March 15, 2014
Irish rockers Black 47 say goodbye with one last album.
25 years. It has been a long and exciting ride, but as they say…All good things come to an end. Such is the case of influential Irish rock band Black 47, whose members just announced a farewell album.
With nearly 3 decades behind their back, Black 47 are leaving more than a bunch of great records behind, but a valuable musical heritage: this was, in fact, one of the few groups to successfully blend classic rock aesthetics to melodies and instruments belonging to the Irish folk tradition. Their most famous hits, including tracks the likes of “Funky Cèili” have often been described as “Bruce Springsteen goes Irish”, and praised by music critics and fans alike for their originality and appeal.
After such a long time on the scene, the band decided to call it a day. Fans are crushed, but this story ends with dignity: there is no animosity between band members, no drama or no behind the scene that led to the hiatus: this is simply a band that can look back at a longstanding career with pride and with a well-deserved sense of achievement.
"We remain as good friends as when we first played together, we just have a simple wish to finish up at the top our game after 25 years of relentless touring and, as always, on our own terms.”
With such an admirable mindset, lead singer Larry Kirwan explained the break-up to the public. On the bright side, the band is leaving us with a brand new studio album, aptly titled “Last Call”.
The cover artwork that accompanies the music depicts a beautiful city line, with a setting sun, symbolizing a very last glimpse of the band’s work, before finally hiding under the horizon.
Songs such as Salsa O’Keef stand as a reminder of this band’s incredibly eclectic approach. This tune could have felt at home in a classic album such as London Calling (The Clash), next to songs such as Spanish Bombs or Lost in The Supermarket.
Black 47 is keen on experimenting with rock, ethno music, latin and funky rhythms, but they blink an eye to their Irish roots on songs like Culchie Prince. This track feels like a road down memory lane, rediscovering the spirit of old Dublin and the charm of its characters and dynamics.
The songs on “Last Call” swing like a pendulum, leaning towards different ends: on one side, the album depicts the band’s willingness to get out of their comfort zone and try new things, on the other, the band stay true to their roots and origins.
The album’s emotional texture is even more compelling, given the circumstances of the band’s farewell. “Hard times” might be the last track on the album, but the band goes out with a “bang” thanks to this great rendition. A melancholic track turned into a mid-tempo folk ballad with an almost theatrical singing. A great goodbye song to end this record, and the recording career of Black 47!
The musician might be gone, but the music still remains. 5 stars from Celtic Radio for going out with a bang with Last Call!