I don’t think I can compare Wille & The Bandits to anyone currently on the scene and as they keep moving forwards, developing their sound and talents, I don’t think it is likely I ever will.

On the face of it, they are a Blues band. A three piece with Wille Edwards on vocals and guitars, Matt Brooks on basses & backing vox and Andrew Naumann on drums and percussives but that makes them sound like any of a hundred other bands and that they certainly are NOT.

They ARE creators of highly emotive & complex music based around music that touches on the Blues but also is just as likely to skim the edges of Prog or Africana. They sometimes tear it up with real verve and foot-tapping pace but when they move into ballad territory their playing leaves the listener emotionally invested.

The opening track, ‘One Way’ has a massive beat and really sets the heads a-banging. The theme of Western countries highly questionable asset stripping of the rest of the world is completely in character for the band and throughout the album they touch on ‘difficult’ themes that are very rarely part of anyone else’s canon.

As with every other WATB album, the playing superb and they express their sound through some highly unusual instruments – Wille is one of very few British Electric Weissenborn players, Matt plays six string bass and 5 string upright bass and Andrew , as well as African percussion instruments such as the djembe and udu also features wood & steel tongue drums. Three properly able musicians and it is that refinement that manages to take the music so much further than the average rock band is capable of.

There are so many favourites on this album – tracks that I go back to time and again – such as the dense and melancholic ‘Four Million Days’ featuring Matt on cello and a superb vocal from Wille. ‘Keep It On The Down Low’ has an amazing sense of funk and some stunning bottleneck. ‘How Long’ is a tribute to Chris Cornell and has a dark and chilling quality to it but leads directly into one of the finest rockers on the album ‘Find My Way’ which features Andrew playing his full range of drums and percussion.

It is an enormously exciting album, very much a band of equals and the songs and playing show an incredible progression from ‘Steal’, their last album and a masterpiece in its own right.

It’s quite amazing to be proclaiming an album as possible album of the year in early January but if these tracks translate as well to the stage as they do to CD then I’m quite comfortable with that.

On tour in February & March with special guests Rainbreakers
*Rainbreakers will not support on these dates

Giants of Rock, Minehead*
Saturday 26th January 2019

Phoenix, Exeter*
Wednesday 30th January 2019

The Factory, Barnstaple*
Thursday 31st January 2019

The 1865, Southampton*
Friday 1st February 2019

The Cobblestones, Bridgwater*
Friday 8th February 2019

The Old Bakery, Truro*
Saturday 9th February 2019

Guildhall, Gloucester*
Friday 15th February 2019

Ropetackle, Shoreham
Wednesday 6th March 2019

Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
Thursday 7th March 2019

The Junction, Plymouth
Friday 8th March 2019

Thekla, Bristol
Saturday 9th March 2019

The Bodega, Nottingham
Wednesday 13th March 2019

O2 Academy 2, Liverpool
Thursday 14th March 2019

O2 Academy 2, Sheffield
Friday 15th March 2019

The Continental, Preston*
Saturday 16th March 2019

Victoria Hall, Settle*
Sunday 17th March 2019

Fibbers, York
Tuesday 19th March 2019

The Hug & Pint, Glasgow
Wednesday 20th March 2019

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
Thursday 21st March 2019

The Cluny, Newcastle
Friday 22nd March 2019

Top Secret, Scarborough*
Saturday 23rd March 2019

Junction 2, Cambridge
Sunday 24th March 2019

The Waterfront, Norwich
Wednesday 27th March 2019

O2 Academy 3, Birmingham
Thursday 28th March 2019

O2 Academy 2, Oxford
Friday 29th March 2019

O2 Academy 2 Islington, London
Saturday 30th March 2019