A year and a half ago, founding members vocalist/guitarist AW and drummer JB, complaining for a good half an hour about not being involved in any musical projects, had a eureka moment that bore The Great Malarkey. But two were not enough for what they had in mind; influenced by Tom Waits, The Dead Brothers, The Pogues, Nirvana and Ray Charles, they went off in search of compatriots.
Gumtree has never done such a good month’s work, bringing them Jason ‘Gigadee’ Nash on accordion, Alex ‘Tootah’ Newton on trumpet and Owen ‘Sewin’ Evans with his banjo and guitar. A fiddle was always going to be necessary, and Aidan ‘and abetting’ Banks was only too happy to oblige. The last to join the ranks was Jake ‘The Hat’ Appleby; a man of few words, but he plays the bass like it owes him money. With them came further influences, the likes of Miles Davis, The Clash, Thelonious Monk,
Louis Armstrong,The Undertones, jonny Cash, Queens of the stone age, The Beatles, Fanfare Ciocarlia, C.W Stoneking and many more, all adding to the stand-out sound of The Great Malarkey.
Three weeks of rehearsals was all it took to start gauging interest. Starting as they meant to go on, their third gig was as main support for Toots and the Maytals at the O2 Islington academy. This was closely followed by nights opening for Katzenjammer’s album launch party and a personal invite from Rafven to join them in their hometown of Gothenberg, Sweden; this came after a night together at Stranger Than Paradise, and The Great Malarkey has continued its swagger across the London Balkan scene, playing at Rumpus in November 2011.
On stage, there is no weaving of strange tales: every song has been written by you, for you, or about you. This is a raw documentation of friends, lovers, riots, night terrors and the Dalston job centre. These are the kids you didn’t mess with on the playground, and you wouldn’t mess with them now: an instrumental call to arms with lyrics that simultaneously sling an arm around your shoulders and punch you in the stomach.
In early 2011 they released their EP ‘Merry Profits’, consisting of three tracks available the good old-fashioned way and for download. This was accompanied by a video that had Pure Rawk tipping its readers that ‘You may just find your new favourite band’.
Until they achieve world domination, of course, the band will continue to look ahead. Their eagerly-anticipated debut album ‘The Case Of The Badly-Stuffed Animals’ is due for completion and release through ClearCut Records, and the bookings for 2012 are already pouring in. With plans already in motion for an album release tour, you’d be wise to buckle your braces and jump on the bandwagon now, while there’s still room. GET INVOLVED!!
The Dead Brothers, Tom Waits, Fanfare Ciocarlia, The Pogues, Goran Bregovic, Beirut, Manu Chao, Wire, Miles Davis, Jacques Brel, The Buzzcocks and many many