‘Traditional Graffiti’ is the exciting roots music band that has evolved out of
Australia’s ever-popular gang of ex-pats, ‘The Wheeze & Suck Band’.
Ian ‘The Pump’ Macintosh (Melodeon, guitar, Harp), John ‘Red Tips’ Milce
(Percussion and japes ie: he hits things hard!) & Nigel ‘Muddy’ Waters (Mandolin,
Cello Mandolin, Harp & Guitar) continue their unique readings of British-based
traditional, ceremonial and contemporary folk material, but now embrace both the
strong Australasian and North American influences that have influenced their lives
over the years.
The warmth and humour associated with the Wheezers continues; as does the
band’s determination to contribute new material and an original approach to the
Over the years, as individuals and as part of the ‘The Wheeze & Suck Band’ and more
recently as ‘Traditional Graffiti’, Pump, Mud & JRT’ have appeared at major Folk
Festivals and Folk clubs in Australasia and the UK, including as headliners.
In their incarnation as ‘Traditional Graffiti’ the boys are equally at home on the big
stage with a PA, or in acoustic mode for more intimate venues, delivering headliner
performances, workshops and themed concerts. Will work for food.
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.
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. Nigel plays a Mandolin and Appalachian Dulcimer made by Peter Coombe of Canberra, and a Cello Mandolin made by David Oddy in the UK. This latter instrument in particular helped provide the driving rhythms in the Wheezers’ line up, and now does the same for Traditional Graffiti.
A calming influence, Muddy is not a noted ‘Toper’. But he is also 50% part of the guitar duo, Cap in Hand.
Johnny Red Tips followed in fellow Scouser (Liverpudlian) Ringo Starr’s footsteps by seeking his fortune far from the shores of the River Mersey.
He backpacked to Oz along with his wife in 1972, and has lived in Sydney ever since, although he returns to Liverpool regularly to brush up on his accent. On one such visit he stumbled on Ringo’s old Beatle Jacket from the early days of Beatlemania and sometimes wears it on stage in a vain attempt to channel the previous owner’s percussive dexterity.
JRT drummed for the Wheeze & Suck Band, The Sydney Morris Men and Albion Fair Clog Morris for over 20 years. When he’s not trying to keep up with the Pump’s mercurial, and often unannounced, changes to set lists and tune structures he spends his time planning holidays and football trips to support his beloved Reds and England’s Three Lions. A confirmed Dylan ‘nut’, he is also one of the presenters of Focus on Folk on 102.5FM under his nom de radio of “Whispering Johnny Red Tips”. His vocal skills are in inverse proportion to his well renowned appetite for pedantry.