Rhys Bethell is a musician who performs his music under the name Warrilow. Formerly based in Sheffield, in 2013 he relocated to Newcastle. He is preparing to release his first EP of studio recordings. It will be called Chief and it’s been a long time coming….
“There are three things to know about Rhys Bethell – he has a captivating voice; his dexterity on a guitar is mesmerising; and he deserves recognition. He’s moving to Newcastle, which makes me sad because Sheffield is losing a true talent”.
– Toast, Issue 40
I first got to know Rhys in 2008 when we worked together in Sheffield. Despite him being nearly young enough to be my son, we soon struck up a friendship and would chat about all sorts including a shared love of music. He revealed that he was a singer and guitarist but seemed somewhat reticent to share his muse with the wider world, satisfied to sit at home tinkering in his bedroom studio. After some sustained encouragement from family, friends and work colleagues he eventually ventured into the live arena.
Occasionally performing on the same bill, I saw hints of the performer he would become. His guitar playing style was already fully formed, his dexterous spider-like fingers adventurously exploring the fretboard bringing to mind the playing of Nick Drake and Jose Gonzalez. His voice in those early days gave away the nerves within. This was somewhat surprising because when you meet him he exudes such an easy going nature. If only he could channel that into his music and performance….
Well it seemed all that was needed was some more of that stuff called life and experience. Leaving our shared workplace Rhys set off on his travels finding inspiration in the USA, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand returning with a tattoo and an awakened verve. He studied for a Creative Writing degree at the University of Sheffield and joined a band for a while, slowly finding his own creative voice.
By the time he opened for The Janskys, when we launched our LP in July 2013, the transformation was long complete. His voice had a maturity and the melodies of his newer songs matched the guitar virtuosity. He was also at ease with the crowd.
“As expected the evening got off to a wonderful start with a spellbinding set by Rhys Bethell accompanying himself on the Spanish guitar made for him by his partner’s father. A beautiful instrument beautifully played. The crowd were held captive to this young man’s unassuming delivery of incredibly intricate vocal and guitar melodies”.
– Sawayaka Sheffield July 2013
He describes his music as ghost-folk: inspired by traditional folk, story-telling and poetry, building songs around atmosphere based upon melodic playing and metrical lyrics.
You can hear some examples on his Soundcloud page.
Since moving to Newcastle Rhys/Warrilow has become more focused on his music, posting regularly on YouTube – including a brave and enchanting version of John Lennon’s Imagine.
He has featured on BBC Radio Newcastle, has ambitions to play the Green Man Festival and is now set to release his EP ‘Chief‘ recorded at Loft Music studios in Newcastle with producer Liam Gaughan. In his own words…. “These tunes took every ounce to write, and I’d love to see them realised fully: as a beautiful CD that I can put into your hands. This music is very important to me, it would mean worlds to me to send them out as more than just wavelengths and pixels”.
So, Warrilow has launched a ‘Kickstarter’ campaign for fans and patrons to help fund the pressing of the CD. It’s an innovative way of getting your music out there, engaging your followers and making them part of the music making process. Donations for pre-orders can be made between £3 and £23 and there is a deadline of 30 days for the campaign to reach the initial target of £1400. This will ensure the project is funded.
The great news is that the money pledged has already passed the target after only three days since the launch; indeed, as things stand, Warrilow could well exceed the modest amount he had hoped to raise.
It’s easy to sign up, which you can do here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1380708546/chief-a-studio-ep-by-warrilow
By donating to the project we can help Warrilow release the Chief EP and possibly give him the scope to plan beyond this recording – to the next step along his creative path.
C’mon…. Let’s spread the joy!
Some further information/contacts for Warrilow: