Don’t Ever Let Me Down

Tom Waits blows me away with his music on more levels than anyone else. The Tansads will forever be my favourite band, the soundtrack to a teenage summer when I could have taken on the world – my own personal Teenage Kicks.

But I don’t think I know a better live act than Flogging Molly.

That’s the fifth time I’ve seen them in a little under three years. And this time round, Bridget Regan was sadly, unable to play fiddle owing to injury (although she came on to play tin whistle a few times, so that was good – see previous comments about all female fiddle players being nigh-unbearably attractive), and the fiddle part was played by Bob Schmidt on banjo, which I like, but it just doesn’t grab me in the same way as a good, fast, fiddle sound does. So, with one of the most important parts of their music missing, I was, to be honest, set for a bit of a let-down. Still, one gig out of five not being up there, it’s hardly cause for complaint, is it?

They took the roof off the place.

I’ve seen bands play bigger gigs. I’ve been to gigs where the audience roared along with every word. I’ve seen gigs I never thought I’d get to see. There is still nothing on earth like the feeling in the crowd at a Flogging Molly gig. I’ve never seen a band keep so much of the crowd moving, with so much energy, for as long as they manage, ever damn time. Never seen anyone forge that connection with audience – a sense that that really, there is no divide between performers and audience – everyone present is there with the common goal of having a wild old time.

I could talk about the songs they played, but I don’t think it’d mean anything to more than half a dozen of you. Tonight wasn’t the best Flogging Molly gig I’ve ever seen (for those keeping score, that was the one I saw with both wmute and _fionnuala_ about 18 months ago), but I still don’t know if any other act I’ve seen has topped it for the sheer electric joy of a live gig. If you haven’t seen them live, you are missing out.

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