Music » Band of the Week

A Decade Of Debauchery

The Boys From The County Hell Celebrate 10 Years Of Mayhem


Editor's Note: It's been 10 years since the Boys From the County Hell started playing around town on St. Patrick's Day. During that time, the Pogues tribute band has teamed up with Spider Stacy (an orginal Pogue) for a series of shows, played a gig in Bangkok and started more than one bar brawl with its rowdy performances. To honor this legacy, we asked Boys leaders Chris Allen and Doug McKean to give us an annotated timeline.

March 17, 2000: First ever Boys From the County Hell show takes place at the Euclid Tavern.ÊIt's a sold-out show that ends with the stage in ruins, Doug McKean passed out on the floor in front of it.ÊBand decides that next year it would be a good idea to continue and goes on to play a few random shows. Current fiddle player Chris Yohn was slated to play banjo in the band.ÊAfter being insulted by Doug McKean and frustrated that the band will never be able "to fucking get 'Fairytale of New York' right," he drives down to Lake Erie and throws his banjo in it. (He rejoins the following year on fiddle).Ê Ê

March 2001: Spider Stacy of the Pogues gets wind of the band via an Internet clip and, needing a band for a short Midwest tour, hires the Boys From the County Hell.ÊHe flies into Cleveland for rehearsal, and band heads to Chicago for the first night of the tour.ÊTour culminates in another sold-out show at the Euclid Tavern.

December 2001: The BFCH are invited by Spider Stacy to a Pogues reunion show in Dublin and get VIP tickets.Ê A couple of members make it to the show, and the Pogues dedicate "The Body of an American" to the band.

Ê December 25, 2002: The band plays its first annual Christmas show at the Grog Shop.ÊThe backstage is filthy with booze, and the band takes the stage a little zonked.ÊDoug McKean finishes the set propped up by two women from the crowd.Ê

Ê Dec. 31, 2003: The Boys begin their annual tradition of playing New Year's Eve at the Harp.Ê

Ê March 2004: Within a couple of weeks' time, the band gets offers from Las Vegas and, unbelievably, Bangkok, for St. Patrick's gigs.ÊThe BFCH plays a sendoff show at the Beachland Ballroom in Hawaiian gear to celebrate. They play a full week of shows at Las Vegas' New York, New York casino, performing up to seven hours a day.Ê If the Beatles had Hamburg to hone their skills, the Boys had Vegas.ÊMC Hammer and the band Puddle of Mudd attend one show, along with the Irish dance troupe Lord of the Dance. For the first show in Las Vegas,Êfiddle player Chris Yohn falls asleep in his room and misses the gig.ÊBanjo player Aaron Pacitti gets so drunk, he makes it through one song and then pukes all the way up to his room, including in the elevator. The week ends with one of the best BFCH shows of all time to a packed crowd. It ends around 4 a.m.ÊSeveral hours later, BFCH boards a plane for Thailand to perform a ball in Bangkok the very next day.Ê

October 31, 2005: Band continues its Halloween tradition begun the year before by dressing thematically.Ê Last year, Doug McKean was Batman and the rest of the band was Robin.Ê This year, a costume designer outfits the band as the Muppets, and the first set consists of Muppet tunes.Ê February 2007: The Boys' alter ego, the Boys from the Parish Hell, plays at the Harp, delivering zydeco tunes for Fat Tuesday.Ê Zydeco songs remain a staple of their show.Ê

March 17, 2007: After playing until 2 a.m. the night before at the Beachland, the band begins the day at Becky's Pub at 6 a.m., playing until 8:30 a.m.ÊThen it heads to House of Blues and plays from 9 a.m. until noon.ÊThen it plays Flannery's Pub from 12:30 until 7 p.m. and finishes by playing at the Harp from 8 p.m. until midnight. Most of the band doesn't remember the second half of the day, though it did close the Harp show with "London Calling," a band first.Ê Ê

October 31, 2008: Band dresses up as rock stars from the "We Are the World" video for its annual Halloween show.ÊNick Stipanovich is Daryl Hall and the McKean brothers' dad fills in as Huey Lewis.Ê

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