They called themselves a Celtic metal band — they weren’t exactly metal, but I couldn’t in all honesty call it folk in spite of the fiddler, and they did certainly know how to mangle a jig or a reel all too well. Not that the crowd, after midnight on a warm summer evening, who thought they were of Irish extraction even if it was so diluted that it was more than a splash of water in a jigger of bad blended Irish whiskey, cared a flying fuck.
I was down London way on that evening as Ingrid, my wife who’s the Estate Purchasing Agent and our Steward, had business with a company doing extremely low impact river based hydro power that we hoped would give us more electricity at an affordable cost. (It was promising but they were five years out from selling the units, though we did end up as one of the test sites.) Neither of us is Irish but the Pub was near our hotel and it raining too steadily to venture far that night.
I lied earlier — they were truly shitty. And as drunk as the crowd was to boot, which was no mean feat. We stayed for a few minutes, got back to our hotel before the rain really came down, and traded stories for several hours with the Dublin-born and raised barkeep, who made a rather excellent Irish coffee.
Now it is possible to combine Celtic and metal successfully, though it rarely gets done. If you care to hear two bands taking a piss while doing so, go find Thin Lizzy, the Irish rockers from the Seventies, playing ‘Whiskey in a Jar’ — not bad at all despite Phil Lynott’s truly shitty voice, but far better is Metallica’s cover, which features the ballsy voice of James Hetfield. And the best blending of rock music with Irish traditional music is most everything done by the Irish group Horslips.
Now I must leave you, as I want to listen as the Neverending Session play the John Playford composition, ‘Drive the Cold Winter Away’, which was done by Horslips here.