In this time of bad news, unemployment, BREXIT and Covid-19 the world needs it’s yin to its yang. And by God the Outlaw Orchestra supply this ray of sunshine fun. The sun is out and as I’m playing Pantomime Villains the lock down is forgotten and instead I feel like I’m being carried through life in a wheelbarrow full of Opal Fruits. Starbursts for the younger generation.
The first time I intro-ed the Outlaw Orchestra on stage I was later bitten in the thigh by an employee of a rum promoter. Two things that night left its mark on me. A fine pair of teeth and the energy, talent, stagecraft, musicianship and fun by this fantastic foursome.
Pete Briley, Ryan Smith, Alex Barter and Dave Roux are what the world needs right now and now is the perfect time for the release of Pantomime Villains their first album.
We all know (if not you should) how brilliant they are live. During their Ramblin’ Man and their Winterstorm set I desperately needed to pee but my eyes were glued to the stage with their rock n roll bluegrass styling and their onstage charm. In fact Eric’s onstage (not offstage) persona , the guitarist from my book The Call is based on Dave. Fact! I think, by memory I did make it to the toilet but didn’t wash my hands as I never wanted to miss a beat of this class act (Note: this was before Covid-19 so acceptable.)
This debut album contains ten songs and begins with Take A Bow, a foot-stomper followed by the released Chicken Fried Snake. Already a live favourite and a great opening sequence of the album. I don’t smoke cigars or drink whiskey on my porch but once Hanging Tree is played I sure want to. Maybe I will just take a trip to the One Stop and sit in a chair outside rocking myself silly.
Whiskey Drinking Liar follows us to the latest single Arabia. “Where’s my camel when I need one?” says it all. In ten years time and believe me in this, in stadiums and festivals around the world, thousand upon thousands of music fans will be singing this at the top of their volumes waving their plastic pint in their hand. I want Arabia to be the theme tune of the Qatar World Cup competition. Come on guys, let’s make this a reality.
The second half of the album continues with the awesomeness of the first half which means unlike Metallica’s Black album they can play it live from start to finish if they want – and not backwards.
Jumpin’ Jive is quick energetic, dirty and sleazy. In a good way of course. Already you can imagine this live, the grins on the faces of the band, the grass taking a stomping on whatever festival its at.
In my opinion Voodoo Queen is a real grower. Certainly not my favourite on the album on first listen, by listen ten questionably my favourite. Either I’m fickle of the Spanish influence is beautiful crafted. Perhaps both.
Send Some Whiskey Home and Too much Willie Nelson completes this brilliant album.
To be honest The Outlaw Orchestra have something about them that could just about satisfy anyone. Even Katie Hopkins would reduce her hatefulness if exposed to these guys. I don’t buy that they don’t fit into a particular genre. They don’t need to. They are The Outlaw Orchestra and their uniqueness along with their writing and playing ability, stagecraft and attitude make them a genre in their own right.
So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, brothers and sisters. Get Pantomime Villains on May 29th and give your ears a treat. By the 30th I guarantee you’ll turn into a whiskey-drinking, tobacco-smoking, fast-driving, rockabilly, Psycho-billy guitar-yielding, straw dancing bundle of joy.
And when you can next go see them life. And bring Hopkins with you.
Pantomime Villians is out on the 29th May on Voodoo Queen Records.
Check it out right here: