Celtic rockers to play free shows at Put-in-BayWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Just when members of Enter the Haggis were ready to change the band’s name, the group started to get popular.
“It was kind of a band put together for a St. Patrick’s Day event and it was very much a Celtic, drink-and-fight kind of band,” bassist Mark Abraham said and laughed. “We’ve come a long way since then with new members and just our direction and … we kept [the name] for the first bit and then, all of a sudden, we developed a fan base in the U.S. and we wanted to change the name but it was too late.”
It helps that the moniker describes the music.
“Haggis is a food that’s made up of all these different ingredients mixed together as one unit; our music is similar,” Abraham said. “It’s a mishmash of all the different influences but with a Celtic core.”
The Toronto band — Abraham, bagpiper Craig Downie, singer-guitarist Trevor Lewington, fiddler Brian Buchanan and drummer James Campbell — made its debut on the Billboard World Chart with its 2006 disc, “Soapbox Heroes.”
“Gutter Anthems,” the group’s seventh CD, was released last year. It contains rousing rockers, punk-jigs and story songs. “Noseworthy and Piercy” is based on a true tale.
“They were two fishermen from Newfoundland that got caught in a storm and were washed away and didn’t show up back in their home port, and everyone assumed they were long gone,” Abraham said during a call from his home in Maine. “They got picked up by a German freighter and taken back to Europe and wandered around there for a little while and finally caught a boat back home to Newfoundland.
“And a few months after they disappeared, they came back wandering up the road to the amazement and shock of everyone who probably already had their funerals and mourned their deaths. The names are their true names.”
The opening track on the disc, “The Litter and the Leaves,” features this line in the chorus: “We’ll sing a gutter anthem until the day we die.” It’s definitely an Irish drinking song.
“People just want to connect to their ancestry, and it’s danceable music,” Abraham said. “There’s just such a big Irish culture in the U.S., and people are hungry to reconnect and have a party at the same time.”
The party will be at Hooligan’s Pub on Put-in-Bay when Enter the Haggis plays free shows for those 21 and older at 10:30 p.m. June 18 and 19. Fans are asked to bring nonperishable food for the Enter the Haggis Community Initiative, collecting items for Bellevue (Ohio) Fish and Loaves.