WHISKY PRIESTS

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Timeless Street

Released: March 1992

Label: Whippet Records

Formats: CD / Cassette / Vinyl LP

Cat. No.: WPTCD6 / WPTC6 / WPT6

 
Track Listing
 
 
 
 
1. Susan's Song
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 2. Old Man Forgotten
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 3. Easington
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 4. Goblins
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 5. Jim Jones
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 6. Perfect Time
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 7. Aall Faall Doon
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 8. Bonnie Gateshead Lass / Jamie Allan
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 9. Poor Johnny Coal
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 10. The Raven
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 11. Pride
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 12. William's tale
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 13. The Hills of Alva / The Lads of North Tyne
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 14. Rio Grande
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 15. The Recruited Collier
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 16. The Waggoner
 Lyrics
 Bandcamp
iTunes
 Amazon
 

Credits

Recorded at Trinity Heights, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
Produced by Fred Purser and The Whisky Priests.

Engineered by Fred Purser.

The Whisky Priests line-up on this recording : -
Gary Miller – Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Bouzouki, Mandolin
Glenn Miller – Accordion, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Mick Tyas – Bass Guitar, Vocals
Kevin Wilson – Mandolin, Bouzouki, Backing Vocals
Simon Chantler – Fiddle
Piers Burgoyne – Drums

Guest Musicians:
Paul Carless – Harmonicas
Members of Bearpark & Esh Colliery Band – Brass : -
   Conducted & arranged by Dave Young
   Michael Evans – Cornet
   Garry Mitchell – Cornet
   David Patterson – Cornet
   Ray Evans – Flugel Horn
   Gareth Young – Tenor Trombone
   Martin O’Connelley – Bass Trombone
   Alun Young – Tuba

 

Liner Notes

Liner Notes

 

Reviews

“Also in Britain, The Whisky Priests have put out a new full-length album called ‘Timeless Street’. This folk-rock band hails from Durham, the county between North Yorkshire and Northumberland in England’s northeast. Their music sounds a lot like the Pogues used to, back when traditional music was their main influence. The regular line-up of The Whisky Priests includes bouzouki, mandolin, fiddle and accordion along with guitar, bass, drums and keyboards, for a well-balanced traditional / rock ‘n’ roll combination. They don’t have the instrumental virtuosity you’ll find in many Celtic and northern English folk bands, but they do have energy, skill, and a good melodic sense that makes their original tunes and songs appealing. The driving backbeat will keep your foot tapping while the catchy melodies are being spun out.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to understand the gargle of Gary Miller’s voice. Lucky, because his original lyrics are as appealing as the melodies to which they’re set. The geographic and economic realities of northern life, coalmining and poverty, are constant presences in Gary Miller’s haunting songs, written in local dialect about local people with universal problems. His songs talk about mothers abandoned by the fathers of their children, about old men retired from the mines with no support, about lay-offs, lockouts and strikes, about wars, solidarity, love and hope. The two traditional songs are equally enjoyable, particularly ‘Bonnie Gateshead Lass’, a light-hearted song that really captures the way teenagers talk about love: “I’ll warrant you’ve never seen me lass her name I cannot mention / For fear you’ll gan and tell her how I like her, so I de…” No question, if you like the sound of folk/punkers like the Pogues, along with social commentary and honest, insightful songs, you’ll get a kick out of this one.”
‘Dirty Linen’, U.S.A., Issue 41, August/September 1992.


“If you’re the kind of person who reckons folk music is all finger-in-the-ear Arran sweaters and sing-a-longs then get your listening gear round this, missus.
The Whisky Priests are folk hewn from the coalfields of County Durham, taking traditional instruments, tunes and subjects and injecting them with the fires and passion of a down-trodden people waiting to rise up.
In their third album, their second ‘proper one’ after the compilation LP ‘The First Few Drops’, the Priests continue to chart their progress as a great songwriting band.
Anyone fortunate enough to have caught the band at the Met last year (or in Manchester recently) will know they are truly great live. Their energy and passion defy an audience to sit down, and their shows have had the punters raving from Beamish to Bremen.
On record, none of the passion of the gigs is missing, but in the studio environment and without the fervour of the gig situation you can sit back and realise just how good a songwriter Gary Miller is, and how good musicians the rest of the band are.
The twelve racks on ‘Timeless Street’ give you the benefit of a fine production, and a chance to hear the tunes without bouncing round a dance-floor or subject to the vagaries of venue acoustics.
There are ten originals on the album, and two traditional tunes given the full Priests treatment.
The album gets off to a subdued, melancholy start, with Gary Miller’s distinctive baritone filling the haunting ‘Susan’s Song’, but this by way of easing you into the album.
High-energy folk is the order of the day, with standout tracks including perennial favourite ‘Aall Faall Doon’ and the accordion-led instrumental dance-floor filler ‘Goblins’.
Bassist Mick Tyas’ booming tones are also brought into play on ‘Bonnie Gateshead Lass’, one of the two traditional songs, and the haunting start of ‘The Raven’, which blasts into a veritable orgy of get-off-your-backside dancing music.
‘Perfect Time’, which closes what used to be side one, is a perfect centrepiece to the album, and the power and hope behind ‘Easington’ give a true flavour of the North East.
All the instrumentalists are given full effect by the production, with Glenn Miller’s skilful accordion given best effect on ‘Goblins’. The fuller sound given by Simon Chantler’s fiddle and Kevin Wilson’s mandolin are well used, and Piers Burgoyne’s drumming is nigh on perfect throughout.
Comparisons with The Pogues and others are inevitable and misplaced. The Whisky Priests are something different, and although both bands are in the folk tradition, you can’t really see the Priests coming out with something like ‘Honky Tonk Women’ or decrying the plight of the Irish immigrant from the comfort of Kilburn.
The Priests have the coal and the yards of Durham in their blood, and it comes through in their music, which is vital, passionate, powerful and real.
They are huge on the live circuit, they are huge in Europe. Hopefully ‘Timeless Street’ will establish them fully in the hearts of the record-buying public. This band deserves all the success they can get. (9)”
Richard Lewis, ‘Bury Times’, UK, 7th July 1992.


