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Announce February 2008 Ireland & UK Tour
New album “The Meanest of Times” - Out Now on Cooking Vinyl
New EP “The State of Massachusetts” - Out 8th February

“A stroke of genius … More punk, more folk, more traditional, more modern, and above all simply more raucous sing along foot stomping-in-your-face mayhem than ever before.” – Big Cheese *****
“Famous For Nothing encapsulates everything the band is renowned for, and once it has you through that door, you ain’t leaving this party … and the fact that this is by far the greatest and most complete album to date, things are looking (and sounding) excellent for the Dropkicks.” – Rocksound 8/10
“Whiskey-soaked anthems … coated with monster singalong choruses and wild guitars.” – The Sun

Dropkick Murphys have announced that they will be touring Ireland & the UK in the new year starting in DUBLIN's TRIPOD on Jan 31 2008 in support of their recently released album, The Meanest of Times. Famous for their incendiary live performances, the band’s annual Live On St Patrick’s Day gigs in Boston, MA, have become so popular that in 2005, they sold an unprecedented 12,000 tickets for six shows, shattering the venue sales record originally held by the legendary Ramones!

2008 Irish & UK Tour Dates
31 Jan - Dublin - Tripod
1 Feb - Belfast - Mandela Hall

2 Feb - Glasgow - Barrowlands
3 Feb - Aberdeen - Moshulu
4 Feb - Newcastle - Acadamy
5 Feb - Seffield, Leadmill
6 Feb - Norwich - UEA
7 Feb - Leeds - Met Uni
8 Feb - Wolverhampton - Civic
9 Feb - Manchester - Acadamy
10 Feb - Oxford - Acadamy
11 Feb - Southampton - Guildhall
13 Feb - Bristol - Acadamy
14 Feb - Swansea - Brangwyn Hall
15 Feb - Exeter - Great Hall
16 Feb - London - Brixton Acadamy


To coincide with the tour, the band will be releasing The State of Massachusetts EP on Friday 8th February in Ireland. Available as a digital download, with more formats to be confirmed, the EP features 4 tracks – The State of Massachusetts (taken from The Meanest of Times), plus 3 previously unreleased songs* – The Thick Skin of Defiance, Breakdown and Forever.

Formed in 1996, Dropkick Murphys have evolved into one of the most beloved punk-inspired bands in the world. In 2006 they secured the lead track (“I’m Shipping Off To Boston”) in Martin Scorsese's Academy Award winning film "The Departed", and have sold over 1.5 million albums in the US alone.

Their sixth studio album, The Meanest of Times, contains all the best elements of the DKM sound - a complex distillation of classic punk rock, Celtic folk and American rock'n'roll. The album gets off to an explosive start with the uncompromising and downright brilliant, “Famous For Nothing” and the set bowing, optimistic roar of “Never Forget”, a rowdy, teen-spirited sort of anthem. Meanwhile "Flannigan's Ball" is a stirring opus featuring Irish folk legend Ronnie Drew from The Dubliners and Spider Stacy from iconic Celtic folk punks The Pogues. With the presence of “Surrender”, a perseverant, optimistic anthem, “Fairmount Hill”, a Boston take on the traditional Irish ballad “Spancil Hill” that would do Spider’s Pogues proud, and the uplifting tribute to their wives and families known as “Echoes on A. Street”, The Meanest Of Times asserts that the Dropkick Murphys know home is where the heart is, and are proud to pay tribute to the people who have touched their lives.

* previously unreleased in Europe.
 
 
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Al Barr: vocals
Tim Brennan: Mandolin, accordion, banjo, bouzouki, tin whistle, and acoustic guitar
Ken Casey: Vocals and bass guitar
Matt Kelly: Drums and backing vocals
James Lynch: Guitar and backing vocals
Marc Orrell: Guitar, accordion, piano and backing vocals
Scruffy Wallace: Bagpipes


From meager beginnings playing all-ages matinees at now-defunct Boston clubs to a prominent placement in Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning film, “The Departed”, the Dropkick Murphy’s have evolved over the past decade into one of the most beloved punk-inspired bands in the world. Now, with “The Meanest Of Times”, their sixth studio album of spirited, cathartic and heartfelt anthems, the oft-cherished seven-piece outfit has also launched its own record label, Born & Bred Records, as a means to bring new DKM music to the world while assuming full control of their destiny. In addition, the group has entered into a licensing deal with Cooking Vinyl for the UK and Europe.

