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Meet the Press

Not really Celtic at all
By Ian Captick
The Fulcrum

The Punters are unlike any other Celtic rock band. In fact, their loud electric music shouldn’t even be called Celtic. While lead singer Larry Foley admits that about half the group’s material is inspired by traditional music and they even showcase a couple of classic Celtic tunes, he says the group is a pop-rock band.

“Calling us a Celtic rock band is a pretty broad stroke thing to do. Yes, we are a Newfoundland band, does that mean we are Celtic? No. We are an electric band, our line up is bass, drums, electric guitar and fiddle,” says Foley. With their first disc, Said She Couldn’t Dance, still selling well across the country their second album, Will You Wait, has just hit stores. Foley explains that it’s difficult for most groups from Newfoundland to shed the folksy image of the island. However, the singer/songwriter says the Punters set out to record a different kind of music. “We all have the same roots. Hell, a whole bunch of Irish-Catholics from Newfoundland, you at least share your music, if nothing else. From the outset this band always wanted to do it our own way,” says Foley. The Punters formed in 1996 and signed with the uniquely Canadian indie label – Loggerhead Records. Loggerhead re-released the groups first album Said She Couldn’t Dance and sent the band on a marathon tour. In recording their newest disc. Foley says the band wanted to expand their musical horizons. “We went into recording this album with our eyes open, we really wanted to make a different statement. We found ourselves getting wrapped up in Celtic music in Canada. We wanted to step outside of that. Everybody was getting lumped into the same boat, being an individual was getting harder and harder. We have really made a record that people can stand up and say, ‘that’s the Punters’.”

The Punters spent almost a year creating their latest album. Foley says that while they are proud Newfoundlanders, when it came time to record the album, they needed a change of pace. “We worked long and hard selecting which tunes we wanted, then we worked long and hard on producing the album. This is the first record we’ve recorded outside of Newfoundland – which had a good effect on it,” says Foley. “Just because we are from Newfoundland, we didn’t want to make music just for Newfoundlanders. Being outside the province gave us better perspective. This record is all about growth, developing my writing skills and our sense of production and performance.” The Punters are slowly finding success in a business where few succeed. Foley says friends and fans shouldn’t worry about the new-found fame going to their heads.

“We’re pretty straight up cool fellas. We don’t have lofty impressions of ourselves,” he says laughing. “It’s simple, If you pay a few bucks to come out and see us then we’ll give you more than your money’s worth or more. If you come to a Punters show, we send you off sweating.”


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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