William the Conquerer
Free admission before 9pm, £4 thereafter
Once a treasure of the folk circuit, Ruarri Joseph has been leading a double existence, 4 studio albums in under the moniker Ruarri Joseph the singer created William the Conqueror and hit a vein of creativity recording 3 albums of new music in his shed.
“I want people to hear the stories from a different perspective. After three years of keeping William in the dark, I want to switch things up. Ruarri can go off the radar it’s William’s turn now.”
It’s underlined in bold by the wisdom and wit of a lyrical slipstream that is, in turn, commanded by a scuffed leather baritone – a combination that keeps the listener engrossed, informed and mystified in equal measure.
Bursting with retro-infused energy, there are a myriad influences, underpinned by a taste for good, old-fashioned roots. One minute it’s a hushed JJ Cale that somehow finds its way to an angry Jim Morrison or a late-70s Dylan; the next it’s a grunge era Pearl Jam via Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits.
What is undoubtedly unique is ‘William’s’ rich, earnest voice and the poetic nuance of a man clearly wise to the complexities and hardships of love and life.
In an age of soundbites and tweets, pastiches, genres and references, William the Conqueror, quite simply, makes real, original music.