Raising Merry Hell a ghostly business

Merry Hell
Merry Hell

ONE of Wigan’s best-loved bands will add some spooky goings-on to their usual brand of Merry Hell-raising on their upcoming third album.

Folk-rock eight-piece Merry Hell are currently putting the finishing touches to their new release which will be called The Ghost In Our House and other stories.

The group, made up of Andrew, Virginia, John and Bob Kettle on vocals, guitars, mandolin and harmonica, keyboardist Lee Goulding, violinist Neil McCarthy, bassist Nick Davies and drummer Andy Jones, have committed the new tracks to disc at John’s old Jaraf House base in Bamfurlong and his recently-opened Old Court Studio in the town centre.

Although details of the album remain closely under wraps, the band has promised its loyal fanbase the follow-up to Head Full of Magic, Shoes Full of Rain will contain all the typical Merry Hell elements they have come to expect.

Manager Damian Liptrot said: “Hopefully people will like these new songs every bit as much as the old favourites.

“The band chose the title because they felt the theme of a song called The Ghost in Our House was revisited on several of the other tracks on the album.

“There’s a mixture of uptempo tracks and more personal or contemplative songs, it’s an album for all occasions. There’s certainly plenty of variety with having four songwriters in the band.

“The mark of Merry Hell is songwriting which is instantly memorable and is fresh and inventive yet at the same time seems familiar somehow, almost like meeting someone for the first time and knowing they are going to become a good friend.”

As with previous albums The Ghost In Our House and other stories will feature a guest appearance, with guitarist Gordon Giltrap lending his skills to one of the songs.

The new album also marks the first studio outing for latest recruits Nick Davies, who replaces Andrew Dawson on four-string duties, and violinist Neil McCarthy, an addition which Damian says has added an extra dimension to Merry Hell’s already-varied sound.

He said: “The violin has already added a different texture and voice to the band, and it’s really added something to the live gigs. The band has a wide range of sounds from very intimate songs to full-blown folk-rock epics.”

Merry Hell is currently rehearsing the new songs to try to incorporate some of them in the live setlist on its upcoming autumn jaunt around the country, which also includes the return of the popular Merry Helloween gig at The Citadel in St Helens.

A release date for The Ghost In Our House and other stories has yet to be determined. For updates and more information about the band, visit www.merryhell.co.uk