Bastille guitarist and Cropredy

Bastille's Will Farquarson's links with the Four Shires' village
Will in Cropredy 3

Will in Cropredy (2)

Famously, Cropredy village hosts Fairport Convention’s folk and rock music convention every year and is well known amongst the festival cognoscenti as one of the friendliest festivals around.
Each year the team behind the festival work closely to ensure that everything goes smoothly and part of this planning includes work by Andy Farquarson and Stevie Horton in the public relations department.
Over the past 16 or 17 years, Andy’s son Will has helped his dad out at the festival.
Whilst working at Cropredy it seems that some of the musical magic so prevalent at Fairport rubbed off on Will, for he has gone on to play bass guitar in the highly successful Indie pop group Bastille.
Will, born in Northampton and growing up in Braunston not far from Daventry first picked up a bass guitar at 15.
Will said: “I played the violin for three weeks or so at the age of seven, but a friend lent me a bass guitar to play when I was a teenager. I remember I wanted to be able to play like Green Day! The thought staggers me know!”
Following a couple of years playing, Will moved down to Brighton to music school.
“I got a few ‘O’ Levels and the like, but mum and dad would have been quite annoyed had I ‘dropped out’ completely.”
Whilst in Brighton, an agent for Gareth Gates visited and Will took an audition to play as a session player. He got the job.
Will commented: “It was great fun in London, I was making a bit of money and I preferred this to studying in Brighton so I decided that would be the future for me.
During this time, Will regularly worked at Cropredy. His first job there was with the rigging team putting up nearly three miles of fencing to circle the site. Later, he worked helping his dad out with PR (initially as the tea boy).
Will commented: “I found the rigging quite hard work, and it occurred to me that it would be just a little easier working as a musician.”
During 2009, Will was introduced to Dan Smith lead singer of the band Bastille, they got on well and in 2010, Will joined the group.
“We are called Bastille because the date (14th July) marks Dan’s birthday. Ironically, France is one of the only countries where we have had limited success.”
Bastille’s fame has been well documented with Will travelling to every continent with the band.
“I recall that the South African concerts we played were very well received. There were two in Capetown and one in Jo’burg. We overlooked Table Mountain and decided to climb it. It was 32c at the bottom so we set off in T shirts, it was just 6c at the top and it was freezing! I certainly remember that!”
Whilst Will has enjoyed worldwide success with Bastille, he still enjoys coming out of London.
“I’ve missed very few Cropredys since 2000. Peggy and the team are family friends and I look forward to getting along if I can. I remember Peggy letting me use his bass guitar to do a sound check, way back when, I was absolutely overawed. At another Cropredy, I had been working on the rigging and was pretty tired out. Peggy introduced me to a certain Robert Plant. I wasn’t really too starstruck – I was so tired from digging. I recall that he was a very charming man.”
It seems that Will has a certain affection for the Four Shires.
“I can see myself retiring to this area in years to come,” he said. “I would like to live in a farm house and I think I would have to get a horse!”
Bastille start their 2016 worldwide tour in April, beginning in Austria.