Release Date: February 11, 2014
Run Time: 75:00
Buy: Whiskey Devil Records
2. Paint The Town Red
3. Shakespeare Road
4. A Pain From Yesterday
5. Angels & Devils
6. Wild Rover
8. Down The Boozer
9. Give It All You Got
10. Past The Pint Of No Return
11. King Of Copenhagen
12. Ghost Of A Whiskey Devil
13. Whiskey Under The Bridge
14. Queen And Tequila
15. Blood Is On Your Hands
16. Celtic Pride / Drunken Lazy Bastard
17. Going Down The Bar
17. Drunken Lazy Bastard
18. I Wanna Be Sedated
19. Teenage Kicks
Though they are based in Canada (Finny being from Ireland) The Mahones have always represented the Emerald Isle to me in their music and their message. Throwing on a Mahones record can and does, turn any day into St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, I had to stop listening to the record halfway through to grab a Guinness because finishing the album without one just felt, wrong. I’ve had the privilege to catch The Mahones live on three separate occasions. Of those three, they never gave a bad show, a disappointing set, or less than 110%. They are one of the funnest bands I’ve seen play live.
A Great Night on the Lash kicks off at the tail end of the Celtic hip hop classic Jump by House of Pain. I don’t know if it was the band or the promoter’s idea to play the band in with this tune, but it’s a fitting introduction. The first six songs blur by in battering ram strength and speed with emphasis being put more in delivering a hell of a good show than hitting every note or singing every word, which is the way it should be.
Passion is a far more attractive quality in a band than perfection, it’s great when a band can just change things up and never be boring. When the band does reel the circus in a little bit for London, a beautiful, touching song very much imbued with the spirit of Rum, Sodomy & The Lash-era Pogues, it’s a well placed and welcome breather.
Don’t get too comfortable on your ass though because biting at London’s heels is the barnstormer Down The Boozer, a song every bit as rambunctious as its title would suggest. It spills nicely into Past the Pint of No Return, a rollicking recollection (or lack thereof) of a night Finny spent out in Europe on his birthday with some members of Dropkick Murphys drinking himself into amnesia. It’s a funny story and a fun song and always a highlight of the band’s live show.
By the time the band start wrapping up the set with one of their most well known rocker’s Queen & Tequila, the pure energy and relentless pace of the show leaves you feeling like you just got sucker punched. But in a good way. The Mahones’ anti-war anthem Blood is On Your Hands would be an impressive way to cap off an already impressive show, if not for the three song, ten minute plus medley that follows it.
Celtic Pride slows the pace long enough to give the band and audience a chance for a breather and one last pint, which is a good thing because it’s followed by Drunken Lazy Bastard, which is more or less the band’s theme song and one of their most well known. The medley and the whole show is caboose’d by a lively rendition of The Undertones’ masterpiece Teenage Kicks.
There are three bonus tracks included. The songs are covers and feature Goin’ Down The Bar, originally by The Wretched Ones, I Wanna Be Sedated, by Ramones and the aforementioned Teenage Kicks. All three were recorded live in studio in Belfast, Ireland and feature Ireland’s legendary punks The Defects. They’re fun and surprisingly straight interpretations of the classic songs.
A Great Night on the Lash is The Mahones first live album since 2000 and their first ever with Katie Kaboom, the band’s already iconic accordionist/backing vocalist. It was recorded live off the floor in Italy at a big festival the band was headlining and was recorded by Finny without the rest of the band’s knowledge, ensuring a performance devoid of the anxieties that go along with knowing you’re being recorded.
As I mentioned, I’ve never seen The Mahones on an off night, and rest assured, their performance on this night in Italy during the Angels and Devils world tour was not it. The bottom line is this: if you want to listen to a live show of a band that replicates exactly what you hear on their records, go buy a ticket to a Justin Bieber concert and watch him lip sync to backing tracks of his records.
If you want to experience the spontaneity, showmanship and pure ferocious energy of a punk show by a legendary band blasting at you in the comfort of your own home, The Mahones A Great Night on the Lash: Live in Italy is about as good as it gets.