Welcome to Wonderland

by Swill & The Swaggerband

The Drinkers 02:59
Missing 02:38
Lusty Glaze 02:02
The Story 03:01
Johanne Gibbons on Backing Vocals
Sam Hall 02:33


The Men They Couldn't Hang front man Phil Odgers (aka Swill) is well known for his passionate, melodic voice and heartfelt songs and has been a key part of that band since forming 30 years ago. However, in-between a wealth of Men albums and tours he's also nurtured several offshoot projects all very much still part of TMTCH's extended family.

First there was Liberty Cage (with Paul Simmonds) and the release of the album Sleep Of The Just in 1994 and I'll Keep It With Mine EP in 1995 plus a string of bootlegs and live tapes.

Next up, the duo, Odgers & Simmonds produced the classic Baby Fishlips in 1999 as well as Live In Offenburg (2001) and Folk At The Fortress (2002).

Then, in 2004, he roped in some other TMTCH cohorts and Swill & The Swaggerband burst forth with the Hanwell Shuffle EP and the album The Day After, followed, in 2006, by the Doh, Ray, Me-Me-Me- Me-Me-Me EP and Elvis Lives Here album.

TMTCH recorded Devil On The Wind (2009) before two significant Phil Odgers solo releases; the highly regarded Sunday Morning Coming Down EP (2011) and critically acclaimed The Godforsaken Voyage album (2013) both produced by Mick Glossop with guest appearances from such folk luminaries as Eliza Carthy and John Jones and a cast of musicians well known throughout the roots world.

All through this time The Men They Couldn't Hang had also been composing, gigging, recording and kicking back against the system. At time of writing, their most recent release, The Defiant (2014), is being hailed as TMTCH at their very best and an album of the year.

Welcome to Wonderland: The Best of Swill & The Swaggerband This collection presents a selection of 14 tracks taken from the Swill & The Swaggerband EP's and albums recorded between 2004 and 2006. The recording style is no frills and energetic and is made up of live performances in the recording studio. Only acoustic instruments are used - producing a distinctive hybrid of Americana, UK folk and Celtic rhythm. There are flashes of US country, punk energy and Eddie Cochran on this album, all blending in nicely to create Phil Odgers' singularly unique sound and resonant vocal style.

The result is a relaxed yet tight album where the musicians enjoyment is both obvious and infectious. The Swaggerband consists of some past and present members of TMTCH along with a couple of ring-ins. Bassist Ricky McGuire is there on several songs, his thumping acoustic bass adding much to the overall sound. Tom Spencer adds his trademark Rockabilly/Folk/Punk guitar and banjo A few tracks receive a further kick in the pants from former TMTCH drummer Jon Odgers (Swill's brother), adding snare, bongos and shaker. Bobby Valentino is here on fiddle and mandolin. A few extra guests add flourishes of ukulele, harmonica and there's even some yodelling! TMTCH's Paul Simmonds doesn't play on the album, but he wrote lyrics for six of the fourteen tracks.

All in all an inspirational CD, wonderful compositions with a no-nonsense delivery. Odgers' voice is flexible, genuine and gripping. Add to that an often arresting, always solid acoustic guitar and you're in for a treat.


released May 4, 2015


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Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers London, UK

Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers is singer and a songwriter with legendary UK folk rebel rockers The Men They Couldn’t Hang. He is also a solo artist in his own right.

Audiences around the world from Cairo to Reykjavik, Brisbane to Vancouver and Berlin to London have submitted to his effervescent and heartfelt vocal style in stadium, theatre, hall and after hours lock in.
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