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The much anticipated unveiling of Merry Hell finally came to pass at a sold out Citadel in St. Helens on Saturday 30th April, and it’s true to say no-one left disappointed. As the venue for the final gig for The Tansads, this metamorphosis featured the new material which will shape the identity and hopefully broad appeal of the new band, whilst still holding on tightly to the soul and integrity that gave the Tansads such a strong diehard fan base.

The splendidly good time opener ‘Drunken Serenade’ gave a notable nod to what can be expected from the new album. Andrew Kettle’s raucously rasping vocal pulls along a song that greets you like an old friend, something startling true of each new song unwrapped before its willing audience.

‘Crooked Man’, a melodically hypnotic attack on the bankers that led many to financial ruin, introduced itself as an instant crowd favourite. ‘Rosanna’s Song’, highlights the bands ability to seamlessly dip into the more sparse arrangement when required, whilst paradoxically ‘Over The Border’ led by Bob Kettles magical mandolin has a gloriously expansive canvas. ‘War Between Ourselves’, with John Kettle’s searing guitar and social observation, shows Merry Hell can stride along a rocky edge if needed. And they kept coming, from Virginia Kettle’s wonderfully ironic ‘Butcher And The Vegan’ to ‘The Gentle Man’, keyboard player Lee Gouldings ebullient tribute to his grandfather. ‘Lean On Me’ and ‘This Time’ bounced along effortlessly, whilst Andrew and Virginia traded lead vocals on the debut albums wittily fatalistic title track ‘Blink And You Miss It’.

Interspersed with the new material came glorious Tansads staples, ‘Fear Of Falling’, ‘G Man’, ‘Satisfied’ and the punk roots inspired ‘Iron Man’, all greeted with near manic enthusiasm by everyone present. The set was completed by the new near-as-we-dare pop feel of ‘One More Day’, before John Kettle took the stage alone with ‘Horses’. ‘Up The Revolution’ anthemically completed the encore and a memorable night.

With bassist Andrew Dawson, drummer Phil Knight and rhythm guitarist Tim Howard providing Merry Hell’s solid foundation the rest are free to replicate the good time feel so fundamental to the Tansads reputation. Saturday 30th April at The Citadel had all the feel of an ‘I was there’ night, and the anticipation that something significant lies on Merry Hells coming horizon.

Review by Paul Ariss - Thanks Paul, an honour to be reviewed by a scriptwriter for “Shameless” no less!

LATEST NEWS
Philharmonic Music Rooms, Liverpool - January 2017
Liverpool Sound and Vision were kind enough to give our recent gig at the Liverpool Philharmonic a five star rating.
Click here to read the review.

Fatea Magazine - The Globe, Glossop - December 2015
Santa got so excited that he came early, popping down our virtual chimney on Chistmas Eve with a wonderful review of our acousticish gig at The Globe in Glossop. Many seasonal thanks to Santa's little helpers at Fatea magazine - especially Ian Cripps
Click here to read the review.

Merry Hell at The Feathers - November 2015
Lovely review of a lovely night with lovely people. Thanks to lovely Chris Birchall.
Click here to read the review.

Liverpool Acoustic - January 2014
A review of our acoustic gig at the View 2 Gallery in Liverpool Peter Cowley of Fatea Records.
Click here to read the review.

Off The Tracks Spring - May 2013
A review of Off the Tracks festival we recently played by Rob Matheson of efestivals.co.uk.
Click here to read the review.

Off The Tracks Spring - May 2013
Another review of Off the Tracks festival by Barrie Dimond on festivalsforall.com.
Click here to read the review.

Conway Folk Club - April 2013
Another great review by Chris Birchall aka The Hairy Photographer.
Click here to read the review.

Ruthin AllStyles Music Club - March 2013
Great review of the Ruthin Acoustic gig by Chris Birchall aka The Hairy Photographer.
Click here to read the review.

Great British Folk Festival 2012 - December 2012
Thanks to Folk Cast for including us in their review of the Great British Folk Festival. Read the review then search the site to download a podcast for some great listening.
Click here to read the review.

MERRY HELLOWEEN - October 2012
Review of the St Helens Citadel gig on the Louder Than War website by Paul Ariss.
Click here to read the review.

GREAT BRITISH FOLK FESTIVAL REVIEW - December 2011
Review of the GBFF gig by Fatea magazine.
Click here to read the review.

ALBUM LAUNCH GIG REVIEW - 27th Oct 2011
Review by Pam Taylor on the St Helens Star website.
Click here to read the review.

OFF THE TRACKS REVIEW - 6th Sept 2011
Review by the Festivals For All website.
Click here to read the review.

THE CITADEL GIG REVIEW - 30th April 2011
Review by Paul Ariss - Thanks Paul, an honour to be reviewed by a scriptwriter for “Shameless” no less! Click here to read the review.


Wath Festival
Friday 28th April 2017

Knutsford Little Theatre
Saturday 29th April 2017

The Old Courts Wigan
Saturday 6th May 2017

Wirral Folk on the Coast
Saturday 3rd June 2017

Rustic Acoustic Festival
Friday 30th June 2017

 

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