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posted 31 Mar 2017, 10:17 by Dean Miles


The Whipjacks

Scoundrels and Rogues EP
self-released; 2016

3.8 out of 5

By Dom Eagle

The Whipjacks is a five-piece alternative/indie band based in Worcester, UK, who have dubbed themselves as a “speed folk’”outfit. They draw inspiration from traditional Celtic and English folk roots, but they also have clear influences from The Dropkick Murphy’s, Flogging Molly and The Levellers. Of course, they’re still a band with a highly unique and original sound. 

This is a band hungry for the stage, and they deliver a foot stomping, non-nonsense show that is filled with raw energy and love for the music. 2017 is looking to be a big year for the band, as they continue to strive for further gigs, a larger following and even a second EP later on in the year.

Their four-track EP entitled Scoundrels and Rogues most certainly lives up to expectations. A frantic, chaotic round of drum filler blasts through my headphones and rapidly-strummed banjos (both acoustic and electric) burst into the soundscape. The punchy, fast-paced drumbeat, catchy chord progression and melodic vocals all combine to create a highly addictive sound. 

The Whipjacks certainly allow listeners not a moment’s rest. It’s hard to pin them down. They’re a rock band creating tracks with screeching, electrifying guitar solos and yet also the joyous tendencies and emotions of a folk band.

‘My Madness (Molly Murphy)’ opens with a throbbing drum beat, a meaty and low octave bass riff which channels The Whipjacks’ rock passion and a screeching electric guitar riff during the choruses which, musically, channels their folk tendencies. It’s a chaotic combination of rock and folk, but, in much the same way as The Dropkick Murphy’s,

The Whipjacks blend the two genres perfectly. It’s worth noting that the vocals are also very powerful, both in energy and emotion. Harmonizing, dark and intense vocals fill the calmer moments of the track, but this manic five-piece never let the listener recover for long. The insane drum beats, infectious bass hooks and distorted, fuzzy power chords always return for a furious finale.

‘Campfire Song’ is more of a traditional folk piece, though it’s driven by another frantic drum beat laden with filler. Acoustic guitar chords slowly strum in an upbeat chord progression as the vocalist sings joyously of inspiring tales fit for a campfire. The title certainly lives up to its promise. Furious banjo strumming and the occasional twinkle of clean, restrained electric guitar flutters in and out, but an unexpected, crunchy, distorted guitar riff bursts into the track towards the climax, creating a little diversity within the tune.

​All in all, I couldn’t believe how much sound was packed into these four short tracks. It’s an album which excites and inspires; the frantic, furious sound certainly won’t bore you.That’s undeniable. Listen for yourself, and you’ll see.

Faithful City Shows presents: Empty Lungs/The Whipjacks The Harts/Trivial Dispute The Marrs Bar, Worcester|14th March

posted 31 Mar 2017, 10:16 by Dean Miles

Faithful City Shows presents: Empty Lungs/The Whipjacks The Harts/Trivial Dispute The Marrs Bar, Worcester|14th March 

Local hardcore/punk promoters FCS are back at The Marrs Bar with an eclectic mix - from street punk meets post hardcore to high speed folk (think Flogging Molly or The Dropkick Murphys rather than Fairport Convention) topped with the melodic yet angular sounds of Irish serrated indie heroes Empty Lungs. The cunning promoters realise that dragging in more than the dedicated may prove tricky on a school night so decide to cut the space between audience and performer by setting up on the floor; a clever ploy as the fifty or so punters file in to give the room an intimate, back room of a pub, feel. 

Birmingham's Trivial Dispute were charged with kicking things off and the hard hitting threesome did just that - a blur of energy and sweat as slabs of meaty three minute, muscular punk were volleyed into the audience. The front man hollered, whilst attacking his six string, as the rhythm section pounded and pummelled - heavy for the hardcore faithful yet enough melody for an old punk rocker (like me, only without the old!!). Song titles were hard to decipher on the night but a quick spin around the group's Bandcamp page left me marvelling over the likes of Better Off Alone and a new song that could have been entitled All Your Regrets also lurched for attention on the night. Worcester's own The Harts followed: a four-piece alternative rock band with a spiky punk attitude that, despite only forming last year, are already beginning to make waves on the local music scene. Fronted by the powerful voice of Jodie Louise Fidoe and anchored by a tight rhythm section, the group delivered on their promise with the likes of Tempus and Smother finding their mark, with Fidoe punching from the front while the lead guitarist peeled off a collection of infectious riffs. 

