Will Varley

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Will Varley
Background information
Origin London, United Kingdom
Genres Folk, Singer Songwriter, antifolk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar, Vocals
Labels Smugglers Records, Xtra Mile Recordings
Associated acts Cocos Lovers, Syd Arthur, Beans On Toast, Frank Turner
Website http://www.willvarley.com/

Will Varley is a British folk singer and co-founder of the arts collective Smugglers Records.


Will Varley began playing open mic nights in London in the early 2000s, setting up his own nights in the Grey Horse, Kingston with friends Tom Farrer and Nick Marks. In 2010 he moved to Kent and set up Smugglers Records with the band Cocos Lovers.[1] He released his debut album 'Advert Soundtracks' in 2011 and toured the album on foot.[2]

In September 2013 his second album 'As The Crow Flies' was released and garnered positive reviews &[3][4] was described as "Excellent" by Q Magazine.[5] The album has received airplay on BBC Radio 3, Radio 6 & XFM.[6][citation needed] Numerous tracks have been included on the Mike Harding Folk Show.[7][8] After the album was released he supported Beans on Toast on part of his UK tour, the pair finished the tour with a sold out show at London's 100 Club.[9] In February 2014, he was invited to support Frank Turner at his homecoming show at Winchester Assembly Rooms.[citation needed]

In an interview on BBC Introducing in March, Varley announced he would be embarking on another walking tour in May, this time travelling the entire south coast of England.[10] The Rambling Tour saw Varley walk almost 500 miles, playing 24 shows along the way.[11] After the walk Varley played a sold out headline show at London's Bush Hall.[12] The show was recommended by Time Out.[13]

During an interview with Steve Lamacq on BBC6 Varley said he was currently working on new material and was aiming to release a third album in early 2015.[14]

On 29 March 2015 Will Varley signed a record deal with Xtra Mile Recordings while backstage at The Royal Albert Hall shortly before taking to the stage to open for Frank Turner.[15][16]

A new digital only EP 'Will Varley Live at The Lighthouse' was released in May 2015 to coincide with Varley's spring tour of the UK. The EP reached number 19 in the iTunes singer/songwriter charts[citation needed] and national radio play from XFM's John Kennedy.[17] The video for the EP's opening track 'Weddings And Wars' was featured on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch.[18] Soon after the record was released it was announced that Will would be supporting The Proclaimers on thirteen dates across the UK.[19][20]

Will Varley's third album 'Postcards From Ursa Minor' was released on Xtra Mile Recordings on 30 October 2015, with The Independent describing it as a 'gem of a record'.[21] The album reached number 11 in the Official Independent Album Breakers Charts.[22] The following week he began a huge tour of the UK opening for label mate Frank Turner, culminating in a show at London's Alexandra Palace.[23] The albums lead single 'Seize The Night' was played on BBC Radio 1.[24]

In January 2016 Will toured Germany with Frank Turner[25] and shortly afterwards began his own headline tour of the UK, finishing with a sell-out show at London's Scala.[26] A week later he began a tour of North America supporting Skinny Lister.[27] The tour began with a show on the Salty Dog Cruise from Miami to The Bahamas organised by Flogging Molly.[28] 'Seize The Night', the third single from Postcards From Ursa Minor, was included on NPR's Austin 100 list for the annual SXSW festival.[29]

In April Varley announced he would be doing a further twenty-five shows with The Proclaimers over the summer,[30] and three shows opening for Billy Bragg.[31][32][33] He also appeared at numerous UK festivals including Bestival,[34] Cambridge Folk Festival[35] and Glastonbury.[36]

In September it was announced that 'Kingsdown Sundown' Will Varley's 4th studio album would be released on 4 November 2016.[37] The album reached number 26 in the Official Independent Album Charts.[38] Over the Autumn Will embarked on further tours of North America, Ireland, Germany and the UK including his biggest headline gig to date, a sold out show at Union Chapel, Islington.

