Saturday, May 20, 2006
Enter the Haggis in Kansas City
The first time you ever heard of Enter the Haggis - the band, not their music - what was your reaction? Two words, I'm guessing. Bad name.
The name was needed in a hurry and very briefly Craig Downie had his promoter put them down as Electric Haggis and then Won Ton Haggis, of which the best that can be said is that Enter the Haggis is way better. Reminiscent of Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon, it's more enigmatic.
I like that it leaves you wondering if the Celtic rock group are announcing their arrival, like at a ballroom say, or if, in a not altogether helpful manner, they're telling you where to go - the way we as kids in Dublin would say 'Jump in the Liffey', as in ah, would you ever go and jump in the Liffey.
In fact some grown-ups in Dublin also do it. Honest. Here's an Irish government parliamentary debate from Dáil Éireann where Dr O'Donovan in reply to an answer he has just received from one Brian Lenihan, of The airlines, says:
Ah, come off—the airlines—would you take a jump in the Liffey? The airlines, my footI think only Australian politicians can better this, with phrases like, Pull back Digger, the dog's pissin' on your leg. Nowadays with Irish people, Get outta that garden is the more universal phrase of dismissal.
Like Irish uilleann piper, John McSherry, Craig's bagpipe playing was also influenced by both classical pipe playing and by Led Zeppelin
All of this makes Craig cool. Indeed, aside from Irish comedian Barry Murphy wearing a very formal suit (which was very funny in Crown Center's ninety degrees), nobody looked cooler than Craig Downie in a kilt striding the grounds of last year's Irish Festival in Kansas City.
Their music, of course, was a huge hit with the Kansas City crowds, and now you get a chance to see them in a small venue. ETH have a bigger sound than fellow Canadians The Glengarry Bhoys who recently played the same venue, but with their new CD Soapbox Heroes just finished, it should be an unmissable gig.
Enter the Haggis play The Record Bar in Kansas city's Westport on Wednesday May 31
Opening for ETH are Kansas City's The Kelihans (Listen on Myspace)
• Enter The Haggis Mixing new CD
• Majoring in Bagpipes
• Enter the Haggis signs with UFO Music
• More Enter The Haggis stories