A ‘Sovereign State Of Madness’ populated by vagabonds and rogues, pagans and bohemians of all creeds, colours, countries and conditions. Playing for change on city street corners, picking strings and beating cajóns. A wandering chorus.
This is Galway Street Club. Buskers extraordinaire and as ‘Sovereign State Of Madness’, their debut album, proves, tunesmiths par excellence. A melting pot of cultures and influences with an international roster of members in the double digits, “Sovereign State Of Madness” is sonically pan-global. Taking the listener on a journey through their world, part New Orleans, part Andalusia and part western Ireland. It’s all inclusive as their powerful gang-vocals attest.
The equal distribution of lead instruments and vocals give ‘Sovereign State Of Madness’ a feeling of looseness and welcome in stark contrast to a traditional band’s rigid lead/rhythm roles. The ever-shifting time signatures of tracks such as Shakes And Temptations and Fun Loving Time keep the feel flowing unobstructed. Flowing free as McClintock’s “little streams of alcohol” that run down the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
The instrumental Yaya Where’s The Yeyo boasts a Spanish-inflected hand-clapped intro so thoroughly genuine the heart beats to the rhythm. The ‘Sovereign State Of Madness’ moves with a natural, infectious rhythm. A rhythm that sweeps up all in its path and leads them on like a pied piper bound for a house party. Where many artists working in the roots music field are content to moan down at their shoes, Galway Street Club look you dead in the eye. Spitting positive chi to the sun.
Humour and craic and old-fashioned good times abound across the ten stellar tracks. The twanging Jew’s harp on Mac The Knife would make a gargoyle grin. And the humour of Serious Man and My Dog Talks To Me is irresistible and addictive as nitrous oxide. You can almost hear the festival crowds shouting “out ta fuck!” along with them. And it’s a wondrous sound.
The feedback-laden breakdown of Open Your Mind evoke comparisons to Funkadelic’s “Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow.” Where Galway Street Club exit this earth’s stratosphere altogether. Light-speeding their way to gift their music to other realms.
‘Sovereign State Of Madness’ is a voyage. A voyage on a ship where the party never stops and the rum never runs dry. All are welcome aboard, just bring a story or a song. Galway Street Club have brought ten from all corners of the globe. Rough at the edges and hard as gravel, but passionate and welcoming. ‘Sovereign State Of Madness’ is a mongrel of styles, refreshing in its originality and atmosphere. An almost tangible atmosphere of fun. Well-needed in this too-oft dour 21st century.