The Urban Voodoo Machine

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Interview: South Wales Argus

Meet The Band: The Urban Voodoo Machine

Released earlier this month, Love, Drink & Death is the long-awaited new studio album from The Urban Voodoo Machine. Fans of the group’s unique, dirty London take on a whole lot of styles from Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, Latin, Gypsy, Country, Jazz, Klezmer and more, will not be disappointed and a new crew of converts must be expected on the strength of the album and The Urban Voodoo Machine’s headline tour of major UK cities including Cardiff on October 4.

How did you come together as a band and where did you get your name from?

I had the name and an idea of the type of music I wanted to do. Basic rootsy acoustic music with the spirit of punk, but dressed as gangsters at the circus!

I wrote and demoed a few songs and then went and head-hunted some of the finest musicians in London which I knew could also party with me. It went from there, we started out as a 6 piece on 2003 but so many great players and people wanted to join the party and here we are!

How would you describe The Urban Voodoo Machine’s music?

We call it Bourbon Soaked Gypsy Blues Bop’n’Stroll – it is an original form of Rock’n’Roll played with traditional instruments like trumpet, guitar, drums, accordion, banjo, upright bass and more. The songs are generally stories from the seedier side of life. Although our music are mainly inspired from sounds of the past we are not a ‘retro’ band – the problems and issues we deal with are very current indeed!

Love, Drink & Death! is your latest album. Can you tell us more about it?

It is our 4th album and contains 16 songs, which makes it a double album as far as vinyl is concerned. Musically it’s got all our influences on there from latin, country, blues, doo-wop, punk, New Orleans brass band, gospel and we’ve got some cool guests including Wilko Johnson.

You’re playing Cardiff very soon, what can fans expect from your gig?

It’s a big sing-a-long, clap-along, drink-a-long affair mostly except for the ballads which we have a few of – don’t bother with lighters during the ballads please, we have our own fire eaters!

What has been The Urban Voodoo Machine’s best live experience so far?

The worst one was probably when we turned up to play a festival in Newport, but due to the flooding on the motorway we were 6 hours late, so we ended up playing in TJ’s Club instead – we were terrible! Oops, you meant the best one? I’d say when we played Llviv Stadium in Ukraine with Goran Bregovic in 2010 – can’t see us going back there in a hurry, then again strange things happen to this band – voodoo power!

Beyond the album and the tour do you have any further plans?

My personal plans is to stay alive, out of jail and not to produce any more children (and play as much music as possible of course) The Urban Voodoo Machine are halfway through recording our next album which is provincially called ‘Hellbound Hymns’, but for now it’s all about our new album ‘Love, Drink & Death!’ and we can’t wait to play Wales again – and Cardiff for the FIRST TIME!

by Andy Howells

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