Pack of Jokers


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Whapweasel’s fourth CD Pack of Jokers is a gem. Purely and simply. The eight piece band have taken the electric ceilidh formula invented by the Albion Dance band, E2K and other 80s /90s bands and extended the boundaries even further. What we have here is a collection of tunes with a rock/ ska/ jazz base and an icing of top quality ceilidh style music spread over the top and it is delicious!  From the first track Hanging Off The Edge, where a driving guitar/bass riff is augmented by melodeon and a rich middle section of twin saxes counter-pointed by electric guitar, you know that this album has been expertly mixed and arranged. So many well played albums are spoiled by poor production. But this one has class written all through it. And that’s what lifts it above many of the rest. It’s no surprise to find that this was produced (as were the band’s 3 previous albums)
by Rick Kemp Steeleye Span’s bass player who is now their full time guitarist. Years of experience in a top line folk rock outfit have been brought to bear. Just listen to the intro of To the Trees, it’s Smoke on the Water revisited. Toots Suite is as near as traditional as this CD gets. Its first tune is rooted firmly in the Scottish tradition the second is closely related to The Blarney Pilgrim and both will I am sure soon be favourites in sessions. All tracks have clever riffs, inserts and surprise turns resulting in a record that you just can’t stop playing. Many electric ceilidh bands have taken traditional tunes and attempted to turn them into rock music. Occasionally this works but often they fall between two stools, neither one thing nor the other. In writing new tunes in a ceilidh style, the members of Whapweasel have been able to marry the best of the two styles and the result is great music, danceable and easy on the ear. Obviously many others think so as well as the band captured the prestigious Radio2 Folk award for Best Dance Band in 2005.




  1. Hanging off the edge
  2. Pack of Jokers
  3. Polka dynamo:charismatrol
  4. Pedaol
  5. Toots suite
  6. Make the sign
  7. jwj
  8. To the trees
  9. Weasels of ming
  10. Rockin’ Horse
  11. Destination Venus

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