See Dropkick Murphys play live in Portland on March 12. Guitarist Tim Brennan is standing on the far right. Photo by Dave Stauble

Boston-based Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys started its 27-show St. Patrick’s Day tour in California in February and will be at Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena on Tuesday, March 12, before winding down with four hometown shows.

Dropkick Murphys has been performing and recording music since 1996 and has released a dozen albums. As the band was making its way across the country last month, we caught up with guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Tim Brennan, a member since 2003.

1. What was it like in 2004 when the Dropkick Murphys released its version of the 100-year-old baseball anthem “Tessie” and the Boston Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years?

It was pretty crazy. We got to play on the field and play the national anthem before a game. To be at some of those games when they were playing against the Yankees and everything that season, it was crazy.

2. Can you talk about the St. Patrick’s Day shows? You’ve got four hometown ones in Boston right after the one in Portland. What are these like for you?

We rarely play at home these days and all of our friends and family get to come out and see it. People travel from all over the place to Boston to see these shows, so it’s a very special thing for us.


3. You were among the acts who played Portland’s Eastern Promenade in 2012 for Mumford & Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road tour. What do you remember about that?

That was a fun day. We got asked to do that at the last minute. The cool thing about that was, at the time, we were recording our album “Signed and Sealed in Blood,” and one of the Mumford guys (Winston Marshall) played on “Rose Tattoo.” We got to hang out with them a little bit, and they were very nice to us. It was a cool festival that they had set up there.

4. You’re known as a huge fan of The Pogues, and Dropkick Murphys toured with them in 2005. Can you talk about what The Pogues and singer Shane MacGowan, who died last year, mean to you?

I couldn’t effectively put into words what The Pogues and Shane mean to me. To say that they changed my life is not an understatement. They’re the reason that I started learning how to play Irish music. Shane and the band had such a massive impact on my life. They were life changing for me, and I’ve been fortunate enough to become friendly with a couple of guys in the band.

5. What’s next for Dropkick Murphys?

We’ve started working on some new stuff already, which is exciting. We don’t have any definitive plans yet, but we’re getting together with Ted (Hutt), our producer, in a couple of months.

Dropkick Murphys perform with Pennywise and The Scratch at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at Cross Insurance Arena, 1 Civic Center Square, Portland. Tickets are $49.50 to $60 and can be purchased at

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