Warrilow: There comes a time…..

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

Rhys Bethell, the artist now known as Warrilow (photo: Gerard F Morgan)

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

Warrilow, the artist formerly known as Rhys Bethell (photo: Gerard F Morgan)

Warrilow, the artist formerly known as Rhys Bethell (photo: Gerard F Morgan)

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.

 

 

One eye on the Green Man Festival

One eye on the Green Man Festival

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.

Artwork for the 'Chief' EP

Artwork for the ‘Chief’ EP

 

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!

DS
April 2015

 

Some further information/contacts for Warrilow:

Twitter: @Warrilowmusic

Facebook: facebook.com/warrilowmusic

Tumblr: warrilowmusic.tumblr.com

The Janskys go to University…

Press Conference? Huh? by The Janskys?

It was Friday 13th December 2013 when The Janskys found themselves about to start their first ever press conference sitting in a room at the University of Huddersfield facing a group of Music Journalism students….  Tick, tick, tick, gulp, trickle of sweat.

Wind back a good six months to the manic days of trying to promote The Janskys new LP ‘When Silence Speaks’ to press, radio & online.  Pat and Damian were regularly hunched and huddled around Pat’s kitchen table launching emails into the ether and stuffing CDs into envelopes.  One such targeted journalist was Dave Simpson of The Guardian.  Regularly reading Dave’s articles in The Guardian’s Friday Film and Music section and having met him the previous year at a music conference in Leeds, Damian thought that he may be interested in the band’s new offering.  Sending the CD to The Guardian’s main address for Dave’s attention was always a gamble.  Nothing was heard back.  Ah well.

Close to the LP’s release a track off the album was played by Shed Seven’s Rick Witter on York’s Minster FM and, while listening in, the band heard that Dave Simpson was to be a guest on Rick’s show the following week.  Damian asked Rick to mention to Dave that the band were trying to contact him…..  If you don’t ask you don’t get….

Result!  Rick was able to get Dave’s non work email off him and passed it on.  So, the band blurbed an email over to Dave and waited.

Well, when Dave did get in touch the band’s integrity flew out the window and fantastical dreams of guitar shaped swimming pools began to formulate while anticipating the ensuing Guardian feature on The Janskys and LP review.  A reality check soon occurred when reading down Dave’s email…..  He could not write about the band in The Guardian…  Hopes dashed then, better throw away the letter of resignation to their day jobs.  It did transpire though, that, as well as writing for The Guardian, Dave Simpson was also a lecturer at the University of Huddersfield and as such was happy to offer to have the band in to be interviewed by some of his Music Journalism students.  Sounds like a bit of fun… ok….  He’d be in touch in the autumn term to arrange.

Pat, Damian and producer Colin Bradley were by now fast forwarding to hibernation mode, after the frenzied activity around the launch of the LP, when Dave contacted Sawayaka Sheffield in the late autumn to pin down a date for the ‘Press Conference…’  Huh? Press Conference?  Thought it was going to be an interview with a few students not a public inquisition?  Colin and Damian were seen packing bags to run to the hills, talking in public was never their strong point – Colin always peering from behind his laptop and mixing desk in the seclusion of the studio and Damian always seen lurking at Pat’s side at gigs only engaging with the microphone during song.  Knocking Colin and Damian’s heads together Pat said the bruises represented positive thoughts and they should use them as symbols of self belief.  A sales manager by day, public speaking is like….. erm, speaking for Pat, and he believed it would be fun and a new experience.  Right-o, let’s do it then.

The date was fixed for Friday 13th (Dec), uh oh this could be ominous, and the trio met up with Dave at the Uni before being fed to the lions.  Dave explained he would lead the Q&A and step in if the students’ questions dried up.  He also dropped the bombshell that the event would be recorded, but purely as an aide memoire for the students who were to write up an article based on the forthcoming grilling.

Over the next 45 minutes Dave steered the group of students through the Q&A.  Rather like the members of the band, some of the students were more confident than others. They threw a range of questions from ‘influences’, ‘the process of recording’, ‘collaborations’ and ‘the music scene in Sheffield’.  Pat gamely held court, with Colin somehow getting a Stockhausen reference into proceedings and Damian just about managing to control his beetroot head blushing.  The students did seem to engage with the scenario and Dave added depth by qualifying certain references that the band mentioned.  The lucky student who asked the best question was given a copy of ‘When Silence Speaks’ .

