MERRY Hell played at the Citadel and it was my good fortune to have been in the audience.
The band formed as the Tansads 20 years ago, and originated in Wigan.
They were made up of brothers Andrew, Bob and John Kettle and friends Phil Knight, Tim Howard, Lee Goulding and Janet Anderton.
I remember the first time I saw them.
They did a gig in Sherdley Park and I thought their folk-rocker style was impressive, but sadly they never made the crossover to the big time.
However I feel this will not be the case now. Reformed a year ago, and with a new lady on board, the talented Virginia Kettle (John Kettle’s wife), they have already recorded a New Album called Blink...And you’ll miss it.
The album has some fabulous new pieces, with powerful lyrics and hypnotic rhythms which the audience were treated to last week, but also favourites from their original album such as Pendle Hill and Drunken Serenade, which the crowd loved and spontaneously sang along to, and it wasn’t long before I was drawn into the feel of it all too.
Virginia Kettle, a singer-songwriter, in her own right, has added six of her own new songs to the album, including the lovely yet quirky The Butcher and the Vegan, the thought-provoking The Crooked Man and The War between Ourselves.
Within minutes of opening, the eight-piece band had wowed the audience, some of who were dressed in the black and red T-shirts now associated with the group and I felt they had taken their music to a new height.
This was a great night out, and I encourage anyone, young or old, to go and see them. Merry Hell are at The Prospect Folk Club, Runcorn, on October 31.