The Men They Couldn’t Hang
The Men They Couldn’t Hang are a British rock band whose mixture of folk and punk is totally infectious. They are still as good as ever after over 30 years of raising hope, hackles and hellfire through the street corners and country lanes of Britain and beyond! Coming together as penniless buskers they played their first show in Camden Town in 1984 alongside the legendary Pogues as both an accident and a laugh – a philosophy that still holds true a lot of the time. Their music is not dissimilar in many ways. Added to that earthy humour and vitality has grown an explosive collision of folk and rock and an implacable social conscience that has seen them thrill and inspire 3 generations of concert goers with their euphoric blend of material.
The CD ‘Devil On the Wind’ (2009) – their first new album for 6 years – was met with great critical acclaim. Guests on the album included Bobby Valentino on violin and Chumbawamba’s Jude Abbot on trumpet. More recently there has also been the release of ‘5 Go Mad On The Other Side’- a brand new collection of tracks from the period of the bands history from the first demos from 1984 through the reformation in 1996.
There have been few changes to their line up over the years- the band now consist of Paul Simmonds (Guitar, Bouzouki, Mandolin, Keyboards), Philip Odgers (Vocals, Guitar, Whistle), Nik Sputnik Weasel (Drums, Percussion) and Ricky McGuire (Bass) and Tom Spencer (Guitar, Banjo)
Their first single, “The Green Fields of France” was released in 1984. Written by Eric Bogle of ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ fame, the song received considerable airplay on the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1 and finished at No.3 in Peel’s Festive 50 for that year. With their third release in 1988, ‘Waiting For Bonaparte’, they were propelled to stardom in Europe. The album includes ‘Island In The Rain’, ‘The Crest’ and ‘The Colours’. One year later, they followed up this success with their fourth album, ‘Silvertown’. Singles from this album included ‘Rain, Steam & Speed’, ‘A Place In The Sun’ and ‘A Map Of Morocco’. At the height of their career, TMTCH recorded the brilliant “Domino Club” (1990) with ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Kingdom Of The Blind’ and ‘The Lion & The Unicorn’ among favourite tracks.
With a remarkable back catalogue of songs from their many hit singles and albums, the band put on an enviable live show which leaves many younger bands standing still by comparison.