Before Shane MacGowan and his rotting teeth had the ruffian idea of merging punk and traditional Irish music, all Celtic headbangers had were The Irish Rovers (who were Canadian, for Chrissakes), the Clancy Brothers (who weren't all brothers) and the Chieftains (whose sound relied heavily on a piccolo, the single most annoying feature behind Riverdance, besides the dancing). But punk, puke, and Paddy eventually did meet on a hardwood floor somewhere, and Flogging Molly was born. Although their predecessors, Dropkick Murphys, enjoyed a higher profile this year by way of being featured in The Departed, this year's Academy Award-winning Best Picture, the kids love Flogging Molly more, judging by their higher chart positions and their appearances in video games like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. In fact, Matt Hensley, their former accordion and squeezebox player, is currently a pro skater for Black Label Skateboards, and his decision to stop touring with the band this year had something to do with little wheels and running the skateboard clothing company he started. You want more distinguishers? Uhh, less bagpipes and more fiddle, please. What do you care, as long as it's St. Pat's, you're not cut off yet, and somebody's onstage putting the "oi" back into "Ireland?"
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