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Shetland Arts has announced that The Men They Couldn’t Hang will play live at Mareel on Saturday 18 October.

Formed in 1984, The Men They Couldn’t Hang made their live debut alongside The Pogues – a band to which they have been much likened thanks to their incendiary punk / folk sound. Championed by the late John Peel, the bands explosive live shows attracted legions of followers, while classic songs such as the ’Green Fields of France’ (an epic and poignant tale of World War 1 death and sorrow) became a huge hit for them on the UK indie charts and featured in Peel’s lauded ‘Festive 50’ radio tracks that same year. It also appeared on their classic 1985 album ‘Night of a Thousand Candles’ – another big UK hit for them.

Other renowned singles such as ‘Ironmasters’, ‘Shirt of Blue (a song about the miner’s strikes happening around that time) and ‘Ghosts of Cable

Men They Couldnt Hang
Street’ followed and further cemented the bands growing reputation, while albums such as ‘How Green is the Valley’, ‘Waiting for Bonapart’ and ‘Domino Club’, all featured prominently on the UK indie charts. Due to their raucous live shows the band somewhat inevitably became firm favourites on the UK and European festival scene, playing the likes of Reading and Glastonbury, together with others further afield, including a legendary appearance in front of 250,000 people in Estonia during the fall of communism.

More recently they’ve undertaken major UK tours with the likes of Stiff Little Fingers and appeared alongside Billy Bragg and Adam Ant, together with numerous festival appearances again throughout the UK and Europe.

Shetland Arts’ Marketing Officer, Lisa Ward, said: “Many will recall The Men They Couldn’t Hang’s previous successful visit to Shetland in 1986 as part of the Shetland Rock Festival, and it’s great to have them back again now as part of their 30th anniversary tour. An evening of explosive music is guaranteed!”

This event is for ages 14 and above. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Tickets cost £18 and booking is via Shetland Box Office at Mareel and/or Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online at and/or

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