Founded in their native North West of England, Merry Hell is an eight-piece folk-rock band with a history, a pedigree and a bright future. They have risen to become festival favourites, their albums finding favour with critics, broadcasters and music fans alike, and developing an enviable reputation for the quality of their song writing, recorded work and live performances.
The band was forged in the smouldering embers of 90s Folk/punk band, The Tansads. Following an emotional series of reunion concerts in 2010, its members chose to tread the boards under a new name, ‘Merry Hell’, in order to reflect their new impetus, new hopes and, most importantly, new songs.
While Merry Hell retains a nucleus of five former Tansads members, brothers John, Bob and Andrew Kettle (guitar, mandolin and vocals respectively), along with keyboard player, Lee Goulding and drummer Andy Jones, the addition of vocalist, Virginia Kettle (wife of John), has helped create a new identity, purpose and spirit, in their music. She took little persuading to trade in her solo singer-songwriter past for a future in the band. Her prolific, ingenious and insightful song writing is one of the focal points of Merry Hell’s recordings and live performances – her presence has perfectly complemented a group which has taken particular pride in penning original material. Bob, John and Lee have also been consistent contributors of new songs.
They were FATEA award nominees for best Duo/Band in 2021, and previous winners of Folking.com's best band and best live act.
"The perfect folk festival band"
"an evening of joyous celebration...Merry Hell mixes the more serious content with the lighter stuff, so the mood of the evening never drops and the audience are always with them"
"Merry Hell know how to set up a party vibe...and provide a thoroughly healthy dose of entertainment"
Louder than War
"Merry Hell, like The Levellers, spin a tale so devastating you cannot help but be entranced by both its lyrics and the way it is presented on stage"