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The Punters put new twist on Celtic rock
By Laurie Papineau
Atlantic Gig

Take four talented Newfoundlanders from diverse backgrounds, combine them with strong Irish/Celtic rock, and what do you have? The Punters.

Though their name is a British word meaning "common man", there's nothing routine about this St. John's based group. They mix blues, rock, folk and pop to create a sound that is truly their own.

In July, the band which includes Bob Hiscock on drums, Patrick Moran on fiddle, guitar and vocals, lead vocalist Larry Foley on guitar and mandolin, and Brian Kenny on bass took the plunge and signed an album deal with New Brunswick based Loggerhead Records.

The label has already been having quite a bit of success with a variety of acts including See Spot Run, A is A, Nicholson and Denise Murray. After seeing The Punters at the 1998 ECMAs in Halifax, Loggerhead decided to keep an eye on the band for the next few months, and by late summer, they were ready to strike a deal.

"We've been highly aware of The Punters for some time and are very pleased they've decided to join the Loggerhead team," company vice-president Paul Church said. "We've been watching their tremendous growth in the recent past and are looking forward to our prospects together."

As part of the new deal, The Punters' latest album, entitled said she couldn't dance, originally released in 1997, has been remixed and mastered in Montreal's Studio Victor by producers Gary Moffet and Jeff Nystrom. It's re-release party was held in St. John's during a huge Halloween show at the Delta on Oct. 31. This was the band's largest indoor show yet.

"Go big or stay home," says lead singer Larry Foley, who admits the CD has found a second life through Loggerhead. "When you release and album independently, you don't know how far you can go with it. This deal is a very timely move for the band."

Punters manager, Peter MacKenzie believes there's nothing more fulfilling than finding a label that enjoys hearing their music as much as they enjoy playing it.

These highly energetic and entertaining musicians say they measure the success of their music by its dancability. This being the case, they must have been very proud of their latest effort which is enough to start a seal's toes to tapping.

One of The Punters' main interests is to dig up gems from the past, polish them off, and deliver them with their own special pizzazz. THey also like writing their own tunes and adding traditional twists.

July's deal will see three more albums over the next five to seven years and distribution through industry giant Polygram. "A new CD is in the works right now in terms of pre-production stages," says Larry,

Foley, the manin songwriter says new material is constantly percolating and the next effort will be their usual mixed bag of traditional and orginal music that they do their own special thing with. They're hoping to record over the winter after returning from a tour that will take them across the country during November and December.

The band members feel much more established with Loggerhead behind them and are pleased that they can focus more on creating and performing their music.

"Between Loggerhead and ourselves, we work pretty hard."

New CD Ready
Fisherman's Blues, the 4th CD from The Punters, is now available. On this CD the band celebrates their traditional roots and we finally hear a song from Pat.


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