Vinyl Star Records
£9.99Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers is well known as one half of the legendary joint vocal strike force of UK folk rebel rockers The Men They Couldn’t Hang. He is also a formidable solo artist in his own right.Visit product page →
Audiences around the world from Cairo to Reykjavik, Brisbane to Tokyo and Berlin to London have submitted to his effervescent and heartfelt vocal style in stadium, theatre, hall and after hours lock in. Since his highly acclaimed solo album The Godforsaken Voyage (2013) and between raising hell with The Men They Couldn’t Hang (and recording The Defiant in 2014), a hugely successful Pledge campaign and writing a plethora of new songs for his next album Mr Odgers has found the time to put together a side project of cover songs with a special meaning.
A Fistful of Covers! For the last few years at TMTCH gigs there is often a point midday through the set where Swill (or Cush) will remain on stage and sing a couple of songs while the rest of the gang take a break to freshen up, recharge their drinks or wipe down the sweat from the gigs excesses. “I have a growing hoard of songs that I like to pick out and play in these ‘acoustic sections’. I’ll strum my guitar and what comes out will depend on the mood of the night and is often not what I had planned when I walked on to the stage”.
This album brings together a bunch of songs that Odgers has grabbed and made his own. These are his interpretations of other peoples hangovers, heartbreak and hopelessness. He can relate to them all - he’s lived hard (The Men have a reputation to uphold).
These are songs that, at one time or another, he’s played during the ‘acoustic section’ of The Men They Couldn’t Hang shows or have been carefully placed alongside his own material during solo gigs or impromptu busking sessions. They’re in his gig bag.
Some have been strummed in Canadian Clubs or beside African lakes, some on Scottish hills or in Irish back rooms. All have been played at many gatherings and family occasions and all take on new meaning within this album.
1. Sunday Morning Coming Down
2. You Win Again
3. I'm a Lonesome Fugitive
4. Sunset Of My Tears
6. Christmas in Prison
7. Bottom of the World
8. Lost Highway
9. Roving Gambler
10. Big Brother John
11. The Parting Glass
Vinyl Star Records
£7.25GHOSTS OF ROCK N ROLL’ is the fifth solo album from Men They Couldn’t Hang frontman Phil Odgers and is preceded by the digital single ‘The Serpent, The Maiden and The Bear’ (30th July). Beginning as a collection of ukulele led demos, ‘GHOSTS OF ROCK N ROLL’ has endured a stormy birth and its final emergence represents the triumph of resilience over adversity.Visit product page →
Originally launched as a Pledge Music crowdfunded campaign, the album was nearly strangled at birth by the collapse of Pledge Music in 2018 and the loss of the majority of fan investment. Despite this setback, all fan pledges were still fulfilled and the project relocated to Bandcamp just in time for the pandemic lockdown to prevent any further recording sessions with producer Jim Knight.
Finally, the album inched forward over the summer of 2020 only to crash into the second lockdown and then the tragic loss of fellow TMTCH frontman Stefan Cush in February 2021.
With such checkered history, ‘GHOSTS OF ROCK N ROLL’ seems an appropriate title and its combination of folky pop and melancholic twang, combined with an ethos of survival, memory and experience create a testament to a life spent sailing the sometimes treacherous waters of Rock and Roll.
The album features guest appearances by Sid Griffin and Bobby Valentino.
1. The Serpent, the Maiden and the Bear
2. Flower Lady
3. Brooklyn Bridge
4. The Last Thing on My Mind (Is Regret)
5. Ghost of Rock 'n' Roll
6. Early Morning Rain
7. The Desert Has a Thousand Eyes
8. Empty Streets and Lovers in the Rain
9. Uke Town
10. Rage Against the Machine
Vinyl Star Records
£4.99Phil Odgers, well known as singer/songwriter with UK folk rebels The Men They Couldn’t Hang release this epic 5 Track EP to coincide with his UK tour in April 2018.Visit product page →
The title track ‘Mist On The Water’ is taken from his award-winning Vinyl Star Records album ‘Roll To The Left’ and features a stunning string arrangement by Pete Whitfield who’s worked with the likes of Paul Heaton, Ruts D.C. and Tom Jones.
Next up are 4 previously unreleased tracks - the autobiographic skiffle-a-billy road story ‘New Song Blues’ which starts off in ‘Swill’s’ home town of Oban in Scotland then jumps in a Vauxhall Victor and drives all the way to Broadcasting House in London for the John Peel show …namechecking Elvis, Hank Williams Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, The Jam and The Clash along the way!
Phil recorded ‘The Last Bird Has Flown’ using the actual Black Martin guitar previously owned by Johnny Cash and used during the American recordings in the 90’s.
