Damian, George, Tony and Cliff, the PRESSGANG line-up that toured together throughout Europe and the USA in the 1990s have returned with their latest CD album “OUTLANDISH”. This is their 7th album; an album of nine mediaeval and traditional ballads, updated for a 21st century audience. If you think folk equals acoustic, think again and prepare yourself for the full Pressgang onslaught. This is an album that will appeal just as much, if not more, to a non folk audience.
Three songs on the album explore the folk tale of the Raggle Taggle Gypsies, with a prequel (Gypsy Bride) and a song about the wedding (Noblemans Wedding). Together they suggest a new explanation for the behaviour of the "Lady", getting away from the patriarchal perspective of her running away irresponsibly, righting the wrongs of centuries.
Bonny Ship the Diamond is a rollicking shanty, The Blackbird is another song about being away at sea away from loved ones with a great sing-along chorus. Goode Ale is a medieval drinking song with another table thumping chorus. The Gaberlunzie Man is a medieval story with a twist, is he a beggar..or not? And there are three dance tunes to complete the package.
A folk band like no other, Pressgang take traditional songs into places that no other band dares to go. New sounds from an accordion, whirling dervish instrumentals, acapella singing and rapping are just a taste of the full ingredients. Add to this dancing, storytelling, drama and audience participation and you¹ll have an idea of the stage show that got them all over Europe and the USA without a major record label or management. It has to be seen to be believed and heard.
We suggest you leave your ideas about traditional folk music at home. Bring an open mind and enjoy the PRESSGANG ride.
Pressgang began playing in 1986, and were quickly swept up in the UK indie-folk movement, adding their ideas to traditional songs in a way that was more natural to audiences at the time, that is fast and exciting. Initially picked up by the Cooking Vinyl label, they then signed to indie distribution company DDT. They made the unique album Rogues! in 1988 which helped them to play all over the UK, mostly in indie music clubs.
Finding a much bigger welcome on their first European tour in 1989, they turned professional and played until August 2000 in over 12 countries, releasing 6 albums in total.
They released three CD albums on the TWAH! Label in Germany: “Burning Boats” (produced by Martin Rushent – Stranglers, Human League etc), “Fire!” and “Mappa Mundi”. They then released two albums on the Vox Pop label, “Movers and Shakers (live) and “Dancing in our Dreams”.