Dropkick Murphys (Glasgow Hydro) – 17/01/2023

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Twice cancelled because of Covid this show finally goes ahead, to quote from one of Dropkick Murphys’ songs “It’s been a long time coming”. Was it worth the wait? Hell yes!

The Hydro is this huge cavernous building and this is my first time seeing them without Al Barr fronting them so I was a bit apprehensive how it would all turn out. I shouldn’t have worried because from the opening chords of Lonesome Boatman the Murphys totally owned the Hydro.

Ken Casey is a fine frontman and is all over the stage, a real bundle of energy and often clambering onto the barriers to interact with fans. The Murphys are a real slick rock ‘n’ roll machine these days, the band are really tight and energetic also bouncing around the stage and with 27 years’ experience they have a wealth of material to call on.

Tonight, we get a bit of everything to send most fans away satisfied. The high tempo opening is maintained with a rousing The Boys Are Back followed by The State of Massachusetts which really gets the crowd bouncing, and they never stop all show.

Not surprisingly a fair amount of material is from their last 2 albums Turn Up That Dial and This Machine Still Kills Fascists. Good As Gold and Middle Finger were followed by a tremendous Two 6’s Upside Down. The Woody Guthrie material from Fascists fits perfectly into the set, indistinguishable from Murphys originals and is well received by the crowd.

We get a real old one, in fact the first song the band ever wrote, Barroom Hero, which still sounds great today, followed by one of their newest, Queen Of Suffolk County.

The band take it up a notch with the next 3 songs, Going Out In Style really gets the crowd surfing going as does Smash Shit Up and a cover of Scottish favourite Gerry Cinnamons The Bonny.

Things slow down a bit when singer Jaime Wyatt is brought onstage to duet with Ken on Never Git Drunk No More from their latest album,  followed by an acoustic reworking of old favourite Worker’s Song featuring support act Jesse Ahern on guitar and vocals.

The band head towards the climax with Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya which sends the audience wild once more, an epic Rose Tattoo which is an incredible song, before finishing with another old favourite Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced all of which had the audience singing along with gusto.

Encore time opens with a huge singalong of Dirty Old Town, the inevitable I’m Shipping Up to Boston before the evening comes to a wonderful end with The Dirty Glass which again features Jaime Wyatt on vocals.


The Lonesome Boatman
The Boys Are Back
The State Of Massachusetts
Good As Gold
Middle Finger
Two 6’s Upside Down
All You Fonies
Turn Up That Dial
Barroom Hero
Queen Of Suffolk County
Cadillac, Cadillac
The Last One
Going Out In Style
Smash Shit Up
The Bonny
Never Git Drunk No More
Worker’s Song
Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
Rose Tattoo
Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced
Dirty Old Town
I’m Shipping Up To Boston
The Dirty Glass

On the train taking us back into the centre of Glasgow people are having a discussion if the Dropkick Murphys are still “punk”, at the end of the day what does it matter as long as they continue to put on great shows like this

Realistically the Murphys broke out of the confines of punk a long time ago, they combine elements of Irish, Scottish, country, rock, punk and traditional American music into a sound that they have made their own, long may it continue.

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