Preparing for a slow return to the world we thought we knew well, Wille & the Bandits will hit the road for a 26-date tour of the UK with a brand-new album and a live show that should make the two-year wait worth every second when Spring 2022 comes along.
The aptly named When the World Stood Still is going to be the band’s highly anticipated album release, with the tour going out under that same banner-head. The album documents a moment in time that the whole world will never forget, a time where each person on the planet has felt repercussions in one way or another.
Tracks are said to be on another level to that which the band have produced to date, and that’s a high standard to begin with. Each song has been crafted with care and attention to detail, worked and reworked, filled with all the emotion and tribulations of during a time that has been strange and tragic, with moments of clarity and moments of reflection. Each of frontman Wille Edward’s songs tell their own stories, but there is also a cohesion between the tracks that tells a bigger story of When the World Stood Still.
During the pandemic and forced touring hiatus the band has, apparently, refocussed; adding a new sense of energy and gathering ideas that will serve to add to the dynamism and creativity that the band channel live.
Their last UK tour saw a new line-up joining lead guitar, lap steel guitar and lead vocalist Wille Edwards on stage. A new rhythm section came in the form of Tom Gilkes (drums, percussion) and Harry Mackaill (bass, keyboards), and the addition of Matthew Gallagher (Hammond organ, guitar, percussion) took what had been a formidable trio into a four-piece.
“I’m very excited by the new line-up”, said an enthusiastic Edwards when the new line-up was first announced. “Our music was starting to have layers within it that were beginning to be impossible to do justice to as a trio. With a band of multi-instrumentalists and a drummer who is technically outstanding, yet plays to what the song needs, we are able to achieve live what I thought might only be possible in the layers of a studio recording.”
Wille & the Bandits are hard to pigeonhole. The band as been described as musically “diverse as Lady Gaga’s wardrobe”. They take the nostalgia of music from the past, brew it into a heady cauldron of rock and roll, funk, soul and roots music to create something fresh, wholly unique and decidedly contemporary.
The band has previously toured with the likes of Deep Purple, Status Quo; Joe Bonamassa who found Wille to be a “superb slide player”, and Warren Haynes. In 2014 they were voted in the Top Ten Bands to see atGlastonbury Festival, one of numerous such events they’ve performed at.
When the World Stood Still was recorded in one of Britain’s most iconic recording studios, Sawmills, with one of its most talented producers, John Cornfield. This coupling has, in the past, produced some of the most ground-breaking albums of the last 30 years – Stone Roses (Fools Gold), Oasis (Definitely Maybe), Supergrass (In It For The Money), Robert Plant (The Fate Of Nations) and Muse (Showbiz).
The 2022 tour will take place between March and April, with songs from When the World Stood Still due to be performed alongside those from their extensive back catalogue.
Fans who have followed the progression of tracks such as ‘Angel’ are used to witnessing the evolution of individual songs as they become ever more mesmerising; they can expect to hear tracks they have become well acquainted with morphing and altering, venturing into Pink Floyd-esque landscapes and Led Zeppelin style riffs that take the listener on a deeper musical journey.
For these shows we are told to expect original ballads that feel familiar, funky grooves to get you irresistibly moving, massive riffs to rock out to, eight-minute instrumentals that mesmerise, and real songs with melodies will enter your soul and stick with you.
Special guest on all shows is indy blues guitarist Troy Redfern. Tickets for the tour are available by clicking here.