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Wingmen Announce 2023 UK Tour Dates
We live in an era of lockdown crafted, post-pandemic albums. With live performance taken out of the equation, in that dark period between 2020 and late 2021, musicians had to get creative. And get creative they did. Stripped of the ability to perform with their respective bands, Baz Warne (The Stranglers), Paul Gray (The Damned), Leigh Heggarty (Ruts DC) and Marty Love (Johnny Moped) joined together digitally and formed Wingmen; a musical union that somehow manages to sound like the sum of all of those legendary bands, yet also nothing like them. Wingmen are now set to take their studio bound creations out on the road and have announced a run of UK tour dates for January 2023.
Due to be released January 27th via Cadiz Music, it’s important to stress that at no point during the recording of this debut Wingmen album were the musicians ever in the same room playing together. This music has formed, as so much did in those explosive first waves of punk that these musicians were born from, out of boredom. To stop from going stir crazy during lockdown. And the results were instantly rewarding. The proof of this is clear to hear in the ten songs that complete the project. The album is chock full of dynamic songwriting and performances, over-flowing with ideas and inspiration. You can clearly hear the styles and identities of each individual performer in the music, and the influences of their individual bands, but somehow, despite having never played in the same room together, Wingmen sounds like a band.
“Although we’d recorded various parts at our homes for our respective bands before, none of us had employed this process to make a complete album! Only Marty and I had worked together before, so it was a complete leap into the unknown. We all had loads of ideas to throw into the pot – some songs arrived completely fully formed that we simply added our own parts to, and others were more akin to musical sketches that ended up as co-writes. The album is a true collaboration inasmuch as none of us knew what parts or melodies or lyrics might be added by anyone else – it was an immensely exciting process! No rehearsals, no pre-production, just us winging ideas to and fro, with the drums going on last of all in the studio – which is completely the opposite of how things are usually done, of course. This album may well have never come about were it not for the fact that our lives were suddenly put on hold. Some of us felt the effects of the enforced isolation from friends and loved ones that followed – and wondering when the hell it was all gonna end – more keenly than others. It’s funny how these things turn out. We had no idea where this project might take us; an idea born out of frustration became a full band within 24 hours, words and riffs and much tuneage followed, beers and jolly banter ensued when we finally met up to mix the results, a record company said “yes please!” and now we find ourselves taking the results off on tour! And we’ll be joined by Rob Coombes from Supergrass on keys – it’s gonna be an absolute blast!” (Paul Gray)