Since the release of “Swagger” back in 2000, Flogging Molly have established themselves as one of the premier exponents of Irish influenced noise. Their mixture of that traditional sound with a more loud and urgent punk kick that has often seen them mentioned alongside other Celtic bands such as Dropkick Murphy’s. Although stylistically a little different bands, there is a similarity in approach, one that has seen both of them lauded for their live shows.

A large crowd had already gathered at the Academy 2 (a sold out show tonight, great to see so many here from the start) by the time that support act Beans On Toast took to the stage. The self styled anti-folk singer entertained his political and satirical stance, and his between song banter getting a great reaction from the crowd. I had seen him once before, at Leeds Festival some years ago, and it was cool to see how much he had progressed in that time. Look out for his song about why he wasn’t at Glastonbury this year, a rant that ensured the crowd were well on his side. A great choice as opener, and a great start to the night.

With only two acts tonight, the opportunity was there for Flogging Molly to put on an epic show, and they didn’t disappoint. As the temperature grew in the packed venue, the band played a stellar set of racks from throughout their career. Frontman Dave King explaining some of the stories and meanings behind some of their biggest tracks, and gave each of that band a chance to shine in front of the frantic crowd.

The heat didn’t seem to bother anyone, as when huge favourites such as ‘Drunken Lullabies’ and ‘Salty Dog’ started, the pits opened up, the beer was flying out of pints held aloft, and almost everyone was singing along. One thing that is immediately noticeable is the range of people that attend a Flogging Molly show, with every from mohawked teens through to smartly dressed pensioners (there were more than a few there), everyone looked to be having an absolute ball. The band are taking a break after this tour to write a new album, so it may be a while before you see them again over here, but that tour can’t come soon enough for me. A brilliant night, with band and crowd feeding off each other for a brilliant atmosphere.

Flogging Molly – Official Website

Beans on Toast – Official Website