There are many many great bands that I’d say are truly Irish and tons of no name heroes who play the traditional stuff in pubs around world. Obviously there’s U2 but just as important to me are The Pogues and The Frames. Both of these bands embody some pretty stunning lyrics and music that really captures this culture of travelers along with the spirited charm of the Irish. Lets not forget songs about the green beer.
I remember seeing Glen Hansard the singer for The Frames play at this small gallery called Be in Asbury Park, NJ to about 50 people with all these other singer songwriters playing sets before he went on. Oh and by the way I used to hate this genre but seemed like a mellow evening. Mostly because I associated the genre to James Taylor (whole other story there). That is until I saw Glen perform. Holy Cow. On personality alone he’s a great Ambassador to his country on another note he embodies all this stuff I list above. He’s a meastro of his audience and makes some pretty dynamic music and to me I thought there was a whole band behind him when it was just him. Then you see his band (4 or 5 times over the years) and you understand this troubadour. You probably just know him from that Once movie with Marketa Irglova. Regardless if you ever get a chance go out of your way. Even if you only know a few songs he’ll have you singing songs; even ones you don’t know.
On the other end. What I always thought of with Irish bands were The Pogues. Smoking and drinking at the pub, dancing the ghig and good old fun until your liver gives out. The beauty beyond all these things have always been the lyrics and stories as sung by Shane Mcgowan. Lord knows you can’t understand them if they are not singing but it’s what makes these songs like living poems. Anyway here’s a a couple from each band. I think you know what U2 sounds like.
Here’s some music:
Sally Mclennane & Dirty Old Town MP3s by The Pogues from Rum, Sodomy & the Lash [Buy]
People Get Ready MP3 by The Frames Live at Lollapalooza 2006.
What Happens When The Heart Just Stops MP3 from a live frames album called Set-List. Totally half comedy and song about a dog followed by the saddest song in world. [Buy]
Happy St. Patty’s Day!