Ruarri Joseph’s latest project William the Conqueror opened for Wildwood Kin at The Hope and Ruin last night (Tues 7 Nov) in an electrifying display of folk and grunge.
William the Conqueror gave us a taste of their debut album Proud Disturber of the Peace, which came out this summer and was nominated for Album of the Year at the Americana Awards.
Unaccompanied by his usual backing band (Harry Harding and Naomi Holmes), Joseph made the best use of his resources playing on his own with a guitar and a drum pedal. This performance was but a preview of what the full band will be able to deliver at their show at the Green Door Store on Thurs 16 Nov.
Set opener Pedestals was a slow acoustic ballad, leading into the more blues-oriented The Many Faces of a Good Truth. This was a pattern throughout the performance, an acoustic piece leading into a more up-tempo track.
William the Conqueror are at their best when the songs have energy to them and stand-outs in the performance were their second single Tend to the Thorns and Cold Ontario, songs that really define their style as trying to strike a balance between Bob Dylan and Nirvana.
After the performance he said: “On the folk circuit there’s a real tradition of giving the audience a context. I got sick of the sound of my own voice. If I write about things that are so personal and idiosyncratic I won’t be able to give the audience any context. I suppose it’s a way of getting me to shut up on stage.”
Following their tour, William the Conqueror will be recording the next album in February – set to be the second in a trilogy. “Our ethos is to roll with whatever comes our way,” said Joseph. “We’re not out looking for anything. As long as we can stay afloat and stay happy we’re just going to carry on.”
Don’t miss William the Conqueror’s full show at Green Door Store on Thurs 16 Nov 2017.
Words by Falco Geddes
Image by Sam Ford.