WitchDoktors: Before The War released!

The WitchDoktors: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The WitchDoktors: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

WitchDoktors: On Location!, Location!!, Location!!!

The WitchDoktors are your number one source of supercharged hypnosonic rock’n’roll. A new single and video “Before The War”. We go behind the scenes with words and video and thoughts on this new release.

A warm sunny afternoon saw us jump in the car, yep another day of no trains, and we head to Brighton. We were told to assemble with the mighty WitchDoktors at a secret undisclosed location. So after a pleasant drive powering past those Sunday afternoon drivers, we arrived at The Prince Albert, Trafalgar Street in Brighton, just down the road a bit from the train station. We arrived at the specified time ready for some action, said “hello” to everyone, and then it was time for lunch! Perfect timing for everyone, sadly we missed the orders being taken. The Albert went very quiet as the band, crew and guests tucked in. We went away for a pint to escape the delicious smells of hot dogs, burger and chips and Andy’s aftershave. I have to point out that the guys and crew had already been shooting the outside scenes before we arrived so that was the reason explaining why everyone was tucking in to a well earned lunch. I did hear, along the grapevine, that the ‘vegan’ fair didn’t land so well with some of the entourage -LOL!


Food was tidied away. The lighting was rather special. We had three shades of red lighting:  light red, medium red and dark red. The kit was bedecked with a large “W” on the kicker, it looked great. The stage was also given a make over, I looked a little like a local hedge had been attacked by a strimmer, other hedge cutting tools are available, and the harvested freshly cut output was draped over the stage and monitors. It all looked very authentic, and the camouflage effect fitted perfectly with the song title.

Each member of the band had themselves filmed for the video cameo shots. The fella with the camera, just back from climbing Everest I assume, was putting those acquired skills to good use by climbing up the walls, speakers and the drum kit to “get the shot”. Now, there was a man going above and beyond!

The wonderful bar room scene, it features an old school mate of the band known as ‘Mad’ who played the role of the PTSD soldier for the day. Hollywood beckons…..Billy and Christina took on many roles and involved in getting stuff sorted…

Several takes of the glass being smashed as seen in the video, it was a difficult beast of a glass, clearly not wanting to end its days prematurely on the floor.  The damn thing just would not break! I noted that the glass was in the video longer than me, but we both got smashed! Once broken Andy appeared, as if by magic, with broom in hand to clear up the remains of the star struck chalice!  He saw me take a photo, “you bu**er” he growled whilst smiling from ear to ear. I promised not to release that photo upon receipt of a small financial sum. Some may even use the term “bribe”… and they would be correct. Still waiting Andy!

We then had some crowd shots. “You are gonna be in it” said Tony. I was directed to speak to Tony, and so I rattled on about how I met and road crewed for the Ramones. I put on my best theatrical speaking voice, raised a jaunty eyebrow, in a The Rock/Dwayne Johnson style as it seemed to work for him. I looked at the video afterwards when it was released and I have to congratulate the magnificent filming of my right shoulder and panoramic shot of the back of my head only. Gutted to say the least! I thought a role in Casualty or even a spot in the next Avengers movie would now fall into my lap. Sadly my filmed magnificent performance ended up on the cutting room floor, or in an Apple Mac  wastepaper basket. I had even washed my hair and brushed my teeth! The smell of fame, so close and yet so far!

The WitchDoktors: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The WitchDoktors: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Some three full run throughs ensued. Bloody magnificent. Each performance was spot on, it sounded the same very time! Not a note wrong or out of place, and the vocals etc sounded exactly the same every time. Additional guitars on display in the final video edit was from Tony Ware. Superb! Now there is a band who know how to do it 😉! The WitchDoktors after take 3 of performances looked relaxed, seemingly invigorated by a sense of hitting their stride perfectly following the previous takes. Let me tell you, this spanking new tune takes no time to worm into your brain.

Some after performance shots and clips were filmed. It was time to involve the toy soldiers on the drum. “Hit it” shouted the director so Joe did! He truly smacked that floor tom with the soldiers freshly arranged and lined up. Each perfectly placed figure shot off on their individual trajectories all over the place. “No No No” came the cry from the director/camerman Matt Green. “You hit it too hard! We are gonna have to re shoot”.

