KickaWooka

It all started with a fat penguin… and ended with Gertrud’s nipples. Wookalily know how to put on a show!

It was the 8th June, Adele in her pyjamas working on the computer, talking on the phone and answering the door all while eating toast. It never stops in the Wookalily office. She was in fact creating our Kickstarter page where you can now pre-order our second album. We have launched the campaign to raise £4000 in 40 days as we are going into the studio in July to record the album with Julie McLarnon at Analogue Catalogue. Kickstarter is an online platform that allows backers to pre-order the album and hence raise money to fund its production. We have other rewards for those feeling generous, such as album launch tickets, goodie bags and more!

Adele meets her hero Chris Smither for the 11th time (she’ not counting) #borderlinestalker

Also on this very day we need to catch the boat to Liverpool. 22.30 crossing looks like we’ll not get any sleep tonight. We arrive in Liverpool at 06.30 friday morning, all bumble into the car with 2 coffees in each hand. Although this is quite a task as there are 4 of us, all our bags and instruments traveling in a smart car. #instrumenttetris We need to hit the road, we’ve a gig at 14.00! Off to the beautiful town of Southwell in Nottinghamshire for the Gate to Southwell festival.

As we enter the gates to the festival we are greeted with blue sky, absolute sunshine and daisy crowns. This shall be our second home.

We played 3 sets over 2 days and couldnt have enjoyed them more. The organisation and helpfulness of the staff and the appreciation from the audience was overwhelming. Unfortunately Sharon wasnt able to get a babysitter for toddler Rosa so we had to rock out with a Wook down. Clair had also broken her hand and just freshly out of cast, agreed to play on with just one hand. You might say we were a 3 ½ piece band that weekend!

Well after the high of a standing ovation at our last set, its now 02.30 and we’re standing in the street packing our car in complete silence as to not wake our gracious hosts and their neighbours. I would like to include a massive thank you to our hosts Tim, Judith, Henry the dog and Bridget and David. We couldnt have met nicer people or imagined nicer accommodation. THANK YOU GUYS!

Onward we need to catch the boat! Wait which way are we going?

“Your destination is on the left” NO IT ISNT YOU B***** B****** !!!!
Woohoo Wooks making waves

A Slug’s Life

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Hi, I’m Slimey the slug. Wookalily first slithered into my life on a cold January night in a massive, little cottage nestled at the foot of Mount Errigle in Donegal. As a wise old slug with 360 degree vision I’ve seen many goings on in my long life. Irish grannies, scones without sultanas and spirited debate about putting the milk in before or after the teabag is removed to name a few. I took all these tribulations in my stride, excuse me, I mean slide of course, being bereft of legs and all that.

Things went horrifically awry that cold January night. There I was, working some slime into the walls when I was disturbed by the most obnoxious sound I’ve ever witnessed in my life. I’ve no ears of course but even that fact could not protect me from the sounds of Daft Arse (Sharon) practicing her square roll on the banjo. Suffering Snails, what a vibration! Thankfully Wrapper Upper (Adele) started moaning at her and the rest of those horrid humans began to coordinate to stop the din. They looked like they were leaving for something called a “jig” I think. I couldn’t wait. I don’t have much truck for humans but these guys were different. They were all up in your grill with their songs, and their ideas and their bickering about their songs and their ideas. Just fuck off already. I’d suffer a hundred thousand irish grannies high on crack before these lot.

Whilst I was slithering up a drumstick lamenting my lot I was suddenly hurdling down a black hole. I thought: this must be death. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. It was me getting bungled into the back of a £500 car to go play a £50 gig (play on famous meme joke and thankfully fictional on this occasion) with those other hapless loons otherwise known as Wookalily. FML as the cool kids say. After much dodgy driving round dimly lit country roads at terrifying speeds of 5kph we arrive at the venue and began loading in. I spotted a beautiful ornate piano to spread all my slime on. Always a silver lining . . . . of slug sludge.

I nearly lost my perch on the piano when I overheard Daft Arse (Sharon) remark to Moya Brennan that the bar owners must be batshit crazy Clannad super fans. Kinda made the kidnapped against my will thing worth it. The German (Lyndsay) began dictating in a no nonsense kinda way what the band were to play. The Cat Lady (Clair, not quite cat, not quite human) purred in agreement and the Enthusiast (Lou) jumped up and down and did a fit like body movement, must be why she hits things for a living.

After soundchecking 2454 instruments we were treated to a very high calibre of singing, musicianship and facial expressions by everybody in the bar. No kidding, everyone in that bar was a musical wizard, even the bar staff. No pressure Wookalily, one punter encouragingly advised “there’s nowhere for even the ghost of a bum note to hide in here”. A very frightened Wookalily took to the stage and lashed into two brutal fucking hours of songs about people getting murdered, people getting their heart broke into tiny little pieces, male prostitution and people kicking buckets. If there’s one thing they can do well, it’s singing songs about people getting bumped off. There may have been a few bum notes but they were on purpose. Bum notes are necessary when it comes to murder ballads.

