|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
Ian ‘The Pump’ Macintosh – Melodeon, Guitar, Vocals Nigel ‘Muddy’ Walters – Cello Mandolin, Appalachian Dulcimer, Vocals Johnny ‘Red Tips’ Milce – Percussion. Geoff ‘One Shot Woody’ Woodhead – Guitar, Vocals.
The Wheeze & Suck Band live in and around Sydney, Australia, yet their music is firmly in the tradition of the great UK folk rock bands such as Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.
The Wheezers offer roots music’s equivalent to a Music Hall review; each performer delivers a unique individuality within a seamless band performance. To this band, there is a joy in making an intimate connection with every audience.
Experiencing a ‘Wheezers’ show, you understand this immediately. The W&S line up delivers exquisite harmonies doubling as individual lead vocalists; instruments include acoustic and electric guitars, cello mandolin, squeezebox and percussion. The material includes terrific tunes, great award-winning sing-along original and traditional songs, a touch of music hall, underpinned by plenty of self-effacing humour.
Antique military costumes and top hats give them a colourful, distinctive on-stage presence, which over the years has inspired a minor revolution in many bands’ approach to on-stage presentation.
The Band is a regular feature at festivals, large and small across Australia and New Zealand; boasting three appearances at consecutive Woodford Festivals; regular appearances at both the National and Illawarra Folk Festivals since 1998 and a very successful inaugural appearance at Port Fairy Festival in 2010. In 2009 the Wheezers undertook a 2 week tour of New Zealand including SRO performances at the Auckland Folk Festival and a special appearance at the World famous Festival of Lights in New Plymouth. We also headlined at the Wellington Folk Festival in 2012. We have played at every St Albans (NSW) festival since 1998.
The wheezeing and sucking sound of air being drawn through the bellows of an old button accordion as it pumps out an ancient pagan dance tune from days gone by is the core sound that founded the music of the Wheeze and Suck Band.
The band today play a mixture of original, contemporary and traditional English songs and tunes which have evolved and developed into a unique style that in these latter days merges with European and Cajun styles.
A Wheeze and Suck Band performance is full of the life, energy and enthusiasm that is found in the music sessions one comes across in country pubs where people get together to sing the songs and play the music that they love.
Wheeze & Suck Band – Vincent Street
Titled after one of the tunes played by the band.
Vincent Street is the result of the Undertaker’s faded memories of a children’s skipping song from the streets of his native Birmingham, triggered by the Pump’s classic “Does anyone know what this melody is”? The Undertaker provided the missing parts of the tune and the lyrics.
“Seven disparate musicians and entertainers defy the odds and perform exciting, harmonious renditions of their forefather’s songs and music. Their forefathers were the motive powers of a large empire. This hereditary influence may explain the band’s exuberant in your face performances. Wheeze and Suck are as ethnic as John Bull, rarer than goals scored by the English soccer squad and as entertaining as a theater full of Riverdancers. In Australia they are one of the most under-appreciated folk music bands. The current line-up is Lol ‘the Undertaker’ Osborn, Peter ‘Wotan’ Kerrawn, Nigel ‘Muddy’ Walters, John ‘Bongo’ Milce, Rhonda ‘Harmony’ Mawer, Ian ‘the Pump’ Macintosh and new member Tony ‘Pyro’ Pyrzakowski (listen for his demonic fiddling in “Mad Tom of Bedlam”). Wheeze and Suck is a complex band for a sound engineer to produce, having four vocalists who take turns to lead and an instrumental combination taking in about thirteen instruments. My best experiences of their folk club performances to date have been in fully acoustic venues. I therefore approached Vincent Street with trepidation. The Grassmere and Skylab recording studios have achieved a fine blend of instruments and voices, a benchmark for sound engineers to live up to in future with this band. Vincent Street is a beautiful clean recording that allows each performer to be individually heard and appreciated. Although the studio recording slightly reduces the immediate excitement experienced during the live performances, it enables the listener to hear the band’s intricate and harmonious arrangements. Vincent Street consists of five traditional tunes, five traditional songs, two smashing new ballads in the folk idiom by the ‘Pump’, two new tunes by ‘Wotan’ and two by the ‘Pump’. The ‘Undertaker’s’ arrangements of Cyril Tawney’s “Sammy’s Bar” and Sydney Carter’s “Lord of the Dance” are also featured together with the band’s tribute to ska in The Guns of Navarone. These are the songs and tunes that tell of the joys, trials, tribulations and taunts of the English working classes. Vincent Street has something for almost everyone, even people with short memories will not be challenged by the words of Ladbroke Grove (the ‘Pump’ must be looking for a commercial hit!) Wheeze and Suck usually commence their performances with the ironic comment “For lovers of fine music- you’re in the wrong place.” Decide for yourself, I know that I will treasure and often play Vincent Street.” -Review by Richard John.
1 in stock (can be backordered)