point, personally, I think that any kind of collectivist blanket labeling of individuals, by race, gender, class or whatever, is bullshit. Or to put it another way, I’m bored of lazy soft-liberal tolerance of some kinds of racism (anti-English), while the self-same people shout loud to condemn other kinds (anti-Irish). Even putting aside the fact that the war finished almost 90 years ago, and the fact that it has nothing to do with me personally, it’s still a (mild) form of racism.

End rant. Like I say, I’m having a blast at these shows, Flogging Molly and their crowds are the best, and tonight I shall be an Englishman drinking Guinness.

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