WHISKY PRIESTS

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The First Few Drops

Released: November 1991

Label: Whippet Records

Formats: CD / Cassette

Cat. No.: WPTCD5 / WPTC5

 

Notes

Compilation album of the band's two 1988 12" EPs 'No Chance' & 'Grandfatha's Fatha'.

 

Reissue

Released: November 1994

Label: Whippet Records

Formats: CD

Number of Tracks: 18

Catalogue Number: WPTCD10

 
Track Listing
 
 
 
 
1. No Chance
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 2. The Coal-Digger's Grave
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 3. The Hard Men
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 4. Wise Man
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 5. The Bonnie Pit Laddie
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 6. Shut Doon The Waggon Works [Volnitza Version]
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 7. Grandfatha's Fatha
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 8. Instrumental Medley: a) The Hexhamshire Lass / b) Dance Te Yer Daddy / c) The Keel Row / d) Kafoozalum / c) Weshin' Day
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 9. Geordie Black
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 10. The Row Between The Cages
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 11. The Ghost Of Geordie Jones
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 12. Byker Hill / Elsie Marley
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 Bonus Tracks [CD Version] : -
 
 
 
 13. The Colliery [Original Single Version]
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 14. Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinny
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 15. The Clog Dancer [Original B-Side Version]
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 16. Jenny Grey [Demo Version]
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 17. Collier's Rant [Demo Version]
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 18. The Rising Of The North [Demo Version]
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
 iTunes
 Amazon
 

Credits

Gary Miller – Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bouzouki, Mandolin
Glenn Miller – Accordion, Backing Vocals, Bouzouki
Michael Stephenson – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Bill Bulmer – Mandolin, Harmonicas, Bouzouki, Backing Vocals
Sticks – Drums

 

Reviews

“The Whisky Priests are massive party animals, out for a good time any way they can get it. Their beginnings lie in a confused mix of raw punk attitude, hard living industrial reality and folk memory. Documented here largely thanks to demand from a rabid live following who’ve taken rant ‘n’ reel to heart and must own every note produced. This is bloody exciting music regardless whether it moves you or not. At times melodically askew, you could OD on the atmosphere given off. You’re gonna dance ta thee daddy, there isn’t a choice, it’s an order. Priest philosophy is summed up pretty smartly in the sawn off treatment dispensed to ‘The Bonnie Pit Laddie’, its stop-start clattering reverbs around the speakers in a technique which lacks finesse but spits nails as well as much north east verbiage. 

Their well known backyard agenda – fair play for Durham – raises a thoughtful eyebrow at management-inspired industrial sabotage of one form or another, following a thread from ‘The Row Between The Cages’ to the Whisky’s own ‘Shut Doon The Waggon Works’ – in a previously unavailable mix. The slices on ‘The First Few Drops’ are rough, ready, big, brawling music. They represent tracks from the folk process and the far side.” 

(Simon Jones, ‘Folk Roots’, UK, 1992.)


“The hard men return! With consideration to all previous label hassles and frequent line-up changes, The Whisky Priests are still as potent as ever. After spending most of their career to date in the shadow of their contemporaries, they now have a solid label and distribution set up behind them.
Essentially a live band – in fact finding a harder working group would be no mean feat – they have often been criticised as being unable to transfer their stage sound onto record. Although I am sure that there are many, self included, would disagree vehemently. ‘The First Few Drops’ is primarily a collection of previous EP’s with an unreleased demo thrown in for good measure. 

Anyone who has caught the Priests live will know of the instant image portrayed: cloth caps, pit boots, granddad shirts and braces, the lads could have leapt straight from the stage of a Durham working men’s club of the thirties. The songs deal with social and political issues as relevant today as they were to any other age. 

With a penchant for thrash folk, Pogues comparisons are frequently levelled at them by some but, with a hard North Eastern dialect, their accordion-driven sound is, in all honesty, totally unique. The majority of songs are dedicated to everyday life in a pit community, but can readily be used as anthems for the plight of the working classes everywhere. Some of the highlights of the album are the live favourite ‘The Hard Men’, which would leave any sane, wise person scared of sharing a drink with The Whisky Priests. ‘Shut Doon The Waggon Works’, the unreleased demo, is perhaps their best song to date, and with the current state of the mining industry today, probably the most significant. ‘Grandfatha’s Fatha’ sees a reminiscence of sitting on Great Grandfather’s knee and hearing yarns of yesteryear. Also included is a five-part instrumental of blinding speed. These medleys play a great part in the live show, as any Whisky Priests follower will testify.
With a new studio album due for release in March and their debut album, ‘Nee Gud Luck’, now at last once again available, the future is looking bright for The Whisky Priests.” 

(John Sanders, ‘Northern Star’, UK, 5th-12th March 1992)


“Back in Issue #30 we had reviews of all of The Whisky Priests’ recordings. Now two of those EP’s, ‘No Chance’ [WPT 1] and ‘Grandfatha’s Fatha’ [WPT 2] have been issued on a CD called ‘The First Few Drops’ along with the obligatory ‘previously unreleased track’ (a demo version of ‘Shut Doon The Waggon Works’). This certainly makes life easier, no more turning over pieces of vinyl, no resetting the turntable to 45 RPM, better sound, etc. For those unfamiliar with The Whisky Priests, they are a straight ahead, no-holds-barred, roots rock band with folk overtones (i.e., accordion, mandolin, etc.) that has been favourably compared to the Pogues. They do like things short and sweet, the 12 tracks clock in at a little over 32 minutes. Thanks to the band for including lyric sheets as you’ll never comprehend singer Gary Miller’s accent. If you like your folk hard and fast, The Whisky Priests are for you.” 

Al Reiss, ‘Dirty Linen’, U.S.A., Issue 40, June/July 1992.