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For TGTF team coverage of the Great Escape 2013, go here.
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We’ve been following Will and the People for a few months here on TGTF, and are huge fans of their unique brand of pop.
Recently, we were fortunate enough to sit down with Will (of, errr, Will & The People), to chat things over and find out what he’s been up to recently.
Hello Will and the People. Who are you and what are you up to at the moment?
We are a groovy bunch of mofos on our way to Liverpool to play some songs with Paolo Nutini and Girls Aloud. Saying that would never bore me!
What do you reckon you sound like?
Sometimes massively colourful, other times black and white. We sound English, but not too English, and there are tropical tastes all over the place. A mixture of Bob Marley, The Specials and Lady Gaga.
On songwriting – how does it start for you? Lyrical concept? A riff? Turn of phrase? Or a drug fuelled orgy that results in a great song?
Good question. Well pretty much all of those things, really. But I think I find it easy to be creative because I dream a lot, and therefore my head is in another place when I do. And I write when I dream so it’s just like a kind of spiritual diary, I guess. Spiritual in the sense that no-one knows where dreams come from, and I don’t really control my writing, it controls me (deep…).
What have you been listening to lately? Are you more of a “cutting edge music” sort of guy or an old classics appreciator?
I really am a “don’t really give a fuck as long as it takes me somewhere” kind of listener. I listen to everything from Crowded House to Skindred to Rihanna to The Police and Sublime. My favourite artist is Bob Marley. As a band we kind of seem to have the same musical perceptions and opinions. I think that’s why we gel as a group musically. Tastes are important for the energy in the live show; if we all love it, it shows.
What would be a cool location you’d like to do a gig at?
Hmm… They should do a festival in that big park in Amsterdam. I can’t remember the name of it for love nor money. That’s Amsterdam for you… A Madison Square Gardens headline slot would be a benchmark.
What busking? Have you ever done that? If not,would you want to?
Yes of course I have. Anyone who has never busked hasn’t really slummed it. I have to say I slept on sofas for a good 2 years before I even found my bloody band!
If things went really well for you over the next few years and you found yourself doing a huge headlining tour of huge arenas or stadia, who would you have supporting you each night? What would your show be like?
Our show is going to be sweet as marzipan and as heavy as lead! I would love to have a stage area where the crowd can come up and dance and join in. It’s Will and the People after all, and for us it’s all about crowd participation so I can see that being a theme in general. As for support bands, I would have up-and-coming bands I liked because it’s such a good way to kick-start a career. It’s a great opportunity, as we have found out thanks to The Police and Girls Aloud.
And finally what’s one fact about you that normally we’d never know?
I like doing back flips…
This review originally appeared on Londonist
Sometimes it’s good to catch a band with next to no prior knowledge or expectations. You can be blown away by their amazingness, or just enjoy them with no prior hype. That’s just what we did last night when we caught London’s Official Secrets Act at the rather great Borderline. We knew of one song, so we popped down to check them and some other great bands out.
Opening was Devon’s Paper Heroes who have shot to fame since their song “Jenny Jones” was featured on the latest series of teen drama Skins. Delivering a welcome hit of indie pop, they are certainly more than competent, blasting through their short set with doses of banter (“come on… Come closer, we won’t bite… We’re from Devon after all!”) and some great pop. The downside? Its all about as memorable as a Kooks b-side, and the stuff that is great is a walking talking cliché… “1,2, I love you, 3,4…”, “Up, Down, All around”. Really?
Next up was Will and the People, whose new single “Knocking” has been getting the Radio 1 daytime fans a bit hot under the collar. Catchy as anything Scouting for Girls have put out, the songs are both funky and memorable. You can’t feel that Will is stuck in the 90s though, calling his guitar the guitizzle and myspace myspizzle… Still, that shouldn’t distract from a band who look set to be 2009′s Hoosiers… catchy songs, snappy melodies and that marmite factor that divides opinions strongly.
Don’t forget that Will and the People recorded a special version of Knocking. Check it out here.
The headliners, Official Secrets Act sound like they’d be the perfect band to headline the cavernous Borderline with their dark brooding name. Their lyrics may be dark but their music is anything but. Fast, frantic and a lot of fun, they blasted through their 40 minute set with bounds of energy and a sense of self-assuredness. The people next to us may not have been too keen on their “cocksure-ness”, however we loved it, thinking they already have the air of an Academy headlining band. The decision to put their biggest single to date, “So Tomorrow” in three songs into their set was a brave one which could have easily backfired, however we quickly realised that this is in fact a perfectly average song when compared to their others. As the temperature climbed, so did the excitement of the front of the crowd, clearly feeding off of the energy from the stage.
It seems that, like so many indie pop bands of the moment Official Secrets Act have a lot going for them, and are definately one of the better ones to watch out for at the festivals this summer. Their debut album, Understanding Electricity is out now.
We introduced Will and The People last week and fell in love with their pop hooks…. so imagine our delight when Will got in touch and recorded us a very special version of forthcoming single “Knocking” just for TGTF? Perfection.
‘Knocking’ is released on 4th May on RCA.
By Jess Grant
on Thursday, 26th March 2009 at 2:00 pm
This week we’d like to introduce Will and the People. Following their signing with RCA May last year, this Brighton band’s infectious ska-pop has speedily worked it’s way up the music spiral and is certainly being tipped for big things this 2009.
I’d describe Will and the People as sounding something along the lines of The Specials mixed in with some modern-day, super-catchy indie pop, ala The Hoosiers. Further personal influences of the band, which so obviously bubble over into their sunny music, include Bob Marley, The Police and Sublime.
Truth be told, this quartet’s radio-friendly tunes are just calling out to be placed on on Radio 1′s A List, and, like it or not, their cheery reggae beats are pretty much guaranteed to get you bopping.
They’ve already managed to bag support slots with The Script and Girls Aloud, and the band themselves are steadily announcing their own headline gigs across the country. Live, the band are said to be a riot, with front man Will E-Rendle claiming audiences “at our gigs become part of the show”.
July shall see the release of Will and the People’s debut album, but if you can’t wait until then, why not head over to their MySpace page now, where you can check out a few tracks the band have uploaded, as well as any details on upcoming live dates.
While you here, why not also check out the glorious album teaser posted by the band.