Shipwreck Rats is a pirate speedfolk band from Berlin. They first set sail sometime in the mid-2000s, manned and womanned by an oft-changing but always raggle-taggle crew who have been plundering from port to port ever since. The majority of the multi-national current line-up have been in place since 2010 and have grown together as musicians over the years, in the meantime developing a reputation for energetic live shows that, despite having a level of intensity about them, nevertheless remain full of nonsense and fun. While they bounce between various genres, focussed mainly on keeping everything sufficiently fast and evil, the tendency of their repertoire towards old stuff and boats led to the coining of the term “pirate speedfolk”, a description that will assuredly remain in place until they find a better one.
The bulk of their gigs over the years have taken place in Berlin and Dresden, but they also get out on the road whenever they can, around Germany or to destinations further afield that have thus far included the Netherlands, Finland, Czech Republic, Scotland and Denmark. They have played in front of a wide range of audiences, from pogoing punks to purring pensioners, and alongside an array of talented bands and musicians, from the folky to the rocky to the bluesy to the thrashy to the other-worldly (double-nostril-flute soloist, we will never forget you, and neither will whoever cleaned the stage).
As time has passed, the Rats have slowly started to add more of their own pieces to the large collection of Scottish, Irish, North American and various other songs and tunes they've unearthed, and are now fully equipped for a wide array of concerts, from acoustic or subtly amplified background music in smaller cafes and pubs, to louder, rockier shows in clubs and at festivals.
There has been the odd blow-out or near-death experience here and there amongst the carry-on, but with new studio recordings and touring plans in the offing, this raft of rodents is still sailing strong.
Get on board mateys!