It’s been six years, six long years, but Farmer Phil and the gang here in the Shropshire Hills are buzzing our proverbials off to announce the long-awaited return of THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE to Farmer Phil’s Festival this August.
Yes, the bourbon-soaked gypsy blues bop n’ stroll legends will make their first appearance in Ratlinghope since their gloriously chaotic turn on our famous rotating stage back in 2017 and to say we’re excited is an understatement!
With an act honed alongside the burlesque dancers, snake-charmers and fire-eaters they call friends, The Urban Voodoo Machine have become one of the greatest live acts in the country – terrifyingly bizarre, hysterically funny; a riot for the eyes and sensation for the ears: a sing-a-long, drink-a-long, clap-a-long affair.
In 2006 they launched the Gypsy Hotel Club in the then-unfashionable part of London’s East End, Dalston, a monthly Bourbon Soaked Snake Charmin’ Rock n’ Roll Cabaret night for likeminded misfits, movers and shakers. Time Out Magazine wrote, “If you have 12 hours to live, spend it at Gypsy Hotel!”
Magazines and newspapers have lauded them for their “mariachi-influenced blues, whiskey-soaked country rags and punkabilly-style rave-ups” (The Washington Post) and noted that they’re “drawing deep from a dirty well where Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Dick Dale are enjoying a burlesque all-nighter with Ennio Morricone” (Classic Rock). They became one of the few bands that could appear on Clive Anderson’s Loose Ends on BBC Radio 4 and Britain’s biggest heavy metal festival Download in the same year and win at both.
In 2014, when Paul-Ronney named their third album ‘Love, Drink & Death!’ he had no idea what the year had in store. In October, fiddle-player Rob Skipper died of an accidental heroin overdose, aged just 28. Guitarist Nick Marsh (formerly frontman of Flesh For Lulu) fought throat cancer throughout that year. He died in June 2015, aged 53. The Voodoo Machine transformed themselves into a New Orleans-style marching band for his funeral. The Urban Voodoo Machine Marching Band also played the Classic Rock Awards that year – the only band to do so without electricity.
The band released their fifth studio album ʻ$nake Oi£ Engin€ʼ on 11 November 2022, featuring 11 original songs. This date also happened to be the 50th birthday of singer/songwriter/band leader Paul-Ronney Angel, who had this to say about the much-anticipated record: “The album was almost finished and ready for release when lockdown happened. The world came to a standstill and so did the group! We’ve spent the last year finishing it between gigs and the two singles that we released from it – ʻLiving In Fearʼ and ʻEmpty Plastic Cupʼ – have already become firm, live favorites. I really looking forward to finally unleashing this beast into the world!”