If your band consists of fiddles, mandolins, and something called a bodhran, and your audience looks like it could hold its own at a soccer hooligan convention, you’d bloody well better be able to use those instruments to mercifully bludgeon that rumbly bunch with a Celtic sonic assault that will leave them pounding on the bar, picking each other up off the Guinness-soaked floor, and screaming for one more song.
It also wouldn’t hurt if your combined weight is roughly that of the Canadian women’s hockey team in full gear.
Fortunately the Dust Rhinos have both. They’re big men with a monster sound. A sound rooted in an ancient time and a faraway place. Using traditional airs, reels, and jigs the Rhinos conjure up the Ireland of olde with leprechauns, shamrocks, tweed caps, and “sure and begorrah.” And then, like a shillelagh wrapped in a potato sack, they knock the bejeebers out of that green and lovely image and unleash a freight train loaded with banshees and the furious ghost of Cuchulainn.
From basement pubs to festival stages the Dust Rhinos have been bringing their particular brand of punk flavoured Irish trad to venues large, small, and otherwise since 1992. Blossoming from a trio of buskers to a 4-piece Celtic rock juggernaut, the Rhinos have tread the boards with acts as varied as The Dropkick Murphys, Gaelic Storm, Alabama, Leahy, the Barra MacNeils, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Whether a house concert, pub night, or festival (Dauphin Countryfest, Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Grey Cup Festival and counting!) the Rhinos’ controlled chaos will get people out of their seats, on the dance floor, and clamouring for One! More! Song!
With influences that include the Pogues, the Oysterband, Spirit of the West, the Clash, and Peter Gabriel, it’s no wonder the Rhinos have a powerful, yet multi-faceted and layered sound and playing style. An aggressive, but subtle sonic assault. Ever seen a ceilidh break out in a mosh pit? Or vice versa? Expect it at a Rhinos show. As their loyal and ever-growing fan base can attest, when the Dust Rhinos are on stage, the only thing that won’t take you by surprise is how much fun you’re having.