Wednesday, 15 January 2014

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Friday, 4 May 2012

and the carnival moves on

Jaz Delorean atop the piano at The Elgin in Ladbroke Grove last night ( - photograph by Tommy Hare

Follow the band on Facebook: and keep in touch with the guys.

Next London show is on the 30th of May at 93 FEET EAST, Brick Lane. (Free Entry) 

With the esteemed Third Cortez and all the way from NYC, You Say USA.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Cereal Nights

So, lately I've been eating a lot of cereal.

Mainly because it's easy, and if you look hard enough, you can usually get a packet for about a quid. Tonight I'm eating Honey Waffles.
I'm pretty lazy in the kitchen. I can't cook very well because the "if at first you don't succeed" motto has never worked for me when food happens.
In fact, the only thing that I can create with regular success is bread. I'm probably more proud of that than most people would be.

I just got in from a great jazz gig which I almost missed, in Maida Vale. Nat Steele, Leon Greening, Luke Steele and Steve Brown playing bop in a venue which is slightly too trendy for the clientele that descend on a jazz gig. Maybe it was quirky once. The best quirky venues with old signs and rusty lanterns and grizzled barmen who haven't left for years eventually all get bought out and turned into gastro-pubs. Apparently that's happening with Positively 4th St too now.

I almost missed it because I'm still getting my sleep cycle back to normal after Tankus the Henge played Kingston on Thursday, then I drove us to Pembrokeshire, arrived at 6am, and went to sleep. Because we got up in the afternoon, played the gig, stayed up most of the night and then drove back to London, my body clock has gone awry. So tonight I woke up at 8pm, which is when the gig was starting, and jumped on the next train.

Still, it was a great gig and a regular Monday night gig (The Elgin, Maida Vale - 8pm).

A dude called Adam was going on to Ronnie's to play bass in a late night set there. Normally I would have gone along to that as well but I'm playing the piano tomorrow morning in Stockwell for someone's show and I haven't learnt any of the songs yet. I figured I should know the tunes if I want the guy to pay me.

I need that at the moment. I think if I hadn't found this cereal for the price it was, and gone with a more flamboyant one, I would be walking to Stockwell tomorrow.


Thursday, 22 September 2011

You dance, therefore we are!

Step right up, ladies and gents... I have to say something.

Thanks very much for coming along to our shows this year in muddy fields, sunny afternoons and torrential downpours where you maybe just stumbled on our show to get out of the rain.

We've had a quality summer, thanks to you, the audience, and the festival crews we've met for the last few months! As a thank-you, we're playing a completely free gig on the 30th of September at the Elgin, in Ladbroke Grove. Details, click here

We won't forget the chaos of playing at Glastonbury, in Shangri La in the middle of the night, and the expanded Fluffy Rock Cafe, at Croissant Neuf with limited electricity but no shortage of enthusiasm from the crowd, Jelly Festival where the entire safety barrier made of hay got destroyed and thrown into the air, Willowman which ended up in us having to travel the 250 miles home on the back of a recovery truck.
Then there's the circus show at Kingston's IYAF, and the three mental gigs at Bestival, which is probably my personal favourite.

I know that a lot of you want albums and we have had none. This is beyond our control, and will be remedied soon!
In the meantime, please don't forget that the only way to experience TANKUS THE HENGE is to come and see the show live.

Please tell your friends and enemies too; word of mouth works wonders!

Accept NO imitation, (although if there is one, I'd love to see it)
Please share us with your friends on facebook and join our mailing list (you get a free song) at the bottom of this post.

In the meantime, there's a lot of love here for you, but you still can't take us home to meet yer mum.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

RIP Christine, the original Tankus the Henge transit van.

It's with a heavy heart that we pass on the news that Christine, our original transit van for many gigs and many, many miles, has been crushed. We stopped driving her when we grew in number, and it seems she just never recovered from that.
Let's raise a glass to Christine, one of the most recognisable band vans around. We have gone into the time vaults and found some pictures of her with us, in various different adventures and paint jobs.

Monday, 5 September 2011

September shows.

follow @tankusthehenge on twitter for up to date changes.

Thursday 8th September. On the Bandstand, 7pm.
Friday 9th September. In the Polka Tent. 11pm
Sold out.

Wednesday 14th September. Jagz. (with support from Luke Roberts)
01344878100 for tickets.

Friday 16th September. The Hobgoblin. 9pm.
Tickets on door.