It's no secret that The Whipjacks are fast becoming my favourite local band. They never fail to lift the mood of a venue with their contagious blend of punky speed folk and, during the set, I turned round to see huge grins and grown men jigging as Dean and the boys delivered a short, sharp set of all killer, no filler folk 'n' roll. From their own My Madness (Molly Murphy) and Scoundrels And Rogues to their rousing rendition of I'm Shipping Up To Boston, the band never stop moving as mandolins are thrashed, guitars attacked and drums pounded. Dean somehow manages to find enough breath to sing in between energetic bursts of jigging and the band look like they're having as much fun as we are - something that other band's seem to lose as time goes by. If you're looking for a fun night full of frollicks and sing-a-longs, I urge you to track down The Whipjacks next time they tread the boards. 

And so it's left to Belfast trio Empty Lungs to bring another FCS to a close. The melodic indie punksters have shared stages with everyone from The Subways to Alkaline Trio via the Augustines, so it's no wonder the band come armed with a collection of energetic, hook-laden, indie buzzers that by the close of their opening number the Worcester faithful had taken to their hearts. As the band's set drew on, bassist Conor Langen became a blur as he careered across the floor, Mykie Rowan displayed raw power behind the kit and, up front, Kev Jones tossed out catchy power-pop like melodies. Delivering recent EP highlights Don't Get It and Losing it, Finding It to an appreciative audience of new converts and drawing the curtain on an enjoyable and eclectic mix of the many facets of punk. 

Words by Will Munn Photography by Duncan Graves

Marrs Bar review 8th December

posted 13 Feb 2017, 12:25 by Dean Miles

The Whipjacks/One Second After

The Marr’s Bar, Worcester, 8th Dec

2016 was a tough year for local favourites The Whipjacks. Losing their brother and bandmate Tim Stamps through illness, I'm sure there must have been times when the band thought about calling it a day. However, knowing that Tim wanted the group to push forward, his inspiration ringing clear, the five-piece have rallied round and set about cementing not only his legacy but theirs too by recording a brilliant EP, Scoundrels And Rogues, and hitting the stage running for a welcoming heroes return to a packed out Marr’s Bar.

Prior to The Whipjacks storming the stage, the audience were treated to a warm up set by another local bunch, One Second After a relatively new four-piece who blend the punky rock riffs of The Wildhearts, with a slice of grunge and a dose of pop-punk attitude to create an instantly infectious sound full of vigour.

The group made all the right moves. Low slung guitars blazed over a driving rhythm section, whilst the frontman hung from his mic-stand with appropriate attitude. Currently, I think the band needs a bit of fine tuning. The riffs and hooks are there but they need a few more shout-a-long tracks to really stand out.

Hopefully we'll see a bit more of them in 2017.

Before the curtain could be raised, The Whipjacks lurched for the audience’s attention as the band's unaccompanied collective voices - led from the front by Dean Miles - hollered in unison, signalling in Song For A Swine.

The rhythm section swooped in with guitar and mandolin, lifting the track further and kick starting an energetic rush of attitude drenched speed folk (as they themselves call it). Echoing sounds of US/Celtic heroes Flogging Molly, The Dropkick Murphys and The Levellers.

My Madness Molly Murphy has a shanty like appeal, encouraging an unusually restrained audience to jig in their seats or nod furiously before the first revellers break rank to spin across the floor. The band upped the ante for a tear through and sprightly rendition of Another Bag Of Bricks - Dean strutting and posturing across the stage, whilst his fellow Whipjacks tore at their instruments.

The party well and truly kick-started, a charged Upstarts And Broken Hearts careers along with the attitude of the original, whilst a rollicking Bad Touch perhaps nods back to the past glories of Logan. A seasonal run through of Merry Christmas Everybody, completed with backing vocals courtesy of One Second After helped summon the festive period.

