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Live Review: Flogging Molly, Black Heart Breakers, Beans On Toast

24 April 2019 | 4:48 pm | Brendan Delavere

"Flogging Molly will always have a place in Sydney’s heart."

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With several other Bluesfest sideshows happening tonight, a sell out show in Sydney wasn’t always a guarantee. But for Flogging Molly, Sydney turned out to dance.

UK folk-punk song slinger Beans On Toast was equal parts comedian and singer. Acoustic folk tales regale us of festivals, chickens and the current state of politics, notably the Brexit ordeal. Between checking his phone constantly to see how long he had left and plenty of cheeky banter (“Next time I visit Australia I’ll have a song about ya, but for now I don’t so here’s a song about drugs”) Beans On Toast certainly won a room full of new fans.

Firing things up, Sydney rock'n’roll five-piece Black Heart Breakers took charge of the Metro with their fiery brand of swinging punk rock. Why Not Me and Bad Monkey were two rollicking numbers that had the crowd nicely warmed up, beers were flowing, feet stomping and heads nodding. Certainly a band to keep an eye out for in the future. 

Five years is a long time between drinks for the Irish-American seven-piece and Australian audiences. Flogging Molly took up every part of the stage, the multi-instrumentalists crammed together in line. (No More) Paddy’s Lament set the score for rest of the set with violin, banjo, guitars and the crooning vocals of lead man Dave King. The sold-out crowd packed the floor, and with little room to dance, the mosh pit bounced in some form of drunken jig. King commented on his disdain for Irish dance, and offered an ulterior dance move for the crowd, proceeding to pogo jump on stage to the crowd's delight.

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Drunken Lullabies, Swagger and Requiem For A Dying Song kept the high energy flowing, the crowd ecstatic and sweaty. Security were busy catching crowd surfers, stopping flash photography and confiscating lighters held aloft during any ballad. The band dedicated Float to both King’s father and son, followed up by an extended jam for Black Friday Rule with drummer Mike Alonso and guitarist Dennis Casey left on stage to duel it out, Casey hopping across the stage a la Angus Young at one point. 

The pit swirled and whirled for folk-punk anthem Devil's Dance Floor, with those on the outskirts getting sucked into the two-stepping mosh. Crushed became another extended jam, with the crowd chanting along to covers of Aretha Franklin's Respect and Queen's We Will Rock You. Closing the extra long set, the next three songs were dedicated to the crew, the band, the punters tonight and also those who supported Flogging Molly through their issue-plagued set at SoundWave festival years earlier. Seven Deadly Sins, If I Ever Leave This World Alive and the fast-paced punk rock of Salty Dog showed that whether you were a fan of folk, punk or Irish dance, Flogging Molly will always have a place in Sydney’s heart.