Posts Tagged ‘Mat Wale’

many better ways to round off another year of shows, and indeed 11 years of promoting, than an evening with the fabulous Wild Ponies and a fine contribution from Mat Wale who opened the show at The Greystones yesterday. Another great night, big thanks to everybody that was part of it.

WagonWheel Presents… will be back for more in 2018, keep an eye on the website for updates, sign up for the mailing list, or join us on the Twitter, Facebook or Instagrams for the very latest news.


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and four times the fun. Fantastic night with Jody Davies, Andy P. Davison, Richard Kitson and Ryan Farmer playing in the round at Shakespeares last night. We were expecting something special and they more than delivered that. Big thanks to them and everybody that made it along, if you didn’t you really don’t know what you missed.

WagonWheel Presents… heads to The Greystones on Monday night for the final time in 2017. We’re excited for the return of Wild Ponies, support from Mat Wale and it’s our 11th birthday too. Full details can be found here, we hope you can join us then.

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is where anybody who came along to enjoy the music on offer at Shakespeares last night would have been. Thanks to Mat Wale & Friends, Idiot Son, Far From Franca and those who turned out to listen with their ears.

WagonWheel Presents… returns to the Bard’s Bar on Saturday October 29th with this show. It’s The Greystones next though on Sunday October 2nd when we welcome back Otis Gibbs. Joining us for the first time to open the show will be Franc Cinelli. Full details for this show can be found here. We hope you can join us there.


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and back again, a wonderful return to The Greystones for Wild Ponies last night after a typically fine opening spot from Mat Wale & Friends. Thanks to both bands and all who came along to enjoy them with us.

Next in The Backroom we welcome Curtis Eller’s American Circus plus The Silver Darlings on Wednesday August 3rd. Tickets are on sale here.

We’ll be at Shakespeares before then though for our Tramlines show on Sunday July 24th. 14 acts over 2 stages and all free entry, keep on eye on the Facebook event for updates. See you there?

WWP 29.06.16


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Some things don’t change, like a quality pairing of Massy Ferguson and Dave Woodcock & The Dead Comedians. Big thanks to them and those who braved the dark new world to enjoy some fine music with us on a Friday night at The Greystones.

WagonWheel Presents… returns to The Backroom this coming Wednesday June 29th in the company of Wild Ponies. Mat Wale & Friends open the show, full details of which you can find by clicking here. We hope you can join us there.

WWP 24.06.16

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On Monday October 30th, WagonWheel Presents… welcomes Wild Ponies back to The Greystones as they bring their brand new record Galax to the UK. Wild Ponies are a Nashville-based outfit fronted by Virginia natives Doug and Telisha Williams, who have previously toured and recorded as acoustic folk duo Doug & Telisha. It promises to be another special one. Mat Wale opens the show. Advance tickets priced at £10 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/403010 and the venue (12-6pm) or entry on the night will be £12. Doors open 7.45pm.



Although they’re based in Nashville, Wild Ponies have always looked to Southwest Virginia — where bandmates Doug and Telisha Williams were both born and raised — for inspiration. There, in mountain towns like Galax, old-time American music continues to thrive, supported by a community of fiddlers, flat-pickers, and fans.

Wild Ponies pay tribute to that powerful music and rugged landscape with 2017’s Galax, a stripped-back album that nods to the band’s history while still pushing forward. Doug and Telisha took some of their favorite musicians from Nashville (Fats Kaplin, Will Kimbrough, Neilson Hubbard and Audrey Spillman) and met up with revered Old-Time players from Galax, Virginia (Snake Smith, Kyle Dean Smith, and Kilby Spencer). Recorded in the shed behind Doug’s old family farm in the Appalachians (steps away from the site where Doug and Telisha were married), it returns Wild Ponies to their musical and geographic roots.

Growing up, a young Doug Williams spent many an hour watching and learning as his grandfather played banjo alongside local musical legends like Snake and Kyle Dean. Although both of his grandparents have now passed away, they would surely be proud to see Doug and Telisha gathered in the shed with Snake, Kyle Dean, Kilby, and a diverse handful of the best musicians from Nashville. The result is a broad, bold approach to Appalachian music, created by a multi-cultural band whose members span several generations.

Wild Ponies proudly dive into their old-school influences with songs like “Pretty Bird” — a rendition of the Hazel Dickens original — and the traditional mountain song “Sally Anne.” “My grandfather used to say, ‘It oughta been the goddamn National Anthem!'” Doug says of the latter song, which kicks off the album with gang vocals and fiddle. Even so, don’t mistake Galax for a traditionally-minded folk album. Wild Ponies offer up plenty of contemporary material, too, building a bridge between past and present. The lyrics reflect a similar mix of old and new, with Doug and Telisha Williams writing songs inspired by family heirlooms (including a wooden-bound, 70 year-old book of poems written by Doug’s grandfather, whose lines form the basis of “Here With Me”), the Catawba tree on the farm, the nostalgic pull of one’s birthplace, a mother’s tough lough, leaving and believing, and the cyclical natures of death and love. Although named after the town in which it was recorded, Galax looks far beyond the southwestern tip of Virginia for its source material.

“We didn’t want to go home to Virginia and just make an Old-Time record,” explains Doug. “We wanted to make something that still sounded like Wild Ponies. We asked everybody to stretch and reach towards something new, something different. We wanted to not only reconnect with our roots, but learn how those roots can also weave into our current world.”

