alt="The Margaret Hooligans - Saturday Night in Bartertown (2023, Piety Street Publishing) COVER"Artwork by Iden Crockett

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The Margaret Hooligans – Saturday Night in Bartertown

July 17, 2023Piety Stree Publishing
Album | CD/Digital44:18 | 9 tracks
Garage Rock / Alternative RockBala Cynwyd, PA, USA

No Sleep ‚til Bartertown

The names Meg Cratty and Mr. Strontium should be famous among readers of MangoWave Magazine. As The Margaret Hooligans, the Pennsylvanian duo has produced tons of songs over the past two years, and thus they have been featured in the old MangoWave page (see here) and the new one (see here). To be precise, The Margaret Hooligans have released 37 songs between August 2021 and July 2023. That is more than one-and-a-half songs per month. But before we begin to philosophise over what to do with 0,5416 songs, we should rather celebrate. Reason is the recently released third album Saturday Night in Bartertown.

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Tales from our Modern World

The topics of The Margaret Hooligans‚ new songs are inspired by the sheer absurdity of our late capitalist society. Saturday Night in Bartertown thus goes far beyond the typical tragedies of current days. Thus, the duo manages to create a loose but consistent narrative of a world where lovers drift apart like space travelers, where a grumpy old lady opposes gentrification, or where a very hungry musician is being tortured by having to watch a dog eat tasty pizza. This is the world we live in, and it is only the beginning. Surrounded by donuts, a coeliac hardly ever gets a break, and often enough finding a compromise only leaves two unhappy people behind.

Warming Lights

Amidst this doomy and melancholic world that The Margaret Hooligans describe in their songs, plenty of defiant noise and movement is born. Meg Cratty on ukulele and vocals knows how to create a roaring thunderstorm with her instrument while simultaneously taming it with her voice. Meanwhile, Mr. Strontium’s eclectic drumming and percussion work is a earthquake that accelerates the narratives. And last but not least, the vocal interaction between Meg’s singing voice and Strontium’s adlibs brings severity, absurdity, and joy together in one place.

Keep on rockin‘ in a raw World

Life can be tough, and it comes with way too many challenges and injustices. Saturday Night in Bartertown is set at a place where many people know or feel these imbalances. And amidst this gloomy, patched-up sphere, Meg Cratty and Mr. Strontium play their music to give a smile to those who frown way too often. And when the duo presents their interpretation of The Grateful Dead’s New Speedway Boogie, the atmosphere at Bartertown explodes.
8/10 Mangoes

All pictures by courtesy of The Margaret Hooligans
Cover artwork by Iden Crockett
Meg Cratty: vocals/electric ukulele
Mr. Strontium: back up vocals, drums/percussion
Produced by Mr. Strontium
Mixed and mastered by Jon Huxtable of Smallfish Recordings, Edinburgh, UK

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