Hailing from the long gone lonesome plains of East Anglia, The Malingerers’ music evokes a sound sometimes more at home in the south western states of America than the UK folk scene. However, whilst clearly influenced from a melting pot of traditional country, blues, folk and jazz (Hank Williams, Merle Travis, Leadbelly, Woodie Guthrie, Bob Wills etc.) their music somehow manages to combine these influences with typically British and Irish flavours, cynicism and warped sense of humour and history!
The Malingerers were formed around 2009 from the ashes of twisted country blues noise mongers; The Surgens. Whilst clearly sharing similar DNA due to the same songwriters and three of the original Surgens members, The Malingerers are an entirely different animal drawing on more traditional acoustic folk, blues and country influences.
After a couple of years of writing and arranging new material (and a few personnel changes!) The Malingerers finally settled on the current lineup in 2012 with Tim Palmer joining on fiddle.
The bands’ first album, “Lonely Years” which received some excellent reviews by the music press, was released in 2013 containing all original material recorded at Gizzard’s analogue studio in London. By recording everything live (including vocals) straight to 2” tape like they used to do in the good old days, the bands’ recordings retain the sound and feel of the live band whilst giving a raw and punchy traditional sounding album.
The Malingerers’ second album 'Wine & Lies' will be released on 4th March 2016. The seven-track LP continues to somehow blend vintage, dust bowl era Americana seamlessly with British Folk and as usual taking in more than a sprinkling of early Jazz and Blues influences.
Here’s what’s being said about The Malingerers:
“The latest in a seemingly never-ending line of British bands who do American music as well, if not better, then the natives. This Peterborough-based band major in old-time and acoustic country-blues.
Americana UK – 7/10
“Taking their lead from The Band, via folk/blues influences like Leadbelly an Woody Guthrie, brothers Kevin and Craig Murphy peddle tales of financial hardship (“The Optimist”) and sleepless nights (“Drunken Angel”), the former’s vocal growl underpinned by the latter’s plaintive harmonica. The musical tones may be informed by the wide open spaces of the Southern US, but the lyrics offer a liberal helping of good old British cynicism.”
Uncut Magazine – 7/10
“Still blazin’ a trail for Rockabilly and old time country blues”
Maverick – 4 Stars
“Squawking harmonica, dusty strumming and a ragged feel scoops us up and plonks us in the Americana-flecked house of UK folk outfit The Malingerers. They’ve been shaking things up on the airwaves, and for sound reason; the down trodden slur of The Optimist is irresistible melancholy, Hell Child delivers a breezy, upbeat shanty, and the boxy stomp of Down By the Sea is pure unadulterated campfire bliss.”
The Guitar Magazine – 4 Stars
“If these reviews were based on an album’s first three tracks then The Lonely Years would be getting a full five stars. ‘House of Mine’ is a stirring opener, the kind of up-tempo blues that lends itself to Kev Murphy’s gravelly voice, with strong support from brother Craig’s harmonica and Tim Palmer’s fiddle.
It’s followed by ‘The Lonely Years’, where the enthusiasm of the playing contrasts with the sadness of the lyric. While these songs are good what comes next is exceptional. ‘The Optimist’ is quite simply one of the best songs I’ve heard all year. The poignant lyric, a journey from tragedy to hope, is brought to life by Murphy’s soulful vocal and beautiful playing from the band, subtle touches of mandolin and harmonica contributing to the song’s melancholy feel.”
R2 Rock n Reel Magazine – 3 Stars
“Great new stuff, The Malingerers ‘House of Mine’, Mark Lamarr recommended them and he’s usually right.”
Bob Harris – Radio 2
The Malingerers’s tracks