Finding an original act that really turns your head can be like finding the perfect mate, going through a bunch of 'almosts' before that perfect one finally shows up. So it was for me when I accidentally ordered the Haggis on the menu.

Like many Uticans, I make it a point to attend as many Saranac Thursday brewery shows as I can throughout the summer and one day some years back, I was standing there with a brew in my hand watching this band that I'd never heard of absolutely OWN the stage. Who WERE these guys that had a bright red-haired rapidfire fiddler, a bagpiper, crazy awesome harmonies and story-telling lyrical depth sprinkled on top of a unique mix of Celtic, folk and rock? Here's a clip from that very show back in 2009...

 

 

Come to find out they called themselves Enter the Haggis and hailed from Toronto (No WONDER). My next thought was what the hell is a haggis and looking it up made me scratch my head further, but I didn't care. These guys moved me and I watched the way the crowd responded to them too, in a town where it's difficult for original acts really to gain a solid foothold.

I found myself riding their wave of band, practically out-of-body, immediately friending all of the guys on Facebook and downloading their music on my iPod in an effort to extend the high. I would later find out that I had just become a 'Haggishead', but why was I grabbed so instantly? The reason likely has little to do with the music itself and more to do with the guys themselves. This band GENUINELY loves their fans and like any good artist, they make you feel like they're interested in you specifically amongst the crowd. They're masters of this offstage as well and here they are in their own words...

 

 

Now to address the title of this post. Fast-forward to a couple days ago when an ETH post popped up in my feed that said 'Our biggest announcement ever" and naturally I click it. What followed was a well-written and humorous post about the band changing their name to 'Jubilee Riots'. From a marketing standpoint, it is incredibly hard to rebrand yourself once you've become established as something else, especially if it takes off like these guys have. I mean, imagine if we all changed our names after all of these years? But this is a sign of creative people, to always have our fingers on the pulse of the things that we do and not be afraid to move, not to mention that this band has already weathered a whole bunch of potentially polarizing moves over time, but instead of toppling, they soar.

Personally, I found their first name an eye-brow raiser even given my Celtic heritage but didn't care and I'm equally indifferent about this one too, except for throwing them some applause for having the balls to follow their creative noses where they lead, even if it seems polarizing. As for the reasons for the name change, I'll let the band explain below. But first, a fan favorite...

 

 

In step with their fan-love model, wait till you see how they handled the delicate problem of not alienating Haggisheads who've gotten the band's logo tattooed on their bodies! They'll still be playing plenty of ETH favorites at their shows and their last official jubilee under their current name will be right in our backyard at the Westcott Theater in Syracuse October 11th. In the meantime get a taste of their statement below and dine with the band that's always changing up the menu, even though the haggis won't be on it anymore...

 

Enter The Haggis
Enter The Haggis
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