Thursday, April 27, 2000
The East Coast is rife with Celtic acts that rock it up -- Great Big Sea being a prime example.
The Punters, from St. John's, Nfld., reverse that formula.
The music on the quartet's third and latest recording, Will You Wait, suggests this is a pub-rock band at heart that sprinkles its music with Celtic elements: Some traditional numbers, seafaring melodies and Patrick Moran's fiddle.
"We never really were (a staunchly traditional Celtic act)," says singer-guitarist Larry Foley, who'll be fronting The Punters tonight at Atlantic Trap and Gill.
"We always wanted to stand up on our own two feet and be known for our own thing -- being an individual band and not being one of a flock.... I think this record stands up by itself, not because of where it was from.
"That's our objective."
But don't get Foley wrong. He loves traditional Celtic music and plays it with Moran and Rawlins Cross member Dave Panting in a side band, Jesus Murphy.
"But when it comes to The Punters," Foley points out, "we like to do things that suit an electric format as opposed to trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Because you hear that a lot.
"We got signed because the record company (Loggerhead Records, the home of troubled fiddler Ashley MacIsaac) liked our direction. They saw a potential crossover band in us. We come across as being a pop band that has roots as opposed to a roots band that tries to be pop."
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