"This eclectic and euphoric band of musicians plays music that forms beautiful alchemical dreamscapes and paints ambient backdrops while occasionally slipping into idiosyncratic drum and bass, odd time signatures, classical grace and truly breathtaking anthems. This is jazz, the is indie-folk, this bears the hallmarks of classical, soul and psychedelia with psychological and astronomical themes to make Brian Cox's toes curl" - Dancing About Architecture
"Beautiful. Just beautiful." - BBC Radio Wiltshire
Formed in 2015 through the meeting of musical minds of Will Lawton and drummer Weasel Howlett, the duo immediately set about writing and performing the music that would become the 2018 debut album, Fossils of The Mind. Described variously as making "a heady and hypnotic sound that's both highly original and hugely accessible" (Grapevine For Music) and "refreshing, fascinating and exciting," (Ocelot Magazine).
As the band organically evolved and grew, Will Lawton and the Alchemists released a second album Abbey House Session and have steadily built a solid live following with shows across the South West of England. The band have garnered support from BBC Introducing for the West, BBC Radio Wiltshire, BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, BBC Radio Somerset and Scala Radio. They recently supported Brit-pop legends Space to great acclaim.
The band have recently released a new EP called Alchemy via West Country label Supermarine Music. The lead single Black Bricks is due for release on 10th February 2023. The EP title is a reference to the alchemical process of creativity which fuses Will's masterful song-craft and the bands dexterous flair for instrumental flourishes and lush, subtly evolving arrangements. This meeting of worlds is reflective of their shared love of bands such as GoGo Penguin and Portico Quartet alongside Will's admiration for singers such as Eddie Vedder, Ray Lamontagne and Ben Howard. In terms of where inspiration came from for the three tracks that make up the Alchemy EP, Will's profession as a music therapist means he has a high degree of self-awareness when it comes to the cathartic, healing power of creativity. Black Bricks channels frustration with the madness and cruelty of people behaving at their worst whereas Daughter celebrates the unconditional love that one feels for their nearest and dearest. Somewhat more cryptic and abstract, Cast Iron evokes the quest to fulfil one's dreams and ambitions and the sense of powerlessness that emerges from the questing heart.
The EP is available to buy on CD here and can be heard on all your favourite streaming platforms.
SOUL SNEEZE by Will Lawton and the Alchemists ft. Brian Reid
DUST, from the album ABBEY HOUSE SESSION by Will Lawton and the Alchemists
FOSSILS OF THE MIND LIVE, from the album ABBEY HOUSE SESSION by Will Lawton and the Alchemists
The songwriting heart of The Alchemists, piano player and main vocalist, Will Lawton learnt to play by ear, intuitively absorbing music from his father, himself a self-taught jazz pianist. His songwriting comes from the heart and feels unburdened by any changing fad or fashion, whilst often exploring aspects of the human condition, woven through with strands of intellect and emotion. When not working as a singer and performer with The Alchemists, as well as numerous collaborations, he works as a music therapist.
Acting as the sophisticated engine room of the band is drummer and live sample trigger Weasel Howlett, creator of the band's ever-shifting drum patterns and changing time signatures, delicate percussive sonics and striking, tsunami beats. He draws his influences from everywhere and anywhere, everything from 80's metal to Eastern European folk music, from jazz to 90's punk. And from this eclectic range of taste comes a true passion and respect for all music allowing the band to draw on all manner of unexpected sounds and styles.
The exotically monikered Buddy Fonzarelli is bass personified and is just as at home powering the band via deep four-string grooves as he is dropping in the deftest and most delicate notes and gentle runs. After playing with numerous bands in London, including session work in genres ranging from funk and hip-hop to math rock and metal, he returned to Malmesbury assuming that his music days were done. But after meeting kindred spirit Weasel Howlett (at a baby group) he joined the band in time to play their debut album launch and has been a fully paid-up member of the band ever since.
Having graduated from playing the tennis racket as a 3-year-old to creating ethereal sound combinations via voice and piano, Ami finally settle on the more portable combination of 12-string guitar, bodhran and vocals. When not adding additional gorgeous tones and textures to The Alchemists she can be found playing her own gigs and composing scores for TV and film.
Playing the tabla drums since he was five, the classically trained, multi-instrumental Harki Popli has been adding additional layers of fluid rhythms and exotic beats to bands near and far for many years. He contributed to some of the tracks on the debut album and played at the Abbey House Session which became the live album. When space and occasion warrant, Harki can be found adding additional buoyancy and beat to the Alchemists core sound.
“Refreshing, fascinating and exciting. Perhaps this is what Tom O’Dell fronting Wilco would sound like if produced by Roni Size? Regardless of how chaotic this sounds, it works. I mean it really works.” - The Ocelot Magazine
"Melodic and inventive – based loosely around a jazz framework with Lawton’s sparkling piano work to the fore but incorporating ambient, psych and spoken word elements...one of those magical performances that you never wanted to end" - Slap Magazine
“The music of Will Lawton and the Alchemists fearlessly dips its foot pedals into folk, jazz, drum and bass and a smattering of indie, all served up with intelligent piano playing, intricate drum patterns and a husky voice. Beautifully arranged music.” - Dancing About Architecture
"Beautiful. Just beautiful." - BBC Radio Wiltshire
"A performance of invention, atmosphere, power and considerable beauty" - Worcester Music Festival