With Download expanding to Melbourne in March this year, Australia thought it was going to experience only one new festival these twelve months. However the people behind Good Things thought otherwise! Making stops in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on consecutive days, Good Things is hitting the East Coast of Australia like a hurricane and we wouldn’t have it any other way. From The Offspring playing ‘Smash’ in its entirety, Bullet For My Valentine coming on the back of newest album ‘Gravity’ and BABYMETAL making their first trip to our shores, there’s something for everyone on the Good Things line-up. If you want to experience a set that has high energy, great crowd interaction and an insane pit, make sure you check out Boston’s Dropkick Murphys!
It’s been a long time in the making for the sextet consisting of vocalist Al Barr, bassist/vocalist Ken Casey, drummer Matt Kelly, guitarist James Lynch and the multi-instrument duo of Tim Brennan and Jeff DaRosa to return to Australian shores. The five year gap between tours for albums ‘Signed and Sealed in Blood’ and ‘11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory’ marks the longest time between visits for DKM! Unfortunately the 2018 return to Australian shores does come with one less member compared to the visit in 2013, as bagpiper Scruffy Wallace parted ways with the band in 2015.
Casey initially teamed up with Jeff Erna (Drums), Mike McColgan (Lead Vocals) and Rick Barton (Guitar) back in 1996, but it wasn’t long before Erna made way for Kelly to create his long time relationship with Casey. After releasing debut album ‘Do or Die’ (1998) McColgan handed the microphone to Barr, who has been the well familiar voice ever since. During ‘The Gang’s All Here’ (1999) and ‘Sing Loud, Sing Proud!’ (2001), the band underwent a few changes as the departure of Barton made way for the expansion of DKM from a quartet to a septet; Lynch replaced Barton and was joined on guitar by Marc Orwell, as well as Ryan Foltz (Mandolin) and Spicy McHaggis (Bagpipes) also joining.
The Foltz/McHaggis duo left together in 2003, resulting in DKM’s fourth album ‘Blackout’ being recorded as a quintet. Alongside Brennan, Scruffy Wallace (Bagpipes) re-expanded DKM out to a septet throughout records ‘The Warrior’s Code’ (2005) and ‘The Meanest of Times’ (2007) before there was another change amongst members. The departure of Orwell saw Brennan move from mandolin to guitar, as DaRosa stepped up to take over the newly vacant mandolin spot. The band remained unchanged for eight years, during which albums ‘Going Out in Style’ (2011) and ‘Signed and Sealed in Blood’ (2013) were created, before going through the departure of Wallace in 2015 as covered previously.
If you haven’t seen DKM perform before, you are most definitely missing out…from the passion contained within Barr’s voice, the small build but huge stage presence of Casey, Lynch/Brennan/DaRosa harmonising and Kelly pulverising the skins, there is nothing but high energy on stage. This in turn works its way out into the crowd and the mosh pit turns into a frenzied rush of bodies flying around and surging waves, as people try to get as close to Barr as they can; Barr quite frequently makes this easier for fans, as he has a habit of getting up close and personal with the front row of the mosh pit!
As someone who has seen DKM multiple times, let me pass on some words of advice: make sure you take time to see DKM perform at Good Things. I can tell you now that you will be kicking yourself for months to come when you see photos and hear stories from the pit!
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