Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Men They Couldn't Hang - Ironmasters 12"

I'm sure most people know all about this classic single, but if you don't then your in for a real treat. Around the time that "The Pogues" blended Irish Folk Music with Punk there was another band "The Men They Couldn't Hang" (TMTCH) who were doing the rounds. in my opinion they deserved the fame and recognition that the Pogues achieved, but as often is, it didn't quite happen. For me some of their songs surpassed anything the Pogues did (even though I loved the Pogues, and still do), and "Ironmasters" is one of those songs.

"Ironmasters" starts of like a gentle folk song and then builds up, getting louder and faster, until it fully bursts into life. Listen to it and see what you think, for me this is one of my all time favourite singles. On the b-side you get two great covers "Donald Where's Your Troosers" and the brilliant "Rawhide" which lots of bands seemed to cover in the mid eighties.

TMTCH were outstanding live, although I'm sure for some of you who saw them can remember how rough some of their gigs were, it was unusual if there wasn't at least one fight, which I think was mainly down to the speed and energy of many of their songs. They were regulars at the Mean Fiddler and the Sir George Robey and did have a fair size following, but clearly not big enough to break into the big time.

I was playing their excellent debut album "Night Of A Thousand Candles" (link to buy below) and whilst listening to one of their fastest stage favourites "Walkin Talkin" and for the first time noticed its similarity (although its about 10 times faster) to Johnny Cash's "The Wreck Of Old 97", anyone agree? leave a comment.

Band: The Men They Couldn't Hang
Label: Imp Records:
Year: 1985
Tracks:
1. Ironmasters
2. Donald Where's Your Troosers
3. Rawhide

Ripped from glorious scratched vinyl

If you like this then your in luck, there are two albums worth getting, the first is their best and debut album: (if you want these tracks plus their other single "Greenback Dollar) you will have to buy this on iTunes)
Night of a Thousand Candles by Men They Couldn't Hang
Their second album "How Green Is The Valley" is worth buying just for their single "Shirt Of Blue" although this is a collectors version in CD or vinyl, so it cheaper to buy this on iTunes.

How Green Is The Valley by The Men They Couldn't Hang

27 comments:

Nuzz Prowlin' Wolf said...

Great stuff Gary, happy memories of jigging around in my daglo stripey trousers to this lot at the venues you mentioned, and also downstairs at The Clarendon.

Anonymous said...

I'll check this one out, never heard them!

Finally I found some info about the Catch A Wave album I wrote about during the summer, on a Radio Stars page:
http://www.dmhughes.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Radio-Stars/discography_Compilations_UK_Catch_A_Wave.htm

Robert - Stockholm,

Anonymous said...

Indeed an excellent single and TMTCM's finest moment. Cheers Gary

Longy

John Liedown said...

'From the smokey stacks of Merthyr
to the hills of Ebbw vale!'
Still makes the hairs on the back of me neck stand up that.
I was from a town inbetween the 2. Went to School in Merthyr & spent most of my youth hanging around with the Ebbw Vale punks. Brilliant single. Though 'Shirt of Blue' comes close. As does 'Rabid Underdog' first track second LP. Great band.
J

Anonymous said...

Big Thanx Gary for your blog! Bizarros EP is great.

Anonymous said...

Can you posted de the THMCH single "The ghosts of cable street? It´s a different that the album How green eas the valley.
Many thanks from Croatia, great blog.
Radomir

Anonymous said...

excellent stuff thanks for sharing this one with us

Lazy Rod said...

Thanks... Not heard this in years! I used to know Swill in the days before TMTCH when he had a band called Catch 22.

Anonymous said...

I just watched Ashes To Ashes the other night. I do remember the t-shirt "We Are All Prostitutes" by The Pop Group, but not the actually song. Anybody know where to find it?
Robert - Stockholm

garychching said...

Hey Nuzz cheers for the comment, and now I cant get this vision of you leaping around in stripey dayglo trousers, and yes i forgot downstairs at the Clarendon.

garychching said...

Hi Robert, good to hear from you again, let us know what you think.

garychching said...

Hi ya Longy, yep your right this one is a real gem.

garychching said...

Hi John, cheers for the comment, yep I love Short of Blue and rabid underdog is also a gem.

garychching said...

Hi anon thanks for the comment glad you liked the Bizaros, but then again how could you not enjoy it.

garychching said...

Hi anon, I never noticed Ghost of Cable street was a different version. I will check it out and post the different version when I get a moment.

garychching said...

Sorry your not anon but Radomir, just noticed that as well.

garychching said...

Thanks for the comment "Sounds". Glad to help

garychching said...

Thanks for the comment and the extra info lazy rod, I never knew about Catch 22, did they ever release anything?

garychching said...

Hey robert, check you email

Lazy Rod said...

Gary I don't think they recorded anything (maybe a tape?). That was 27 years ago so my memory is a bit rusty! They moved (from Southampton/Winchester area) to London the following year and the rest, as hey say, is history...

garychching said...

Hi Lazy Rod thanks for the update, I thought we might be on to something new. You never know.

All the best, Gary

Eden263 said...

TMTCH were better than the Pogues in so many ways. I taped the Peel sessions religiously, but, alas, they're long gone. Iron Masters is a superb song, and I was into Industrial stuff in a big way then, so they were quite a departure for me. Ace! Thanks!

garychching said...

Hi Eden I might still have those John Peel sessions, I will have a look, you never know.....

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Paul Simmonds from TMTCH also in Catch 22?

garychching said...

I wouldn't have a clue, but I would be a little surprised as Catch 22 was released in 1970.

Anonymous said...

thanks dude. I always thought ironmasters was a pogues song till google informed me otherwise.

garychching said...

Thanks for the coomment anon, I bet the Pogues wished this was theirs