Virginia Kettle is at the heart of the creative force within Merry Hell and the energies that have driven the band ever upwards, whether this be as a songwriter, or performing as female lead singer. No Place Like Tomorrow is her first solo album since joining the band.
Born in Manchester, raised in Chester and shaped by a lifetime of music and adventure, Virginia had long been a solo-singer songwriter under her maiden name of Virginia Barrett, releasing two albums, The Quiet Bridge and Sense Of Human, before joining husband John and his two brothers as they formed the folk-rock monster that Merry Hell has become.
The formation of the band gave a further outlet to her creativity and many of her songs have become anthems for fans of the band, with ‘Bury Me Naked’ producing mass swaying amongst crowds wherever they play, with others, such as ‘The Baker’s Daughter’ being so infectious that audiences can’t help but dance in whatever way they see fit.
However, Virginia is not only prolific as a writer but she is also varied. Whilst her songs may form the core of the set for an 8-piece band, there is a range to her writing that this solo album allows her to express more fully.
Her astute observations of human behaviour, descriptive powers, inventive qualities and willingness to see the humour in a range of situations are all expressed in her songs. Whilst only ever being herself, there are echoes of others, ranging from Joni Mitchell to Victoria Wood.
No Place Like Tomorrow is an album full of love in its many forms, love growing, love found, love lost unrequited love, the love of parents for their children and love and hope for all of us as humans.
However, the album looks at the world beyond a single, if multi-faceted, emotion. As can be seen from her work with the band, Virginia also has a world view, with her songs ranging from the intimate to the all-embracing. Beyond the fragile politics of relationships there are also non-partisan observations on the state of the world – assuming that wishing for fairness, togetherness and equality remains an uncontentious outlook in our troubled and divided times.
No Place Like Tomorrow draws together a varied set of songs, held together by what is uniquely Virginia. We hope that you enjoy it.
All the songs on the album are written and performed by Virginia. She does have occasional accompaniment from:
Neil McCartney: Fiddle
Nick Davies: Bass
John Kettle: Guitar
All are her bandmates from Merry Hell but also occasionally appear as part of her side project, Virginia Kettle and the Dreamkeepers.
‘The Butter Song’ – live: