Band Members: Andrew Kettle, Bob Kettle, John Kettle, Lee Goulding, Andy Jones, Virginia (Barrett) Kettle, Nick Davies and Neil McCartney
Location: Wigan, England
Discography: Blink....And You MIss It (2011), Head Full of Magic, Shoes Full Of Rain (2014) The Ghost in Our House And Other Stories (2015)
Record Label: Mrs Casey Records
For our next showcase artists we travel to the North West of England the home of Merry Hell, who are a folk-rock band with a punk attitude, indie ethos, latino feel and a lot of soul!
Capable simultaneously of writing songs that will have friends round a campfire singing along, and the sort of pop that deserves to dominate radio, Head Full Of Magic, Shoes Full Of Rain sees Merry Hell bringing in new instruments beyond the guitars and mandolin of their debut. Banjo, spinet and shuttle pipes are woven in, along with a stellar contribution from Dave Swarbrick, folk violin legend and long-time hero of the band.
Geographically, Merry Hell hail from England’s working class north-west. Raised on the belief that an honest day’s work deserves an honest day’s pay, that you stand strong in unity with those around you, that those who fall are picked up, these souls flowered in communities where big society was a way of life ever before it became a political slogan.
But Merry Hell can’t be placed on any map, because their music comes from among all of us, the places we live, whether they be green or grey, the ways we pass the day, the endless human interactions which shape our being. The sound of Merry Hell is in the crystal streams sparkling down the hillsides where, years ago, men traded their personal freedom to make the land open to us all. It is in the toil and sacrifice of the factory floor, the thrum of the traffic queue, the hush of the festival field at morning twilight … in all of the places where we allow dreams to take flight.
Adds Virginia Kettle: “Hearing people’s stories is what inspires, and we’re taking those stories and giving them to other people. I think what we’ve done with this album is very life-affirming, very positive.”