From their inception in 2007 until their hiatus in late 2011, the Dreadnoughts were at at the forefront of Vancouver’s folk-punk scene—their talent at rallying local audiences second only, perhaps, to big-ticket groups like Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys.
Beginning with the goal of, in their own words, “making enough money at shows to cover the cost of shots of Fireball Whiskey at Vancouver’s notoriously seedy Ivanhoe Hotel”, the band soon graduated to international tours, and recorded four studio albums. Famed for blending punk rock and European folk traditions, the Dreadnoughts billed themselves as loud-mouthed extroverts whose shows followed the sole rule of punk rock: complete chaos.
Now back from their break, the group have penned a new album, Foreign Skies. Drawing on historical themes—namely, the 100-year anniversary of the First World War—the record is a concept album that explores how the world order changed with the onset of the fighting.
“Back Home in Bristol” is the first single to be released. Singer Nick “the Fang” Smyth stars as “middle farmer’s boy Jim Wilson” who is sent off the war despite his desire to be back in his hometown “raising a cider with West Country men”, while four of his bandmates jam out on a mandolin, guitar, bass, and fiddle. The video juxtaposes shots of a uniform-clad Smyth with the singer dressed in modern-day garb, walking down the graffiti-sprayed streets of Bristol and stopping in at his local pub before introducing a rabble-rousing chant of “drink up these ciders”.
More than worth raising a glass to.
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