Any band that looks like some Frankenstein fusion of Alice Cooper / Muse / Rocky Horror show gets my attention. It was with some enthusiasm then, that I checked into the craziness that is Papa Shango and their new album, Risk Assessment.
Risk Assessment is 14 tracks of rock / pop rhythmic goodness full of cool guitar riffs, great vocals and fresh sounding production. Even the song names are cool, so I’m sharing a few of my faves… The opening track, Flight Check, features some awesome rock guitar riffs that immediately grab your attention and would stand up against some of the best; the vocal has that B52’s vibe and then drives into a cool melodic chorus, Flight Check is such a great opener.
Monsters of Rock - more killer guitar, a proper headbanger, a real punchy track with more great vocals, with a couple of surprises in the middle, again production sound is top notch.
Nine Dart Finish - well… There aren’t that many songs about the noble sport of darts are there? And fewer still that sound like Led Zeppelin when it kicks in… Singing about …yes….a nine dart finish, may not be Dylan, but you need to hear this!
Papa Shango are extraordinary in so many ways, not least of all, they are a twelve-piece rock band, resplendent with backing singers and dancers, filling the stage with a vivid and entertaining rock show.
Hailing from various towns in Hertfordshire and Essex, UK. Papa Shango formed many years ago, getting started at the famous local venue, “The Square” in Harlow in Essex. The Square, like so many cutting edge clubs, has long since been a car park! Out of the ashes (and bricks and plasterboard and sticky floor) they met, and blossomed into the live beast now unleashed.
Twelve makes for a big troupe to feed and Papa Shango are certainly road warriors which might be the only way to do it. They frequently tour the UK and are favourites on the festival circuit, they’ve played Boomtown, Bearded Theory, Glastonbury, Standon Calling and many more. They’ve shared the bill with Republica, Alex Bay, Skunk Anansie, Toploader, Black Grape and many more.
Risk Assessment is out now and is exactly what you'd expect from the band.
The ingredients - Rob Scatchard (Papa Shango - Lead Vocal), Karen Warncken (Mama Shango - Lead Vocal), Dale Guyton (Guitar), Steve Harcourt (Guitar), Ryan Cowell (Bass), Barry Kelsey (Drums), Sam Johnson (Pappette - Backing Vocals), Laura Watts (Pappette - Backing Vocals), Claire Manger (Pappette - Backing Vocals), Morwenna Ellis (Pappette - Backinng Vocals), Nikki Elmer - (Flute).