Dropkick Murphys Pick Their Ultimate Punk-Rock Playlist

The punks tell us what they like to play during their tour bus journeys, or when they’re Shipping Off To Boston…

Dropkick Murphys Pick Their Ultimate Punk-Rock Playlist

Ahead of their performance at this year’s Rock Werchter festival in Belgium, celtic punk legends Dropkick Murphys tell us what they like to play during their tour bus journeys, or when they’re Shipping Off To Boston…

10. The Macc Lads – No Sheep Till Buxton.
“The Macc Lads were a crass, vile, and lyrically “interesting” band, braving many subjects that most bands wouldn’t touch– they’d probably be burned at the stake in today’s, erm, “tolerant” climate of safe spaces, gender studies, and man-bun hairdos. Great, great tunes, and lyrically a pretty big influence on some of our less-serious numbers. This song in particular is a classic off their “Beer and Sex and Chips and Gravy” LP. Having attended a sheep shagg…, SHEARring! fest the other weekend, this song came to mind immediately.”

9. The Dictators – Stay With Me.
“These NYC maniacs formed in the early ’70s at a time when rock and roll had crawled up its own backside. “Progressive Rock” bands would jam endlessly while ignoring the crowd, lost in their own little world. The Dictators were about as diametrically-opposite to all that floor-gazing crap as you can imagine. They came along with songs like “Cars and Girls”, “Two Tub Man”, etc., with songs mostly averaging at around 3:50, bringing actual FUN back to rock music, and inspiring bands such as the Ramones and others to start up in the burgeoning New York punk scene. “Stay With Me” is just a perfect pop song off what I believe is their greatest album, 1978’s “Blood Brothers” LP. This little number is about being an alienated dude who just wants to keep his main squeeze. A stone-cold classic!”

8. The Business – Do A Runner.
“I remember when we were just a four-piece band, driving around America listening to tape after tape of home-dubbed albums, and the Business were, aside from being heroes, a main staple in our auditory diet. Years later, we all agree on the importance of this band in our development. Steve Kent’s tasty guitar licks and our man Micky Fitz(RIP)’s clever, jovial lyrical waxing about unethical, erm, business practices and get-rich-quick schemes combine to make the perfect pop-Oi! anthem.”

7. Nervous Eaters – Just Head.
“Another van-ride choon from our past, albeit covered by the New Bomb Turks at the time. The Nervous Eaters were a staple punk rock act of the late ’70s and early ’80s. A song about a guy in such a hurry, he doesn’t even have time for “the old in-out, in-out” with his female companion, so, well… “just head, cos I’m in a rush. Just head baby, that’ll be enough!” Touching lyrics to say the least, but the music is full-throttle punk rock and roll of the kind you got out of places like Boston.”

6. Stiff Little Fingers – Wasted Life.
“There were bands like the Clash and the Pistols singing about what pisses them off or trying to be as vile as possible. Then you had some Northern Irish kids who, though obviously influenced by the above, had to contend with sectarian violence, bombs going off, extreme police brutality, and poverty, who decided to start a band and sing about THEIR problems. Needless to say, there isn’t a trite word or phrase on the “Inflammable Material” album. “Wasted Life” is a song from the trenches. It isn’t about anarchy, social problems, or faraway stuff that students tend to protest about…. it’s about the pressures of joining a paramilitary hitsquad and killing your fellow countrymen in the name of queen and crown, or God and the Pope. This song is saying “fuck you” to sectarianism in the middle of it all. Tough as nails, razor sharp tune, with truly emotionally-charged lyrics puts this bad larry over the top.”

5. The Clash – What’s My Name.
“The first Clash album probably got played more between our bandmates over the years than any other. A tale of paranoia, youthful angst, and violence. We can all relate to this stuff to some degree. Instantly-catchy chorus, which I imagine didn’t come part-and-parcel with the verse lyrics, but seems to shout a symptom of what the verses are trying to convey. Probably not so deep, but it makes for a great song that I’ll never get sick of.”

4. The Adolescents – Amoeba.
“This one gets the old guard in the band really going. Featured on the “Blue Album”, from 1981, I think Al and Ken know every word of this song and every song on this album by heart. Raging, tuneful, and undisputedly anthemic, with wacky sci-fi lyrics, this was proper West Coast hardcore for the non-mall punk.”

3. The Anti-Heros – Carte Blanche for Chaos.
“In our early days, we did a lot of traveling for single-shows. Hey, let’s drive nineteen hours to Atlanta, Georgia for one gig! Great idea! Well, it actually was, because we got to see the Anti-Heros play in their home town. This song was off their bombastic “American Pie” album. Lyrics deal with the deep issues like flipping over port-a-potties, “…flipped it over onto its back; man came out covered in crap!”, and crashing students’ parties, “…TV through the window, long-hair through the wall!!!”, and just causing absolute mayhem. “Carte blanche for chaos, carte blanche for fun, when we’re coming you’d better run!” is the chorus to this little ditty. Still gets us fired up when we put this or their first two albums(“That’s Right!” and “Don’t Tread On Me”).”

2. Swingin’ Utters – The Dirty Sea.
“This band is one of the Dropkicks’ biggest influences. I used to go check these guys out at the Rathskeller and the Middle East Cafe when our band was just a twinkle in Ken’s eye. This song is off the “Sounds Wrong e.p.”, a quick little collection of mid-tempo numbers with nods to the UK Subs(check “Greg’s Love Song”), a cover of Billy Childish’s Thee Mighty Caesars(“Devious Means”), and probably something more obvious I can’t put a finger on. “Dirty Sea” opens the release with a jagged, thoughts-of-SLF-inducing rhythm guitar, and Johnny Peebucks’ voice rasping “Nothing comes over me, nothing like inspiration…”. When the hi-hat four-count sizzles in, the song just busts out of the speakers. Awesome, poppy, but lyrically not ham-fisted Street Punk straight outta the mid-’90s. Such a good fucking song.”

1. Cock Sparrer – We’re Coming Back.
“Sparrer has been kicking out the jams off and on since 1972(starting as Cockney Sparrow), and actually just released one of their finest albums, “Forever”, last month.The first time I heard “We’re Coming Back” and the rest of the “Shock Troops” LP(on some tenth-generation dubbed cassette of dubious quality), I was confused: I could imagine girl scouts(girl guides in your vernacular) innocently singing these melodies while selling cookies door-to-door. However, the lyrics were as tough as anything I’d heard, with a big snarl and an F.U. to politicians of all stripes and record executives, crazy kids-down-the-street-turned-coppers, working under the table while collecting a dole check/-que, drinking-fighting-fucking, and what have you. The mixture of schoolyard melodies and backstreet lyrics somehow just made this album and this band perfect. “We’re Coming Back” is absolutely the perfect anthem of friendship, cameraderie, and a giving ten fingers to those down on their luck. Put this song on and the drinks go flying, hearts start glowing, and just see the smiles…”

Don’t forget to catch the Dropkick Murphys live at this years Rock Werchter, check out the line-up below:

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