Despite the success of bands like U2, Bell X1, and other bands not named after airplanes, when American audiences hear the words “Irish” and “band” in the same sentence, they have certain expectations (thanks, Shane MacGowan).
Dublin’s Pugwash brings a different kind of Irish music—contemporary alternative rock/power pop, steeped in the edgier sounds of XTC, ELO and the Kinks—that just so happens to come from musicians who grew up in the Republic of Ireland.
“People do tend to think that with our name, beards and general demeanor of homeless alcoholics that we are a fiddle loving troupe of bards,” says Pugwash frontman Thomas Walsh, “but as soon as we start our brand of poitín pop we soon shatter their shillelagh dreams.”
The band is currently on a pretty intensive tour of the Northeastern U.S., with stops in Irish-American hotbeds throughout New England—now rolling into Hoboken this Thursday night.
Pugwash will be performing at Maxwell’s (1039 Washington St.) with special guests, The Anderson Council. Doors open at 8:00—click HERE for ticket info.
Ever eclectic, the name Pugwash comes from a 1970’s children’s cartoon, but it’s also a scenic town in Nova Scotia as well as a spiritual pool in India. “Our new album arrives in early August on the Omnivore Recordings label,” says Walsh. “All 11 pounds 99p in pop weight and covered in a gooey shellac and digital substance.”
As for the tour, “It’s going splendidly—the turn out has been top notch and the venues have been wonderfully accommodating to a bunch of Irish reprobates like ourselves.”
See—while they mightn’t have uilleann pipes and tin whistles at the ready for every tune, they’re still from Dublin.
And seemingly Terrence Hamfatter does a convincing Ronnie Drew impression.