East Anglia based, The Malingerers, release their upcoming second album ‘Wine & Lies’ on Fat & Bulbous Records on 4th March 2016. The seven-track LP continues to somehow blend vintage, dust bowl era Americana seamlessly with British Folk and as usual taking in more than a sprinkling of early Jazz and Blues influences.
Whilst the band have clearly been heavily influenced by the music from the other side of the pond, the songs and lyrics all draw on their own personal experiences, history and of course a liberal helping of British cynicism. One such example of this is the track “Forever a Boy from Fermoy” which reflects upon singer Kevin Murphy’s grandfather’s search for a better life in London after leaving the town and country he never stopped loving, Fermoy in County Cork, Ireland. This track received much critical acclaim and won the Cork Folk Festival contemporary song writing competition in October 2014.
In order to give the album a more vintage feel, the band once again opted to record at the all analogue Gizzard Studios in London. The songs were recorded live in single takes (including vocals) straight to 2” tape, like they used to in the good old days, giving the album a lovely, punchy, raw, authentic sound which is so often missing in this digital age.
The line up of the band consists of:
Kevin Murphy • Vocals and Main Guitars
Craig Murphy • Harmonica, Guitar and Backing Vocals
Andy Donovan • Double Bass and Backing Vocals
Tim Palmer • Violin and Backing Vocals
John Moseley • Drums
Americana UK Review – A melting pot of blues, jazz and country folk. 7/10
The Malingers have managed to fuse a myriad of styles into their new mini album “Wine & Lies” including blues, Django Reinhardt style jazz, Americana and folk. Jack of all trades and master of none? Certainly not when it comes to this East Anglian band. “Wine & Lies” has a rare beatnik pulse to it that drives the collection of seven songs to an early conclusion leaving the listener wanting just a little more. Recorded at Gizzard Studio in London (fast becoming the go to place for many musicians), “Wine & Lies” has stories sung by great characterful voices and jive by the bucket load, this is a great album to swing by.
I was predisposed to like this record. ‘Malingering’, along with ‘profligate’ and ‘defenestration’, are my three favourite words. But theres no evidence of malingering on this record. In fact, it struts along with an insistent beat and the band demonstrates a consummate skill with predominantly Good-Time songs tempered by the
occasional melancholy ballad. The sound is an East Anglian take on various folk and Americana styles: like the sound of a barrelhouse bar lost in the heart of rolling English countryside.
‘ForeverA Boy From Fermoy’ launches the band into an Irish mood as Kevin Murphy explores his grandfather’s migration from County Cork to London in search of work. The template for the remainder of the album treads a path between music hall, skittle and American folk but with a decidedly English slant.
‘Evangeline’ is driven by Tim Palmer’s lovelorn fiddle. ‘Wine And Lies could be a Graham Parker ballad about lost opportunities: ‘One more drink is all I need/Give me courage before l leave.’ ‘Invisible Man’ leads with Craig Murphys bluesy harmonica before developing into an uplifting song about the redemptive power of love.