Recently, I’ve been listening to some Celtic rock and Celtic punk bands. Not because I felt an overwhelming need, a musical itch I had to scratch, much like my recent compulsion to listen to Radiohead’s OK Computer, a compulsion that burned itself out after two days.
Rather, it’s for research purposes.
Part of “THOD” revolves around a Celtic punk/rock band named Arbroath.
As in Arbroath, Scotland, the site of the signature of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, which I learned about when I read Michael Lafosse’s book, The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland about ten years ago. The name of town sounds crisp, it sounds like the kind of name a Celtic punk band would have.
Which means there probably is a Celtic punk band named Arbroath out there.
In any case, I’ve had to get a “feel” for what Arbroath sounds like.
I knew what Arbroath didn’t sound like. They weren’t the Pogues. Or the Tosser. Or the Dropkick Murphys. Or Flogging Molly. In short, they weren’t Irish. These are all bands that I enjoy. But they’re not at all what Arbroath sounds like in my head.
I mentioned in June that they sound, at least as I imagine them, much like Washington Irving, a Glasgow-based folk band. And their song “The Magician” is rather close to the sound. But still, not exact.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to find an exact match for what I “hear” in my head.
The Real McKenzies, whom Steve Roby recommended on Psi Phi years ago, are in the neighborhood of Arbroath. So, too, is a Nova Scotia-based band that’s long since disbanded that I recently discovered — MacKeel. What do they have in common? Bagpipes. Distorted and overloaded guitars. A really loud sound.
And Arbroath may owe a little to Sonic Death Monkey as well.
I’ve recently worked out Arbroath’s set list at a gig. A couple of standards, a couple of off-the-wall tunes, and there’s a showstopper that, well, I’m not exactly sure how or why my mind latched onto the band playing that song, but once I thought about it, I realized how much it worked, in spite of the non-standard instrumentation.
Sometimes, my mind surprises me.
I’ve no musical talents. I can barely carry a tune. But this aspect of “THOD” is fun.
And as for the music I’m currently craving, I’m currently absolutely jonesing to listen to The Who’s Tommy, only I’ve no idea what I’ve gone and done with my CD. I thought I’d left it at the office, but it wasn’t there. And as I’m sitting here at my desk, I feel like it’s right here, yet I can clearly see that it’s not.
Oh, look. Alex North’s 2001 score. Oh! And my Dido CDs. Nope, no Tommy.