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The Shutka Champions are a five-piece group from The Shutka Republic, Portsmouth, England.
They are: James Barber – guitars, vocals, bass and drums.
Jon Callender – drums, loops, beats, vocals and electronics.
Neil Carter – bass, radio, guitars, vocals.
Dean Clarke – vocals, guitar, omnichord, bass.
Richard Wiczkowski – synthesizer, guitar, vocals, harmonium.
The band came together in the early days of 2008 to start work on a set of songs that would become their eponymous debut album ‘THE SHUTKA CHAMPIONS’.
Released in 2010, the record enjoyed many favourable critical reviews and a rapturous live response as The Champs played an incendiary set of varied and engaging live shows throughout the year where the band gained a devoted and feverish following.
The band’s name comes from an independent film entitled ‘True Stories: The Shutka Book of Records’ celebrating life in Shutka, the largest Roma community in The Balkans (Republic of Macedonia) where everyone believes in their own uniqueness and strives to be a champion in anything imaginable – fishing, sex, seeing the scariest vampire, collecting Turkish music cassettes or training fighting geese! The mind boggles indeed, but it appealed to the band’s singular sense of humour and own uniqueness. Suitably impressed, they took the name and haven’t looked forward since.
Berlin, Bracklesham Bay and their hometown of Portsmouth were the locations for the writing and recording of what is their second long player. The self- produced ‘CHAOS, MUTINY & MAGIC’ will be released to the world in November 2012 and features 8 new original tracks of crafted songs reflecting the times that are upon us. It is a non-conformist non-acceptance of the prevailing times and a refusal to be seduced and duped by the prescribed societal medicine.
So Shutka, so Championesque – ‘CHAOS MUTINY & MAGIC’ cranks up the shadier, brasher and dirtier elements of the band while still toying with the harmonious, frivolous and diversely ingenious thread that was so apparent in their debut album. It is majestic work, hushed in its tones, daring in its production, stark, yet intimate, in its message….but always optimistic in its outlook.
It could be the end, but then everything is a constant, so it could quite possibly the beginning? – What goes around comes around. Welcome to and welcome back, then, to the astonishing world of The Shutka Champions and their Incredible Adventures in Sound and Music.