I got my first live taste of The Winachi Tribe last summer at Bearded Theory. I’ve been following them since our first interview back in 2015 and it’s about time for a catch-up with their frontman, Liam Croker. After headlining the Showcase Stage at 2018’s edition of BT, the Academy Of Music And Sound, who run the showcase, picked the band to open the main stage at this year’s festival. Liam was googling the festival last week and our review popped up. The last line of the article is “Hopefully we'll see them on one of the bigger stages next time”, and it proved to be prophetic as they’ll be playing the Pallet Stage with The Cult, Reef, and The Angelic Upstarts on Saturday May 25.
That’s a long way off right now and the Tribe’s first shows of 2019 will be in Medina, Italy. In February, they’ll play two exclusive headline shows for one of Italy's most iconic fashion brands, Pantofola d'Oro. It’s the type of collaboration that most bands would kill for; flying off to exotic locations and getting the corporate treatment. “You can never plan too far ahead. You don’t know what’s around the corner. This has practically fallen in our laps.”
“It all came about when they got us to play an outdoor show on Carnaby Street in London. Duff McKagan from Guns 'N' Roses, Mark Collins from The Charlatans and Paulo Di Canio were all in the audience watching us.” says Liam, “Last year started with gigs in Hollywood, this year it will be Italy. It makes us feel it’s working and we’re a global band. We’re not just a Manchester band, or a band from the Northwest. It’s a big round planet and we want to appeal to the world.”
Meeting Duff was a big deal for a guy who was raised on G'N'R’s masterpiece, Appetite For Destruction. “I was having a pint with Mark Collins and Sam came in saying he’s just seen Duff McKagan outside. So I finished my pint and strolled out and saw him. I gave him a massive hug. Funnily enough, he’s from Seattle near a place called Wenatchee. It’s spelled differently but it’s still Winachi. He came down to watch us and was cheering ‘Winachi, Winachi!’”
Now they’ve the chance to work with the Italian fashion giants again and, for Liam and the band, it’s an alternative medium for getting the music out there. Their last release was the Grammy-nominated ‘Transition’ last summer and we’ve been anticipating a follow-up since then. “We’ve new songs recorded already with John X co-producing. He’s a great friend of the band. He’s worked with The Rolling Stones, Bowie, Madonna... Now we’re searching for the right moment, and right medium, to release the new songs. There’ll definitely be a new song out before the summer touring starts. We don’t want to spunk away these great tunes. You have to be patient. You gotta be resilient. We’ve got so many songs ready to go, it’d put Prince to shame, but we don’t want to waste them after working so hard on them.”