Friday 30th September. The Elgin. Ladbroke Grove tube. 8pm.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Cassiopeia and the Caterpillar

Once upon a time, a girl was leaving her house to visit her dear old granny. Her granny was very, very old; much older than anyone could remember, and moved about with the aid of a wooden caterpillar three times the size of her. The caterpillar was charmed and was very heavy but got Granny where she needed to go. At night, passers by could observe the silhouette of Granny moving around the house by the light of a flickering hurricane lantern (gas was all she swore by) and the sound of the caterpillar's eighteen legs on the creaking floorboards.
The sun was still in the sky when the girl, whose name was
Cassiopeia, set off to see Granny. The climate where she lived was mild and boring, and the neighbours rarely spoke to eachother, for fear of causing offence with conflicting views and the consequences thereafter. There were no barbeques, street parties or wild drunken tango nights, like in Lewisham, because no-one had any friends. Once a year they got together on the hill just outside the town to burn one of the witches that passed through. Apart from that, the witches were left alone and so was everyone else.
Cassiopeia was taking her Granny some fresh bread and olives from her garden, as she did every Wednesday. It was agreed, that since
Cassiopeia had killed Granny's cat the year before with diesel and airfix glue, she'd have to go and visit the slimy old hag every week, and endure a whole evenings reprimanding from the top of that awful wooden freak insect.
Cassiopeia rounded the curve at the end of the road leading to Granny's house, and felt the box of matches in her pocket. The curtains were open, and she could see the caterpillar skulking around the kitchen with Granny doing something over the stove. She wandered up to the door in no particular hurry and let herself in.
Granny. She said.
Hello my dear. Leered Granny. Have you bought rancid old olives again from your father's miserable vegetable patch?
Of course. Replied Cassiopeia.

Then she lit a match, put it inside the box and shoved it into the wooden caterpillars mouth which looked at her with dead unseeing eyes, and as it exploded into flames she ran out of the door, locking it from the outside.

As the thatched roof blazed, Cassiopeia sat on the hill and ate all the olives and the bread, thinking of what she was going to tell the king.

Postcards from Glastonbury Festival 2011

Photographs by Roxi Kiley

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Willowman Festival

After our 250 mile journey this morning to Northallerton for the charming Willowman festival, we pulled onto the ground in a cloud of smoke, exhaust and black coming out of the front instead of the back.

Then we played our show to a crackin' audience who danced for us in the overcast afternoon, (thanks boys and girls!) and then scrounged some free food before checking out the rest of the festival.

After the wonderful Rik deduced the problem, I called the AA and asked for a mend. When he came, he declared in his northern drawl, "ye'd be mad t' drive home in''ll be gassed like."

So, we had to make the decision whether to put our beloved van on a truck for an 8 hour trip tomorrow morning...or tonight. There's more music to play tomorrow so we HAVE to get back.
We're taking our tents down... Slightly disgruntled as neither Tim or me have slept in our new tents yet! Tim hasn't got a clue how to pack his tent up, so I think (and bear in mind it's pouring with rain) he's actually putting it in the van as it is.

Blimey. Not looking forward to this drive home.
Good job the temporary citizens of Willowman are accommodating and enthusiastic! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Beans, sweet tea and tinnitus

So we're awake at ridiculous hour (6am) which some people do every day to go down the mine. Our mission today is get to Willowman festival - about 250 miles away, before we play at 3pm...if you're going!

Louis bought a new waistcoat but he got it from Shanghai and it's stuck in customs... Bad times!

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Festivals are coming...return of the blog!

So... we're about to play some more shows in muddy fields with the weather joining in and thousands of mad party people who are all trying to forget that their gas bill is due on Monday.

I personally can't wait, I love festivals. Always have done. I love how cleanliness goes flying out of the window and the sight of one last tin of macaroni cheese can make you jump for joy.
This year we're playing Willowman, Glastonbury, Extalgic, Hop Farm, Croissant Neuf and Bestival.

At the moment I'm sitting in my kitchen musing on whether I should empty the contents of my under-the-stairs cupboard into the corridor to look for my wellies now, or after I've had some beans on toast.

Yes, with me, my normal life diet is pretty much the same as my festival diet.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

After major contributions to and playing countless shows in the UK, France and Albania and on our new album in America, and being a founder member of the band, Chris Owen has departed from Tankus the Henge. He is an amazing musician and has helped shape the band to what it is now. We have had many great, mad adventures with him and he is a true friend with an incredible family who let us write many of our songs in their barn! We all wish him the very best.

Stepping into Chris's footprints is the ex-circus guitarist Tim Fulker. After running away with a circus in India when he was eleven, he learnt the ropes and how to roller-skate and stiltwalk before moving to Wales to be a hermit. When we came a calling he renounced his hermit lifestyle to play the guitar very, very loudly. Our show at the Dublin Castle will be his first one with us. Don't miss it.

