BILL Ryder-Jones is feeling grateful.

The Warrington-born musician and former member of The Coral has barely had any radio play since becoming a solo artist almost 10 years ago.

But the 35-year-old is soon to play his biggest headline show at Central Hall in Liverpool thanks to his fanbase that he has grown on a purely grassroots level.

Bill is grateful to his record label too.

He has just released his fourth album, Yawn, and although his records are adored by music lovers they have barely made a dent on the charts.

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Yet Domino Recording Company, which has the likes of Arctic Monkeys on its books, has been an unwavering supporter of the singer-songwriter since day one.

Things are looking up – and it is a very different picture to his final days with The Coral in 2008 when the pressures of playing live in a commercially successful band led to panic attacks and his departure from the group.

Bill, whose parents lived in Lymm when he was a baby, said: “I don’t really understand what Domino get from the arrangement.

“They keep funding my records and I’m indebted to them eternally for that.

“When they got in touch nobody was calling out for a record by me. They took me from quite a bad place and gave me the chance to have a life and build a career. It’s extraordinary the difference that record label has had on my life.”

So in the context of what happened a decade ago, how is Bill feeling about playing his biggest show?

He added: “It’s still not my favourite thing to do. It’s like anything that you’re a bit nervous about. You build it up in your head and get quite wound up about it.

“But it can be very rewarding and it tends to be once you’re out there doing it, it’s never as bad as you think.

“It’s not something I’m built for in truth. Performing takes a certain type of person.

“The crowd size doesn’t matter. It’s just standing in front of a microphone and all these people looking at you.

“It can be enjoyable but it feels a weird thing to do – you’ve got this command over all these people and it can mess with your ego.

“I do appreciate fans have been very good to me though.

“Up until this album I haven’t had any radio support and to play the size gigs that I do without that is quite a good thing.”

It’s a very different culture to his Coral days too.

Yawn is the third record that Bill has recorded and produced himself, with a little help from friends like guest vocals from The Orielles and mixing by Craig Silvey (Portishead, The Horrors, Arcade Fire).

He even played most of the instruments himself despite performing with the same musicians – Liam Power, Kev Mooney and Joe Edwards – for the live shows since 2013.


Bill said: “In truth I’m probably a bit overly precious about it.

“I certainly think next time I will give my bandmates more input.

“When we started to rehearse the new songs for a tour that we recently finished they sounded better than the recordings.

“So I was kicking myself a little bit for being so adamant that I was going to do it all myself.”

In a way Bill has the best of both worlds – the creative control of a solo artist and the dynamic of a band.

“They’re also my closest friends,” added Bill.

“It’s very important to be around people you get on with in that environment. I’m really happy with them. It’s the best line-up I’ve ever had.”

Meanwhile, Bill has ruled out a Coral reunion but said he is still on good terms with the group.

He added: “We all live within two miles of each other. I play football with one of them and I bump into the others regularly. We’re all still friends.”

Bill was just 13 when he joined The Coral.


He said: “The first two records were like a magical period where we were running around being daft and somehow people liked it and we got money for it.

“I’d had bits of violin lessons as a child and then I’d had a few guitar lessons.

“I taught myself the rest. We kind of helped each other along when we started the band and put serious time into it.

“I was 16 when we got our record deal so in no time at all we got pretty good pretty quickly.”

His talents were also not overlooked by a certain Arctic Monkey.

Alex Turner invited him to record guitar for The Last Shadow Puppets on Gas Dance, for Arctic Monkeys on Fireside and for his solo release, the Submarine EP.

Bill got to know Alex when the Arctic Monkeys supported The Coral just before their huge breakthrough.

Arctic Monkeys returned the favour when The Coral supported them on their European tour two years later.


Bill added: “Alex just has a brilliant mind. He’s very good to work with.

“He’s very smart and knows what he wants and his attention to detail pretty much runs parallel to that.”

Bill is also known for this vastly diverse output.

His debut If... features the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and acts as an imaginary film score for the Italo Calvino novel, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller.

Follow-up, A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart, was influenced by folk music while his third album, West Kirby County Primary, is heavier with a nod to the likes of Super Furry Animals, The Strokes and Pavement.

Yawn is another rock orientated release...but it also takes its cue from classical music.

Bill said: “I wanted this one to perhaps be a bit more subtle in its melody and lyrics.

“I like the way the great classical composers dance around and play with the melody they’ve written.

“They’re much more ‘journey-based’ pieces of music than your straight up rock and roll.”

Writing music helps Bill make sense of the world too and his songs are all drawn from personal experience.

Bill, who also produces music for other artists like Our Girl and Hooton Tennis Club, added: “I don’t really make music for any other reason.

“They’re my thoughts. I don’t know another way of looking at it really. The world can be quite a confusing place and at times the songwriting can be a way of putting things in order.”

He takes that very seriously too, once scrapping an album’s worth of material because he did not feel an emotional connection with the songs.

Bill added: “When I write something good it makes me very happy but when I don’t it makes me incredibly unhappy.

“I can’t think of anything I’d rather do but it can be a frustrating process. My whole sense of self is wrapped up in whether I’m a good writer or not

“It’s not something you can decide to do – to write something of worth – it has to brew and need to come out. When that doesn’t happen you can feel quite worthless.”

Bill Ryder-Jones is at Central Hall in Liverpool on December 13. Visit