Anyway I still hated the band and wanted back to my comfy cottage with my comfy irish grannies. It didn’t quite pan out that way. For whatever reason, I’m now stuck in a Wookalily rehearsal listening to the girls talking in excited high pitches about plans for an upcoming album with some hotshot producer who’s hot as shit btw. I’ve also been privy to some of the writing process. Expect 4 part harmonies, raunchy riffs, groovy rolls (not to be mistaken for gravy rolls although equally as delish apparently) and lyrics darker than Vantablack.
     
There’s also rumblings (I feel things rather than hear them) of an appearance at Southwell Festival in Nottingham.

It’s enough to make me stand on the porch and hope a shoe clad foot will end it all, yours slitherly,
Slimey

 

Musical Instrument Tetris

As a member of Wookalily I have learned that my success in the band relies on one valuable skill; the ability to perform
‘Musical instrument tetris’.

In greater detail this is the almost super-human power of loading a vast array of matter, both animate and inanimate into a ridiculously small place- namely a car.
A degree in engineering, specialising in weight bearing and logistics is desired but not essential.

Here is a comprehensive but not exhaustive list of items to be methodically stacked.

Drum kit
3 guitars
Bass guitar
Subsequent amplifiers
Banjo
Bouzouki
Fiddle
Mandolin
Concertina
Flute
Sound-desk
Speakers
Microphones
Leads
Mic stands
Sound-man
Suitcase of CDs
Buggy
Baby seat
Baby

I think that’s it……… oh and a 5 piece girl band.

Recently we have incorporated double bass, djembe and piano into our set, we may have to leave the girl band at home!

After loading this extensive collection I then have to try and load myself in.

Many a time I’ve travelled squashed up into the back seat of Adele’s (aptly named) Nissan Note with a large tom tom perched in my lap. My feet contorted by an amp in the foot-well and my head being bashed repeatedly by a bass drum pedal at every right turn.

In fact the abrasive buzz of a vibrating snare drum has gone from slowly driving me mad to actually becoming strangely soothing, like the lonely gentle hum of white noise.
It gently lulls me into a much needed nap.
I wake with my cheek pressed against the cold glass boundary between me and wide open spaces, but what’s this? The buzzing snare has stopped! We are stationary!!! We have arrived!!!

And after all of this, we realise we don’t have a single plectrum between us!

Of course I’m only 1/3rd joking. It can be funny too and it’s all worth it when we get to play in some great venues to amazing people.

So after hearing our plight you can imagine all our excitement when we were offered a Friday evening residency at the new American Bar in Belfast docks area.
…..and it’s UNPLUGGED!!

It’s going to be great to turn up and just play, we hope to see you there!

#wookasontheroad

Giggin for it…

Gigs, gigs and more gigs… Ah the stress – a performer’s heaven and hell.
Our previous gig was at Voodoo (in which it was only right we play our classic Black Magic Doll) for ‘Womens Work‘. There were a host of events in Belfast over March ‘celebrating women in music’ with the one and only Annie Nightingale kicking things off with a comfy conversation and a mighty knees up that went on to the early hours – I’m told!
DJ SAGE a.k.a. Laura Totten hosted the event in Voodoo which also saw the fabulous Suzanne Savage perform. It’s always a pleasure to share the stage with a former Wookite. We decided to play a particular blinder – and that we did! Although we would like to attribute our feisty performance to our fabulous choreography and ravishing good looks, i believe it was down to actually having monitors , that work! Something Belfast venues really need to look into. Would you let your electrician touch your wiring with a blindfold on??

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Next on the agenda is Record Store Day. Huzzah! An entire day dedicated to that crackly hiss we all know and love. I am of course talking about that unique sound you get on an old vinyl, inevitably hiding some musical mystery of years gone by. What a pleasure it is to know that vinyl has made such a come back and people are celebrating music in all its varieties all over the world on April 16th.

There are several booming record shops located around Belfast, most of whom pride themselves in stocking local music. Including our very own ‘All the Waiting While’ which will be available as a limited edition vinyl. There will be a load of events happening in shops and venues around you, i implore you to check them out! We, of course, will be playing Belfast Underground Records during the afternoon

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Not hindered by having one gig that day, why not play another that night? We have been booked once again to play at the Winterfell set from Game of Thrones. With a lot of GOT footage being shot here, I bet you know at least one person donning a Viking era beard in prep for their chance to be an extra. I, myself was an umbrella holder for Sean Bean on a particularly wet week of shooting and managed to insult Mark Addy while learning an invaluable lesson – tents aren’t sound proof!
It’s always fun to play here, the atmosphere is deliciously barbarous with a hog roast for all and plenty of mead ..well locally brewed Winterfell I.P.A. close enough! All the guests wear huge fur bound capes and get their picture with a scary man and a sword. Which makes for particular hilarity during our set, expect giggles.

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The Wooks love playing and performing wherever the venue, no matter the stage. The buzz and good vibes you get from audience members are unbeatable. Particularly when the younger members come up to take a snoop around the equipment. Our drummer Louise gets young girls coming to her all the time, inspired by seeing A GIRL play the drums, and kicking ass while doing so. Louise does offer drum tuition by the by…

Mead anyone? Let’s get Woozy!

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