The Kissers pucker up for Stones Throw stage
“Like the Irish, (The Kissers) can sing songs about the bad times and have a good time doing it,” said Ken Fitzsimmons, vocalist and founder of the Madison-based Celtic rock band The Kissers. The band plays tonight at Stones Throw, 304 Eau Claire St.
For Fitzsimmons, the bad times started when the “the current administration” took office and helped to inspire some of the songs on the second CD release, “Good fight.” The CD will be available on Monday.
“When the 2000 election happened the rest of the world was laughing at us because we couldn’t figure out how to elect a president,” he said.
Time: 10 p.m.
Place: Stones Throw, 304 Eau Claire St.
Despite the political edge evident in several tunes such as “No War,” off the upcoming disc, Fitzsimmons said the majority of the band’s songs are free from political views and are influenced by Irish traditional music.
Sophomore Megan Mulholland said she has been listening to both Irish traditional music and rock music for six to seven years.
“Every time when I hear Irish music I want to dance,” she said.
Mulholland said in addition to the feel and beat of the music, the way it typically is performed is appealing.
“(Irish bands) have a lot more fun with it,” she said. “They don’t play to the crowd. It’s more, this is what we play and if you don’t like it — tough.”
Although in the same vein of music as Irish punk and rock groups like Flogging Molly, The Dropkick Murphys and the Pogues, Fitzsimmons said The Kissers have their original spin on the genre.
“Some of our original material lyrically deals with issues here,” he said.
Fitzsimmons said many Irish- and Celtic-influenced bands tend to sing songs about Ireland, whereas the Kissers focus in on America and Wisconsin.
In addition to the difference in lyrics, Fitzsimmons said his band was in the middle between being a rock band and being a folk group.
Starting as a cover for the Irish rock group the Pogues in 1998, The Kissers quickly evolved into doing their own material, Fitzsimmons said.
They have been a full-time touring band for about a year, hitting the Eau Claire area three to four times a year, he said.
“Stones Throw shows have been pretty good,” he said. “We usually do 150 to 200 (people).”
Since The Kissers will be playing for a couple of hours, students heading out to the show can expect to hear songs off both The Kissers’ CDs, Fitzsimmons said, as well as some traditional songs, covers and a couple of new tunes.
Mulholland said she thinks students would have a good time at the show even if they aren’t into Irish music because of the good atmosphere and music.
“Music is music,” she said, “If you like it, you’ll have a good time.”