Dublin and London-based Creeds Cross weaves traditional Irish storytelling with a resounding rock punch creating a new niche that’s aptly called ‘Paddy Rock’. They’ve elevated what is known as Irish Rock to an entirely different level with their wildly enticing lyrics and pulsating rhythms. Creeds Cross debut album, Gods & Fighting Men, officially released in March 2014, showcases a wide assortment of enjoyable twists and turns, bound to have you singing and dancing along, or at the very least tapping your toes and clapping! From the otherworldly instrumental Intro of an Irish Air (She Moved Through The Fair) on through to the title track Gods & Fighting Men you can’t help but realise there is nothing average about Bart Foley and his band of merry men known as Creeds Cross.
This lovely band of Irishmen brings with them a wealth of musical influence. The musicians include: Bart Foley, (The All Saints, Randy Bachman) guitar and lead vocals; Grant Wildy (Emerald Dogs) Drums; Mark Conyard (Hungry Grass) Fiddle; Brian Kelly (Shane MacGowan) Banjo & Mandolin; Denis Dowling (Shane MacGowan) Guitar; and Andreas Jensen (Dub Pistols) Bass. Collectively they are Creeds Cross; guaranteed to get the blood thrumming in your veins, ready to dance a jig or reel while raising a glass to the tradition of Irish music.
After listening to Gods & Fighting Men (a number of times – it’s addictive), I reached out to Bart Foley for more info about Creeds Cross. The luck of the Irish was smiling down on me as Bart was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions and give some insight into their lives, their music and what’s coming up next…
Do you have a favorite song on Gods & Fighting Men?
Tough Question as I put my heart and soul into all of them, but listening back I would say “The Irish Band” This is a great track live and it really does epitomise everything that Creeds Cross is about. It was also our first single off the album and it has sort of become our signature tune.
Who are your biggest influencers and why?
Bruce Springsteen as a performer and songwriter. The man is a storyteller and that’s what I’ve tried to do with Creeds Cross. Every song on the album tells a unique story in it’s own way. Others would be great Irish bands like Moving Hearts and Thin Lizzy on the rockier front as well as lots of great Irish traditional music, although I do prefer when its given a more modern twist. The High Kings are a classic example of this, where they’ve taken old traditional songs and rearranged them. I’ve done this with the selected covers we do in the live shows.
What are your favourite musical memories?
Being the youngest in my family growing up, I had the advantage of stealing my older sisters records. This as well as my fathers great collection of the greats, gave me a very diverse musical listening experience. There was everything from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, to The Eagles, Dillon and The Beatles. But My First ever single that I bought, must be the greatest memory as it was The Clash, London Calling. It led me into to the world of punk for a while and introduced me to amazing bands like The Ruts and The Stranglers. Strangely, in later life I would spend a considerable amount of time in a band with the legendary Ruts drummer Dave Ruffy, who is now a great friend.
Who are you currently listening to?
I think my favorite artist at the moment is Paulo Nuttini , as he is out there keeping it very real and he is an amazing song writer. The Irish group The Strypes are also very exciting, but I am a lifetime Foo Fighters fan!
Best gig so far?
With Creeds Cross, we are taking to the Road this Autumn, so I will have to get back to you on that one, but personally, I have done so many that’s it’s hard to choose. I guess one of the most memorable, would be opening the show for Motorhead at their home coming show at The Forum in Kentish Town
Any place special you’d like to gig?
Controversial I know, especially with all that’s happened with Garth Brooks there, but for me it would have to be Croke Park in Dublin. I saw U2 there when I was a kid and my life was never the same again. I remember saying that one day I’ll come back and play a show here…
Your music is a fusion of Traditional Irish and Rock & Roll… where do you get your inspiration from?
This is a question I get asked a lot and there is no real easy answer. I love the power that Rock n Roll has. No other music has that kind of a wall of sound coming off a stage. I also love the melodic harmonies and rhythms of a well played Bodhran, Fiddle and Banjo. When they are merged together properly, to me it is the formula for a fantastic sound. The slower songs can be heart breaking and the faster songs just impossible not to dance along to.
What’s coming up next?
We take to the road in the Autumn with some UK shows and then an Irish and European tour. We are also working on a US tour, but no immediate plans for this yet.
There is something very big happening soon which will be the biggest Irish Celtic Rock event in London, but I can’t really talk about that yet as it hasn’t been officially announced. If this does get the go ahead, it will be amazing.
Creeds Cross – Gods & Fighting Men is a magnificent debut album that leaves you wanting more from this amazing band. 38 minutes of Creeds Cross doesn’t seem to be nearly enough… thankfully there is a repeat button!
01 – Intro / Irish Air 1:28
02 – The Harvest 3:24
03 – The Irish Band 4:03
04 – One by One 3:33
05 – The Sam Maguire Cup 3:35
06 – Good Enough 3:13
07 – Gods & Fighting Men 3:36
08 – I’m Coming Home 4:08
09 – The Virgin Mary 3:34
10 – Half a Chance 3:13
11 – A Lullabye 3:15
I am truly grateful for the glimpse into the world of Creeds Cross Bart Foley has given us. Believe me, if I am ever anywhere near one of their gigs, I will be there in a heartbeat. If you have the chance to see them whether in Ireland, the UK or Europe, I urge you to take the chance and GO… experience ‘Paddy Rock’, Creeds Cross style, you won’t regret it, I promise!
I’m looking forward to the new twists and turns Creeds Cross brings to Irish Music in the future, for now I’ll have to settle to listening to Gods & Fighting Men on repeat! I leave you now with the first song I heard when I was introduced to Creeds Cross – One By One. Enjoy!
And one song that I find myself listening to over and over… Good Enough.
Listen for yourself, and then go get their album! You need Gods & Fighting Men in your collection! Once you’ve heard them, I think you’ll agree that Creeds Cross is rather special and brilliant addition to the world of Celtic music.
As always, it started with a song…
.. and ended with a smile!
For more on Creeds Cross and their music, here are the links. And don’t forget — let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you!