As evidenced by the explosive, uncompromising and downright brilliant album-opener, “Famous For Nothing” and the set bowing, optimistic roar of “Never Forget”, “The Meanest Of Times” is book-ended in top form and captures among its fifteen tracks what founding bassist Ken Casey calls “themes of childhood, growing up and family.”

“Growing up, I saw my share of hard times,” Casey says. “I think a lot of us did. But looking back on it, I wouldn’t trade them for anything, because those hard times made us all who we are today.”

“To me the record is a celebration of life,” front man Al Barr adds. “It’s about redemption. It’s about coming up in the world and the way it shapes you. It’s about not taking your family and friends for granted and it’s about living in the moment. The cover is a bunch of Catholic School kids messing around and looking angry on the playground. And if you think back to your elementary and high school years, in a lot of ways, they sometimes really were the meanest of times.”

From the school bell ringing as the kids exit for recess to the manic pace of guitars, bass and drums, Casey calls “Famous For Nothing” a rowdy, teen-spirited sort of anthem. He says, “Whereas, “Never Forget”, at least for me and Al, now that we’re parents it kind of has a different perspective. One end of it is the kid looking ahead and the other end is the adult looking back.”

At the heart of “The Meanest Of Times” lies “The State of Massachusetts” a song that plays to the strengths of the Dropkick Murphys that was chosen as a digital single in advance of the disc. The song with its instantly memorable driving banjo riff courtesy of Tim Brennan is sure to be an immediate hit with the diehard Murphys fans as well as the legion of new fans that have come on board in the wake of “The Departed”.

“Of the new material it’s the song we’ve been playing live the longest and it’s a song that has gotten a tremendous live reaction.” To which Al asserts, “I think we all like the fact that it crosses the spectrum between Irish folk music and rock & roll. It’s really indicative of what the band is all about.”

Meanwhile "Flannigan's Ball" is a stirring opus which features Irish folk legend Ronnie Drew from The Dubliners and Spider Stacy from iconic Celtic folk punks The Pogues. “It was wild,” says Ken of the thrill of capturing three generations of modern Irish Folk music for the track. “You know, Irish music is a family thing, I can imagine a father, son and grandfather all sitting down to listen to that song, each with their own generations represented.”

“Spider is a good friend and it was pretty easy to get him to come down for the recording” Ken continues. “Not that we’re any less honored to have him on the track but to have Ronnie as well was amazing. When we were singing the chorus together, it was amazing to look to the right and see Spider and to the left to see Ronnie in the room. I just think it’s a tremendous achievement. I would venture to say that Ronnie probably never sang on a song with screaming electric guitars. But I tell you he sounds great with them. He might want to start a punk band!”

“Ronnie is a folk legend,” Al insists. “We’re just so humbled to have him on the record. I remember when we were leaving the studio in Dublin and we’re walking out with Ronnie, and people were spotting him on the street and going “heya Ronnie!” He’s just an amazing person and a legend.”

It wouldn’t be the first time the band has been associated with legends. The band performed at the Sex Pistols’ infamous 2002 Golden Jubilee gig, wrote the theme song to the highly improbable 2004 Red Sox World Series Championship, their first in 86 years, and collaborated with Woody Guthrie’s estate to utilize the folk pioneer’s unpublished lyrics to craft “Gonna Be A Blackout”. Oh yeah, and there was that critical use of “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” from “The Warrior’s Code” in the aforementioned Scorsese movie “The Departed”.

“To be in an Academy Award winning film is mind blowing,” Al says, still with a sense of disbelief. “As far as expanding our fan base, we got a lot of great, positive feedback on the song. And from that use in the film our last record was given an unexpected new life. It was an explosion.”

“We’re at a point with the band where we’ve earned the right to try go it alone,” Casey says of the band’s decision to release their music on the band’s own label. “We’ve always sort of been in control of our own destiny, and we’ve got a built-in fan base, so it only makes sense for us to call the shots. In this business I think it’s a pretty enviable position to be in. You don’t have to hand your record in to some A&R guy and wonder if he’s going to tell you if it sucks or not, or fire a band member or get a new producer if the label tells you too. Warners have been great and from our experiences working with them via “The Departed” we knew it was a good place to release our records so when they approached us and were so open to the kind of deal we wanted we knew we just had to go for it.”

“It’s something that we had always talked about,” Al continues. “We learned quite a bit from Hellcat/Epitaph, but I think that because of the way that the business has changed the timing is as right as it ever will be for us and in a lot of ways it’s a dream come true.”

With their label debut, the Dropkick Murphy’s have turned out what is arguably their best album to date, a notion upheld by the scorching two-minute working class anthem “Tomorrow’s Industry”, the whiskey, war, suicide, and guns chant-along of “Vices & Virtues” and the disc’s socio-political hardcore bruiser “Shattered”.

