One of the best-known bands from Wigan has decided it is time for another bout of Merry Hell-raising with fourth album Bloodlines.
The unmistakable folk-rock eight-piece have returned with 13 tracks of passionate, anthemic tunes and sharp socially-conscious lyrics on the follow-up to There’s A Ghost In Our House and other stories...
The band, comprising Bob, Andrew, Virginia and John Kettle on vocals, guitars and mandolin, keyboardist Lee Goulding, violinist Neil McCartney, bassist Nick Davies and drummer Andy Jones, return to their time-honoured themes of celebrating ordinary working-class life and an end to division and hatred.
Merry Hell has produced a set of songs which contain many of the band’s trademark touches while also exploring new ground.
Tracks such as We Need Each Other Now, written by John, have already gained considerable acclaim both through the band’s live shows and through its release ahead of the full album’s appearance.
A typical Merry Hell song in its desire for tolerance and understanding, it is joined by other tunes such as Come On, England! a rousing cry for the country to put aside xenophobia and live up to its history of radical thinking and concern for life’s poor and oppressed.
This album reflects and expreses time well spent and friendship to be celebrated, with the promise of yet more to comeMerry Hell
The band also experiment with new developments, most notably on the Coming Home Song which is the first a cappella track for voices only Merry Hell has written.
The group welcomed fiddle exponent Neil into its ranks of songwriters this time around while Bloodlines also features all eight band members singing for the first time.
In a statement the band said: “This album reflects and expresses time well spent and friendship to be celebrated, with the promise of yet more to come.
“The songs express the hope that togetherness can be an antidote to alienation and division, both in politics and personal relationships.
“Bloodlines is an album for individual listening and sharing, for reflection and dancing and above all for singing along. We hope you’ll take the opportunity to do all of that.”
The band has been touring the new album across the UK throughout November and has a Liverpool show planned
at Grateful Fred’s on December 7.
Bloodlines by Merry Hell is out now. To find out more visit www.merryhell.co.uk.