23 February 2020

Dropkick Murphys / Cock Sparrer – Gig review – Alexandra Palace, London 21.02.2020

The Ally Pally is not the easiest of places to get to, and although it claims to be the 3rd largest capacity indoor venue in the capital that does not detract from the fact that it has no seating, the hall is airplane hanger-esq and the sound can be iffy at best. Due to the transport connections I missed the opening act but on the plus side, when you have two bands left of this quality, does that all matter?

Cock Sparrer have never been able to translate their influence into sales, but they can always hold their heads high as vanguards of British Punk and creators of the “Oi” sub-genre. The London boys started in the early 70s and with a few break ups and reformations have released 7 LPs in their very long career. Of the 5 guys on stage tonight, 4 were in that fledgling beginning way back when and age has no way diminished their ferocity and angst. Their faithful were in good numbers and voice and the set list complied of their greatest hits including the magnificent We’re coming back and England belongs to me. If the gods of punk were looking down tonight these gents will rightly deserve another shot of fame and fortune because they have earned it more than most.

If the energy unleashed by the Dropkick Murphys could be bottled there would be no need for fossil fuels. Their only UK date for 2020 was from the start of the opener The Lonesome Boatman all the way through the 26 song set to the closer Until the next time  a Massachusetts juggernaut that just would not stop. The focus is on the duel frontmen of Ken Casey and Al Barr but all the band were as ever magnificent and musically diverse and capable. Two new songs , The Bonny and Smash shit up dovetailed in with old classics of The Boys are back and Rose Tattoo and when half the crowd joined the band on stage after their anthem I’m shipping up to Boston it rounded up another night of Celtic punk rock party mayhem. If having a fun night out with loud music is your bag you will be a fool to miss the DKM live as they are masters of their craft and hopefully they will be back soon in the UK in a town near you. Wonderful stuff indeed.

 

Review/Photography-  Skid

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