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Monday, 20 December 2010

Finally in New Orleans

It's been a while since the road blog was updated, so here is the next bit.
After the standard morning coffee for most of the band, and breakfast at a fast food joint (being vegetarian in the deep south is very difficult and I had to rely on baked potatoes and apple pie) we hit the road and approached New Orleans several hours later. Drove along a long straight causeway type elevated road with no junction for about 25 miles. Water on both sides, some ramshackle houses built under the road right on the waters edge. We changed radio stations as the one we'd had on had got consistently less appropriate for our surroundings. Songs from 'Grease' do not fit the mournful beauty of the Big Easy skyline. Muddy Waters was howling on another station, so we let him and turned it up.

As usual we had to catch up with Time, as it always seems to get a head start in any journey we make, also we hadn't the foggiest idea where the venue was. Howlin' Wolfs Den, on South Peters Street - see, I can remember it now! Directions procured from a dimly lit, friendly bar got us there and as others worried about food I set off to walk to the Mississippi. My heart raced as I climbed steps towards it anticipating my first glimpse of that famous river. After walking through a colonnade of shops and seafood stalls, there it was, and I realised it was just a river. The water wasn't even brown. However, paddle steamers still ply their trade for tourists, one in particular, the Natchez, still powered by steam rolls up and down the river with a jazz band on the deck.

Later that evening we met the band we had a gig with, The Dirty Bourbon River Show, and made our acquaintance with the gentlemen involved; Noah, Jimmy, Charlie and Bootsy. Be sure to check them out and lose your inhibitions to their grooves Cab Calloway would jive to.

Our show in Howlin' Wolf's was a lot of fun, if quiet audience-wise in our first half. By the time the DBRS had played a set and we were on again, the atmosphere was more electric and several girls had taken most of their clothes off.
A late night out followed, on Frenchman Street where we danced to a fantastic swing band in a venue called the Spotted Cat, and I met a guy called Ben who grew up in the same town as me. Strange...
Meandering our way in giant curves back to the hotel, I marvelled at the curiously European architecture. This appears to have some history, whereas Nashville, although it is fascinating and it's inhabitants are warm and welcoming, feels like it was built recently, in the grand scheme...
Back in the hotel, around 3am, we found to our delight that the outdoor, unheated pool and hot tub were unguarded so spent the early hours jumping from one extreme to the other. This was yet another moment previously described, of lying on my back in the water in a strange city stargazing.
In the morning, determined not to waste a moment I woke up and and wandered off into the backstreets and down the tramlines on the waters edge. I watched the Natchez moan at the sky in a spray of steam and magnificently roll lazily away. I took a streetcar into Main Street and encountered a parade, band, feathers and dancers winding it's way through the centre, and back with the band later on, saw the Hurricane Katrina damage with my own eyes and I realised what a brave, vibrant city this is, and how much of a crime it was by the government to show such a lack of love when it was needed the most.
I was welcomed so warmly in New Orleans - I wish we could have spent more than three days there.
Later that evening we drove to the Circle Bar for our second show, this one with the excellent Revivalists; one of the tightest, groovin', funkin' bands you'll see live.
When the city was flooded, the Circle Bar was fifteen feet underwater. It's a great venue, and it was rammed for our show.
Afterwards we carried on the revelry on the balcony of a bar somewhere else in the city, and since we were leaving in the morning for Nashville, friendships were made and parting was sweet sorrow, with promises to return next year. We got back to the hotel in the back of a friends car, a few of us. A few too many for the car. Four in the middle, some lapriding and me and a new friend in the boot, watching the lights whizz by sideways. Determined to relive the previous nights exploits in the pool, and having talked it up to our female companions, to their amusement, or bemusement, we all stripped and jumped into the hot tub. Apart from Jake, who jumped in with his clothes on. After a few minutes of raucousness the security guard came up to us, didn't say a word, and turned the bubbles off. The nerve! There we were, trying to host a party and he came and spoilt it. We all got out, feigning apologies and faux dejection, apart from Jake, who hid...under the water.
I just doubled up laughing, wondering how long he would last, hiding from a grumpy security guard at the bottom of a jacuzzi. The next hour was spent waiting for him to leave us alone, then all jumping back in again. Mike, usually attempting to keep an eye on our misdemeanours from a safe distance, was in the bar and heard a commotion between security and reception staff. I don't think he needed to ponder for more than three seconds that we may have been the cause.

We really don't act well in civilised society unless we have eaten something. Even then, we're not your picture perfect gentlemen every hour of the day. So breakfast in the morning, then the long highway back to Tennessee. We stopped for dinner at Chillis in Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis. Just thought I'd mention it as Tony the proprietor was a good guy, he looked after us, and if you're ever there, go and say hello.
That's all for now.
Jaz. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Changing of the guard

As the curtains shut on 2010, our most eventful year by far, performing in such far flung places as the USA, Albania and the Lake District, inciting revelry and riots at twelve festivals, and making a new record in Tennessee, we're saying goodbye to George Bird, who has played drums for Tankus the Henge since June 2006.
George is concentrating on other projects including the brilliant Saltwater Samurai, I urge you to check them out and download the EP from Bandcamp, even better, catch them live.
We wish him all the best in the future.

