Saturday, August 13, 2016
I’ve been playing out, irregularly, for a couple of years, mostly at Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles – because Molly Malone’s (birthplace of Flogging Molly, and where they played what seems to have been a years-long Monday night residency – hence the band’s name – in the early 90s) seems to breed that kind of loyalty.
The group I’ve been playing in, in Los Angeles, for years now, started live life at Molly Malone’s, as a trio – The Cranky George Trio, with actor Dermot Mulroney and actor-turned-writer/director Kieran Mulroney, Dermot’s younger brother. Kieran and Dermot – on fiddle and cello respectively – were in The Low And Sweet Orchestra with me in the mid 90s. We made an album called Goodbye To All That, with Interscope Records, shot a couple of expensive videos, played gigs in Los Angeles, at Lollapalooza and opened for the Neville Brothers at the Fillmore West and the Embarcadero in San Francisco, New Years Eve, 1994. In the band with the Mulroneys and me, was Zander Schloss, who had played the part of Karl the Wiener Boy in Alex Cox’s paella-Western Straight To Hell.
The Low and Sweet Orchestra (L to R, me, Mike Martt, Dermot Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney, Will Hughes, Zander Schloss, Tom Barta). Photo by Dan Winters.
Not long after I’d left the Pogues and immigrated to the United States, the Christmas of 1993, I met Zander again at a film-screening in Hollywood. The idea of clapping a trio of cello, fiddle and accordion to a fairly basic set-up with bass, drums, guitar and voice appealed to Zander. Zander had been the guitarist in the Circle Jerks and, with Low and Sweet Orchestra’s singer, Mike Martt, had been in Thelonious Monster too. Zander was related to Alex Cox in some way, had contributed to the soundtracks of Cox’s films Sid and Nancy, Repo Man and worked with Joe Strummer on the soundtrack for Permanent Record. When the Low and Sweet Orchestra split up, Dermot, Kieran and I carried on playing, as we had, in Dermot’s garage down the street from where I lived, a couple of blocks over from where Kieran lived.