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Interview: Will Varley

Could you tell me about how you initially got involved with music and who influenced you most?
My dad used to play records in the car when we were kids and I think that’s where I first heard stuff that I loved. He used to play Dylan, The Penguin Cafe, Tracey Chapman, Billy Bragg and that kind of stuff. I think that got me hooked.

Could you tell me about how the band came to be formed?
The band is made up of friends of mine from Deal. We’ve toured together, put on events and run a record label together over the years, as well as gotten smashed up together at our local boozer on a weekly basis for the past decade or so. They’ve all played in v various outfits with each other too over the years so they all communicate musically very naturally.

Can you describe how you felt whilst after you’d released your first single?
I remember making CD copied of a single I put out independently back in 2005ish called ‘This Old Town’ I’d say that was my first single. I think I sold 17 copies. Which felt great at the time.

For those who are new to your music which three tracks would you encourage them to check out first and why?
Probably something off the latest album? Or the first album? I would have to know who it was. I think I’d recommend different songs to different people.

Over the years has your approach to performing live changed and if so how?
Not really. Sometimes you play a big show and you feel like you have to take it a bit more seriously, but that’s almost always a bad thing. I think the most important thing above all is that I enjoy myself, after 20 years I’ve learned that when I enjoy it the audience tends to enjoy it more.

How do you feel when you share your music for the first time? Do you prefer to share new music live where you can see the crowd’s reaction first hand or online perhaps?
I hate singing new songs because I can never remember the words! It’s always slightly deflating too, because you have this thing in your head that is sort of alive and as soon as you share it for the first time it sort of dies.

If I were to get hold of your iPod right now, what four artists/songs would I see on your recently played list and what is it about those artists that appeal to you?
I don’t have an iPod. I never liked listening to music that way, a million songs are too many for me. I’m still getting my head around the ten songs on Blood On The Tracks, and I’ve been listening to them on and off for twenty years… You’d probably find that record on my desk in the basement, it’d be dusty though, haven’t checked in there in a few weeks.

What can those fortunate enough to have tickets expect from your live show?
A room, usually inside, a bar, a small number of fellow human beings listening or talking and me on the stage singing songs.

What does the rest of the year have in store for you?
Well, my wife just had a baby, so I reckon that’ll keep me busy enough when I’m not on the road.


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