Wizard Ho Ho
Wizard Ho Ho
The two most refreshing aspects of working in the revolving Wizard Ho Ho line-up are perhaps due to Andrew's lack of musical knowledge. Firstly, the freedom - Andrew lets the band do pretty much whatever it wants. Sometimes he may suggest a change, a tempo, or even hum a chorus, but otherwise it's artistic expression all the way. The second aspect is his total inability to believe that anything is impossible. We have tried and failed more times than I can remember - but its always been rewarding and fun.
The music varies - depending on who is playing for starters. Early compilation tracks were sparse, bass driven and short. Later as John Vincent (of Brown Tower) and the legendary Duncan Foley (organist) came into the picture, the sound filled out. Around 1993 (when the wonderful "Wizard Ho Ho - Lovelocked" and "Wizard Ho Ho - Snap Tabernacle & Pop" were recorded) the Wizard was at his most pop. These songs had verses, choruses, and even guitar solos in some cases!
The Wizard played live in 1995 for his first and to date only time. He opened at Traumafeast 95', at the Junction Tavern, Archway, London. The band was well practiced (at the infamous Sunken House), and he even played two unreleased numbers - "Stones" from the Split 7" on Theme Park/Traumatone, and the never recorded "Public Relations Exercise No.1".
Following the 1995 show, the NOLUM CISTERN (the band formed purely to play London) was pared down to just Mike Newman and Andi Roberts. In four sessions, the band recorded over 90 minutes of new material, released as "Absence of Light" - a double length tape. This was the least commercially successful Wizard tape since "Confusion and Conceit" in 1992. The sound ranged from the haunting to the heavy, and was as unsettling as it was relentless.
In recent times the name Wizard Ho Ho has come to mean the band rather than the man. The later line-ups including Karl Vickers and Brontiac (keyboard player for both Spacehopper and the Wizard at the Archway show). This less experienced band produced some of the most simple and effective music yet - especially on the short but engaging "The Whet Album" released by Will Simmons' BEES MAKE HONEY label in the USA.