Come on all you good rats

(Dropkick Murphys, Milan 23/4/06, photo by stardumbs)

Film review? You're having a laugh. Post inspired by film seen? That's more like it. I saw The Departed last night, breaking my habit of just not bothering going to the cinema. I liked it, tis a good film, and as usual with Scorsese, very evocative of it's locale, in this case, Bwaaawston. A change from his usual NYC, I guess, but just down the road in global terms, Scorsese looking at Boston is kind of similar in some respects to Scorsese looking at New York (the underbelly rather than, um, the overbelly), but then different in other respects (I'm so used to Italian mob movies with De Niro or Pacino in, it makes a nice change to focus on the Boston Irish).

In America, apparently, no-one's American. You might be 6th generation Irish, or your descendents might have moved over from the Old Country 150 years ago, but people cling onto their heritage. It's not something the British ever get used to, even in London (one generation is fine, but don't milk it...). The enjoyable thing about The Departed was the soundtrack - alongside Scorsese's usual Rolling Stones quotient and Van The Man covering Pink Floyd, there was a couple of Dropkick Murphys tracks on there.

Ah, what visions of delight when I heard the familiar ranks of bagpipes backed with humungous walls of overdriven guitar. It's nothing if not perfect for playing loud in a cinema, and fit in superbly with the boisterous Irish gangs of the film. Of course, I would say that, if I hear Dropkick Murphys in a film, I'm going to say it's great whatever. Accompanying a couple of driving scenes, the songs barrel along at full tilt, the pipes creating a sense of scale that few punk bands can carry off.

The Irish thing is certainly the Dropkick Murphys USP, and from my point of view, they carry it off with a lot more panache than contenders like Flogging Molly, or even Swingin' Utters to an extent. The cover of their 2000 album Sing Loud, Sing Proud! (released on Rancid's Hellcat label) features a green and white mural painted onto a wall, replete with shamrocks, and the reverse pictures the band with Guiness' raised, busy falling out of a pub. Their heritage is at the forefront of tracks like The Rocky Road to Dublin and The Legend Of Finn MacCumhail, and the sound is just unmistakably gaelic throughout. I find it hard to complain about people hanging onto their heritage when it's this much fun.

So turn it up loud and blast this out at top notch, shout along with it, it's the only way. For Boston is the intro track to Sing Loud, Sing Proud! and you must know The Wild Rover...

The Music
Dropkick Murphys - For Boston
Dropkick Murphys - The Wild Rover

The 'fo
Artist: Dropkick Murphys
Website: dropkickmurphys.com
Recommended: Sing Loud, Sing Proud!
Label: Hellcat
Buy: Amazon; The Departed OST
More: Hype Machine; elbo.ws
If you like this you might like: Bouncing Souls - How We Spent Our Summer Vacation
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Anonymous said...

cheers for this post. I saw the film at the weekend - enjoyed it and also this dropkick murphy's track - i'd never heard them before - but i'll definatley be checking them out

Oh Simone said...

I've had more searches coming to me looking for the Departed soundtrack than ever before I think. And at least half of them are searching for Flogging Molly as well. As far as I know FM aren't on it, and Dropkick Murphys are better anyway...