Merry Hell
Album: Blink...And You Miss It
Label: Mrs casey
Tracks: 14

Guitar riffs, shouty singable anthems…what more could you ask for on a trip down memory lane? And more importantly, does this form of song stand any chance in the ‘yoof’ led charts of our younger generation. I for one seriously hope so as Merry Hell could possibly strike a blow for those of us sick to death of the gutless teary eyed wonders that feel an appearance on the X-Factor will secure them a place in rock history.

At least the band (risen from the ashes of The Tansads) have the gumption to throw themselves whole-heartedly into their performance. I suppose (for comparisons sake) they could be likened to a certain ‘Irish’ band although personally I’d place them alongside The Whisky Priests for their Northern based powerhouse delivery.

The interplay between Andrew and Virginia Kettle is the main thrust vocally reminiscent of Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan at their towering best and the inclusion of Bob Kettle’s distinctive Chris Eccleshall mandolin, Andrew Dawson (bass), Paul Knight (drums), Tim Howard & John Kettle (guitars) and the keyboard of Lee Goulding provide enough energy to light the National grid.

Easily switching from the excitable opening track “Drunken Serenade” to the mellow waltz time of “Over The Border” what lies beneath the very distinctive cover artwork is an album encrusted with jewels that will hopefully bring the folk-rock with attitude movement back to public awareness and fingers crossed see them gracing festival stages throughout the land.

Peter Fyfe

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Fast Fact

When we booked the Tansads for a festival way back when, the band's rider insisted that chips should be made available for John Kettle as he only eats chips.
Sadly there was illness in the band and they cancelled so we never got to know if it was a wind up.

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