PAPA SHANGO - Christmas In Norwich
... are unlike any band you have witnessed before; they perform brilliant live rock music whilst combining circus entertainment to create a completely unique experience.
The band were formed by Papa Steve, Papa Ryan and Papa Rob (no other people were involved) in a tiny impoverished rural village in the United Kingdom called Harlow, at the start of the 21st Century.
The only thing to do back then in the Village was steal apples, play music or wrestle professionally at the local village hall. The three met accidentally in 2004 when a circus came to the Village green and they realised that they all loved the same things; big tops and loud guitars. They adopted the name of their favourite Wrestler ‘Macho Man Randy Savage’ in tribute and then never looked back.
PAPA SHANGO - Check Your Phone
Papa Rob does actually have a circus background. He was an orphan raised by his foster mother who was a performer for a travelling Circus. He was mocked by the other performers for his big ears. However, encouraged by a group of crows who each displayed outdated attitudes and mannerisms that could cause offence to some readers, he then used these ears to fly around the Big Top during one performance and became a short lived novelty media sensation. A Christmas single soon followed - the rural-centric Xmas Hit ‘Christmas In Norwich’. This particular song, with it’s intro serving as a reminder of good personal hygiene, was actually WAY ahead of it’s time.
A lot of people used to approach them at the end of gigs and would say “You should play at Glastonbury”. Although at this time they had never actually thought of that before and had only ever heard rumours of this much-fabled festival, which sounded like it belonged in the realms of folklore. But one evening they phoned Glastonbury personally and a lovely lady named Emily answered the phone - they asked her if Glastonbury was at home & she called up the stairs but he was having a bath at the time. She took the Papa’s number and told them he would call back after dinner. They really couldn’t believe how simple the whole process was - no swords in stones, no epic quests. They did a short sharp set full of alliteration that encompassed their best songs and top Circus tricks. Onlookers claimed that it was so fast paced if you blinked you might have missed it.
Papa Dale will usually write ideas on his top bunk after Saturday morning lessons, under the sheets, hiding from those two bullies from Wren House (he is still at Boarding School). Papa Ryan will write bass lines at the end of his Garden, Papa Steve writes guitar parts in his collection of various film costumes depending on the feel of the song. Once the songs are formed they ship the manuscripts via train to the North of England where Nikki The Flautist will sit for hours in her local tearoom composing parts to add to the songs.
They will usually spend time working on a song during the rehearsal process before trying it out as a showcase at a smaller venue. The audience are always the greatest barometer and their feedback will generally steer PAPA SHANGO towards which trick they are then going to use at a bigger venue or festival. They always come from the direction where the song needs to inform the trick not the other way round to avoid any accusation of gimmickry, and their live performances demonstrate their individual skills wildly.
There was even an occasion during a gig in Norwich where the band surprised Papa Ryan with a birthday cake during the set. Papa Rob brought it on stage and the crowd sang happy birthday. Papa Rob then threw the cake down and demanded the crowd “eat it off the floor like dogs”……… What he wasn’t counting on was that they actually would...
Look out for PAPA SHANGO on all the socials and make sure you check out their music via the usual reputable (& disreputable) sites ! They have all been working hard on their Circus skills during Lockdown and have some lovely cake that they’d like to share with new audiences as soon as possible - make sure you catch them headlining the Saturday stage of The Norwich A.I.R Fest ‘22 on June 4th.