Much much later…

After some 4 hours of scrabbling around involving everyone, some recruited from the bar downstairs, all looking for the recently catapulted figures hurled into space, and then lining them up again. “Turn this one that way, and turn that one this way”. There were a fair few number of ‘takes’ here, later explained away by Andy “due to Andy and Matt’s OCD detailed requirements”.  It was all very strategic and the precision was magnificent to behold. Andy held the mini-lighting rig which no doubt was getting quite hot by now, and Lee went over to help but doubled up laughing as he watched the soldiers repositioned.  We went for what turned out to be the final take. Joe said he didn’t hit it as hard, looked the same to me, however Matt, the director confirmed “perfect and its a wrap!”

The WitchDoktors: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The WitchDoktors: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

A Video – exclusive behind the scenes, not shot by the professional!
Sounds used with permission.

The WitchDoktors will see you now! and yes, that’s right, it’s with a K!

Before The War and Spanner In The Works

The WitchDoktors are:
Andy Last – Lead Vox and Guitar
Tony Major: Guitars and Backing Vox
Lee Page: Bass and Backing Vox
Joe Colfar: Drums and Backing Vox

Few things excite me these days more than Christmas and birthdays, apart from a new release from the audacious and flamboyant WitchDoktors. The WitchDoktors have brewed up a special potion for this one! A double A side with “Before The War” and “Spanner In The Works“. It has been released on red and blue vinyl to match the splendid artwork and a free sticker inside. Part of the proceeds will be going to a PTSD charity, details and official video at the bottom of the page. Nice one fellas, this is a special one.

The WitchDoktors are fully capable of knocking out true punk/rock n roll classics. Before the war is definitely up there.The guitars, bass and drums sound are all there and added layer of keys and brass just add warmth to the wistful tones and vocals on side two. The big song, Before The War, is one long, delightful gorgeous pop rocking hook with an ear worm of a chorus. Both songs imbued with at times a touching melancholy and meaningful lyrics make this a double A side not to be missed. This release is a crucial nugget of WitchDoktors goodness displaying their song writing prowess and style at its best. This superb double A side is as intricate as it gets, it’s not too big for its boots and never loses heart. This release is as heartfelt, agitated, anxious, intelligent, and exciting as it gets. You can of course use some of the other adjectives that are available.

The WitchDoktors: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The WitchDoktors: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Before The War is a pure unabashed pop hypersonic punk tune. It is magnificent. We are given, a throaty throbbing bass line, two wonderful crunchy guitars, muscular vocals from the entire band, and a cheek tightening drumming display. Put it all together and they wrestle this wonderfully polished double A side production to the ground, it emerges a full-throttle ride from the darkest vaults of South London. The whole Before The War feels meaty, achieving something the genre rarely manages these days, this song leaves you wanting more. So I suggest, grab a copy and play it a good view times and then flip it over to the B side and repeat. Spanner In The Works with its at times more delicate guitar lines and more measured Andy vocals is a class release.

The WitchDoktors: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The WitchDoktors: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

This wonderful Sunday afternoon reveals a fascinating insight into the making of a video for The WitchDoktors. The old and new sounds heard clearly show the ongoing evolution of the differing styles, charting the beginnings of punk to the signature pub rock, power-pop, ska and rock ‘n roll as only The WitchDoktors can do. These guys so deserve to be signed to one of the major labels.

Steven Spielberg Quentin Tarantino Matt Green did a magnificent job in doing the Director things that directors do, and let us not forget that some of the proceeds will go to charity PTSDUK. The single release of Before The War and Spanner in The Works is in collaboration with the fabulous team at Bomber Music.

Now The REAL video:

Turn it up, and then go buy it!

Grab a limited edition 7 inch vinyl release on red or blue vinyl from here!

VIVE LE ROCK: “‘Before The War’ focuses on the profound impact of PTSD on society,” says singer Andy, “so it’s appropriate that a percentage of the profit from this release will be donated to the charity PTSDUK.”

UBER ROCK: latest pick of the pops comes from back alley dirt ‘n’ rollers Witchdoktors, who are taking us back to a time ‘Before The War’ as they focus on the impact of PTSD both around us and amongst us on this, part of a double A-side release ahead of that of their sixth album.

The band hit the road for shows, kicking off at the KK club in Corby on 6 April and finishing in Brighton on 12 May, where the video was filmed. The dates we have so far are:

6 April – KK Club, Corby,
14 April – Half Moon, Putney
19 April – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth,
4 May – North Walsham Sadfest,
12 May – Prince Albert, Brighton

Words, Videos and Photos for Scene Sussex by Ian Bourn. Sounds via The WitchDoktors.

Thanks to:WitchDoktors!


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