While traditional Irish music is totally appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day, sometimes you want to listen to something that makes you want to pogo like crazy. Fortunately, Ireland has a rich history of punk and rock bands, and we here at HollywoodLife have compiled a playlist below for your enjoyment. While this list is by no means complete, there are plenty of bands to jam while drinking a pint of your favorite Irish red beer safely at home until we get the green light to head back to the pubs.
The playlists above are full of a few older songs, but the Irish punk/rock scene is alive and thriving. DC Fountains have been credited with spearheading the recent post-punk revival in their home country, with bands like Silverbacks, Gilla Band, Sprints, NewDad, And Just mustard making Ireland one of the most exciting places for music. pop punkers cherim published their Hi Tori EP in 2021, which included their infectious hit, “Listening to My Head”. Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra may be a little skewed towards the indie side of rock, but their 2021 single, “I Didn’t Love You when I Said I Did and I Don’t Now,” will be pub singalong before you know it. One could easily create a 24 hour playlist of all the amazing rock/punk bands in Ireland today (without even delving deeper into the country’s hip-hop or metal scene.) Take it more as a sampler for you make you want more.
Even boy band royalty are getting into the indie (post-indie?) sound. Niall Horan released “Heaven” in 2023, and while it’s not going to hit hard as a song by The Capital of Murder (also an Irish punk band), it’s still independent enough to qualify for this list.
When it comes to Irish punk, a handful of bands immediately come to mind for some oldies – one, Stiff little fingers, formed in 1977 during the first wave of punk. The band still performs and records, although vocalist and guitarist Jake Burns is the only remaining original member. If you want to check them out, try turning nobody’s heroes. It’s one of the greatest albums of all time and perfect for playing while drinking Bushmills with your friends on Zoom.
The Nipples (aka the Nipple Erectors) are also from this early era of punk rock, and the band (led by the fierce Shanne Bradley) is noted as being Shane McGowan first group. he would form pogues in London (although they are still technically considered an Irish band.) He still plays as part of Shane MacGowan and the Popes.
Shane and the Pogues are credited with creating an entirely new subgenre of music: Celtic punk. This music was made popular in the United States by bands like Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, and more. Yes, the Dropkicks aren’t technically an Irish punk band (which isn’t surprising given how many reps the band has in Boston.) The Heroes of Beantown play Irish-themed punk, but they’re so synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day they even laugh at for it. ‘Dropkick Murphys chained in basement until next St. Patrick’s Day,’ claims hard timesa satirical punk publication (think onion meets The Decline of Western Civilization). However, Dropkick Murphy’s 2022 cover of “We Shall Overcome” was done in earnest and… better listen to “Barroom Hero” instead.
While Slim Lizzy is a staple of most classic rock stations, you can’t go wrong adding “Jailbreak” or “The Boys Are Back In Town” into the mix. If you fancy something more groovy, there is The Boomtown Rats. The group, led by Bob Geldoff, dipped their toes into all sorts of genres – ska, new wave and punk – before splitting up in 1986. There’s always Dublin Chew aluminum foil for a more modern and faster ska-punk. There are so many other Irish punk bands – political punk from Distorted vision to the original Celtic rockers, Launchers – so check them out. Add them to your rotation and remember: wear a mask, get your shots, and don’t bring your drink into the mosh pit.
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