This band has been given the thumbs up by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin who said of them “there is a cosmic counterpoint alive and well here”, and when you hear them live for the first time you’ll know whereof Jimmy speaks. Led by the searing vocals of Merthyr-born Jade Danielle Williams, Du Bellows is a four-piece whose sound opens your ears like a dose of aural belladonna. Pitched mysteriously between the points of rock, folk and something darkly pagan, they make a newer, more compelling sound.
“We wrote a song about a character we invented called Isa Du Bellow,” says Jade, “and it was at the time that we were just getting together and figuring out what our name should be. We decided that the character’s last name had the right sound, and the right look. The name turned into us, and we into it.”
“People in the industry here are struggling to know where to place us,” says drummer David Watkinson, “but I’ve been in bands for 15 years and I’ve never had live responses like the ones we get now. So we must be doing something right.”
This may have something to do with Jade – who as vocalist and lyricist – acts as the band’s lightning rod, front of stage and lost in the music. They record all their rehearsal and jam sessions and listen back, changing things as they write and play. Jade says: ‘If I listen back continually, addictively to a jam we’ve recorded, then I definitely think there’s a song in it.”
Bassist Rich Leeds agrees. “We’re always changing things as we’re jamming. Sometimes it’s the accidents, the little throwaway things that we don’t notice at the time that make a song.” It’s this approach, he says, that breathes life into their playing and recording.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” David tells me. “It’s all about what can we do more”; while guitarist Seb Willis says he takes his lead from David’s drums: “It’s the rhythm that he lays down that inspires me.”
But it all comes down to monetising what they do to make it work, but with a voice like Jade’s it’s only a matter of time before they gain greater acknowledgement. “With writing, it’s normally a feeling, an atmosphere or an emotion that we all hit upon,” she says. “For me writing is very visceral, rather than anything that’s pre-thought. We know that live music is where the money is at, realistically, and that’s what we’re living for right now.”
But Du Bellow’s plan now is to break into the main festival circuit. Meanwhile, they’ve got a spring tour in Germany and the Netherlands with further festival appearances planned for later in the year, and with an eponymously titled five-track EP recorded with production maestro Chris Kimsey out in the spring, this refreshing four-piece has a wealth of music written and ready to be unleashed.