The Men They Couldn’t Hang’s Thirtieth Anniversary Album
The Men They Couldn’t Hang is a seminal band in the history of Folk-Punk. Many music fans are familiar with The Pogues and The Violent Femmes, but few seem to have heard of The Men They Couldn’t Hang. That is unfortunate, because not only is the band a seminal band in the history of Folk-Punk, but The Men They Couldn’t Hang is a great band.
The Men They Couldn’t Hang was formed in 1984, releasing their first album a year later – Night of a Thousand Candles. The band’s first single was a beautiful and haunting cover of the folk-ballad, “The Green Fields of France.”In 1986 The Men They Couldn’t Hang released How Green is the Valley, their only major-label album (MCA). This album features the song “Ghost of Cable Street” a song that recounts the 1936 violent clash between the police and anti-fascist demonstrators. Over the years, the band has gone through some lineup changes and has released fourteen studio albums and two live albums. Several of the band members, notably Phil “Swill” Odgers and Paul Simmonds, have released solo albums over the years as well as collaborating with other artists.
The Men They Couldn’t Hang is approaching its thirtieth anniversary, and is planning on releasing an album in commemoration. The album is being financed through Pledge Music, a form of Kickstarter. I have pledged, but, since I’m not sure whether or not No Depression is cool with bands or fans of those bands shilling on this website, I’m not going to post any links. I will post one of the potential perks for supporting the album. In conjunction with the usual perks/benefits that come with the varying levels of support, The Men They Couldn’t Hang will be creating what they call “The Bundle.” Following is the band’s description –
“Every Pledger will be entered into a raffle for The Bundle. This will be created during the recording session by the band and musical guests. It will include the original studio track notes, lyric sheets, rough mix discs, CDs that we’ve been listening to, half finished bottles of Oban whiskey, a mandolin signed by the band and any other studio detritus we decide to throw in during the session. You can collect this from the studio towards the end of the session or we can post it if necessary.”
I’m assuming that the “half finished bottles of Oban whiskey” is meant as a joke, but I hope not. Regardless, I and the other fans of The Men They Couldn’t Hang that I’ve encountered here at No Depression would love to see this vastly underappreciated band release a new album. And, honestly, The Men They Couldn’t Hang is one of the few bands that I can think of that I would be willing (am willing) to help out with their crowd-funding efforts. Maybe if enough of us from the U.S. contribute, the band will consider a State-side tour.
 The more “sophisticated” music fan may include The Nipple Erectors, too. They would be wrong. Shane McGowan was in the band, but it was straight up Punk. Good band, though.