We live in an era of lockdown crafted, post-pandemic albums. With live performance taken out of the equation, in that dark period between 2020 and late 2021, musicians had to get creative. And get creative they did. Stripped of the ability to perform with their respective bands, Baz Warne (The Stranglers), Paul Gray (The Damned), Leigh Heggarty (Ruts DC) and Marty Love (Johnny Moped) joined together digitally and formed Wingmen; a musical union that somehow manages to sound like the sum of all of those legendary bands, yet also nothing like them. Say hello to Wingmen, a band formed in extraordinary circumstances.
Due to be released January 27th via Cadiz Music, it’s important to stress that at no point during the recording of this debut Wingmen album were the musicians ever in the same room playing together. And they still haven’t. This music has formed, as so much did in those explosive first waves of punk that these musicians were born from, out of boredom. To stop from going stir crazy during lockdown. And the results were instantly rewarding.
“I called Paul and suggested to him that we should have a go at a new project after enjoying working together on The Sensible Gray Cells record and if so, did he have anyone in mind,” explains drummer Marty on how Wingmen came to be. “And we both wanted to work with Leigh, and he was interested in the idea. I asked Leigh if he knew any vocalists that may fancy it and he said Baz Warne could be worth a call, and to my surprise Baz said yes! So, then there were four. We all started sending song ideas to each other. The first was ‘Brits’ from Baz and then ‘Starting Blocks’ from Leigh. After that the songs just kept coming…”
The proof of this is clear to hear in the ten songs that complete the project. The album is chock full of dynamic songwriting and performances, over-flowing with ideas and inspiration. You can clearly hear the styles and identities of each individual performer in the music, and the influences of their individual bands, but somehow, despite having never played in the same room together, Wingmen sounds like a band.
And you can check them out for real in January 2023, when they head off on tour to promote the LP, which drops on 27th January.