The Dreadnoughts headline a Punktastic St. Patrick’s PunkStravaganza at The Rickshaw

The Dreadnoughts at The Rickshaw Theatre, 3/16 & 17/18

Photo by Louise Wersching

The Dreadnoughts’ St. Patrick’s Weekend shows are fast becoming a tradition and this past weekend’s (March 16 & 17) Marcofest was back at the Rickshaw Theatre. This was the second year running with two jam-packed nights of punk rock, headlined by the local cluster-folk, polka-punk band. Featuring different line-ups each night, the mini festival left music fans truly spoiled.

The first night saw AntEater kicking off the weekend in full force with their mix of fast paced punk rock and heavier metal style riffs. A few months following the release of their album Smashed Antholes, the band have solidified themselves in the Vancouver punk scene and have even secured a slot opening for PEARS in May. Reflecting on the weekend, the band explained that “it was the biggest show AntEater has played so far” and that they were “excited to share the stage with awesome local bands.”

Next up was a band who never fail to encourage a good time! Russian Tim and Pavel Bures took to the stage second, treating the crowd to a mixture of original songs (in Russian), a Green Day cover, and their own version of Russian pop two-piece Tatu’s 2002 hit “All the Things She Said” – not a song you’d expect to hear at a punk show but a treat for the ears nonetheless!

Also sharing the stage on the first night were The Staggers and Jaggs, who played a set of self-described “psychedelic-swang and freaked-folk” music as well as post punk four piece the Slip-ons.

Photo by Louise Wersching

A notable performance came from the recently reformed Daggermouth. Having just released their first single in 10 years, Daggermouth are about to embark on a tour across the UK and Europe. Known for having nonsensical song names and pumping out energetic pop-punk, the band played their new single “Ramen Noodle Doodle” live for the first time and it appeared to go down well with the crowd. Guitarist Kenny Lush said it was awesome for the band to finally play the Rickshaw stage. When asked for his opinion on the opening night he replied: “It was a great night with a good mixture of bands. I think everyone liked us because no one threw cans at us!”

After the release of Foreign Skies in November last year, the Dreadnoughts took to the stage on the Friday proving their latest record was a hit as the crowd bounced of the energy of both new and old tracks. Friday night saw drummer (and event organizer) Marco, affectionately nicknamed “The Stupid Swedish Bastard,” crowd surfing on a carpet around the venue to the bar and back onto the stage. Favourites on the Friday were songs “Polka Never Dies” and “Ivanhoe” during which the audience shouted lyrics back word for work with fierce enthusiasm.

Night two of the PunkStravaganza was kicked off by Paddy Waggin’, who seemed a perfect fit for a St. Patrick’s Day show. The band focuses on playing traditional Irish/Canadian folk rock with a punk twist. In the style not dissimilar to that of Flogging Molly or The Pogues – whose songs they covered on the night. Paddy Waggin’ played a set full to the brim of drinking songs which seemed to resonate with many that evening!

Something About Reptiles allured the crowd with their self-described “whimsical, wafting Lotusland-Canadian-Turkish-Bohemian music” on the Saturday and played a set of foot tapping, charming tunes that kept the crowd enticed.

Fans that were late to the Rickshaw (A.K.A. those who opted to see Good Riddance elsewhere) missed out on a fantastic performance from ATD (A Total Disappointment), a band who won over the crowd on the night with their super-loud, fast and catchy punk tracks. Featuring Marco from The Dreadnoughts on the drums, the band were ironically a long way from a total disappointment to see live.

As Bishops Green began their set the crowd noticeably grew, fans flocked from other shows (*cough cough* Good Riddance) to the Rickshaw to catch the melodic no-bullshit street punk band. Bishops Green, whose music draws influence from the earlier days of punk, played an energetic well received set following a fitting introduction from local author Chris Walter who read an extract from his latest book Misfits & Miscreant.

As the evening progressed and The Dreadnoughts took to the stage for a second time, they teased, “Hi, we’re The Real McKenzies,” before playing a set of favourites with tracks overlapping from their setlist of the previous night. Highlights from the Saturday night included water guns filled with cider and the introduction of their new polka band “Polka Time,” which received a positive reception from the boozy crowd.

Closing off the second night frontman Nicholas Smith (A.K.A. The Fang) thanked everyone for coming and proclaimed, “We’re gonna do this every year until we die!” before following up with “Holy shit I’m super fucking drunk!” and ending their encore with “Black and White” from Foreign Skies.

“We call it cluster-folk because it brings a cluster of people together” explained Marco. By putting on a punk show with an overwhelming mix of local talent, the Dreadnoughts gave punk rock fans a place to go for an alternative St. Patrick’s weekend party!