Last month, on my birthday of all days, I got Never Mind The Bastards, Here Is Mr. Irish Bollocks by Mr. Irish Bastard. Back in my early days of discovery new bands, I thought it odd of all the countries that field Celtic Punk/Rock bands that do not seem traditionally Irish. It is great how this genre has a niche worldwide following. For those who have not heard of Mr. Irish Bastard, they are a wonderful from Germany, with a lot of great original songs with the Irish flare. My appreciation of this band has been growing over time – I don’t know if it is the Teutonic side of me or not (yes the secret is out – I am an Irish German mutt!) A Fistful of Dirt has some of my favorite songs such as I Smell the Blood, Paddy’s Last Tango and Don’t Judge Me. So getting a chance to write about Never Mind the Bastards Here Is Mr Irish Bollocks, the homage to the Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks I was happy for the opportunity.
This review required some homework for me. While I am vaguely familiar with the Sex Pistols. I have never really listened to or owned any of their music. As I pulled out the CD, started thinking that I can write about the CD either as a stand alone focusing solely on the CD’s merits or as a comparison piece. Given that Mr. Irish Bastard did a track for track homage to the Sex Pistols, I felt it would be best to do this as a comparison piece.
When a band does covers, it is always a gamble. Sometimes the music is so much like the original,that one really questions what was the point. Other times, the new version is so far off base, you don’t even recognize the origins. I think the Mr. Irish Bastard was right in the middle and did right to the Sex Pistols and also to themselves. The Sex Pistols were raw, hard energy driving the young punk movement whereas Mr. Irish Bastard is polished and with much more depth coming from the bigger band while still containing the energy and drive of the original. It was fun listening to the original track followed right behind the cover. It was like discovering something new for each track. I enjoyed my homework of getting to know the Sex Pistols but even more hearing how Mr. Irish Bastard took their love for the song and created something deeper and richer, my favorite being Holidays in the Sun. While I am sure the purists out there will disagree and say the polish is against the punk anthem, I would disagree. Punk has matured but the principles are still there. To me punk is about individual liberties and is the outrage to those who want to restrict our liberties. From listening to their homage, it is clear Mr. Irish Bastard is giving their loving homage to an electric, raw and controversal band.
In all, I would highly recommend to this to anyone, be they familiar with the Sex Pistols or not as the CD can stand on its own legs. You can find more on Mr. Irish Bastard here.