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The Kissers 

Wednesday, December 15, at Wilbert's.

They should take it as a compliment. The Kissers, frequently billed as an Irish band, are really from Madison, Wisconsin. An honest mistake, perhaps, as Ireland and the Badger State have much in common -- one big city, one sort-of big city, desolate countryside in the western half, a love of football (the Packers or the Gaelic variety), and the ability to have a good time, anytime. Yes, the Kissers mix in a little Irish music with their party-friendly rock and roll, but they also come with Johnny Cash covers (a whole CD's worth), Pogues covers (the band's name is an Anglicized version of Pogues -- pog ma thon being Irish for "kiss my ass"), and any other covers they feel like doing. For three years, the Kissers were the house band at Madison's O'Cayz Corral, where they guaranteed faithful followers two new songs a week before the joint burned down in 2001. Most recently, the band has issued Fire in the Belly, a CD of three cover songs and 10 originals -- five composed by guitarist and head Kisser Ken Fitzsimmons, and two each from accordion/tin-whistle player Pete Colclasure and Fitzsimmons' bass-playing California cousin Caitlin Oliver-Ganz. Come to the Beachland, and feel the heat.

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