The Gilded Angels
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The Gilded Angels

Band Country Cover Band


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"O brother..."

Country music's always had a somewhat of an unfair rap. Yes, it may be the soundtrack most associate with inbred hicks downing a bottle of moonshine, then knocking their wives about to the strains of a Kenny Rogers number, but it's also got soul by the barrel load, buckets of truth and darned good fashion sense.

Discovering that cowboy hats aren't just for hen nights, the UK is experiencing a boom in bands and clubs in love with country and western's ol'-fashioned, barn-storming appeal. Inspired less by alt country acts such as Smog and Bonnie Prince Billy and more by the old school likes of Waylon Jennings, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash and any other southern chancer who looked passable in a Nudie suit, this new generation offer a distinctively British take on these mean, mean men who loved Jesus and whiskey with equal veracity. Cambridge's the Broken Family Band are a former post-punk gang who began playing the music as a joke, but soon realised there was far more in it. "You shouldn't take the piss out of country music, because it's actually very beautiful," says the group's lead singer Steve Adams. "When we began to take our music more seriously, all the country stuff stayed with it, and so did all the stuff I misunderstood at first."

Sometime Broken Family Band collaborator, and a Loretta Lynn-worshipping ex-pat of the American midwest, Piney Gir puts its resurgence down to the influence of film: "Hollywood put Johnny Cash back in the spotlight, and before that the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou reminded people how great country music is," says Piney. "Going to a country club is a really good night out and you don't have to worry about being cool."

Elsewhere, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are the underage family trio that wouldn't look out of place at the Grand Ole Opry, while south Londoners Indigo Moss are ploughing the bluegrass furrow and Scotland's Gilded Angels play western standards. "It's the sound of everyman for everyman," starts Gilded Angels' pedal steel guitarist Mark Stewart. "They're songs for lovers and fighters, the lost and lonely, for those who want to rip it up and do something at the weekend, even if it's wrong."

Hell, even Mike Skinner is planning to make a country album, so look out for the Streets at clubs like London's Sin City, which gets crammed with lasses shuffling to the sound of the Flying Burrito Brothers. In fact the club's so popular it had to shift to a bigger venue last year due to the masses of denim-clad desperados clambering to get in.

Southbound, Sin City's country and southern rock spin-off night starts next month. Then there's Hillbilly Hop, a night that mixes Nashville-flavoured 1950s swing and rockabilly. You can also hear the clicking of spurs up past Hadrian's Wall, with El Rancho Relaxo entertaining the Glaswegian cowpokes and Ride This Train doing the same in Edinburgh. Dolly Parton tours the UK next month, so if you fancy a bit of a country knees-up, there hasn't been a better time. Well, not since 1970. - The Guardian

"Beardstock Live"

"The magnificent seven who form The Gilded Angels prove themselves the most authentic trad country and western bar band this side of The Grand Ole Oprey" - Plan B Magazine


'A Far Cry From Nashville' LP
El Rancho Records
Released: TBC

Live DVD: The Gilded Angels @ The Grand Ole Opry

Released: TBC



The Gilded Angels were formed under loud speakers in the final days of smokey Glasgow clubs, starting out with three and now numbering nine in their ranks, they are the complete 'Rolling Country Revue', digging deep to rewrite old country classics. They play Honky Tonk anthems of good times, bad times, about sweethearts and heartaches, focusing on chestnuts by the likes of Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Gram Parsons and George Jones. The Gilded Angels challenge the audience to have as much fun as they are having onstage, but at the same time they deliver musically.

Under their leather belts are a number of barnstorming live shows that include 4 sold out nights at the UK's premier country music club and venue - The Grand Ole Opry (capacity 450) . The band also followed in the footsteps of one of their idols Johnny Cash by performing at Scotland's most notorious and high security prison - Barlinnie, for 200 wildly appreciative inmates.

The Gilded Angels were also earmarked by the NME as one's to watch in their 'On Radar' section, as well as being personally invited to open for both Glasvegas and The Corb Lund Band on recent Scottish dates.

Various festival appearances and weekly and monthly residencies around their native city of Glasgow, one of which, 'Buckaroo', is an event run by the group themselves in which they play live and DJ sets of classic country, honky tonk and rockabilly, has gained the Gilded Angels the deserved reputation as one of Scotland's most promising young groups...