Review + Photography by Kat Storey

The boys are back, the boys are back, the boys are back and they’re looking for trouble! Dropkick Murphys never disappoint for a night of high-energy fun celtic-folk-punk style.

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Before we talk about Dropkick Murphys, Let’s just have a moment to talk about support acts. See, it’s really easy to disregard a support act but oh boy, there have been some belters over the years. In fact, I first came across Dropkick Murphys when they were supporting for Frank Turner many years ago. I also remember shooting a very young Ed Sheeran when he was a lowly support act for Just Jack even more years ago now. In short, don’t underestimate the support acts!

Whetting our appetite this time were two contrasting but well curated groups: Grade 2 bringing the fun and The Devil Makes Three bringing the folk. The latter being a simple 4-piece featuring close celtic harmonies and basic folk tunes with a twist. Think Alabama Three but with less funk. I will definitely be following these guys.

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So, with a diverse crowd of punks calling ‘Let’s go, Murphys’ we were treated to a frustratingly long rendition of ‘The Foggy Dew’ whilst staring at a black curtain, all the while eager to see what was going to happen when the curtain dropped.

It dropped to the vision of a multi-level stage decked out in Celtic knots and shamrocks with a single bagpiper playing Cadence to Arms (Scotland the Brave) before the rest of the band exploded onto the stage with such power, you could feel the crowd getting pumped.

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Each member of the band played with huge amounts of energy, and switched instruments seamlessly throughout the set. From banjos to lutes and bagpipes to accordions the complex sound is really something to behold live, and something you should really experience too!

Backing this up are the singers who were in their element diving in and out of the crowd with ease every few minutes.

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It’s hard to say who was having more fun, the band or the crowd, who were just eating it up. Singing along to all the hits, it was such a great party atmosphere. Teamed with the constant audience interaction it was like one big party and everyone was invited.

In all, the Dropkicks didn’t disappoint (they never do) and if you have some time to see them while they’re here, do it – you won’t regret it!

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Set list:

Cadence to arms
The Boys are Back
Johnny, I hardly knew ya
Blood and Whiskey
The Walking dead
The Fighting 69th
Upstarts and Broken Hearts
The Gang’s all Here
Don’t Tear us Apart
The State of Massachusetts
Cruel
Fields of Athenry
Caught in a Jar
The Gauntlet
Black Velvet Band
Sunshine Highway
Surrender
Boys on the Docks
Out of our Heads
Worker’s Song

Encore:

Rose Tattoo
Shipping off to Boston
Deeds not Words

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