Aussie expatriates The Might Pikeys describe their style as “punk rock that encourages drinking, fighting, and all around mischief.” If that’s not enough to grab your interest, try this: they’ve already mutilated harmless classics like “It’s A Small World” and “Waltzing Matilda” to suit their devious purposes, and they’re currently working on an ode to Australian hero Steve Irwin entitled “Sail Away Steve-O.” But don’t be fooled: despite The Mighty Pikeys zest for “over-the-top intoxication, fisticuffs and philandering,” this band’s energy, drive, and musical chops are no joke.
The Mighty Pikeys came into being in 2005, when Bruce “The Dinkum Cobber” moved from St. Kilda, Australia to Denver (according to varying accounts, his exodus was the result of either being threatened with an L.L. Bean catalog, or suffering a freak accident involving “several octopi and a vat of warm lard”). Bruce connected with three other Aussie ex-pats, and in snowy Denver, they began playing music that reminded them of life back in sunny, sandy beach town St. Kilda. Bruce contributes appealingly raw lead vocals and guitar and also writes all music and lyrics, while rhythm guitarist Davo Roberts, bassist Donk Watson, and drummer Rufus Dazza Bootstraps round out the group with their high energy performances.
The Mighty Pikeys cite the Dropkick Murphys, The Pogues, Rancid, and The Vandals among their main influences; the Pikeys’ Aussie/ Celt punk style incorporates driving rhythms, eclectic instrumentation, clever, cheeky lyrics, and boisterously unorthodox riffs on traditional tunes. The Pikeys’ cover of Australian mainstay “Waltzing Matilda,” starts out as a simple rendition of the folk song, but is quickly infused with a major punk rock punch; in “We’re All Bastards,” the innocent tune to “It’s a Small World After All” is, well, bastardized. “All You By My Side” is like a traditional pub drinking song on acid, while “Rum and a Monkey” is a fanciful ode to drunken mayhem, with lyrics like “Argy-bargeys with the largeys.” On a more serious (but still kickass) note, “The Young and the Dumb,” a previously oblivious young rocker wonders “how the hell he could have never known about the killin’/ That was all around the bubble that his parents had him livin’ in.”
With songs like these, it’s no surprise The Mighty Pikeys have made themselves known in the Denver punk scene, where they continue to “terrorize Cherry Creek soccer moms and small children with their rough Aussie sound.” The Pikeys have also established a significant internet presence on sites including MySpace, Facebook, Jango and The Podsafe Music Network. Although the band’s first U.S. tour was cut short by a band member’s untimely “ailment of love,” they did perform in Texas and New Mexico in 2006. The Pikeys are currently planning a much larger tour through the U.S., Mexico, Canada, the U.K., and, of course, Australia, with a grand finale in St. Kilda.
The Mighty Pikeys new album, Blood & Glory, will be available from internet retailers including iTunes and Amazon by the end of November 2009. The band plans to shoot their video for “We’re All Bastards” in spring 2010, and, of course, they’re still working on that Steve Irwin song. While you’re waiting, you can check them out at www.mightypikeys.com and www.myspace.com/themightypikeys.