Merry Hell is an English 8-piece folk-rock band from Wigan, England, formed in 2011 that combines male and female vocals with mandolin, electric guitars, bass, drums and keyboards. The band consists of the three Kettle brothers, John Kettle (guitar), Bob Kettle (mandolin, harmonica), and Andrew Kettle (vocals), joined by John’s wife, Virginia Kettle, who brings both acoustic guitar and the perfect vocal foil to Andrew’s gravelly delivery to complete the Kettle quaternary. Former Tansads members, Lee Goulding on keyboards, drummer Phill Knight, and guitarist, Tim Howard, consolidate the line-up, which is completed by new boy Andrew Dawson on bass.
The roots of Merry Hell are in the Tansads, a 9-piece quasi folk-punk-rock orchestra who enjoyed a career that spanned 5 albums and countless tours. Though they went their separate ways for some 10 years they were again brought together, in 2010, for three triumphant reunion gigs at their spiritual home of The Citadel, St Helens. At that point the decision was made that a revitalized band should take the spirit of the Tansads forward into a new era an so Merry Hell was born.