The Bonnevilles are shaking Northern Ireland in a way it hasn't felt since Van Morrison & Them obliterated Club Rado in 1964 and Stiff Little Fingers blew apart The Trident in 1977! The Bonnevilles don't so much play punk blues as use it as a spring board to create a completely new genre. The Lurgan duo take Mississippi Hill Blues and Punk Rock and mix into their own unique dark Northern Irish Punk Blues stew.
The Bonnevilles are a no-frills guitar-and-drums two-piece from Northern Ireland who play hard-hitting roots music they call "garage punk blues." Formed in Lurgan and Banbridge in 2009, the Bonnevilles feature guitarist and singer Andrew McGibbon, Jr. and drummer Chris McMullan. McGibbon was a blues fan whose take on the genre was turned upside down by R.L. Burnside's raucous collaboration with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Ass Pocket of Whiskey. After checking out like-minded acts like the Immortal Lee County Killers and the Soledad Brothers, McGibbon decided to start doing some blues wailing of his own. Teaming up with McMullan, the group began playing out and in 2010 released their debut album, Good Suits and Fightin' Boots. As the band toured in support, both McGibbon and McMullan struggled with the death of a parent, which informed the duo's second LP, 2012's Folk Art and the Death of Electric Jesus. As the Bonnevilles continued to tour the U.K. and Europe, they shared stages with the likes of Bob Log III, the Black Diamond Heavies, T-Model Ford, and Kid Congo Powers. In 2014, the band documented its powerful live show with the album Tape Saturation Overdrive: Live in Belfast.
In 2015, the Bonnevilles visited one of the cradles of American blues when they were invited to play Clarksdale, Mississippi's Deep Blues Festival. That same year, the group struck a deal with Alive Naturalsound Records, an American independent label closely associated with raw blues-rock. March 2016 saw the release of the Bonnevilles' third studio album (and first for Alive), Arrow Pierce My Heart. The band kept up a busy touring schedule in the U.K. and Europe, and in 2017 Alive issued a collection of early recordings, Listen for Tone, as a limited vinyl-only Record Store Day release. Norway's Blues for the Red Sun Records gave Folk Art and the Death of Electric Jesus a band-approved reissue on LP in 2017, while the Bonnevilles went back to the studio to cut their fourth studio effort. Dirty Photographs, which added a touch more detail to the band's rough-hewn sound, was released by Alive Naturalsound in March 2018. ~ Mark Deming