“Thankfully The Whisky Priests have made no great changes (barring line-ups) since their debut album ‘Nee Gud Luck’. The advances that have occurred have been subtler than the progression of their contemporaries. No sudden leaps into the realms of electric folk rock, no overnight policy changes in the vain hope of attracting a bigger audience. Due to self-containment in the form of Whippet Records they need not pander to the wishes and desires of the mainstream music press.
Although the messages remain the same – a combination of working class history and social politics – the delivery on the new album, ‘Timeless Street’, is somewhat different. The bulk of Gary Miller’s songs are much more tranquil than ‘Nee Gud Luck’, more wistful and evening melancholic. Not as reliant on harshness and raw anger to carry the songs.
If you visit the Duchess on June 28th you can catch The Whisky Priests at their best. I doubt that even three months hard touring – taking in most of Europe in the process – has drained them at all. If you’re lucky you may get a rendition of ‘The Raven’, possibly the most dramatic Whisky Priests song to date; bass player Mick Tyas taking a rare turn at the mic for a spine-tingling introduction. Mix in a good helping of traditional Whisky Priests anger – maybe ‘Aall Faall Doon’ – and the odd instrumental, perhaps the maniacal ‘Goblins’, and you have all you need for a great, no doubt hot and sweaty gig.”
John Sanders, ‘Northern Star’, UK, 25th June – 2nd July 1992.


“The Whisky Priests are a snapping, snarling Rottweiler-cum-pit-bull terrier of a band from County Durham. Having just got over a lengthy records company dispute (it isn’t just the Stone Roses that get that sort of problem, y’ know), they’ve finally released their second LP ‘Timeless Street’, which builds well on their debut, with its combination of original material and traditional north-eastern songs. Vocalist Gary Miller is developing into a fine songwriter, offering skilfully drawn portraits of characters and life in his world.”
Pete Fruin, ‘Outlook’, UK, 1992.


“The thing about The Whisky Priests is, despite your better judgement, once you’ve seen them live you just won’t be able to resist them.
They are as unique as a band who are really unique can be – flat caps, 1930’s suits and urban folk tunes raunchy enough to make your ears bleed – you’ll never see another live band to touch them.
I suppose Folk Thrash is the only tag that comes close to describing their musical antics – and though their tunes are memorable and instantly catchy, not surprisingly they don’t quite live up to the treatment they are given on the live circuit when put onto disc.
There can be few artists to have emerged upon the scene that have created as much panic in promoters and audiences alike as Durham’s Whisky Priests.
“Basically, we’re a live band and that’s where our material is strongest. The whole idea behind the band is that we enjoy playing it live. We are actually a lot better than people give us credit for. We don’t just go out to play and get it tip-top, we go out to perform it and sometimes the music doesn’t come off dead on, but we perform it so intensely that it’s the sort of feel that comes across more than anything”, said Gary Miller, one of the Miller brothers, the inspiration behind the band.
They have been compared, not surprisingly to The Pogues, Billy Bragg et al – an easy pigeonhole to file them under for music hacks – but The Whisky Priests are much more than carbon copies of those who have previously quenched our thirst for something a little left of rootsy.
How long can the national press and major record companies afford to divert their attention for?”
Adam Moss, ‘Manchester Evening News’, June 1992.


“Lock up your coal scuttles The Whisky Priests are coming to town and they mean business.
Promoting their new album ‘Timeless Street’ The Whisky Priests are a folk/rock group with a line in gritty North Easternism hewn from the colliery face.
They take traditional folk tunes linked with the now extinct labour intensive industries of a bygone age and breathe fresh life into them with their music.
And to top up their working class credentials the band even dress in full 1930’s flat cap and braces regalia.
Song subjects include The Jarrow March, mining, of course, drinking, more drinking and general ‘it’s-grim-up-North’ material.
But miserable they are not and they have built up an awesome live reputation, which has brought comparisons to raucous Irish hell-raisers The Pogues.
Like The Pogues, The Whisky Priests write their own tunes as well as performing electrified traditional folk songs. And, their new album contains only two traditional tunes out of a track listing of twelve compositions.
Hailing from Durham, the band is a seven-piece outfit centred on the talents of Gary and Glenn Miller, no relation to the disappeared bandleader.
They mix mandolin, fiddle and accordion, along with bass guitar and drums, to fire up the authentic traditional sounds and play them with a fury that brings the songs right up to date.
Once on the stage, they charge around in hobnail boots, stamping to the rhythm of the tunes, pausing to puff on cigarettes and swill from beer cans.”
Andy Clark, ‘?’, UK, 1992.