City Slang: Bill Grogan’s Goat at the Lager House

January 19, 2013
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There probably isn’t such a thing as a bad time to see Bill Grogan’s Goat, but on a freezing January Thursday night in Corktown, at PJ’s Lager House, they’re just about perfect.

It’s tough to point out exactly why. Maybe it’s because we know that Ireland and Scotland are far from the warmest of places on Earth, so a good dose of Celtic rock on a cold evening feels authentic. Or perhaps it’s because you can’t help but dance to this stuff, or at least tap your feet, and that warms you up. Regardless, there are few better at this sort of stuff than the Goat.

By the way, that little record store in the Lager House basement is a neat idea. Being able to flick through old vinyl before and after band’s sets is this writer’s idea of heaven.

So the Goat wail, moan, hoot and holler through tunes from both of their albums. Gerard Smith has a cracked, pained voice ideal for these songs. He sounds like he personally fought off the English (none taken, btw), he toiled on farmland, and he lost a million loves. Special mention also goes to multi-instrumentalist Mindy Whalen for making the switch from bagpipes to Irish tin whistle look effortless.

By the time they get to their reimagined, stoner-prog take on “Danny Boy”, the winds are blowing colder but the heart is warmer.

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