The group’s name comes from my Grandmother, Ivy Loveday. When registering my birth it was mistakenly recorded as William Ivy Loveday, William being my great grandfather’s name.
The beginning of The William Loveday Intention Group was ‘the intention’ to revisit some songs from the past that I had imagined could be orchestrated. (I’ve wanted to do something like this since Thee Headcoats with pieces like ‘This Wondrous Day.’) About 20 years ago I was approached with the idea of touring these songs with a small orchestra, an idea I was up for but never happened. In lockdown however it just came to my mind as something to follow through on. As is quite normal for me I booked the studio and under that pressure wrote two or three songs the night before – and on a few occasions, at eight in the morning just before I left for the studio. As usual there where no rehearsals and, due to the lockdown conditions, a few of the tracks are just me and Jim Riley (engineer) doing everything: drums, guitar, bass, organ etc – because no one else would brave the plague and come into the studio. Those tracks sit hidden within the actual group recordings, and sound the same as if recorded by the group.
I’ve been a fan of Jaques Brel since Kyra (Thee Headcoatees) introduced me to his work (and drinking hole – Le Mort Surbite). Kyra is Belgian and I visited Brussels a lot in the 1980s.
Bob Dylan –
When I was a kid we had The Times They are a-Changing on release – so I heard Dylan’s stuff in ’64, along with The Stones and The Beatles, etc… It might seem strange but I was brought up with Louis Armstrong and Sinatra records from before I can remember. When pop records came into the house I latched onto them right away – copying my elder brother and the girl from the terrace next door, Big Caroline (who was my favourite person). We also had the pirate radio station playing in the house most of the time – before my father left us he was into all that stuff.
I never really bothered putting my poetry into pop music before, it showed up now and again but I never made a strong point of it preferring to keep disciplines separate but knowing ‘All Along the Watchtower’ by Hendrix ( i was a fan since i was a kid), I thought Jim was over produced and gave Bob’s a version a spin. Listening to Bob’s empty version sort of it sucked me in. Next thing I found myself peering into Bob’s world a bit more closely. I was amazed by the live version ‘Shelter From the Storm’ (about 1975) where it sounds like Joe Strummer singing. We tried recording that one as well. That lead to ‘Oh Sister’ etc. (which again was new to me only knowing Bob’s folk stuff from over 50 years previous. Then I thought – this stuff is easy – they call Bob a poet, well I am one, so I chucked a few lines and chords together and we were off. I’d say I’m not a Bob Dylan fan, just Bob curious. I am amazed at how bad he got, but when he is good he is great. I was also pleased to find out that we were inspired by the same artists: Little Richard, Buddy Holly, etc . . . Another thought – There was a news snippet in the NME in the early ‘80s where Bob went into Rock On Records in Camden and brought a few Milkshakes LPs. And we did do a cover of Hollis Brown on Sub Pop records in the early ‘90s so I guess it’s all there in the soup.
I’ve known Jim Riley since 1977, he was in the local R’n’B group and I was in the local punk group. We are both obsessed with the ‘sound’ in music. It has to have an origin, an emptiness and a vulnerability. I don’t look for guitars to be impressive, I’m sick of impressive ego driven music – I want authentic heart music. No one asked for one LP of this stuff, now there are five (including the Hangman Records release The New and Improved Bob Dylan.) When mixing we see the whole thing visually – the room in the mind’s eye; where all the players sit; the drummer to the right; the vocalist stood up front; the wood paneling on the walls of a top end US studio in the ‘60s / ‘70s. This is how music is to me: a picture in sound.
As in all my endeavours, games and life, I only do what I do irrespective of what’s wanted or required and then force it on the world regardless.
To the point –
For the vocal approach on some of these songs I found I was leaning into my version of what I think Richard Hell does – something I’ve done since at least Thee Headcoats, – if not The Pop Rivets – when approaching more ‘poet’ driven lyrics. Doing this I was surprised to realise how much Richard was taking from Dylan but then again it makes sense what with that overly arty NY punk thing: Patty Smith and Ginsburg, etc . . . Makes me think about what’s actually going on,and that strange, twisted lineage in music
It would be great if someone liked it enough to want to put a show on with the full line up. I’d have to learn it! – they’re as long as bloody novels some of those tracks. That’s what amused me about Dylan as well – how ridiculously long some songs were with an apparent contempt for the listener – I wanted to capture some of that – the total opposite of my ethos.
I’m so happy to have made these records that are for no audience – but hopefully will find one. These are as true to my heart as anything I’ve done.
William Loveday – December 1st 2020
We released the band’s debut single
We released the band’s debut 7″ single, My Love for You, in June 2020. Over the course of the following winter the band released four albums on Damaged Goods – People Think They Know Me But They Don’t Know Me, Will There Ever Be a Day That You’re Hung Like A Thief?, Blud Under The Bridge, and The Bearded Lady Also Sells The Candy Floss.
The WLI also found time to record The New & Improved Bob Dylan Vol 1, which came out on the newly resurrected Hangman Records imprint.
Their atttempt to have a “career in a year” shows no sign of letting up. Watch out for Vols 2 & 3 of their Bob Dylan tributes coming soon.