It’s Saturday night at Esquires. Air raid sirens blast out to signal the arrival of well-loved Bedford-based four-piece band, The Wholls, and the stage is set for a thrilling bombardment of edgy and energetic alt-rock.
Opener ‘Only One’ sets the tone for the night and Bedford’s very own independent music venue provides the perfect setting for this homecoming gig, the final night of the band’s UK tour.
The Wholls are touted as the sound of 2016. The buzz around the band has been building amidst a series of electrifying gigs up and down the UK and their stage presence immediately grabs an already frenzied crowd made up of a rapidly growing fan-base both from Bedford and other counties.
The Wholls are four Bedford born and bred schoolmates (Tordy,- vocals/guitar, Santino – guitar/vocals, Joe – bass/vocals, and Daniel – drums/percussion) and have been enthusiastically aired and supported by BBC Introducing, impressed critics such as NME, sold out Camden Barfly and even performed at the Miss World ceremony in China last year!
You could say that, aside from their musical talent, The Wholls’ success is due to how hard-working and honest they are. Frontman Tordy said “The minute you start being dishonest with yourself it just doesn’t work; and the audience know it too.”
After spending a few hours with the band, it is clear to see they are four really good friends with talent, a dedicated determination to get their music heard and an abundance of personality. This really comes through when they are onstage – their passionate performance displays an intoxicating mix of raw energy and musicianship, a winning combination which is sure to set them up for success at the inevitable bigger venues and festivals they will play over the months and years ahead.
‘Angry Faces’ and ‘Give It Up’ see the band storm through an anthemic mid-set onslaught. Current single ‘X21’ takes the audience to another level and when they include Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ and Nirvana’s ‘Lithium’ in the set, The Wholls have the Esquires crowd right where they want them. ‘Roll out’ seals a triumphant return for the local lads and 2016 is set to be an exciting year for the band.
Frontman Tordy explains that they are always learning when they’re on the road and how this latest tour has been a great opportunity to test what works and what doesn’t. “It’s easy to tell if a crowd are into something or not.”
Growing up in Bedford has provided a central location for The Wholls; being so close to Birmingham and London has enabled them to play numerous gigs, helping them perfect their art. “Everything’s 45 minutes away!” jokes Tordy.
Performing up and down the UK has means the local band has built up a loyal fan base. Bassist Joe recalls people who have followed the band to different cities and back to their hometown “It’s humbling to see familiar faces who are supporting you and loving what we do, it’s great when people come and make a point of saying hello”.
Festival season is fast approaching and The Wholls have a busy summer schedule ahead. See them at Secret Garden Party (regularly voted the UK’s Best Small Festival) and Grillstock Festival in Bristol…with more exciting live performances to be announced.
There’s bags of new, exciting material that they are enthusiastic to get out there too. Demos recorded at Bedford basecamp will provide a great foundation for their upcoming studio sessions.
The end of this summer will see a further EP and an album release is on the horizon. Guitarist Santino summed up the night by saying “The Bedford fans came out in their masses to us support us tonight at Esquires so it was a very special night for the band”.
The Wholls’ latest single ‘X21’ is available now on iTunes.
by Elli Chappelhow