Taking over on drums is Seb "Seabass" Laverde and we're very excited to play our first shows with him in February in London. To find out more about Seb, stay tuned! Whatever you do, don't miss it.

In the few months between now and when we see you, have a great Christmas and New Year. Beg, borrow and steal the album we were selling this year as it's now unavailable - if you have it, give it out!
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Sunday, 28 November 2010

In with the new...

From tomorrow night, we're going to be launching previews of the record that we cut in Nashville, TN two months ago. We're very excited about this and can't wait for everyone to hear the full, cataclysmic spectacle next year.
However, due to the legal spiderweb that is the music industry, we have to take down the album that is on MySpace, facebook and Bandcamp.
You will no longer be able to stream it or download it from Monday 29th of November. It's on sale for the shatteringly reduced price of £5 only! Available at
- go there now before it's too late! We'd be much obliged if you told your friends on facebook and twitter and all the other 21st century methods you guys and gals communicate.

Added to that, if you own one of the CD's from a festival this year, copy it and pass it on.. there aren't any more!

Sorry the blogging seems to have gone quiet recently... we know there's more America blog to come, and also what we've been doing recently is very exciting and we'll tell you all about it at the opportune moment. But for now, it's a month to the day after Boxing Day, so start being Christmassy and download the first Tankus the Henge album before it's too late!
Talk to you all soon,
Tankus the Henge et al

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Graceland and Highway 61 (the long road south)

Eventually we found our way out of Nashville and on the road to Memphis. I think it was the 65. Americans don't appear to use sat navs yet. Maybe this is because they're further behind than the UK in technology stakes, or maybe they just know there way around better than we do. I never worked it out. In any case, our hired car (with aircon, interior mood lighting, automatic sliding doors, under floor smuggling compartments and all the country stations you can imagine as standard) did not have GPS. It had a compass. In the dashboard.

Graceland was something I could not miss, I don't usually go for the 'tourist' option but I grew up listening to Elvis and as a performing artist, he kinda wrote a lot of the guidelines. The house itself is a strange environment of Presley's tacky and usually ridiculous decor, but kept absolutely faithful. It's exactly as he left it. Definitely got a sense of the family man and held-back artist. He always yearned to perform in Europe and the fact that he never did is a huge shame. The Presley memorial/grave meditation garden is one of the strangest, enchanting places I went. You should see it if you pass by.

We hit the road for the South. New Orleans via Highway 61.

This is called the Blues Highway because it passes through Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. It's slower than the interstate but has beautiful scenery as you get into Mississippi and then Louisiana.
We drove for a few hours and with our minds made up about sleeping somewhere, (New Orleans still five hours away) we said, passing through a one horse town, that we'd stop at the next motel we found. This turned out to be over an hour away, so somewhere in-between our misinformed decision and Greenville, where we finally stopped, I had to take a leak.
As good ideas go, the next one isn't flying high. We stopped in a closed gas station, and as I got out to find a tree I realised that we were in the midst of a huge trailer park, on both sides of the road. The trees were unbearably close to these palaces on wheels, so laughing nervously to myself, I pissed on the gas station instead.

Greenville's claim to fame is that Jim Henson was born there. And Kermit. That's all I could find. Neither are there anymore. We stayed in a motel with the trucks balling by outside. The usual argument began on who was going to share rooms with who. In Nashville we had been split in half, with everyone having his own double bed, Chris in the live room, Dan and Jake in their own personal bombsite, and Mike, George and myself in the other studio with a such a selection of strange items suspended from the ceiling I felt as if we lived in a chandelier reject emporium.

So after Mike deals with the sleepy proprietor;
Mike: We'd like three rooms please.
Man: That is fine. Where are you from sir?
Mike: London.
Man: (jabbing himself in the chest and slightly raising his voice) I am INDIAN.
Mike: I know.

We moved in for the night, we appeared to have four rooms. Chris with me, to watch apocalyptic cartoons until we fell asleep or the world ended, whichever sooner, Jake and Dan the slothmen together, foolish idea if inexperienced. We have poured water over Dan's head in the past. George and Mike had double rooms to themselves. Unless they both ended up sleeping with rednecks and just didn't mention it in the morning.
When the sun rose I woke up and wrote to a few people at home before walking to 61 and gazing down it. After everyone was awake apart from The Other Room we moved the car and hid it around the back of the motel, I had a vision of Dan and Jake sloping off down the highway with their instruments. In fact, Jake appeared shockingly promptly looking suave and collected and I don't think Dan even noticed it was in a different place.
The filter coffee replaces the blood.
After the carnivores (everyone else) hit KFC for breakfast because there was nowhere else I felt thankful for being a plant-eater, and we rolled onwards towards the South.

To be continued. Please tell your friends! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop