A true original will grace his Falkirk home town with his free flowing, deeply jazzy style and open door policy to musical collaboration.
As his Scottish Album of the Year award-winning 2012 team-up with former Arab Strapper and fellow Bairn Aidan Moffat, ‘Everything’s Getting Older’, seems to suggest, Bill Wells has hit his half century and cannot be filed in the fresh-faced youth category that currently contains a soulcatcher of a lad called Paulo from Paisley and a harem of hairy, ragamuffin Kilmarnock kids known as Biffy Pyro or something or other.
In fact it’s hard to fit Bill into any category as those who check out his performance with his very own National Jazz Trio of Scotland at Behind the Wall next Thursday night will discover.
Part of the brand spanking new local artist-organised festival For Falkirk’s Sake, the gig gives a rare chance to see a master musician at the height of his powers, ably accompanied by Aby Vulliamy and Kate Sugden.
Playing tracks from their new album, ‘Standards Vol. III’, the trio is all about melody and not about Commonwealth Games-proportion physical jerks up and down the modes and scales at lightning pace.
Never a man to turn down a jam opportunity, Bill will also indulge in some improvisational sonic stunt work with Falkirk author Dickson Telfer on the night.
Starting off as a completely self taught jazzer – a real double threat on piano and guitar – young Bill played in a ton of clubs around Scotland in the late 1980s, eventually forming his own Bill Wells Octet.
The antithesis of the classic finger clicking jazz snob, Bill quickly embraced the indie music scene and shared his fire and skill with a number of rock and pop artists including John Hogarty of BMX Bandits in the group Phantom Engineer, Stevie Jackson and Isobel Campbell of Belle and Sebastian and, most recently, Aidan Moffat for the aforementioned ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ album.
Referring to his free spirited, genre-jumping approach to music, Bill once stated: ““Most of the jazz musicians I know have too much respect for jazz and don’t listen to much else.”
You can listen to the musical entertainment at Behind the Wall on Thursday when it gets underway at 7 p.m. with support from a local trio of troubadours, Will Treeby, Adam Donaldson and Robbie Lesiuk, who all possess an individual approach to music Bill would heartily approve of.
Here’s the For Falkirk’s Sake 2014 line-up, of which Bill is just one, albeit major, part.
All shows take place in BTW:
Sunday, July 27 – (1.30 p.m. and 3.30 p.m.) Stuart Reid ‘Reading Rocks’; Monday, July 28 – (2 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.) Film Falkirk; Tuesday, July 29 – (2 p.m.) Tryst Theatre presents ‘Spark of the Celestial Fire’, (7.30 p.m.) The Barony Players present ‘The 39 Steps’; Wednesday, July 30 – (2 p.m.) Film Falkirk, (7.30 p.m.) ‘Alan Bissett’s Greatest Hits/Untitled Presents’; Thursday, July 31 – (2 p.m.) Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health, (7 p.m.) Bill Wells’ National Jazz Trio of Scotland; Saturday, August 2 (10 a.m.) – Art and photography exhibition.
Tickets to all the shows are available from The Steeple box office on (01324) 506850. Visit www.forfalkirkssake.wordpress.com for more information.