The Wakes Biography:
The Wakes are a Folk’n’Roll band from Glasgow, Scotland. Their ambition is to make music with a social conscience. Music that matters. Their songs are songs, born from political and social struggle, of protest and of heartache and of the joys of life. Their fusion of traditional instrumentation, with a contemporary sound have helped the band to generate live shows which are energetic, euphoric, and often unforgettable.
The musical style of The Wakes is influenced by those who have gone before. There are influences of Guthrie, Springsteen and Dylan dripping from every sonnet. From traditional folk groups like The Dubliners and The Corries to contemporary bands such as The Clash and The Pogues comes the Folk’n’Roll sound. The Wakes’ lyrics are honest, evocative and compassionate
In the six years together, The Wakes have toured Scotland, England and Ireland and have built a hardcore following in France and Germany where have toured regularly.
Forming in late 2006, the band consist of Paul, on guitars and vocals, Chris on bass, flute and saxophone, Christopher James on harmonica and electric guitar, Eamonn on drums and percussion. The band also make use of other musicians on keys and brass for session work.
In 2007, the group released their first album, “These Hands”. This self-produced album is best known for its two original songs, “Cinderella Story”, which tells the tale of the Irish in Glasgow, from their arrival as hungry refugees in the 1800’s to the middle of the 20th Century. “The title track “These Hands”, the story of James Maley, a Scottish veteran of the Spanish Civil War, was recorded the day before he died and is The Wakes’ tribute to those who fought, and continue to fight fascism.
In early 2009, the group released their single “Pirates of the League” on the album “Hort Fanraume”, a compilation album distributed by German football club F.C. St. Pauli. By this time, the group’s style had evolved into a rockier, folk-punk influenced sound. The compilation album was used to help provide finance needed to create a fan area for St. Pauli FC supporters on match days.
In late 2009 the group released “No Irish Need Apply” on their own label, Big Hooley Records. Described as “where it’s at in Celtic Rock” by John Bowles of PaddyRockRadio.com, the album was awarded 4/5 stars by music magazine Rock and Reel. “No Irish Need Apply” is a hard edged record, which deals with many of the social and historical issues the band have become synonymous with. The title track focuses on the racism endured by many Irish immigrants in Britain, picking up from where “Cinderella Story” left off.
Some songs celebrate success and achievements, while others deal with the demon drink, football, war and oppression. As a result of the success of the album, and in particular the previously released single, “Pirates of the League”, the band were invited in May 2010 to perform as part of FC St. Pauli’s centenary concert in the Millentor Stadium in front of 25,000 people, with Paul closing the concert with a solo rendition of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll never walk alone.”
In 2011 the group recorded a version of The Worker’s Song and Bandiera Rossa for music venue, Esperanza, an anti-fascist rock venue in Schwabisch gmund, Germany. This album is released on the club’s own label.
In 2012, the group re-recorded their 2007 song “These Hands” for Scottish Folk label Greentrax as part of the label’s “!No Pasaran! (They Shall Not Pass)” album. The artists who recorded on this album were invited to perform as part of Glasgow’s city wide music festival Celtic Connections in January 2013.
From November 2012 through to June 2013, the groups main focus has been their recent album “The Red and the Green.”
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