Bangor born bass player and composer, Huw V William’s released his debut album, Hon, at the end of February.
The title, which is also the name of the band, comes from a poem by Welsh poet T. H Parry Williams, where he questions “What do I care about Wales?”. Usually the origin of a bands leader is mentioned to give some vague background but throughout this project Williams constantly provides reminders on his North Walean roots. The fact that it was recorded in Wales and features on one tune, Mugs, the ‘Caerhun Hooligan Choir’, shows a composer that is proud to show off his heritage through music.
As well as Williams on bass, Hon features; Laura Jurd on trumpet, Alam Nathoo on saxophone, Elliot Galvin on accordion/ keyboard and Pete Ibbetson on drums. The album harnesses the collaborative power of music. Even though the records are composed by Williams , it is the improvisation and band dynamic that makes this such an exciting listen.
A lot of the time when trying to cover many different genres with one band tracks can start to have a cheesy medley feel. However listening to Hon the constant switches from jazz to a more Latin feel in Skardu’s Missing appear to come from a genuine love of multiple genres and an inability to be boxed into one particular category. In the case of Slumps an almost West Side Story, Berstein-esque themes come out, making it feel like a whole film score condensed into one tune.
During the bands live gigs Williams talks of his inspiration behind the tunes. For example Mugs, which he says was written as a reaction to him trying to sell mugs with his face to an unwilling public. Taking into account this (slightly flimsy) talk of how he came to write the tunes, the more you listen to this band the more you realise how central the music is and everything other than that is insignificant. There is no pretence to these musicians, no wordy inspirations or explanations. This is why the album works so well for the listener because it is all about good, pure, lively music making. Although make sure to sit near the volume button, it gets loud.
Stream the new album below or buy from http://huwvwilliams1.bandcamp.com./album/hon