The Destroyers
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The Destroyers

Birmingham, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Birmingham, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band World Folk


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This band has not uploaded any videos




Brummie Gypsies with plenty to say

And so, out of the inane cavalcade of Balkan Gypsy sound-alikes, comes a blow-your-mind original. The Destroyers are a 15-piece Birmingham-based collective with a difference – yes, they have the requisite riproaring horns, a crisp rhythm section and a charismatic leader, but they also have songs with intelligent lyrics and a maturity that far surpasses the usual alcohol-meets-exotica approach. Frontman Paul Murphy’s poetic growl sets the mood right away on ‘Utopia Bypass’: his gravelly voice declaiming over a lolloping cimbalom groove, sounding every bit like Taraf de Haidouks wandering by mistake onto the Thriller video shoot. What makes this album stand out is the wealth of ideas: ‘Where Has The Money Gone?’ is a rabble-rousing polka narrated by a suicidal Bernard Madoff – but where lazier bands would let that one, good, central idea loose and leave it at that, The Destroyers flit from funk-guitar-led verse to hell-for-leather chorus and Celtic interlude without missing a beat. They can do jump-up instrumentals, as on the playfully named, Bulgarian sounding ‘The Stork Crossing the Dudley Canal’, and also choruses with good hooks – the wilfully schizophrenic ‘Out Of Babel’ being a prime example. Just when you think everything is clear, there’s another surprise: ‘Torregavata’, a thoroughly feel-good, summery Italian waltz with a sublime lead vocal from trumpeter Leo Altarelli, warm Django-style guitar accompaniment and rich, dark lyrics of love and death. Minimum pretence and maximum style: Out Of Babel is a sophisticated, theatrical tour de force.

- Lemez Lovas

"Rock n Reel"

Just yer everyday, run of the mill Balkan/Klezmer gothic beat-punk, then? Okay, maybe there aren’t all that many acts to be found on The Destroyer’s patch. As anyone who stumbled across any of their appearances at Glastonbury this summer will know, this fifteen-piece barrel of hyperactive musical monkeys produces a compelling riot of jerky energy, honking and skirling behind Paul Murphy’s strange tales of fin de siecle menace and end-of-civilisation-as-we-know-it skullduggery.
It’s testament to all involved, then that they’ve managed to capture at least a fair proportion of the kinetic craziness on their debut album; indeed, they’ve even roped in a horse for frantic instrumental ‘The Stork Crossing The Dudley Canal’!
The Destroyers are one of those rare bands that is probably too clever by half but, rather than dazzling the listener, sweeps them along into the perfect paced dynamics, occasionally slowing to admire the landscape- as on the exquisitely atmospheric opening of ‘The Flying Kopanitsas’ – before ripping once more into it’s clattering fairground underworld.
If ever you need someone to soundtrack a screenplay for a Bulgakov novel, The Destroyers should be at the top of your list.

- Oz Hardwick


After witnessing the eccentric glory of The Destroyers‘ live show back in June, I must confess a certain trepidation when I received my advance copy of the Birmingham folk-punk collective’s debut album, Out of Babel. How could a recording compare to such an energetic whirlwind of sound and colour?

Well, actually, it compares rather well. Out of Babel is a highly polished affair; Paul Murphy’s sinister opening monologue “Utopia Bypass” sets the stage for the wildly theatrical single “Out Of Babel”. Later, “Sirba” begins in a blaze of brass, like a call to arms, and explodes into um-pah beats and clarinet solos, while “Questa Canzone”, with its suave Italian songwriting and charming vocal melodies, is a simply stunning piece of musicianship.

The abundant and intricate instrumental runs, and Murphy’s rapid flickering between growling bard and howling conductor – a dual personality particularly evident in “The Glass Coffin Burial of Professor Zurinak” – combine to create an album that never quite steps out from the shadows. Instead, Out Of Babel taunts you with a flash of skin, like a dancer from a shop window in a part of town you don’t quite feel safe in. It’s an exhilarating experience, but leaves you feeling seedy, right up until the refreshing gypsy-blues of album closer “Torregaveta”.

I could go through every single one of the dozen tracks, and explain to you exactly why it works, or I can give you a simple truth: The Destroyers could well be the best band you hear this year. Without a doubt, they’re certainly one of the most interesting acts the UK has seen in a long time. Go out and buy this album. You won’t regret it. - Marcus Kernohan

"Q magazine"

"The Destroyers have a hell of a billing from the compere but more than live up to it - they truly are "insane", "chaotic" and "absolutely menkle", but then can a 15-piece polka orchestra led by a short grandad in a fez who talks like a pirate be anything else?" - Glastonbury special review

"Clash magazine"

"The Destroyers have a hell of a billing from the compere but more than live up to it - they truly are "insane", "chaotic" and "absolutely menkle", but then can a 15-piece polka orchestra led by a short grandad in a fez who talks like a pirate be anything else?" - Anna Meacham

"Muso's Guide"

"Grab the album whenever it comes out and see them live the first chance you get." - Kenny McMurtie

"Night Times"

"The euphoric audience gave the show a huge standing ovation and who could not fail to be lifted by the show? The Destroyers are utterly contemporary and cutting edge and almost frightening in their creativity, but they manage to balance this with being totally accessible and appealing to the masses." - Una Haugh

"Fly Global Music"

"Not to be confused with any other band called the Destroyers, these are the current hot bulgars! Don’t be afraid, check them out and have a good time." - Gerry Hectic


Single: Out of Babel
Album: Out of Babel

Radio play: Radio 2 - Steve Lamacq - Out of Babel -

Radio 3 - Lucy Duran in for Andy Kershaw - Sirba



The Destroyers are 15 musicians with a deep passion for Balkan, Celtic and Latin beats. Fronted by Irish punk poet Paul Murphy, their charismatic Beefheart-esque leader; shows are energetic, eccentric, unforgettable experiences. They have rocked the UK scene with their debut album “Out of Babel”; Songlines enthusing:“Out of the cavalcade of Balkan Gypsy sound-a-likes, comes a blow-your-mind original” following barnstorming gigs at London’s Barbican and Southbank, their highly anticipated second album is set for release later this year.

What the media has said about them:

“The Destroyers paint a rich picture of the modern world, drawing parallels with stories and legends of ancient history”

“Such an insane medley of sound and genre, and are so wonderfully chaotic and fun that it’s difficult to not love them”

“Primal, frenzied strings and wailing brass”

“Close-up and dangerous, their blazing passion for performance and combined musical influences creates a swirling spectacle of sensation and sound...Onlythe dead can refuse to dance!"

“A seductively dangerous and unqiue listen”

“…comes across like Captain Beefheart fronting a Pogues/Fall supergroup”

“.. like a dream with its carnival melodies, it's dark undertones and positively brilliant brass section, taking you on a crazy journey through all manner of different fairytales, myths and legends. Like a fun Irish ditty that never ends with an abundant Priest providing vocals, this is definitely like nothing you will have heard before - ever!”