REVIEW: Red & The Hogweeds – Sweet Stuff by BB Skone

Red & The Hogweeds, the greatest band ever to rehearse in a toilet block on a campsite near Poppit Sands, sound like the B52s, Captain Beefheart, The Cramps, and Screaming Lord Sutch got together at a rockabilly convention for lovers of psychedelic disco and reggae.

That may be the band’s agenda of genre bending but neglects a couple of aspects of their performance, that they are also full of fun and play with a punkish energy.

The band on this recording are Red Pryse (vocals/melodica/Kaosillator/car horn), Gavin Lloyd Wilson (bass/backing vocals/theremin/kazoo), Nigel Martin (drums/backing vocals/kazoo), and Gunner Gi (guitar/backing vocals/harmonica/kazoo) though Colin Spicer is now their gigging guitarist.

The band was founded in 2012 by Red Pryse and Nigel Martin (aka Mr Hogweed), who together with Jill Milligan on bass clarinet played a handful of local gigs before disbanding.

In early 2016 Red and Nigel decided to re-form the band and asked bassist Gavin Lloyd Wilson to join. Gavin, coincidentally, had been planning to talk to Red about forming a punky garage band as an antidote to the prog-rock orientated bands in which he'd been involved.

Most of the band's songs were written by Red while busking his way around Europe armed with just a nylon-strung acoustic guitar. Now armed with an electric guitar, Red has made the move from the street to the stage as a charismatic front man.

Gavin also contributes to the songwriting. Outside of The Hogweeds he has recorded and gigged with his own psychedelically-inclined project Spurious Transients, experimental duo The Spookers, played bass with singer/songwriter Steve Kelly, and as stand-in bass for spacerockers Sendelica and their offshoot The Sendelica Drone Band. He also built the piglet-shaped guitar that Red plays.

This six track CD EP, entitled ‘Sweet Stuff’, features the self-penned songs Sonic Tonic, Back Street Kid, Grind Our Bones, A Message From Aliens, Sweet Violet and Bubble Car.

Red & The Hogweeds can be found on Facebook.

BB Skone presents his local music show every Sunday from 7pm on Pure West Radio