The latest news on Folk-Rock band, Merry Hell.
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A special hello to everyone who is receiving their first newsletter after signing our mailing list at one of the recent shows.  We hope that you are enjoying your free Ghost EP and that you will enjoy hearing about the exciting plans the band have in store for early 2015 and the release of the 3rd Merry Hell album, “The Ghost In Our House and Other Stories”.

The first leg of the “Ghost In Our House Tour” is behind us and we are now busy rehearsing for the forthcoming acoustic leg.  For those who haven't seen the acoustic incarnation of the band we can't recommend it highly enough. Some of the venues on this leg will be seated giving you the opportunity to enjoy the more subtle side of the band but as ever there will be the opportunity to belt out an anthem or two! There may even be other new songs added to the set...
The band have been worked hard on the tour and actually played two sets in both Derby and Lancaster.  Derby saw the first performance of material from the new album when "The Baker's Daughter" was aired for the first time by the six piece acoustic band.  It was played again by the full band at night along with "The Ghost In Our House" and another driving rocker, "Rage Like Thunder", though Stocksbridge were denied the latter which, due to a special request, was replaced in the set by "Emerald Green". We made our third visit to Telfords in Chester, a venue where the audience are as close to the band as its possible to be which always makes for a lively night!
Our return to The Miller in London was an eventful night and a late one.  The pizzas and chips were as good as we remembered and so was the atmosphere.  Nothing could dampen our spirits even though the van key snapped in the lock of the tour bus. We had to leave the gear at the venue, get taxis back to the hotel then pay the congestion charge again the following day to get the van out of central London! Thanks to everyone who travelled to get there, especially our local contingent (Julian, Rachel, Janie, Denise, Anita, Col & Chrissie). We also held a raffle for 2 tickets for our London gig next April supporting "The Men They Couldn't Hang" and the lucky winner was Yann Kerbiriou from Kent. 

From there we headed back to the Midlands for a gig in the old
Tansads' stronghold of Chasetown, local haunt of Iron Man CD cover star, Oz, where John treated the locals to a special encore of "Horses".  The band and crew were also treated to top quality pre-gig catering and hospitality from Oz.  Massive thanks again to Andrea and Ed in Stocksbridge who laid on a mighty feast that would have fed a football team and provided the most luxurious merchandise space to date with three entire tables to display our wares and to sign people up for the free Ghost EP.  We then switched South Yorkshire for North with our first visit to Keighley and an intimate seated venue, The Exchange, though it didn't take too long for people to abandon their seats for the dance floor!

Closing the first half of the tour our third Merry Helloween event again proved to be one of the highlights of the year. With the Citadel packed to the rafters, the crowd suitably fired up and the band raring to go, a good time was guaranteed.  Turning the set list on its head as usual, "Hope You Don't Mind" was the surprise opener, followed by "Finest Hour".  The band were backed by screen projections showing an array of ghost related images.  All the usual favourites were there, just not necessarily in the usual order with the likes of "Drunken Serenade" and "This Time" appearing later in the set.  There was a welcome return for Lee's "The Gentle Man", which hasn't been played in a long time with Lee's Grandad, subject of and inspiration behind the song, appearing on screen at the end.  
The band were visibly moved by the audience singalong sections with "Lean On Me", "War...",  "One More Day" and John's now traditional "Horses" encore, all being loudly and proudly sang back at the stage. Making his Citadel debut, Nick also commented afterwards on how impressed he had been with the audience singing.  All too soon the fluorescent balloons were bouncing around in the crowd and on stage as the evening closed with a full tilt "Let The Music Speak"...or so we thought. The band returned for a surprise 2nd encore and how had no one noticed that "Rosanna's Song" hadn't been played yet?  So many favourites, so little time - so who is up for doing it all again next year?

Facebook followers will already be aware that the band are planning to record next year's show at The Grand in Clitheroe on Saturday 28th February with a view to releasing a live DVD.  We played our second show of 2014 there and were extremely impressed with the venue.  Not only did it boast the most incredible stage lighting but also state of the art underground digital recording facilities. We did record the 2014 show which is the source of the live "Rosanna's Song" on the new "Ghost EP".  We will be looking to cram in all the usual favourites from "Blink" and "Head Full", material from the new album and one or two other surprises. We'll be keeping ticket prices low as we want as many of you as possible there on the night to share in the event and to generate that special atmosphere!  We are also hoping to interview some of you to feature in the extras section of the DVD.

