“One of the most unique records of 2014”
– Folk Radio UK on Why Wait for Failure?
Combining fast-paced lyricism and folksy tunes with an imaginative earnestness and a sly smile, singer-songwriter Will Tattersdill has been playing as FaceOmeter for more than a decade. That time has seen all sorts of adventures unfold, from the scoring and live performance of a theatrical retelling of The Princess Bride to two full-length LPs (and many shorter projects), tours both in the UK and abroad, and appearances at Truck Festival, Green Man, and the Secret Garden Party. He is closely associated with (and frequently hosts) Oxford’s Catweazle Club (“Britain’s most intimate performance space” – The Times) and has set up nights of his own both in the Midlands and the South East. His music finds joy and hope in the slightly odd, and he now seeks shows to consolidate the modest success of his recent studio album.
FaceOmeter was last seen providing a track on The Magic Lantern’s Too Much Love of Living – Remixes (2015), where he keeps company with the likes of This is the Kit, Alabaster DePlume, and Sam Brookes. He has something different in common with each of these acts, but his last solo outing was the 14-track Why Wait for Failure?, released in 2014. Recorded in Oxford by the legendary Dean McCarthy, swathes of this crowdfunded album layer ad-hoc choirs, peculiar synths, legendary drums, and even Irish dance into the sonic mix. But some of the tracks remain as Tattersdill performs everything live: pared down, intimate, acoustic, and raw. He’s played on stages and in corners, in boats and on cars, in fields, pubs, clubs, and toilets – but he loves playing most unamplified, just people, and a guitar, and a room.
This is roughly what a FaceOmeter show looks like
For this reason, FaceOmeter has long been a friend of Sofar Sounds, the worldwide unamplified gig collective, and has played for them in Newcastle and Oxford as well as in his hometown of Birmingham. The stronger connection, though, is with Catweazle, whose first compilation record Will curated in 2011 and whose quarterly magazine he regularly appears in. It’s through this community that Tattersdill is associated with some of his closest friends and collaborators: piano balladeer Sam Taplin, singer-songwriter Rosie Caldecott, composer Matt Winkworth, and glam folk legend James Bell. These four and many more have had their influence on Will, and along with his childhood friend Max “The Dapper Swindler” Jones he and Taplin recorded 2011’s seasonal Spooky EP. Wider influences include the nerdcore rapper MC Lars, with whom Tattersdill spent a week writing in Los Angeles in 2013, the antifolk singer-songwriter Jeffrey Lewis, whom he has supported twice, and the widely-acclaimed folk duo Philip Henry and Hannah Martin, with whom he spent a deal of yesteryear on the gigging circuit in Exeter. He has no braggable personal relationship with his ultimate hero, Tom Waits.
Believing strongly in the community of artists and audiences that makes up music, Will started the Bright Idea club in Hackney, London, which ran from 2010-2012. Having returned to the Midlands, he has now started a night at the end of his street – Hatstand is a monthly unamplified performance arts evening, going from strength to strength. In addition to creating these spaces, writing songs, touring, and making records, Will has found time to become a lecturer, and now teaches English at the University of Birmingham. Surrounded by literature, music, great people, and the promise of adventure, the FaceOmeter journey continues.