But, among the frivolous covers and the frantic strumming, The Whipjacks delivered a host of their own classics. From the festival friendly, Campfire Song, to their defiant anthem, Scoundrels And Rogues, with its apt refrain of 'We're the Whipjacks and we're just having fun', the band delivered a poignant and fitting tribute to their fallen friend whilst simultaneously announcing their return to the glee of a, now, rapturous crowd. The audience demanded more and the band, in the mood to party, duly delivered with a run through of The Grace Of God Go I, brand new, Push On, rounding off the evening with a rousing rendition of What's Left Of The Flag and Wild Rover. The audience were left with a keen melody and one final hook, reverberating through us as we filed into the cold December night, warmed by the return of a group of local favourites.

  • Will Munn

The Whipjacks - Scoundrels and Rogues - Video - Slap Magazine

posted 30 Dec 2016, 00:20 by Dean Miles

"We're The Whipjacks and we're just having fun" might only be one of the lyrics in The Whipjacks' 'Scoundrels and Rogues' but it’s a line that pretty much puts the band and their song into perspective.
With wild guitars, gutsy vocals and carefree spirit to match, it's a track that'll whip up a storm of funlovers, freedomseekers and fire - breathers . 
There's going to be no stopping these guys as they join the new surgance of free-spirited country artists, joining the likes of Skinny Lister with their unstoppable force. 
The video to the track lives up to the song's mood too, showing the band playing one of their high-energy sets in between The Whipjacks just having fun. 

- Emily Branson

Whipjacks self titled EP - Review from Slap Magazine

posted 30 Dec 2016, 00:14 by Dean Miles

A sherbert sweet EP of folk stylings from established clattery noise-niks, The Whipjacks. 

Kicking off with punchy opener ‘Campfire Song’ with an evolving sweet mandolin motif there is a dynamic restraint evident here that is understated throughout. When the mandolin becomes freewheeling on the chorus it’s positively joyous and jugband in feel.
‘Campfire’ is replete with a scuzzy fuzz interlude that repeats drenched in off-kilter, unhinged Chuck Berry double stops. 

Next up we have sea shanty ballad 'My Madness', with its insistent churning rhythm and accordion intro. It is easily my favourite here as the story unfolds the jig-like lead guitar increasingly coils around each successive musical break, strangling tighter with all the ferocity and conviction of a world weary Copperhead snake on the prowl, side-winding across the dessert floor!

The closing track 'Scoundrels & Rogues' brings to mind The Descendents unplugged, plus the mission statement and intent of the Whipjacks is here for all to hear: “Our edges may be rough/ But give us half a chance and you’ll see you have got us wrong/ cuz we’re whipjacks thank you we’re having fun”. The handy “Radio Edit” included ensures the poppiest offering here can get an airing without the.. ah’ swearing. Nice work! 

- Cragz Baritone


posted 29 Dec 2016, 23:45 by Dean Miles   [ updated 30 Dec 2016, 00:27 ]


The Whipjacks “Scoundrels and Rogues”

Release date: December 8, 2016

Running time: 15:16, 4 tracks

London Celtic Punks are doing a great job both locally and internationally. At a local level, they are often unveiling new bands from the UK.

One of them is The Whipjacks.

The Whipjacks are Tim Pearson (drums & backing vocals), Ash Curtis (bass & backing vocals), Dean Miles (vocals), Tim Wright (electric guitar & backing vocals) and Arran Gould (mandolin, acoustic guitar & backing vocals) and they hail from Worcestershire.

The band was founded in 2006, but the current line-up was established in 2015. Original guitarist and accordion player Tim Stamps was battling ill health and he decided to leave the band then. The guys were thinking about calling it a day, but Tim whished that they keep on playing. Sadly Tim passed away last May.

The Whipjacks EP is called “Scoundrels and Rogues”.

There three songs and four tracks, since there are two versions for the title track: the original one and the “clean” radio edit.

Scoundrels and Rogues” (video here ) is an amazing song that places The Whipjacks together with other English acts like Mick O’Toole and The Hydropaths. Catchy chorus, kick-ass mandolin and electric guitar.

My Madness (Molly Murphy)” tells the tale of a guy who meets and marries a girl called Molly Murphy: “She stole away my heart / Then she stole away my life / Though I still live and breathe / I’ve got a devil for a wife”. Great track featuring accordion and, once again, electric guitar.

The third track is titled “Campfire Song”. It’s a festive mandolin driven number with an early The Men They Couldn’t Hang twist.

The Whipjacks EP artwork is courtesy of Loz at Circle of Swords Tattoo Worcester.

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