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Mahones and Popes put on Celtic kitchen party in Lethbridge

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Popes frontman Paul “Mad Dog” McGuinness  does a balancing act on the Slice’s rails. Photo By Richard AmeryA handful of approximately 30 people took in three impressive bands, the Delinquints, the Popes and the Mahones at the Slice, Oct. 14.
 There were wrought iron railings bolted around the stage to protect the stage and band members for what is usually an energetically  and enthusiastically moshing crowd which usually shows up for Mahones shows in Lethbridge.
The Delinquints were pure unadulterated Sex Pistols style punk with guitar solos and a lot of energy. They played tight and warmed up the crowd for the Popes.
The Irish Celtic punk pioneers, the Popes, turned the Slice into a Celtic kitchen party with some furious fiddle playing, magnificent mandolin and punk energy.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 October 2009 15:00 ) Read more...

Rocktoberfest a big success

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It was a “mammoth” week for rock and roll and garage punk at Henotic  this week thanks to Paul Lawton, who brought in bands from all over the country as well as  a lot of local bands for four days of loud,  rambunctious and in many cases synth- powered rock and roll.Toronto  punk band DCT got a little crazy. Photo By Richard Amery
Rocktoberfest started off Oct. 14 with  approximately 40 people having a blast.
 Local blues duo the Smoke Stack Jacks had the GCBC Lounge hopping with frenetic blues influenced rock which had an enthusiastic audience bouncing. They will be back with the Pack AD, Amelia Earhart (who also had an excellent Rocktoberfest set, Oct. 16) and Austria, Nov. 10.
 After that a unique Vancouver trio called Fox Opera performed some wild jazz influenced original music featuring some intricate bass lines and some weird guitar sounds which appealed to the audience.
 I also caught a couple songs from a new musical collective called  Skull Train to Hell Town which included members of the Creationists and the New Danger Kids, who, dressed in gold lamée tights and disco era polyester, had an array of computerized sounds powering strong dance and R and B influenced music.
On Oct. 16, Rocktoberfest featured some wild  punk  bands. Namely Calgary’s The Ex-Boyfriends who brought back the crazed spirit of Iggy and the Stooges, they played with reckless abandon.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 October 2009 14:56 ) Read more...

Blow those blues away this week

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Blow those grey day blues away with  some wicked shows this week.Papa King
 In addition to the Joys and Bluessmyth, who will be bringing their special brands of blues influenced rock and roll to the Slice, more traditional blues enthusiasts will want to see a great show on Oct. 24 at the Slice with Winnipeg acoustic blues god Big Dave McLean who is in the middle of another extensive tour with Toronto based American transplant Doc MacLean. Local acoustic bluesman Papa King will be opening the show. Tickets cost $10.
At Henotic the same night,  the JPS Trio including John Paul Smith, Dino Scavo and Kyle Harmon,  will be filming their show for an upcoming video. They are looking for a crowd  who is ready, willing and able  to party their faces off and be filmed doing it. Tickets cost $10 to hear  this excellent rock and roll band.
If you want to dance, Hippodrome will be bringing the funk to the Slice on Oct. 23.

Speaking of cool shows, if you were at the South Country Fair this year you will remember the rootsy, wild, weirdness that was the Hank and Lily Show. If you missed them then, don’t miss them Oct. 29 at Henotic when they will be playing with the Secretaries. With that in mind. L.A. Beat has two tickets to give away to the first person to e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the answer to this question:
 What is the name of Hank and Lily’s  back up singers? Hint it is in L.A Beat’s archives. And the answer is not Jenny Whiteley or the Secretaries.

Last Updated ( Friday, 23 October 2009 14:25 ) Read more...

Popes frontman cleans up life for new tour and CD

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Going to prison ended up being a blessing in disguise for Irish punk legends the Popes’ guitarist/vocalist Paul “Mad Dog” McGuinness who is enjoying taking his Paddy punk legends on the road to Canada with the Mahones. McGuinness has known Mahones frontman Finny McConnell for many years. The Popes, the Mahones and Delinquints along with DJ Ray Gange play the Slice tomorrow (Oct. 14).

Paul (Mad Dog) McGuinnessHe wrote the music for the Popes’ latest CD “Outlaw Heaven” while doing a five month stint in prison but wanted to break away from the band’s more traditional Irish sound because  Popes’ banjo player  Tommy McManaman was the driving force behind that before he passed away at the end of 2006.

“We’re rebranding ourselves. We’re not a Celtic band, we’re a rock band that sounds Irish,” McGuinness said, explaining while the new music retains an Irish influence, there are a lot of other sounds incorporated into it.

“Five years ago,  the Popes ground to a halt when Tommy died. We’re letting people know the Popes are back. We felt it was time to go to the next level. He was a huge part of that sound,” McGuinness said, adding he always liked Thin Lizzy, a  another Irish rock band who retained traditional influences.

“ I spent five months in prison but it turned into a positive experience. I had a fairly serious alcohol and drug problem. There was lots of time to realize  I was pretty lucky to be playing music for a living and that I was not making the most of my opportunities,”  he said adding he is already working on music for the next Popes’ CD.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 October 2009 21:50 ) Read more...

Paddy punkers’ paradise

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Next year Kingston Paddy punkers  the Mahones are giving themselves an early 20th birthday present by recording a new CD  called “Black Irish” at the end of the year as well as touring with one their idols — the Popes as well as the Delinquints and DJ Ray Gange who was in the Clash movie “Rude Boy”.
This tour stops by the Slice tomorrow night (Oct. 14). Tickets cost $20.The Mahones’ Finny McConnell and The Popes’ Paul (Mad Dog) McGuinness.

“It’s nice to be part of the club,” enthused Ireland born Mahones frontman Finny McConnell enjoying a day off  in Canmore with his 16 tour mates.

“You know you’ve made it when you’re friends with the guys you’ve looked up to as a kid. We’re touring with a group of guys from the United Kingdom who have never seen mountains before, so we have 16 guys running around with cameras,” McConnell chuckled, adding his dad owned a couple Irish pubs so McConnell  wasn’t into Irish music when he was young. He turned to punk music until he saw the Pogues and the Popes which combined the two sounds. Shane McGowan formed the Popes after leaving the Pogues.

The Mahones formed in 1990 and since had a string of popular songs  including “Drunken Lazy Bastard,” “Draggin’ the Days,” and “The Queen and Tequila.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 October 2009 21:51 ) Read more...
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