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Thread: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

  1. #1
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    Got dragged along to the Chieftains there last month and this is a vague account of what went down:


    Just a little caveat here before we go.
    I had never seen the Chieftains before.
    So I am speaking from a position of total informed ignorance
    An ignorance I was relatively happy with until a haphazard offer of a ticket.
    So why not?
    The Chieftains have been around. And you don't get to stay around for 50 years unless you got something.
    They have to have something.

    And they do.
    But it's bizarre.
    And irritating.
    Wonderful.
    Rousing.
    Suspect.
    Depressing.

    At least I got to go to the Grand Canal Theatre.
    Cool, deconstructivist, Lost in Translation elegance.
    One of those few occasions where chi chi manages to put a bit of effective spin on emptiness.



    Capitalism may have launched the Grand Canal Theatre.
    But it has taken socialism to guide it safely back to earth.
    And for socialism, just read you.
    Tax-payer take a bow.
    The Chieftains suggested you give a round of applause to Harry Crosbie.
    I suggest you give yourself a clap.
    You got a little back.
    I know it's a minor compensation.
    But the stunning surrounds almost make it feel worth it.
    Can't quite say the same about the music.
    There's something about the group's sound that seems to endorse and celebrate the very deviant sentimentality which wreaked havoc across the country, slaying prospects and murdering hope but just happened to drop this jewel in the neo-liberal safari park they call the docklands.
    Other such kool aid constructs and paeans to hubris like the U2 tower never got to the good side of hallucination.

    But back to Paddy Maloney.



    Just when you are starting to see what all the fuss is about.
    It's back to ******* Paddy Moloney.
    As an artefact of delicate sonic beauty starts to shimmer in front of you, along comes Paddy Moloney.
    Hal Roche. Vegas leprechaun. Duffy ringmaster.
    Paddy.
    Presented with the possibility of beauty, Paddy Maloney opts for buffoonery.

    Then sound and fury. And on comes a Marching Pipe band.
    All Celtic Kipling. Stomp and pomp.
    We've taken the wild out of these colonial boys.
    This is stiff upper lip stuff.
    The band, all shorn and sideburned, look like they just came back from a "good crack at the Boer" rather than off a bus from Limerick.
    Apparently we are hearing the tales of Paddies out fighting in the Mexican civil war.
    This is strange.
    It's rousing.
    Definitely militaristic.
    Might even be a touch of the fascistic.

    But then comes the flute.
    A feminine counterattack.
    No more stomping.
    This is the stuff of lightfooted beguile.
    All charm and enrapture.
    And then the complexity of the fiddle...

    And then .....then it's back to ******* Hal Roach.

    Centre stage Maloney starts looking at his watch.
    "Don't be losing the run of yourself there boyo!"
    For grubby laughs, Paddy gesticulates at his watch while raising his eyes to heaven.
    That's witty Paddy!
    Sure why would you want spectral magic when you can have cheap laughs.
    And he pulls the same stunt again and again.
    But this time it's even more orchestrated, an act of premeditated charlatanism.
    An act of articide.
    The Chieftain's court jester, a wild Nova Scotian goes "tinker mad" on a violin solo.
    And in the middle of the maelstrom, the fiddler's mobile phone rings.
    It's Paddy Maloney pretending to make a call.
    Jesus. Isn't that great gas!

    Why celebrate what you do when you can denigrate it?
    But that seems to be the thing with The Chieftains.
    There does not seem to be any real reverence for the music.
    At the same time there is something faux about their casualness.
    They try and pretend that the brilliance slips out by accident.
    It's like no one wants to step up and embrace that brilliance.
    No-one wants to be a star.
    So we are fed upfront distraction.
    Young ones leaping.
    Click-clacking Peig Astaires.
    All with a strong smell of Flatley.

    I don't know.
    But it all struck me as very "Kept Catholic."
    Last edited by Kev Bar; 05-07-2012 at 06:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    I've never been a fan of the Chieftains. Dubliners: yes, Fureys: obviously, various solo artists and other bands but I never could 'take' to the Chieftains.

    I watched a kind of a documentary the other day and once again I was unimpressed.

    Fifty years, obviously they have something, but after being around for all and more of those fifty years I still don't get it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    You hit the nail again Kev. The don’t rock the boat Kept Catholic metaphor is apt. Always found them better in studio than live. the less gimmickery and more music the better. There's enough wannabe Leprechauns out there. I once gave a tape of the Chieftans in China to my Chinese in-laws who raved about it. Then I’m not sure if they knew anything about Chinese music much less Irish music.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    They've been around as long as the Rolling Stones ... must be some magic at play!

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYE-x0Yje98"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYE-x0Yje98[/ame]
    Give me a misty day, pearly gray, silver, silky faced, wide-awake crescent-shaped smile

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    Brilliantly written OP.
    Chieftains are for a foreign audience, like the old Jurys Cabaret. They know their audience and they give them what they want.
    Paddy Moloney was a passenger in my taxi and he is most ordinary and friendly when not on stage. No airs and graces at all.

  6. #6
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    Over here everyone agrees with me or else is non-plussed
    Over there frenzied inter-mod communication, an infraction, accusation of gibberish and a move to the Zoo.
    This isn't just a left/right divide.

    What is it.

    This is no Ganley issue.
    This is not an attack on a paymaster.
    This is a mere cultural debate.

    Without 2 and 20 blackbirds attacking a savoury dish per se.

    What would you say is the problem?

    An age issue? Income? Intelligence?

    Much as I'd love to think it is, it can't all be about me.
    Last edited by Kev Bar; 06-07-2012 at 01:51 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    The zoo was becoming my natural home over there.
    Over there is a kip.
    Leave them to their squabbling.

  8. #8
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    Quote Originally Posted by eamo View Post
    The zoo was becoming my natural home over there.
    Over there is a kip.
    Leave them to their squabbling.
    The Zoo was where the last thread I opened ended up.
    But as I was talking about Enda Kenny I don't think I really noticed about strange about where the guff was packed off to.
    Last edited by Kev Bar; 06-07-2012 at 01:58 AM.

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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    Quote Originally Posted by eamo View Post
    The zoo was becoming my natural home over there.
    Over there is a kip.
    Leave them to their squabbling.
    'like' or something

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    Saw the thread over there, I can't for the life of me figure out why it'd be sent to the zoo, unless it was in the wrong forum. Other than that, a move to chat would have been reasonable. They tolerate trolling and seem to encourage it, the place has really gone downhill lately.

    By the way, I have zero interest in the Chieftans.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    He didn't lay the blame of immigrants you see

  12. #12
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. FIVE View Post
    He didn't lay the blame of immigrants you see

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    I only ever saw the Chieftans once. It was in Barcelona but I was too young and too drunk to remember anything about it now

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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Bar View Post
    Apparently we are hearing the tales of Paddies out fighting in the Mexican civil war.
    This is strange.
    It's rousing.
    Definitely militaristic.
    Might even be a touch of the fascistic.
    I can't comment on the tone of their live performances because I have never seen one. But they are, without a doubt, superb musicians. I gave a copy of "san patricio" to some travelling Mexican musicians I encountered and they loved in. Played it constantly in the van, I am told, crossing Canada.

    You would have to explain the fascism reference to me .......
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Kept Catholics - 50 Years of the Chieftains

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Bar View Post
    Over here everyone agrees with me or else if non-plussed
    Over there frenzied inter-mod communication, an infraction, accusation of gibberish and a move to the Zoo.
    This isn't just a left/right divide.


    I'd been vaguely wondering why you were MIA.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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