New Band of the day: Merry Hell

Many of you will be aware of the current and ongoing Celtic Connections Festival 2012, a two week celebration of Celtic inspired music hosted at a selection of venues across Glasgow ”“ However a cursory glance at the list of performers suggests that the organisers are somewhat adverse to bands with a little bit of an edge; as such we will introduce to you”¦ Merry Hell.

The 8 piece outfit based across the North West of England were formed in early 2011 from the still warm ashes of legendary Wigan band The Tansads who successfully blended folk, punk and indie together ”“ Merry Hell have successfully transported themselves to the glories of their past, and deliver blistering folk/rock with a message for the future.

The band is built around a nucleus of the Kettle family; brothers John, Andrew and Bob have been joined by John’s wife Virginia who brings both acoustic guitar and a warm contrast to John’s typical gravel driven vocal delivery. Former Tansads Lee (Keyboards), Phil (Drummer) and Tim (Guitar) are joined by Andrew (Bass) ”“ there aim being to revolutionise the genre. They play hard, but all the while remember that it’s the melody that counts.

Head to the bands website to download ‘Drunken Serenade’ for free.

Musically they range from the anthemic to the intimate whilst combining lyrical playfulness with astute observation and comment; they offer your favourite songs that you haven’t yet heard. In a relatively short space of time they have forged a potent live reputation one that is both infectious and inspiring ”“ but then that is to be expected for a band with a pedigree such as theirs; however there is no resting on laurels ”“ Merry Hell are determined to bring something new to the genre, and frankly they succeed.

A band with a history, a pedigree and most importantly, a promise for the future.

With one album already under their belts ”ËœBLINK… and you miss it’ (LTW review to follow) released to critical praise from both the folk sector and the rock press ”“ Merry Hell with their high octane live performances, are set to excite audiences across the UK and Europe throughout 2012.

Catch them live at;

5th February ”“ Chester Folk Club
11th February ”“ Salford Community Centre
19th February ”“ The Avenue, Leigh
3rd March ”“ Widnes Rugby Club
17th March ”“ The Flowerpot, Derby

Previous articleGirl punk band stand up to the Kremlin
Next articleQueen reform with American Idol singer
Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


  1. Merry Hell are just… sugar coated Frosties!!
    Let’s all have a Serenade to Merry Hell!
    The best thing to come out of Wigan…since pies!
    This band on not on the run…
    They just play great music and have some fun…
    They are are on the gallop towards a major hit and success!

    Graham Robinson – Poets Corner at Glassfire!

  2. […] debut album from the north-west based folk rockers Merry Hell who recently featured as a LTW new Band of the day – the band name being lifted from a line within The Tansads song \’Separate Souls\’; The […]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here