|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
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 Latest Release from the ever popular Wheeze & Suck Band. Guaranteed not to go stale! Man Of War (Steve Knightley) Lead vocal & Mandolin ‘Muddy’; Fiddle ‘Pyro’; Guitar ‘Woody’; Melodeon ‘The Pump’; Percussion ‘JRT’. 5.34 Derby Ram / Lamb’s Tail (trad: Additional lyrics ‘Pump’). Lead vocal, guitar, ‘The Pump’; Mandolin ‘Muddy’; Fiddle ‘Pyro’; Guitar ‘Woody’; Percussion ‘JRT’ 6.59 Close To The Wind (Stuart Marson) Lead vocal and Guitar ‘Muddy’; Fiddle ‘Pyro’; Harmonies ‘Woody’. 5.36 Money Shot (Instrumental: Pyrzakowski) Fiddle ‘Pyro’; Mandolin ‘Muddy’; Guitar ‘Woody’; Melodeon ‘The Pump’; Percussion ‘JRT’. 4.27 Factory Lad (Colin Dryden) Lead vocal & Guitar ‘Woody’; Mandolin ‘Muddy’; Fiddle ‘Pyro’; Melodeon ‘The Pump’; Percussion ‘JRT’. 5.56 A Right Fool Out Of The Bothy (Macintosh) Lead vocal, Electric & Acoustic Guitar ,‘The Pump’; Mandolin & Johanna ‘Muddy’; Acoustic & Electric Fiddle ‘Pyro’; Guitar ‘Woody’; Percussion ‘JRT’. 8.48 Blue Salt Bag (Instrumental: Band) Just a twist. 38 secs. Mingulay (Acapella.Tune Trad.; Lyrics Sir Hugh S. Roberts rearranged by ‘The Pump’). Arranged by the Band. 4.20 Wheeze’n’Onion The tracks on this LP were recorded live in the studio with minimum overdubs, to catch the unique feel of the Wheeze and Suck Band ensemble playing. Huge thanks to Chris Cudlip and Antsmif from the Budspells for their support during the recording sessions, and Luke Brodie for diamond polish. Also, all the Wheezer family and friends, festival and gig organisers and special thanks to Nicola Jennings for the artwork. When the chips are down, all of you stay crispy! Total playing time 42.30 Copyright: Fire & Thorn Records 2010 Catalogue number Fire & Thorn 010 Recorded January – March 2010 at Sandcastle Studios Sydney (except ‘Mingulay’ and ‘Money Shot’ at A Sharp Studios Sydney.)
Wheeze & Suck Band – Wheeze ‘n’ Onion
CD review by Chris Spencer
Here is a strong contender for my album of the month.
Earnest, male voices, loud, energetic with lots of variety in tempo, style and genres.
The band have been around since 1997, this being their 5th album.
They’ve played at just about every major festival in the land and toured New Zealand.
The album starts off with “Man of War” which is a slowish tune featuring melodeon and the ardent vocals of Nigel Walters.
The song is one of several on the album not written by the band.
This one is written by Steve Knightley and tells of four sons going to sea and none returning.
A mixing of “Derby Ram” and “Lamb’s Tail” follow next.
An evil sounding fiddle introduces the tunes, but when the thumping bass kicks in, the whole mood of the song changes.
“Close to the Wind” is the Stuart Marson song, that at one time was recorded by Fairport Convention, and also recorded by Denis and Lynne Tracey.
It’s a sad, slow number with a minimal arrangement of guitar and fiddle, backing Walters’ plaintive voice.
“Money Shot” sounds like something I’ve heard before, but is a Tony Pyrzakowski original.
It’s an instrumental which has a thumping ‘chorus’ of percussion and foot tapping rhythm.
In contrast is the band’s cover of Colin Dryden’s “Factory Lad” and the mood of the song suits the lament of a person working in drudgery in the steel industry.
Perhaps the cornerstone of the album is one of the band’s own songs, “A Right Fool out of Bothy” written by Ian MacIntosh.
It’s a gruesome story written in a traditional folk telling manner; again the evil fiddle adds life and vitality, while the spoken voice over isn’t over done.
Then there’s a brief respite with a seemingly throwaway tune, “Blue Salt Rag” before another highlight. An accapella version of the traditional “Mingulay”- they out harmonise the Spooky Men’s Choir.
A great arrangement by MacIntosh and a superb finale to an excellent album.
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