Thursday, February 07, 2013

First blog post of the year! So here are random thoughts on drugs in sport and a song featuring Ronnie Drew, The Mighty Stef *and* Flogging Molly's Dave King. Fuck yeah. Buy me a beer sometime.

Well, so it seems it has somehow gotten to February and I have not posted *even once* so far in 2013. So I figured I'd better give my multitude of fans something pretty special... and what could be more special than a song featuring pretty highly specialised acts that I am obsessed with but almost no one else I know really gives a fuck about? HUH? HOW ABOUT THAT?

I mean, I shouldn't have to apologise really, as I have been *pretty fucking busy* this year. Destroying a liver takes more time and effort than maost people realise. Plus I got my Green Left Weekly Carlo's Corner columns to write, like once a fucking week! Like seriously, my latest column -- taking up the key issues facing this country of climate change, corporate profiteering and David "Kochie" Koch -- was more than *840 words long*! Fucking exhausting.

And then in what little spare time I have, I have been singing for the Western Sydney Wanderers, as all decent human beings do, and crying for the Essendon Bombers. The best thing that can be said about the drugs scandal that Essendon may find itself at the centre of is it has the potential to also bring down Manly. It might not stop there either, given the release of a damning ACC report. So let me start very clearly: *should* the scandal of drugs in sport limit itself to the destruction of CARLTON, MANLY and SYDNEY FC, I for one welcome it. (Essendon, however, should be off limits on grounds of... um... being Essendon.)

Regardless of these entirely understandable reasons, I am only too away of just how painful and distressing my multitude of fans find the absence of blog posts. So while I am in the midst of preparing my magnus opus on the issue of our times (Tom Waits), I nonetheless offer you all this wonderful gem of a song -- in which Irish singer-songwriter The Mighty Stef teams up with the legendary Ronnie Drew of The Dubliners and Dave King and Bridget Regan from the Irish American celtic punk band Flogging Molly.

The song is The Mero, written by Pete St John, who has written many Irish folk classics (most notably Fields of Athenry). The song is about Dublin and growing violence plaguing the city. You can read a little bit about the slang and characters that feature in it (and the lyrics) here.

I am not sure when this filmed, but it was clearly right at the very end of Ronnie Drew's life (he died in 2008). Ronnie Drew is a genuine legend of Irish music, his ability to use his voice (once described as "the sound of coke being crushed under a door") giving emotional potency to the songs he sings. Below, he sings another Pete St John classic about Dublin.

"The years have made me bitter, the gargle dims my brain." Tell me about it Ronnie...

The Mighty Stef? Well, he is a seriously underrated performer (at least in Australia, where "not rated at all" would be more accurate). He has three studio albums under his belt and has also recorded with Shane MacGowan. Check the bastard out, in a track that speaks to me deeply...

"It's getting the stage I guess I always knew it would, where I can't walk down my street. I'm getting death threats here and death threats there from every one that I meet..." The man is singing my song.

And Flogging Molly... are just one of my all-time favourite bands. They don't miss. Their songs cuts a lot deeper than some of the drunken bravado that makes up some of the Celtic punk genre (*cough*Dropkick Murphys*cough*). There is a real weariness to their songs -- a sigh that says "Well life pretty much has me beaten, but fuck it, I can still raise my pint glass and sing." I rate their song The Worst Day Since Yesterday one of my absolute top songs of all time. To see them in full flight doing their stuff... see the clip below.

"You drink too much coffee, I drink too much stout..." So very true.

So, no need to thank me. Just buy me a beer -- via the PayPal button on the right-hand side. Or... hell, why not also check out my stand up clip at Five Minutes Live and click "like" if you like to help me win the online comp, based on the most "likes", and FIVE THOUSAND BUCKS. Then I'll buy *you* a beer!*

* Offer only eligible to people called "Carlo Sands".


  1. Sheer genius. As usual. *cough*

  2. Thank you Anonymous (if that really is your name). You wanna get that cough seen to.