Flogging Molly wails drunken lullabies
Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 16:02
One band had much more than the luck of the Irish going for them on Friday night.
Flogging Molly, a seven-member band founded by Irish expatriate Dave King, played to a sold-out crowd at the House of Blues, wielding everything from electric guitars to an accordion, a violin and a banjo. The band combines these instruments to create a sound that King says is neither punk rock nor traditional Irish music.
Flogging Molly got its start in 1997 at Molly Mallone's, an Irish pub in Los Angeles that has served as a venue for artists like Joan Osborne and Lenny Kravitz. Flogging Molly is not a traditional band. Drawing its inspiration and influence from traditional music but adding a twist, Flogging molly does not like to be labeled, King says.
The band played in Orlando as part of its Green 17 tour, which is set to cover many American cities and eventually head overseas.
As the consummate frontman, King shared personal stories and talked to the audience as if he was with old friends, like he did with "If I Ever Leave This World Alive." Just as he was getting ready to go into the song, he reminded the audience of how the Irish view death.
"Being Irish, we don't mourn death, we celebrate life," King said.
One band member that stood out was Bridget Regan, the lone female member of the group. While her comrades bounced around the stage and worked the crowd, she remained silent among them, intensely focused on playing her violin. Her subdued persona offered a unique contrast to the in-your-face style of King and other band members.
Another big hit with the crowd was "Rebels of the Sacred Heart," a fast, up-tempo track that carries religious themes.
Noel Russell, a USF student, enjoyed the performance. She has been a fan of Flogging Molly for seven years, and links her love of the band to her Irish roots.
"I'm Irish by heritage, so when I was in high school, I kind of started getting into that," Russell said. "I love the stories and their music and how they perform. They bring a lot of what Irish culture is to their shows."
Russell also likes the mix of instruments that the band uses to create its sound.
"You can tell they are actual musicians because they can go from one instrument to another and they have a great synergy as a band," Russell said.
Brendan Tierney, a television producer for the Home Shopping Network, also said that his love of this group is tied to his Irish roots.
"It's one of the bands that really speaks to my heritage being of Irish descent," Tierney said. "The music is also always entertaining and exciting and fun and high energy,"
He has followed Flogging Molly for seven years and used a Gaelic word, craic (pronounced "crack") to describe his love of bands like Flogging Molly. While there is no literal English translation to the word, it is loosely defined as referring to fun and enjoyment.
"There's an old saying that craic is a spectator sport," Tierney said. "That's why we love these bands."
Two other bands appeared as opening acts for Flogging Molly. The first, "The Drowning Men," a band from Oceanside, Calif., creates its sound by blending different sounds, such as indie rock and Irish folk. The other band, "Moneybrother," blends a variety of music styles, such as Reggae, rock and roll, and even disco, to create its sound.
Flogging Molly's new album, "Speed of Darkness," will be available on May 24.