Ian ‘The Pump’ Macintosh
Ian grew up in Oxford, and began life as a fine artist. He drifted into Creative Direction for live events as a means to meeting life’s growing financial demands and supporting his creative exploits. His performing career began as a support performer sharing stages with such luminaries as Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger, June Tabor and other folk acts in the early 1970’s. Cited influences are Dylan, Donovan Leitch, The Fairports, Syd Barrett, Sacred Harp Music, the Watersons, Soul Music and Terry Riley.
In the mid to late 1970’s Ian was the synthesiser player in the terminally obscure ‘CETI’ Band, and bass player in the ‘Weird Druid Cult’.
In 1996, Ian was a founder member of the Wheezers with Lol ‘The Undertaker’ Osborn and Trevor ‘Mint Sauce’ Sutton.
An artist and traditional dancer, he performs traditional material, as well as original songs on guitar and melodeon. The ever-present dress collection is an affectation from Ian’s Morris dancing days.
Geoff ‘One Shot Woody” Woodhead
Geoff was first involved in music via the vibrant folk scene around Manchester through the late 1960’s and 1970’s. For several years he played guitar and bass in The Union Folk, running folk clubs in Cheshire and supporting artists such as Archie Fisher, Christie Moore, John Kirkpatrick and The Dransfields. A move to Australia in 1986 saw Geoff begin to get involved in the local music scene.
A chance viewing of a Wheezers’ performance at the 2001 Patonga Folk Festival whetted Geoff’s appetite for the band and he became a Wheezer ‘tragic’ for several years before being asked to join the band in January 2005. Geoff plays rock-solid rhythm guitar and sings songs inspired by the mist-shrouded moors and dark satanic mills of his native North-West of England. He counts Nic Jones, Fairport Convention, Jake Thackray & The Dransfields among his influences. ‘One-Shot’ brings some typically Mancunian elegance to the band with his dress shirts, fancy waistcoats and loud ties, and when not playing sweeper for The Wheezers, Geoff enjoys family stuff, most sports and has been known to take a pint or two of strong ale at his leisure.
Nigel ‘Muddy’ Walters
Nigel ‘Muddy’ Walters has been singing and playing folk music since his schooldays in Bath in England’s ‘West Country’. There with “Lucifer’s Hat Band” he performed in local pubs and clubs whilst sampling the local ‘scrumpy’ and ‘Natch’ (Natural Dry Cider).
Emigrating to Australia in 1988 Nigel has performed with several Sydney based folk bands as well as being a solo performer. A chance to play with the Wheeze & Suck Band appeared in late 1999 when they were short a man or two for some gigs – and Nigel jumped at the chance to play the sort of driving traditional and contemporary songs and tunes of his heritage.
Nigel’s musical influences include English guitar finger style players and singers Dave Evans, Nic Jones & Martin Simpson. More recently Show of Hands with their haunting lyrics, harmonies and fine playing lead Nigel to journey to Exeter in England to buy a Cello Mandolin made by David Oddy. This instrument helps provide the driving rhythms in the Wheezers’ line up. Nigel also plays a Mandolin and Appalachian Dulcimer made by Peter Coombe of Canberra.
The calming influence in the band, Muddy is not a noted ‘Toper’.
Johnny ‘Red Tips’ Milce
Johnny Red Tips is a dyed-in-the-wool Scouser. Along with The Pump, John was a key dancer with the Sydney Morris Men. He also played a drum for the side, which set him upon the road to his current fame. He is (almost) a founding member of the band, having performed at the first paying gig at Hornsby Folk Club in 1996. JRT is the Wheezer’s resident comic, but his attempts to channel Ringo Starr by wearing the former Beatles’ jacket, bought on a trip back to Liverpool, have met with limited success and a certain degree of derision from the southerners in the band.
In his spare time JRT runs Sherborne Consulting, an I.T. Recruitment company. When not enjoying a furtive ale at his kit behind Pump and Woody, he wanders the world watching Liverpool FC and Bob Dylan at his clients’ expense. JRT presents a folk music programme on 102.5FM and is also partial to a drop or two of Pinot Gringo, a fine Mexican wine. The origin of his nickname is a story he will only too eagerly share for the price of a pint.
Coming Soon! …