St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate all things Ireland! If your party needs a little bit of a kick when it comes to music for your party, you’re in luck. Check out this list of 20-plus punk and rock bands – from Stiff Little Fingers to Rudi to Flogging Molly – to make your Irish eyes smile.
While traditional Irish music is completely appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day, sometimes, you want to listen to something that makes you want to pogo around like a lunatic. Thankfully, Ireland has a rich history of punk and rock bands. While this list is by no means complete, there are plenty of groups to jam while drinking back a pint of your favorite Irish red ale.
When it comes to Irish punk, a handful of bands immediately spring to mind. One of them Stiff Little Fingers former in 1977, back in the first wave of punk. The group still performs and records, though vocalist and guitarist Jake Burns, 59, is the only remaining original member. If you want to check them out, try spinning the Nobody’s Heroes album. It’s one of the best.
The Nips are also from that early era, and the band (fronted by Shanne Bradley, 60) is noted as being Shane MacGowan’s first group. The 59-year-old would go on to form The Pogues in London (though they’re still technically considered an Irish band.) He’s still playing to this day, as part of Shane MacGowan and The Popes.
Shane and the Pogues would create a whole new subgenre of music: Celtic punk. This music was made popular in the States by groups like Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Mahones, and more. Yes, the Dropkicks are technically not an Irish punk band. They’re a Boston group that plays Irish-themed punk, but they’re so synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, they even get made fun for it. “Dropkick Murphys Chained Up In Basement Until Next St. Patrick’s Day,” claims The Hard Times, a satirical punk publication (think The Onion meets The Decline Of Western Civilization)
While Thin Lizzy is a staple of most classic rock stations, you can’t go wrong with throwing “Jailbreak” or “The Boys Are Back In Town” in the mix. If you’re in the mood for something more groovy, there’s The Boomtown Rats. The group, fronted by Bob Geldof, 65, dipped their toes in all sorts of genres — ska, new wave and punk — before breaking up in 1986. For a more modern, faster ska-punk, there’s always Dublin’s Chewing On Tinfoil.
There are so many other Irish punk bands – from the political punk of Distorted Vision to the original Celtic rockers, The Tossers – so check them out. Add them to your rotation and remember: don’t take your drink into the mosh pit.
Are there any other bands we should add to the list, HollywoodLifers? What are you blasting this St. Patrick’s Day?