Wino & Conny Ochs: Heavy Kingdom

Wino unplugged.

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When German singer songwriter Conny Ochs supported former St Vitus heavy guitar legend Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich on his 2010 solo acoustic tour, the two immediately hit it off and decided that they had to collaborate.

The fruits of this partnership may come as a surprise to those who have Wino neatly filed away in the section labelled ‘doom’, as the lighter acoustic sound requires no overloaded valve amps or wrecking-ball power chords.

The cover of Townes Van Zandt’s dark American anthem Highway Kind is the most obvious clue to where the album comes from: it’s the bleaker extreme of country, the stark confessional Neil Young Americana. If there’s a precedent for this album, it may be found in the murky soulful gloom of Mark Lanegan’s early solo works.

The songs are good – some like Dead Yesterday and Vultures By The Vines are pretty outstanding – though you have to wonder how many bong-hardened Spirit Caravan types are going to rush out to buy this, other than to add to complete their collections.

That said, this is hopefully the beginning of the fruits of a great partnership, not a one-off ending.

Tommy Udo

Allan McLachlan spent the late 70s studying politics at Strathclyde University and cut his teeth as a journalist in the west of Scotland on arts and culture magazines. He moved to London in the late 80s and started his life-long love affair with the metropolitan district as Music Editor on City Limits magazine. Following a brief period as News Editor on Sounds, he went freelance and then scored the high-profile gig of News Editor at NME. Quickly making his mark, he adopted the nom de plume Tommy Udo. He moved onto the NME's website, then Xfm online before his eventual longer-term tenure on Metal Hammer and associated magazines. He wrote biographies of Nine Inch Nails and Charles Manson. A devotee of Asian cinema, Tommy was an expert on 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano and co-wrote an English language biography on the Japanese actor and director. He died in 2019.