If you’ve ever come across TANKUS THE HENGE there’s a fair chance it’s at one of the many gigs they play each year. They describe themselves as a ‘touring band that makes records’ and if you see them on stage you’ll know that’s where they clearly feel most at home. Which means 2020 has been a particularly tough year for Tankus.
But with a new single, album, and plans to tour in 2021, the band are energised for greater things to come.
On the road most of the time, Tankus the Henge have been making and breaking their own rules for a while now. Originally based around the songwriting of singer/pianist Jaz Delorean and inspired by the hard graft ethics of an early 20th Century travelling show, Tankus the Henge often play upwards of one hundred gigs a year in Europe. They have performed on stages across the world, from New Orleans to Albania and most places in between. They are always favourites at Glastonbury Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, WOMAD, and countless others.
It’s easy to see where the inspiration comes from as Jaz spent years working in the funfair and circus world, so the idea of running an rock ’n’ roll band in a similar way made sense – relentless touring, a bus full of vagabond musicians, and everything original, live and grassroots. Tankus the Henge have a sound and feel all of their own.
As well as Jaz, there Tim Fulker (guitar) who joined just before the self titled debut was released and hurls his unique concoction of huge riffs and fingerstyle playing into the pot. With Jaz and Tim stomping around at the front, the Tankus horns, George Simmonds (trombone)and João Mello (sax, keys, guitar) add wooze and spectacular fireworks on top of the rhythm section powered by Franco Pellicani (drums) and Dan Hipkin (bass). Dan has taken over live bass duties from Tom Sinnett who has stepped back to concentrate on studio work and string arranging.
So what have Tankus been up to during lockdown?
If you pardon the circus puns they’ve been juggling the final stages of their new album LUNA PARK, which is out on 4th December. Walking the tightrope of organising, cancelling and then rescheduling tour dates. In between all that there’s been a fair bit of clowning around as the guys try to write new material during a very uninspiring pandemic.
SOUTH WALES LIFE put a Zoom call in to Jaz to check on progress. We talked touring (or maybe the lack of it), about Tim, the guitarist from Pembrokeshire, and in fact the links they seem to have grown with Wales over the year. The new album was actually recorded here over a 4 week period, prior to the pandemic hitting.
They also have a new single, ‘God, Oil, Money’ out at the end of the month. It’s on a strictly limited edition 7″ coloured vinyl, in fact Only 250 will be printed. 50% of profits go directly to Flying Seagull Project, an amazing team of clowns, entertainers and musicians who work in the UK and abroad to make sure that children affected by conflict, poverty and discrimination know that their happiness matters. To find out more, go here FLYING
Jaz also talks about the lockdown experience for this ‘band of brothers’ and the challenges they faced working up to the release of the new album.
Jaz talked about LUNA PARK, the new album, which is out on the 4th December. You can pre-order it now from their website, and from what we’ve heard so far, it’s their best to date – it was recorded here in Wales at Studiowz so it must be. Only saying guys……
As for the single, again you can pre-order that and help to raise money for the Flying Seagulls Project. Take a listen to God, Oil, Money below…..
We can’t wait to see the guys back out on the road and play songs from the new album, and of course the fan favourites. Jaz promised a date in Pembrokeshire on the next tour, as soon as we find out when and where we’ll let you know.
TANKUS THE HENGE ARE:
- Jaz Delorean (River Thames) – vocals, piano, trombone
- Tim Fulker (Pembrokeshire) – guitars, bvs
- George Simmonds (East London) – trombone, bvs
- João Mello (Curitiba Brazil) – tenor sax, keys, guitar, vocals on Pilgrim
- Franco Pellicani (Perugia Italy) – drums
- Tom Sinnett (Pembrokeshire) – bass, guitar, moog, string arrangement
- Seb Skelly (North London) – trumpet
- Jodie Marie (backing vocals)