Shelf-reading has two purposes: one, to make sure everything is in its right place; and two, to discover works you would not necessarily have though to look for, left to your own researching devices.
I decided to take purpose #2 and apply it to Bandcamp’s tagging system, generally, and the Irish music section, specifically, partially because I can and because why not, and partially because I had been ruminating on net-grumbling I had seen related to popular (trans: American) understanding of “Irish music” as being rock (U2, The Cranberries), traditional folk (the Clancy Brothers, the Dubliners, etc) or folk-rock hybrids (The Pogues, Black 47, Flogging Molly) with no in-between or other options.
I then decided to use the counties of Ireland (North and South), arranged alphabetically, as a framing device for the experiment.
I started this a year and a half ago (!) with County Antrim and then I guess I got sidetracked.
I’m back at it now, though, and today we’re visiting the County Armagh section.
The first thing I learned is that there is not a lot of music tagged “County Armagh” and also Bandcamp’s search function might be a little bit wonky and/or broad because what did come back didn’t seem to have any obvious connection to Armagh.
So I switched to just searching for “Armagh” which brought back more options, though some of them were still not quite right.
In any case, here is what I found that I liked. Note: the connections to Armagh might still be a little bit loose or non-existent, but they are all at least from Northern Ireland.
My reactions, in order: 1) there’s an Irish Metal Archive??!! and 2) did this song cause ceilidhs to break out in the pit? I bet it did. Also some classic ogre-roar vocals in there.
The Bonnevilles, Folk Art and the Death of Electric Jesus
These dudes play heavy punk blues. The search I used actually leads to their first record, Good Suits and Fightin’ Boots, which is also quite good; Folk Art and the Death of Electric Jesus is their second record and the one that landed them on the short list for the first ever Northern Ireland Music Prize.
Oh No! Ulster’s Hidden Reverse, Shuck, “Whitewash Asbetos Whitewash”
And in conclusion, a bulletin from the underground’s underground. I am not sure if I should believe the liner notes, here, but they certainly are entertaining reading.