FANS of a successful Wigan folk-rock band will soon be able to do a bit of Merry Hell-raising in their own homes courtesy of the band’s first live DVD.
The eight piece has filmed one of its acclaimed live shows at The Grand in Clitheroe for release this year.
The DVD will feature the group, made up of Virginia, Andrew, Bob and John Kettle on vocals, guitars and mandolin, Lee Goulding on keyboards, Neil McCartney on violin, Nick Davies on bass and Andy Jones on drums, performing 90 minutes of songs taken from their three studio albums.
Guitarist Bob Kettle says deciding which of the band’s old favourites to put alongside a selection of tracks from this year’s album The Ghost In Our House and other stories... was extremely tough but the band is delighted to have achieved a long-held ambition and recorded one of its high-energy live shows on DVD.
He said: “We’ve always wanted to do a live DVD. Although we take a lot of care to produce studio recordings we’ve always seen ourselves as primarily a live band.
“We can play the songs as many times as we like in rehearsal rooms but we believe they don’t really come to life unless there’s an audience to listen to them, to sing along and dance.
“As well as offering our band’s live experience to the fans we also wanted to record the history of the band so far. It’s hard to know which songs to leave out but we try to go off what audiences have enjoyed in the past.
“I think it’s a very good selection of old material and some off the new album.”
Bob says Merry Hell fans can also expect lashings of the characteristic humour and between-song comments which often distinguish their live outings and also a few bonus surprises.
The band is continuing to perform live throughout the year in support of the new album, whose 15 tracks span a range of topical and timeless themes including politics, war, love and loss.
Bob said: “We’re absolutely delighted by the response to the album, we’ve had universally excellent reviews.
“Musically a major difference this time is the addition of Neil on fiddle. He’s also an old school friend of me and John so it’s particularly nice to have him on board.”
Merry Hell’s live DVD filmed at The Grand in Clitheroe will be available later this year.
To find out more about the group, visit www.merryhell.co.uk