“In this day and age, I think it’s natural for bands to write songs based on topical, political and social issues,” Ken explains. “But as we started to take a look at all the songs, we had eleven that dealt with family. And by that I mean our direct families, people in the neighborhood, fans and friends. For whatever reason the songs just gravitated in that direction, each song tells a story about people in our lives or parts of our backgrounds”.

“We were kind of going through the grief process when we were writing the last record, because we lost our good friend and unofficial mascot Greg “Chickenman” Riley who died suddenly in a motorcycle accident in 2004. This time we sort of took a step back and we’re writing from a broader perspective. That whole experience took a bit to get through but I think we have come out the other side with a greater respect for the people in our lives, it reminded us never to take your family and friends for granted.”

With the presence of “Surrender”, a perseverant, optimistic anthem, “Fairmount Hill” a Boston take on the traditional Irish ballad “Spancil Hill” that would do Spider’s Pogues proud, and the uplifting tribute to their wives and families known as “Echoes on A. Street”, “The Meanest Of Times” asserts that the Dropkick Murphys know home is where the heart is and are proud to pay tribute to the people who have touched their lives.

And the fans pay them back tenfold with their exuberance and loyalty. A Dropkick Murphys live show is easily one of the most exciting and invigorating around these days as particularly evident if you have ever been to one of their sold out months in advance Boston St Patrick’s Day shows.

Says Ken, “I think it’s almost like we’re going to a show every night ourselves, because the audience is entertaining to us just as much as we’re performing for them. Our fans are so unpredictable. You never know when some drunk is gonna take his clothes off and rub up against you, not that I want to encourage that type of thing!”

“When you get up onstage for two hours of your day, it reminds you why you do it,” Al interjects. “It’s the audience and the fervor that you feel. A lot times I don’t embrace it until I hit the stage, but then I come alive and the reason why I do this, why I love this so much, is nailed into my forehead.”

With the kind of success they’ve developed, the Murphys have, rather miraculously, held onto the bulk of their original fans. “To some degree, whenever your success increases, you lose some of that original fanbase,” Ken explains. “But as far as the law of percentages go, we’ve been very lucky. I think a lot of it goes back to that generational thing. It’s the kind of music that an older brother wants to get a younger brother into and it’s the kind of music that a father wants to get his son into. I also think it’s because we’re very close with our fans. We actually have conversations with our fans. Like, “hey I saw you were in The Departed, I was so proud of you guys”. Our fans feel a part of it. And they are a part of it. And its wonderful, because I think for most of them, they’re in it for the long haul”.

That loyalty is perhaps best personified by the unaltered mural dedicated to the band that fans painted on a building in South Boston. “I don’t know if it’s a respect thing, but there’s new graffiti on the building where our mural is located but the local taggers stopped just short of the painting, leaving it untouched,” Al says of the piece (which was used as the artwork for 2001’s Sing Loud, Sing Proud).

When asked if he ever thought he’d see the band he founded eleven years ago become the heralded band that created “The Meanest Of Times”, Ken Casey responds with an unequivocal “Yes.”

“For me, I think back to when we were playing punk rock matinees for kids with Mohawks at the Rat more than a decade ago. I envisioned that it would become this, because I thought the topics and music could appeal to a much broader audience if given the chance. And that’s the beauty of it. We’ve gone on to become something different to a wide group of people, but the music gets to stay the same. Most bands have to change to get to where we are. So the best part is we get to have our cake and eat it too.”

From the Quincy Barbershop to Fenway Park the year the Red Sox won the World Series to six sold out shows in a club they used to be barred from to a song in an Academy Award winning Martin Scorsese film the goal has always remained the same. Says Casey: “We always wanted to be that band that didn’t forget where we came from and we keep it in the forefront of our minds that we’re all in it together, audience and band members, as one. That’s the M.O. of a lot of punk bands, but I think sometimes it gets lost when a band has any kind of success. We never want to let it go to our heads. We know how lucky we are to be doing this. I don’t care if we’re playing to 10 people or 10,000 people, those kids that are up front singing our songs are the reason we’re doing this.”


Discography
Do Or Die 1997
The Gang’s All Here 1999
Singles Collection 2000
Sing Loud Sing Proud 2001
Live on St. Patrick’s Day From Boston, MA 2002
Blackout 2003
On The Road With the Dropkick Murphys DVD 2004
Singles Collection: Volume II 2005
The Warrior’s Code 2005
The Meanest Of Times 2007


 
 
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