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Wax-Tree-Cast: From Lockdown Project to Opening for Legends

In the heart of West Yorkshire, a musical duo named Wax-Tree-Cast emerged during the depths of the 2020 lockdown. Comprised of vocalist and bassist Oolagh Hodgson and songwriter Blair Murray, this Halifax pair didn't just make music; they ignited a local frenzy. Fast forward to today, and they're set to open for The Charlatans and Johnny Marr at The Piece Hall, their hometown's majestic venue.

But let's rewind a bit. Formed in the summer of 2020, Wax-Tree-Cast started as a lockdown recording project. Oolagh's compelling vocals and Blair's songwriting prowess quickly caught the attention of their West Yorkshire community. Now, under the guidance of Blue Raincoat Music / Chrysalis Records, they've unveiled their latest single, 'Oliver Reed.'

This track is not just another song; it's a narrative. Named after the infamous actor, 'Oliver Reed' tells the tragic tale of a gifted musician who lost his way amidst the throes of alcohol abuse and squandered talent. Surprisingly, this heavy narrative is carried by bright guitars and classic melodies, showcasing Wax-Tree-Cast's exceptional talent for crafting irresistibly catchy, timeless pop tunes.

And the climax of their journey (so far) lands this weekend. At Halifax's Piece Hall venue, Wax-Tree-Cast will open for none other than British indie legends The Charlatans and Johnny Marr. What makes this even more special is that it's a personal invitation from Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, who was moved by the duo's early music. From a lockdown project to sharing the stage with icons, Wax-Tree-Cast's story is one you won't want to miss. We spoke to them about the journey so far.

How did the band begin?

Me and Oolagh met in Hebden Bridge's Trades Club when her old band was supporting my old band! I loved her vibe and vocals and knew that we would have to work together in the future - and then we did!

Having started during lockdown, how was it to finally play those songs created in lockdown live?

It was good to get them out there and see the audience's response! We are known for taking things a step further live so it was great to have fun with these songs! You just played at Piece Hall supporting the Charlatans and Johnny Marr, it must have been amazing! Tell us how you found out it was happening and how the day went.

We have had a lot of support from Tim Burgess from the beginning, he's a top guy and a fan of the band and had previously invited us to play his stage at Kendal Calling (Tim Peaks) and Sound City (Liverpool). We are just grateful that he thought we would fit the bill in our hometown and put in a good word for us! Seeing our name up there with the greats was mega!!

The day was a whirlwind from start to finish. Amazing team at the Piece Hall ensured it all ran smoothly and everything went to plan. Gig was great and we had a big crowd that came down early too - even lots of them wearing pink!! And of course - always a pleasure to watch the Charlatans and Johnny Marr on stage, nothing compares!! You've had major support on the radio from the likes of Huw Stephens and John Kennedy. How much has being featured on these platforms helped you as artists?

John Kennedy has been an absolute legend and we never take any radio support for granted. All we want is to get our music out there and create a buzz! Everyone on Radio 6 music has been a great support, we caught up with Chris Hawkins at the Piece Hall and he has been playing our music a lot too - we just keep saying thanks to everyone and we mean it! You've navigated being a new band incredibly well, what advice would you give to aspiring artists/bands?

I would definitely say that it's not just about making the best music you can but it's also about having a great presence on social media as you never know who's watching!

We absolutely love the track 'Oliver Reed', what prompted your interest in him and to reference him in the track?

Basically he is a good actor isn't he? He's in some great films and to be honest, the song isn't really about him, just his name jumps out mid verse and it stuck! It's about a musician who dies in the same bar as Oliver Reed after never finding success.

Favourite bands at the moment?

We are big fans of Toria Wooff, Elanor Moss and Deja Vega at the moment - so check them out if you haven't already! What are your plans for the remainder of the year?

Planning to release another single soon and a few surprise gigs before the year is out! I can tell you we are playing

8th Sep / Confessional Festival, Blackburn

29th Sep / Vortex, Wakefield

20th Oct / Bootleg Social, Blackpool

21st Oct / Arden Rd Social, Halifax

5th Nov / Bask, Stockport

22nd / The New Adelpho Club, Hull

24th / The Grayston Unity, Halifax



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