Clichés tend to lack conviction. Just because a phrase is repeated and sounds dull, it doesn’t mean it’s false. How often is the sentiment echoed that listening strictly to a CD limits perspective on a band? Well, no matter how often you’ve heard this, it definitely holds true for the Town Pants. Without seeing them live, it’s impossible to catch the genuine essence of the band, whose show is an experience that leaves a lasting impression.
On this night, the Town Pants made their return to the Blarney Stone where the band was originally incarnated 10 years ago. Throughout the evening there was Celtic dancing, a jeering chorus of patrons and raised mugs, as band members repeatedly made toasts. The roof of the Blarney barely capped the energy and euphoria of the concert goers, who never slowed down—even after last call.
While watching the Town Pants, one can’t help but appreciate the versatility of its members, as they effortlessly switched roles and instruments. At times, Aaron Chapman would take the mic, at others, Duane Keogh would lead. Dave Keogh was also equally impressive as he alternated between banjo, guitar, vocals, mandolin and tin whistle. Joining the band only a year ago, Virginia Schwartz added another element to the band, as well. She played the fiddle with so much energy and poise that she made it look easy.
Throughout the night, the Town Pants expressed their gratitude to their cult-like following here on the West Coast. The band shared interesting anecdotes, from their humble beginnings in Vancouver, and of course, to their first performance at the Blarney. But not only were the Town Pants celebrating 10 years together, they were also welcoming the release of a new album. Fans had traveled abroad from as far as New York to celebrate the special night, which was actually being recorded live.
Honestly, I had seldom listened to Celtic music before, and knew fuck-all about Celtic dancing, yet I never felt out of place. The energy of the band and audience was amazing. I was even ready to dance and try to pick up a few Celtic moves in the process. It was a wonderful night all around.