The Rumjacks returning to Prague

Australian band that blends Celtic folk and punk has a new album

Australian Celtic folk / punk band The Rumjacks will return to Prague's Rock Cafe on Sept. 7 as part of their second European tour.

Last year was a breakthrough for the band, when after appearing at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia, they went on their first European tour, playing to over 50,000 people and going to the Boomtown Fair (UK), Montelago Celtic Festival (Italy) and Jarocin Festival (Poland), as well as sell-out shows at club venues like The Garage (London), Wild At Heart (Berlin) and Rock Cafe (Prague).

The band has just released their third album, Sleepin' Rough, which follows up on the same themes of their 2015 album Sober & Godless — stories of life, love and loss set to a throbbing beat, according to record label Four || Four.

“The music, while hard and fast for the most part, carries with it an element of fun and frivolity, harking back to their Old Country roots, places where music is an integral part of community gathering, soundtracking the times with an almost savage joy,” a press release stated.

The first single, “A Fistful O’ Roses,” is described as a protest over Sydney's nightclub lockout law, which prevents new customers from entering after 1:30 am.

Folk and punk might seem incompatible, but The Rumjacks' frontman Frankie McLaughlin explains. “We were raised on the Scottish and Irish music in our parents' record collection, before colliding head-on with punk rock as we grew older and thought we knew everything,” he said.

They have shared the stage with Dropkick Murphys, The Interrupters, Gogol Bordello, Ruts DC, Guttermouth, GBH, UK Subs and The Aggrolites.

“We’re at home on any lineup in front of any crowd, I think there are elements of what we do that must appeal to just about anyone,” McLaughlin said. “We draw on so many influences, but still it’s important for us to force the bounds of what we already do, play good solid punk rock with a fat smear of Celtic folk right through it, Hopefully contributing something fresh and substantial that’ll stick around in people’s hearts long after the party’s over.”

The band formed in 2008, when McLaughlin met Bassist Johnny McKelvey. Aside from those two, the lineup now includes drummer Anthony Matters, guitarist Gabriel Whitbourne and banjo / mandolin / bouzouki player Adam Kenny.

They released two EPs in 2009 – Hung, Drawn & Portered and Sound as a Pound — followed by three full length albums: Gangs of New Holland in 2010, plus the more recent Sober & Godless and Sleepin' Rough.

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