Whipping Boy come to Kilkenny this Christmas
One of the great iconic Irish acts of the last 25 years, Whipping Boy, have announced a Kilkenny gig this Christmas, as part of the group’s return to the Irish live scene.
Fronted by possibly the most enigmatic frontman of his generation, Fearghal McKee, Whipping Boy’s legendary early shows were white-noise and strobe drenched affairs, with McKee’s compelling brand of insanity luring audiences into an intense relationship.
The band’s debut, Submarine (1992), owed a small debt to Spaceman 3 and Sonic Youth with swirling guitar sounds, oblique lyrics and its distorted crescendos. It was followed in 1995 by an album generally held up to be one of the greatest Irish albums of all time and one that left an indelible mark on many Irish songwriters who followed in its wake.
Heartworm (Columbia Records) showed a new level of songwriting and lyrics from a band very much in their stride.
The music and words on Heartworm are only matched by McKee’s readiness to lay bare his soul. This deep well of raw emotion was encapsulated and tapped into by the band’s increasingly powerful live performances. Whipping Boy went on tour with Lou Reed across Europe and just as the world outside Ireland seemed to be sitting up and taking notice, the band broke up.
A third, eponymously titled, Whipping Boy album was released in 2000 on a new label (Low Rent) but was never toured by the band and fans were left with a feeling of ‘what might have been’.
A tentative comeback in 2005 was followed up this year with a large number of dates around the country, including eye-catching performances at Oxegen and Indiependence, and now FIFA Records is thrilled to put out the first original material from Whipping Boy since 2000.
Whipping Boy play Cleere’s Theatre on Tuesday, December 27 at 8.30pm with support from Dead School. Tickets are €15 on sale at Cleere’s and Rollercoaster Records.