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Flogging Molly

at: Astoria

June 7th, 2008 · post by jas · Make a comment

Date of the event: 31/05/08

Review by Andrew Sibley

Arriving at 7 I thought we’d be in time to catch at least some of Ill Scarlett, but as soon as we’d bought a drink we were confronted by Pepper bouncing onto the stage. They sound something like Pennywise trying to play speedy ska interspersed with some mid-paced dub, with lyrical ‘highlights’ including “pussy licking” and “hot dirty sex”. The Pennywise influence is confirmed when they do a thirty second rendition of ‘Bro Hymn’. Pepper are joined by some members of the headline band for their finale, while the bassist, free from his instrument, sings while excitedly bounding around the stage. They get a reasonably good response from the front of the crowd and obviously have a fair few fans present, but I’m left unimpressed. The band has energy and confidence in abundance but I just find the songs pretty dull and uninspired. Apparently Flogging Molly met them on the Warped Tour and perhaps they’d work better playing an early slot at a Summer festival, though I doubt I’d be convinced even in a setting more suited to them.

After a relatively brief interval the assorted members of Flogging Molly stride onto stage, greeted by cheers, screams and shouts. And the band are just as you’d expect – they get a huge response from everyone crammed into the packed venue as sweaty bodies jig around frantically. Predictably the best reactions are reserved for fan favourites like ‘Drunken Lullabies’, ‘Salty Dog’ and, of course, ‘What’s Left of the Flag’, which is the last of the set before the two-song encore. Tracks from the new album such as ‘Requiem For a Dying Song’ and ‘The Lightning Storm’ don’t get quite the same frenetic reaction, although they’re still welcomed with sing-a-longs aplenty. ‘Float’, the title-track from their newest release, is perhaps the exception to this rule – despite it being quite restrained it’s perfect for swaying and singing along to, as well as linking arms and jigging when then drums kick in. Unfortunately there’s precious little room for dancing as the crowd lurches back and forth throughout most of the set. Perhaps Flogging Molly have become a victim of their own success or perhaps they just need a bigger venue.

Essentially there are no surprises from the set; it’s played well, the crowd dote on every word that passes Dave Kings lips, and it’s a good night out for anyone who likes the bands brand of Irish folk-punk. Conversely, there’s nothing to convert anyone who’s not already a fan. So if you enjoy a bit of jigging to the Molly and haven’t already had your fill of them on previous tours, now’s as good a time as any. Just don’t expect anything too different from the last time you saw them, because little has changed – but it seems their legions of fans wouldn’t have it any other way.

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