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When Irish singer-songwriter Damian Dempsey cancelled his gig at the 11th annual CelticFest, festival programmer Tom Landa reckoned Hard Rock Miners, A Tribute to the Pogues could fill Dempsey’s Saturday night spot, March 7, at the Imperial.

“They’ve influenced a lot of people who are not just into Celtic or folk music,” Landa said of the beloved band, which formed in London in 1982 under the name Pogue Mahone — the anglicization of the Irish póg mo thóin, meaning “kiss my arse.”

Hard Rock Miners “is a tons of fun”, noting members of D.O.A. and the Real McKenzies have cycled through the group that is now largely made up of members of the Ford Pier Vengeance Trio, accompanied by Granie Sheriden on pennywhistle and Doug Kellam on five-string banjo.

Author and Courier contributor Aaron Chapman of Celtic rock band The Town Pants and the Real McKenzies is the band's guitarist and the tribute is just one of a multitude of concerts that performed during Western Canada’s largest Celtic celebration.

Hard Rock Miners has also played at the St. Patty’s Bash at the WISE Hall and the Imperial Club.

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