Once everyone had arrived at the farm, Neilson Hubbard set up a makeshift studio in the shed.  Just a few nice microphones in a circle. There’s no cell phone signal on the mountain. No WiFi. No distractions. Instead, everyone focused on making raw, genuine music, filling Galax’s track list with upright bass, acoustic guitar, twin fiddles, Telecaster, banjo, pedal steel, mandolin, harmonies, gang vocals, and even some stripped-down percussion. They recorded the songs live, never once pausing the process to listen to the performance they’d just captured. It wasn’t until Wild Ponies returned home to Nashville that they finally heard the wild magic documented during those mountaintop sessions.

Released on August 25th on Gearbox Records, Galax salutes Wild Ponies’ traditional roots while exploring new, progressive territory. It’s an album about the pieces of our past that stick with us, informing our present while pushing us toward a future. An album about a town, a country, and a world that’s forever spinning toward something new. An album that redefines Wild Ponies’ sound, while highlighting influences that have always rested just beneath the surface.

“We’ll always be the pinball that bounces between folk, rock & roll and country,” says Telisha, “and this Old-Time style will always weave its way through everything we do. It’s been there from the start, even on the loudest songs we’ve made. It only took us a couple of days to record it, but this is the album we’ve been making our whole lives. We just needed the right people and the right songs to finish it.”

“Americana fans are strongly urged to check out this band” R2 Magazine (4 stars)



***MAT WALE***

Mat Wale has been writing and recording since early 2004. Rising out of the tumultuous Chesterfield music scene of the mid 2000s that spawned ‘avanGaad’, ‘Vigilante Wing’ and ‘The Culture Thieves’ among others. Whether working with Alt. Country behemoths ‘The Rackets’ (2006-2013 on and off), Grunge/Electro/ Folk duo ‘Arrogant Whale’ (2006-2010), Country Rock outfit ‘Big Convoy’ (2011-Present) or performing solo, Mat is untouched by his peers in terms of sheer volume of work. Unwaveringly sticking to his ‘Lo-Fi’ ideals and grass roots approach to making music, at last count he has independently released 18 E.P.s, 7 albums and provided the soundtrack to Welsh indie film ‘Big Font, Large Spacing’.



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On September 24th, WagonWheel Presents… brings another fine triple bill to the Shakespeares stage as our last Saturday of the month show resumes regular service. Joining us this time out will be Mat Wale & Friends, Idiot Son and Far From Franca. Advance tickets priced at £3 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/371954 or entry on the night will be £4. Doors open 8pm.



Mat Wale & Friends Pic

Mat Wale has been writing and recording since early 2004. Rising out of the tumultuous Chesterfield music scene of the mid 2000s that spawned ‘avanGaad’, ‘Vigilante Wing’ and ‘The Culture Thieves’ among others. Whether working with Alt. Country behemoths ‘The Rackets’ (2006-2013 on and off), Grunge/Electro/ Folk duo ‘Arrogant Whale’ (2006-2010), Country Rock outfit ‘Big Convoy’ (2011-Present) or performing solo, Mat is untouched by his peers in terms of sheer volume of work. Unwaveringly sticking to his ‘Lo-Fi’ ideals and grass roots approach to making music, at last count he has independently released 18 E.P.s, 7 albums and provided the soundtrack to Welsh indie film ‘Big Font, Large Spacing’. Currently touring with a revolving all star band that has featured various combinations of Tom Hudson (drums/guitar), Joe Field (banjo), Rhiannon Flynn (fiddle) and Chris Gray (bass).




Idiot Son

Reticent would most probably best describe the Andy Thompson approach to live performance. Whilst his band Idiot Son where conceived at the turn of the century, you could probably count on one hand the number of times they have been found outside of London and most probably on two within the City itself. Here they have graced the stage alongside Kurt Wagner, Wheat, the Webb Brothers, Cousteau, Mary Lorson, Cortney Tidwell, and most recently Band of Holy Joy.

The musical output is equally sporadic, one 7” single “Sunflowers” released in 2000, an album “Lummox” released in 2004 on their own Poppycock label, featuring shimmering, solitary acoustic guitar and cello alongside conventional drums and bass, all winding around Thompson’s wry observations of the capital city and its stories.

They returned in 2015 after a recording absence of ten years with their second album, the similarly sublime ‘Stibbington’. Tracks such as ‘Hold the Engines’, ‘Like a Lot of Men Can Do’ and ‘HeadSwimming’ build on Thompson’s melancholic themes of love, heartache and urban living.

Lummox is my Number 8 of 2004. Most played on my i-pod too. Especially on long tube journeys when I’ve had to much red wine and I’m feeling wistfulGideon Coe BBCRadio6

Lummox’ was definitely the highlight of the year. It was a really good album, and definitely one that pulled me up straight. I thought that it was a really exciting recordPenny Black Music

Gone for Good, one of the sweetest songs ever to feature the line “piss, spittle, semen and beer,” probably best demonstrates Thompson’s lyrical ingenuityPixel Surgeon

Deep as DickensHuw Costin SpecialSoundUnit




Far From Franca

Far From Franca offer gothic folk from the home of grey skies and steel. Born out of an informal jamming session in a bedroom in early 2015, the band soon began recording material and have since received radio exposure in both the BBC, Amazing Radio and independent American stations. Far From Franca’s haunting female vocals pair with a male voice to tell tales of both light and dark, over a backdrop of banjos, cellos, guitars and drums. You may also occasionally hear a melodica, giving a cabaret feel to the music. The band combines the soulful sadness of country and old-time music with the modern raw-edge of the post-punk revival. We endeavour to leave the listener both moved and mesmerised with our eerie melodies and range of material – from snappy polka-esque beats to flowing ballads and punchy rhythms.



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