Something a little different to our norm today, as we introduce you to the raucously rambunctious fusion of rockabilly, ‘trash-gyspy’ rock and booze blues – aka Gypsybilly Rock Blues – that is London’s Evil Edna. We’re also fairly sure this is the first band we’ve covered to feature a harmonica – and certainly that does so as prominently as Evil Edna do.
The quartet of Simon Land (guitar and vocals), Sam Taylor (bass and vocals), Joe Thompson (drums) and Paul Cockerham (harmonica and vocals) met through mutual friends. But they came together at a Legendary Shack Shakers gig, where they made the decision to have a jam and swiftly got to work writing debut release The Evil E.P.
A couple of years and three more single releases later the band have fully honed an intriguing sound, which they describe to us as “A dirty rockabilly punk ice cream topped with a filthy blues harmonica sauce.”
Our latest taster of this delightful offering is Big Nipper, which was released at the end of last month, on which Sam tells us to expect: “A smoothly rambunctious, guitar-led dance about the trials and tribulations of addiction.”
It opens up with a funky winding guitar lick that’s joined by a harmonica and feeds into a lively opening verse that drops in pace a little, then builds up to the croony lyrics “She said I smoke too much, And that I joke too much.” A second chorus gives way to a cool little guitar solo that’s joined by a more distant harmonica support, which drops into laid-back vocals. The pace drops again, only for more intense vocals to take over before ending on a harmonica outro. Check it out below:
That release was preceded by the excellent Cryptoboom, which opens up with lively guitars then a low riff gives way to cries of “It’s cryptoboom.” A couple of rounds of verse feed into a really cool verse of building vocals and instrumentals that drop into a big smash of guitars. It’s a super-cool track, and you can give it a listen below:
The band have a series of tracks that just ooze coolness, drawing on their key influences like Legendary Shack Shakers, The Reverend Horton Heat and Daddy Long Legs, with a particular focus on Josh Styles, apparently.
On what inspires their sound, Sam tells us: “It’s different for each of us: a good beat, a catchy harmonica line, a cool-as-you-like riff, the fun of creating music with friends. Topic-wise, life in the Big Smoke, the trials and tribulations; there are stories everywhere that can speak to people no matter where you’re from.”
There’s plenty to come from Evil Edna, with the band set to write another batch of songs with a view to get them recorded later this year. They’re also busy gigging, including playing The Finsbury, in Finsbury Park, at the end of October. More info on their gigs is here.
And, as Sam tells us: ” We’re available for weddings, funerals, bar-mitzvahs. We like you. Have a listen to us, you might like us too…”
We are loving the sound of these guys. All of their songs are packed with wild energy and you can’t help but dance along to their uniquely funky sound when you listen to them.