Well, maybe not at your house but possibly in your town? To ensure that we have the perfect audience for the DVD shoot we will be running a coach from the local catchment area with pick ups in Widnes, St Helens and Wigan.  Tickets for the show are now on sale from The Grand.  If you are interested in a combined coach/gig ticket these will be £15 from the Merry Hell Shop, to give us a rough idea of the numbers please click on the Clitheroe pic above to e-mail us your preferred pick up destination.  Let's make it a night to remember, bring your singing voices!
The corridors of power are probably the last place you would expect to find representatives from Merry Hell,  yet on 10th November the 'right on' Damian Liptrot and Andrew Kettle were at the House of Commons at the invitation of Kevin Brennan, Labour MP for Cardiff West and Merry Hell fan. They attended a soiree, hosted by Cerys Matthews of Catatonia fame, organised to present, young, new and up and coming artists and give them an opportunity to talk to the great and the good.  Obviously the Armistice Pals project is currently enjoying a high profile and it was great to see Kevin leading those assembled in the Jubilee Room at the house in a rendition of “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”.  On Armistice Day itself Damian and Andrew were invited to the folk club at Cecil Sharp House where Andrew received a standing ovation after performing an a capella version of “The Old Soldier”, a poignant song about the war written by Bob which will feature on the new Merry Hell album.

Congratulations are in order to Damian and John and everyone involved in the Armistice Pals Project. Damian’s original idea came after seeing the band perform a quickly arranged “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” together with the two support bands on the night at Clitheroe earlier this year. It has not only met but exceeded all expectations with the involvement of Peggy Seeger and permission to feature Pete Seeger's voice. The project has been well supported by national, regional, local, community and internet folk based radio across the country and overseas with airplay in the U.S.A., Australia, Canada and Italy.  Folk clubs far and wide have held their own Armistice Pals events always including a communal “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” singalong. The CD single is now available and selling well. Also included is a splendid new version of "Emerald Green" featuring the massed ranks of  the "Pals Chorus" made up of the many voices John recorded in this mammoth undertaking and with notable performances from Christine Collister and Johnny Coppin. Remember that profits from the single will go to four charities all promoting peace - just in case you needed another reason to get yourself a copy. Click on the cover to order!

Your next opportunity to see the band - Please note,
Darwen Bar 39 and the Evening Secret Gig are already sold out!

RED LION FOLK CLUB BIRMINGHAM -  Wednesday 26th November
BRINDLEY ARTS CENTRE, RUNCORN - Thursday 27th November
FOLK TRAIN TO NEW MILLS - Saturday 29th November
DOG & PARTRIDGE, MARCHINGTON - Sunday 30th November
CONWY FOLK CLUB - Monday 1st December
Wednesday 3rd December
DARWEN - BAR 39 - Tuesday 9th December

SECRET GIGS - Sunday 14th December
A few things to mention ahead of the acoustic leg of the tour. The Folk Train gig is actually on a real train! The train departs from the spa town of Buxton at 17:24 and stops at New Mills arriving in time for their Christmas lights switch on, market and fair.
We should also point out to anyone heading to the Marchington gig at the Dog & Partridge that the band will be appearing late afternoon so swerving on down there after your Sunday roast and a snooze may lead to disappointment!

Tickets for the Secret Gig sold out just a couple of days after we announced it online. As demand was so high we have decided to hold a second one.  This Matinee show will run from 2.00pm to around 5.00pm and will be child friendly. Tickets are £8 for adults, £5 for children (under 16) and there's a special family offer, check the web site shop for details.

The band's
Facebook page is still best way to keep up to date with the latest Merry Hell news and we tend to announce things there first.  Although Facebook currently filters what posts it thinks we should see it is worth mentioning this tip from our web guru, Julian. To make sure you get our updates and posts in your feed, you will need to use the pull-down menu from the "like" button on our cover photo and select "get notifications" & "add to interest lists".

We've been dying to reveal the news about the DVD.  The Grand at Clitheroe was a pretty spectacular venue and we had a brilliant night there in February. The view is great wherever you are and with a bumper Merry Hell crowd we should be able to capture something special on the DVD.  I've included a reminder from last time -
Blink at Clitheroe.  We hope to see lots of you on the acoustic leg on the tour!

Jonah (For Merry Hell)

Photos/Images this time - Jonah, Julian & Damian
Copyright © 2014 Merry Hell, All rights reserved.

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