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LIVE

The Cherry Coke$

by Shawn Despres

Fuji Rock 2005 was a very memorable weekend for Celtic-punk-inspired act The Cherry Coke$. The Tokyo septet were invited to the popular summer outing to showcase cuts from their 2004 “Beer My Friends” debut on the festival’s Rookie A Go-Go stage. While there, they also had the opportunity to watch and meet The Pogues.

Godfathers of the Celtic punk and rock style, The Pogues have had a huge influence on The Cherry Coke$ (and every other practitioner of the subgenre’s sound). Wanting to take full advantage of their new friendship, The Cherry Coke$ reached out to the famed rockers for a quote to include on their sophomore effort, that autumn’s “Rouse Up.” The Pogues’ tin whistle player and covocalist, Spider Stacy, was all too happy to oblige, penning a glowing recommendation that championed the group as: “Unbeatable and unmissable, nobody has any right to be this good.”

Since then, The Cherry Coke$ have toured the United States with like-minded peers Flogging Molly and have played at Japan’s annual Punkspring festival. In April, The Cherry Coke$ issued their fourth full-length, “Seven.” Written last year and recorded in Kanagawa Prefecture in November, the well-rounded disc sees the band continuing to accent their boozy rock anthems with folk-oriented instruments such as accordion, tin whistle, mandolin, banjo, saxophone and harmonica. The Cherry Coke$ are currently on tour in support of “Seven.” Appealing equally to raucous pubgoers and spiky-haired street punks, expect a lively crowd happily sloshing brew everywhere while bouncing around and pumping their fists.

The Cherry Coke$ play U-Stone in Shiga on March 20 (6:30 p.m.; ¥2,500 in advance; [077] 531-1770). The band will play 29 shows across Japan as part of their “Cloud Seven tour 2011″ before the jaunt finishes at Liquidroom in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, on July 15 (7:30 p.m.; ¥2,800 in advance; [03] 5464-0800). For more information, visit www.thecherrycokes.com.