It feels like the end of an era as, after eleven years, the acclaimed Bedford-based Americana band have decided to call it a day. The decision has been based on life commitments, which have led the the band to decide to go on an indefinite hiatus. Which doesn’t rule out a triumphal return somewhere down the line. Whilst all things must pass, the Whybirds are going out with a bang with a set of final dates starting at the end of June.
The Whybirds formed in 2006, composed of Dave Banks (guitar), Ben Haswell (guitar), Taff Thatcher (bass guitar) and Luke Tuchscherer (drums). All four members of the band are singer/songwriters, and shared lead vocal duties. They released two studio albums as a four-piece – The Whybirds (2008) and Cold Blue Sky (2010) – with the second attracting universal acclaim. After a tour of Spain with Drive By Truckers, numerous festival appearances in the UK and beyond, bassist Taff Thatcher left the group in 2012. Ben Haswell moved on to bass, and the band released A Little Blood as a three-piece in 2013, again to many strong reviews.
There’s going to be a short tour of what are bound to be up to their normal level of superb live performance (check out their Live album for proof). Billed as The Final Shows (For Now) – Nick Mailing, who produced the first and third albums, will be filling in on bass, meaning the band will be back as a four-piece once again. The band have said: “It’s been an amazing 11 years and has been a hell of a ride. We want to play these final gigs not only for ourselves, but for the people who have supported us for all this time. We won’t say that we’ll never play again, we love each other and this music too much, but there are no plans for the foreseeable future.”
In any case there’s plenty more music to come – Luke Tuchscherer released his first solo album – You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense – in 2014 and is releasing the follow up, Always Be True, on Clubhouse Records on 2 June. Taff Thatcher releases music as The Quaint & The Curious. Dave Banks is about to roll tape on his first solo album this summer.
Whybirds 2017 Tour Dates
30 June – Esquires, Bedford
7 July – Portland Arms, Cambridge
11 August – Radicals and Victuallers, London