The Brixton Academy filled with 5,000 fans for a triumphant return to London for the celebrated veteran American celtic punk rockers.
The crowd had been chanting “Let’s Go Murphy’s” nonstop since The Devil Makes Three had finished their lively 45-minute support set and a separate review of that show is on this site here.
The curtain went up to reveal a splendid double-decker Celtic-themed stage and the instrumental band members took it in turns to go from one level to the other, giving the audience a great view of proceedings. The dual singers Al Barr and Ken Casey took turns with unbounded energy to encourage the mad mosh pit and embrace the fans who were going crazy from the get-go.
Cadence To Arms with a bagpiper and the anthemic The Boys Are Back set the tone for the show. The band didn’t let up for the next ninety minutes and received a rapturous reception from the audience.
Dancing, beer throwing, singing and crowd surfing at the front of the crowd. Dancing, beer drinking, singing and jostling at the back of the crowd. The band’s energy transferred to the audience and this is a show that fans will remember for a long time.
Classic DKM tracks were mixed in with folk tunes given the heavy treatment. The Fields of Athenry was nuts and brilliant. Irish Rover made the Pogues look like a reserved traditional Irish folk group.
The show reached a climax with Rose Tattoo and a traditional Irish reel and all too quickly the boys were back for their encore including I’m Shipping Up To Boston and, accompanied by about 40 audience members on stage, a crowd shoutalong version of Until The Next Time which sent fans home breathless, hoarse and content.
Review by Chaz Brooks