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Music Review: The Tossers – Gloatin’ and Showboatin’: Live On St. Patrick’s Day

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The Tossers are back again with a live CD/DVD just in time for the greatest Irish holiday of the year, St. Patrick’s Day.   Gloatin’ and Showboatin’: Live On St. Patrick’s Day was recorded by the Tossers in their hometown on St. Patrick’s Day in 2006.  This CD/DVD was released under Victory records.

Irish, punk, and drunk are three words that sum up The Tossers.  Formed in the 90’s in Chicago, this Celtic punk rock seven piece band were around before the Dropkick Murphy’s and Flogging Molly took the stage.  They have a more traditional Irish approach with most songs being worthy of slamming pints to.  With the release of the CD/DVD you now have visual proof of how insane The Tossers play.

With only fifteen tracks the CD is just a taste of the enormous celebration the Tossers played.  The DVD coincides with the CD for the most part with a few extra live tracks and music videos.   Hearing a live show is one thing, but actually seeing it and the reactions of the band and fans makes it so much more personal.  Everyone who attended that evening was soaked in whiskey and Guinness by the end of the show having the time of their life.

Starting off the performance is “Good Mornin’ Da” and the crowd goes absolutely insane.  The band, freshly off a recent tour, looks a little tired and rather buzzed but still give it their best.  The sound quality is great, as are the camera angels, sharing footage of both band and excited fans.

Before the second song the lead singer gives thanks for the free shots before the show and quickly starts the Irish jig “The Crutch”.  Beers are raised in the crowd as a sign of approval as the song travels along with fiddle and tin whistle.

“No Loot, No Booze, No Fun” may have slowed down a little but that just meant more opportunity for the fans to put a few more back and sing their hearts out.  Once the song about lack of alcohol was over “Buckets Of Beer” started up inciting even more energy in the venue that evening.  This was the only song during the performance that sounded troublesome for the band.  I understand though, after a few shots and pints in my system, I don't think I would be able to take stage.

“If I could afford Guinness one night out of the year it is tonight….” slurred lead singer Tony Duggins as he sipped from a freshly cracked can.  “Madrin Rua/Tell Me Ma” started once the can was set down.  This Irish song was traditional at first but soon morphed into the Irish punk rock most fans came to see.

I was highly entertained with “Seven Drunkened Nights” and so was the crowd.  As the cry to being drunk for a week played on, beers were toasted and bodies were thrown on top of the mosh pit.  As Clay Hansen took a break from banjo and sang the song he sipped on a Guinness in between breaks and was the head of the sing-along with fans waiting for each verse to begin.  Some of the footage showed fans so inebriated they hardly were able to sing along but they had a smile to prove they were enjoying it.

“Teehan’s” was dedicated to a bus load of fans that came to see the band play out live.  The song is actually about the friendly bar in Chicago known for their dollar drafts and wonderful hospitality.  It did not seem like many of the fans were getting into the song but perhaps they just needed a break.

Ending the CD was “The Irish Rover” with an all out Tossers jumble.  For have played for over an hour with limited breaks the band was still strong and the fans were sill dancing around pumping fists and celebrating.  Joining a verse on stage was the lead singer’s youngest brother who belted out a line with the biggest smile seen all night.  Soon the song ends and Tony Duggins declares “Now let’s get the F@#* out of here and get wasted!”  You could see that everyone perhaps consumed a little too much, but it’s St. Patrick’s Day, that is what you are supposed to do!

The DVD had four additional live tracks by the band that were cut from the CD.  The beautiful Becka Manthe played a breathtaking fiddle solo on “Parting Glass” as Tony Duggins sang along without any help from the fans.  It was nice to see such a performance between the two.

The three included music videos on the DVD were entertaining as well.  “Good Mornin’ Da” was fun with the band in lockup being misfits and Tony Duggins singing through the phone to his Dad from the cell. 

Irish punk rock continues to fuel the masses.  This genre of music seems to be getting stronger and stronger with every year that passes.  The same goes with the Tossers as their music seems to improve with every release.  Hearing a live performance of the band provides even more evidence that the band has the talent and love to prove it.  Surrounded by Guinness and Jameson this band has no distractions on this release and has created the perfect item to have at your St. Patrick’s party this year.  Just avoid the Irish flu if you can.

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About Brian McConville