Looking back it can be said it was a fun, different and slightly surreal experience and we at Sawayaka Sheffield wait with interest to read any of the students outcomes should they be made public.  We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Dave and his students for being gentle with the band.

 

Other news in brief:

  • The lads had a great time playing at The Greystones on Fri 24th January with an audience who were amazingly quiet during performance and showed a great appreciation of the show.  The night was a real highlight in Pat and Damian’s live work together.
  • Finally, Pat and Damian have been demoing some new material (some of which has been road tested live in various ways).  They are hoping to record again with Colin their producer later in the spring.

Happy New Year BTW (just snuck in on the last day of January so still vaguely relevant!)

WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS now also available as digital only release

Since its release on 29th June WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS has been available on CD from Record Collector and Rare & Racy in Sheffield and through our online shop.

Working with our partners at the Sheffield based AWAL digital distribution, the LP is now available in digital-only formats across many platforms including iTunes, Amazon and others.

Obviously we would encourage you to buy the  CD package from our website shop (in conjunction with Bandcamp).  The CD includes a beautifully presented gatefold card case with original artwork by Mark Conway.  Your order also includes immediate download of the 12-track album in your choice of high-quality MP3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.

Should you wish to purchase a digital-only version of the LP you can do so below.

When Silence Speaks - The Janskys

Amazon

Preview of When Silence Speaks launch gig – Sheffield Telegraph & The Star

It’s good to see our local press getting behind its local artists.  Sister papers the Sheffield Telegraph & The Star are today both carrying a preview of tomorrow night’s  launch gig by The Janskys at Shakespeares

Telegraph

http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/what-s-on/music/music-matters-not-tight-jeans-1-5843186

The Star Black

http://www.thestar.co.uk/what-s-on/gigs-music/music-matters-not-tight-jeans-1-5843186

The Janskys Q&A: Pat Donoghue Part 1

Ahead of the release of the new album we’ve asked fans of The Janskys to send in some questions for the band. 

Here’s the first in a sporadic series of Q&As leading up to the release of When Silence Speaks.  

Pat Donoghue, singer and acoustic guitarist please take the stand….

 

What’s the most interesting venue you have played at?  The foyer area of City Hall in Sheffield for sure.  Not only because I live in Sheffield and it’s City Hall Man (!!), but the acoustics were amazing.

What recent equipment has had the biggest impact?  I’m not a gear head but getting my new guitar really helped me find my playing style…   if I could be so bold to say I have one!

Who’s the best drummer John or Liam?  Not a chance, I’m taking the 5th.

What tune best describes your thought processes and feelings whilst you were making the album?  I’m going to go for Devil In Your Head; it was such a wonderful thing recording the album but the problems, late nights, broken equipment, noises from above sometimes drove us to distraction.

What’s the plan?  Aside from my family, making and listening to the results of this album have been the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.  Beyond getting as many people to hear it as possible I can’t think, that is a task as big as making the thing!

In what place or situation would you be most pleasantly surprised to hear a Janskys song being played?  I spend holidays on a board (surf or snow); after a day’s riding, having a drink in a cosy little pub hearing one of our tracks would really make me smile.

How has the recording of When Silence Speaks differed to the first Janskys album?  Too many things to mention, once you hear the album you’ll know.  The main thing is time, two days recording as against two years……….enough said really.

Pat looks for inspiration...

Pat looks for inspiration…

How did you decide which tracks to record for the album?  We took the best songs we’d written, played them and played them (at gigs and in the studio).  There was a natural selection process from this; we even added little bits as the recording progressed.

How many pedals does Damian now own?  I had to take my shoes and socks off to tally up last time so I’ll guess at 21, we should perhaps do a quiz and offer a free album for the winner!!

What’s next?  Sleep; as well as the band I have a young family so there’s little time to rest, all the lads are saying I should take time to relax, maybe one day I’ll surprise them and do it.

Welcome to Sawayaka Sheffield

Hi All,

We’d just like to say welcome to Sawayaka Sheffield’s new website, home of The Janskys.

Over the next couple of months we’ll be bringing you updates on the forthcoming new LP by The Janskys, When Silence Speaks, which will be released early Summer 2013.

Today we are pleased to reveal Tell Me, the lead track from the LP, to give you a taster of the delights that will follow in due course.

Please visit our MUSIC  page to listen and download.