Bear with me because this could be really confusing: Mick O'Toole are a five piece band from Calne in Wiltshire. They are a five piece Celtic punk band and not a singer/songwriter as the name suggests and I foolishly thought. The name of the band comes from the name of a character in a song by the band The Boys Of County Hell who are a big inspiration on Mick O'Toole. Recently they released a new EP named 1665 Pitchfork Rebellion and, as I love me some Celtic punk, I gave it a listen.
The first song is titled Free Me and straight away there is that raucous banjo and mandolin filled sound associated with the genre. What I really love about Celtic punk rock is just how talented all the musicians are; it's not just a case of three chords as fast as you can. There are some really skilled musicians in these bands and this is very evident in Free Me. As it is in Knights In Ponty, the second track. This has a fast intro that grabs you by the ears before a thumping verse comes in and gets you singing with the band. The chorus is a great gang vocal moment that really gives the song a ‘we're all in this together’ feel. That's something else I love about punk rock, and Celtic punk rock in particular - it's a real working class style of music. No egos, just people coming together for a great time. Third track Casanova No More is far more restrained than the first two. The vocals are much less rambunctious as the song is about losing the girl and your confidence in finding another. The harmonies are great throughout the song and work really well as an extra instrument. The final song is called Ellie Loves London. This song has a bit of a melodic punk sound, with the Celtic sounds turned down a bit. A female vocal is introduced towards the end of the song and it works fantastically well at pulling your attention back into the track after a long instrumental section. I also loved the use of clapping in the track, something different and unique.
Mick O'Toole's 1665 Pitchfork Rebellion is a fine Celtic punk EP. If you're a fan of the genre and want an alternative to heavy weights such as Dropkick Murhpys and Flogging Molly, you should look no further than Mick O'Toole.
Stream and buy 1665 Pitchfork Rebellion here: https://mickotoole.bandcamp.com/
Like Mick O'Toole here: https://www.facebook.com/MickOtooleUK