This is followed by the bouncy ‘Cajun Instrumental’ – a track destined for great things as a piece of music for radio DJ’s to talk over in excited tones. Last, but not least, is a live version of ‘Mist On The Water’ recorded at the coveted Green Note in London’s Parkway on 14th September 2017. Nice!
1. Mist On The Water
2. New Song Blues
3. The Last Bird Has Flown
4. Cajun Instrumental
5. Mist On The Water (Live at Green Note)
Vinyl Star Records
£11.99Phil Swill'Odgers is well known as one half of the legendary joint vocal strike force of The Men They Couldn't Hang. He is also highly regarded as a solo singer/songwriter in his own right and this brilliantly fresh new album brings his songwriting prowess into sharp, bright, focus.Visit product page →
Lyrically this is a collection of unique tales with cinematic imagery - from kitchen sink realism and social commentary to technicolor splendor. The album, in the main, was recorded in the studio built for Kirsty MacColl by Steve Lillywhite in their family home in Ealing.
The studio resonates with musical history and Phil was also lucky enough to be able to use guitars previously owned by Kirsty. Musically the album has many levels - it takes Phil Odgers'warm melodic voice and rhythmic strumming as a starting point, adds a bit of double bass, fiddle and lead guitar in all the right places. It's never crowded.
The Train'has a genuine Johnny Cash feel - ¦in fact, on that track, Swill played the actual Martin guitar once owned by Johnny Cash. Blue Skies And A Saturday Job'showcases the unusual combination of acoustic guitar with baritone and tenor sax whilst the albums only cover song, Long Stem Rose', is lovingly embraced by cornet, flugalhorn, trumpet and bass trombone. Mist On The Water', perhaps the fullest song on the album, has a full string arrangement with violins, violas and cellos adding extra depth. Piano and Drums also make a brief appearance but nothing is overplayed giving the entire album a beautifully understated feel.
Phil Odgers and producer James Knight made a point of only using real instruments and live performances - no auto tune here, this is as real as it gets folks! These organic and passionate sessions have resulted in a magical and deeply accomplished album by the UK's most underrated singer - ¦.
1. The Train
2. Blue Skies And A Saturday Job
3. No Getting Over You
4. Mist On The Water
5. Moving On Again
6. Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down
7. Too Cold For Me
8. Long Stem Rose
9. Tomorrow Will Be Fine
10. Eddie Was
11. Half Past 3
Vinyl Star Records
£16.99The revered British folk punk group The Men They Couldn't Hang celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2014 with the release of a brand new album, The Defiant'. Previewed with a sold out London show at Shepherds Bush Empire in April that won rave reviews in The Guardian and on The Arts Desk and an accompanying EP that saw significant specialist airplay on BBC Radio 2, 6 Music BBC Scotland and BBC Wales, the release of The Defiant'will be followed by a UK tour and a return visit to SBE.Visit product page →
The Men They Couldn't Hang formed in 1984. Championed by John Peel, their debut single 'Green Fields of France' was a huge hit on the UK Indie chart and was no. 3 in Peel's Festive Fifty for 1984 (behind The Smiiths and Cocteau Twins). The song subsequently appeared on their first album, Night of a Thousand Candles'. The following year, they recorded How Green Is The Valley'with producer Mick Glossop, while by 1988 and their third album Waiting for Bonaparte', TMTCH had also achieved recognition in mainland Europe for their political comment and raucous live shows.
Touring in support of 1989's Silvertown', the band played to a crowd of more than 250,000 in Estonia as communism started to crumble, prior to an unforgettable appearance at Reading Festival. At the height of their career, they recorded the acclaimed Domino Club' with producer Pat Collier, but then went on hiatus in 1991 following a farewell tour'. Performing sporadically for the next few years, TMTCH reunited permanently in 1996 and released a new album, Never Born To Follow'and the Six Pack EP' that delighted their fans by displaying a fresh power and vitality to their music.
Two Best Of'collections, Majestic Grill'and The Mud, The Blood And The Beer'[both 1998] were eventually followed by the well received albums The Cherry Red Jukebox' and the Pat Collier produced Devil On The Wind'in 2009. TMTCH have spent the last few years touring regularly throughout Europe and playing at numerous festivals alongside the likes of The Levellers, Billy Bragg and Nick Lowe. They also headlined the 10th anniversary commemoration of Joe Strummer's Acton Town Hall show in November 2012.
They kicked off their own 30th Anniversary celebrations with a sold out show at Shepherd's Bush Empire in April 2014.
1. Raising Hell
4. Carrying the Flame
5. Turquoise Bracelet Bay
6. Silver Chains
7. Night Ferry
9. Atheni Dreams
10. Fail to Comply
11. Hardworking People
12. Twilight Road