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Waterloo Street, WA101PX St Helens
Starts Tuesday, 05/11/13 14:37
You'll feel as though you've heard Merry Hell before. Perhaps not physically, on their joyous debut album Blink... And You Miss It, or at one of their bouncing live shows, but you've heard them somewhere in your soul, the core of your being, where the most visceral, secret feelings lay. You've heard them in that moment when simple pleasures become the most valuable; in the emotions stirred by family; when love is joyously requited; when someone you care about finds happiness.
And within their second album, Head Full Of Magic, Shoes Full Of Rain, the band surpassed the wildest expectations. Smoke has been bottled, magic dust channelled, the electrical cables of the studio fizzing and sparking as they convey this glorious sound. Unencumbered by pretence, Merry Hell chronicle the everyday, the minutiae of life which goes unnoticed by most. But far from being humdrum, these microscopic moments of humanity and social observation are coaxed into glorious bloom by the songwriting pen.
And Merry Hell are certainly blessed with writing ability, whether it be in the kitchen sink vignettes of Virginia Kettle (surely one of the most important English songwriters of this generation); the romance and bombast of John Kettle's creations; the ethereal majesty of Bob Kettle's flights of lyrical fancy or the catchy, homespun wisdom of keyboard player Lee Goulding's contributions. With the counterpoint vocal tour de force of Andrew Kettle, and the band's nailed-down, rock steady rhythm section, supplied by bass player Andrew Dawson and drummer Andy Jones, somehow Merry Hell manage to conjure up something which surpasses even the formidable sum of its parts.
Theirs is the sound of a glorious coming-together of passion and fire, where each repeated listen strips away another layer. What you are listening to is the sound of seven bared souls, without guile, thoroughly honest. And what a sound it is.
In association with R2 Rock'n'Reel Magazine.
(inc. GBP 1.10 fees)
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