On 11 November Will Varley announced he would be playing a headline show in 2017 at London's 2000 capacity Shepherd's Bush Empire.[39]

Throughout the Spring of 2017 Will Varley toured Europe opening for Valerie June and the US extensively opening for both Frank Turner and Lincoln Durham. While on stage at Glastonbury 2017,[40] Varley played two brand new songs and said he was working on new material for an album. On 4 July during an interview with Huw Stevens on BBC Radio 1 the head of Xtra Mile Recordings, Charlie Caplowe, stated that the label were planning on releasing a new Will Varley album in Autumn 2017.[41]


  • Advert Soundtracks (June 2011)
    • 1. The Sound of the Markets Crashing
    • 2. King for a King
    • 3. Advert Soundtrack
    • 4. Newborn
    • 5. I Lost My Mind in Soho
    • 6. These Are The Days
    • 7. I Still Think of You Sometimes
    • 8. A Monkey on a Rock
    • 9. The Flood
    • 10. Zetlands
  • As The Crow Flies (September 2013)
    • 1. Where The Wild Wind Blows
    • 2. Blood And Bone
    • 3. Weddings And Wars
    • 4. As The Crow Flies
    • 5. I Got This Email
    • 6. She's Been Drinking
    • 7. When You're Gone
    • 8. Until The Grass Gets Greener
    • 9. The Self Checkout Shuffle
    • 10. Down The Well
    • 11. Soldiers on the Wall
  • Live at the Lighthouse EP (May 2015)
    • 1. Weddings and Wars
    • 2. From Halcyon
    • 3. We Don't Believe You
    • 4. King for a King
    • 5. I Got This Email
  • Postcards From Ursa Minor (October 2015)
    • 1. As for My Soul
    • 2. The Man Who Fell To Earth
    • 3. Seize The Night.
    • 4. Outside Over There
    • 5. This House
    • 6. Talking Cat Blues
    • 7. From Halcyon
    • 8. Dark Days Away
    • 9. Send My Love to the System
    • 10. The Endlessness and the Space Between
    • 11. Concept of Freedom
    • 12. Is Anyone Out There
    • 13. The Question of Passing Time
  • Kingsdown Sundown (November 2016)
    • 1. To Build A Wall
    • 2. Something Is Breaking
    • 3. When She Wakes Up
    • 4. February Snow
    • 5. Let Your Guard Down
    • 6. We Want Our Planet Back
    • 7. Too Late Too Soon
    • 8. Wild Bird
    • 9. Back To Hell
    • 10. One Last Look at the View
    • 11. We'll Keep Making Plans
  • Spirit of Minnie (February 2018)
    • 1. All Those Stars
    • 2. Seven Days
    • 3. Screenplays
    • 4. Breaking The Bread
    • 5. Statues
    • 6. Spirit of Minnie
    • 7. Let It Slide
    • 8. The Postman
    • 9. Insect


  1. ^ "www.willvarley.com/biography". Official Biography. 
  2. ^ "Radiant: 21st Century Troubadour – Will Varley". Cent Magazine. 
  3. ^ Thompson, Liam (December 2013). "Will Varley As The Crow Flies Review". fRoots Magazine (366): 65. 
  4. ^ Hirst, Gemma. "Will Varley Review". Fatea. 
  5. ^ Q (April 2014): 106.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Siba in Session". World on 3. BBC. 
  7. ^ "#39". Mike Harding Folk Show. 
  8. ^ "#27". Mike Harding Folk Show. 
  9. ^ "Will Varley at The Horsebridge". Canterbury Times. 6 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "BBC Introducing". 01/03/2014. 
  11. ^ "Rambling Tour Website". 
  12. ^ "Will Varley: From the Cliffs of Hell to the City Lights". HuffPost. 
  13. ^ "Cheap thrills: great gigs this week for a tenner or under". Time Out. 
  14. ^ "Steve Lamacq's Roundtable". 29/05/2014. 
  15. ^ http://xmrstreetteam.tumblr.com/post/115031919369/right-before-taking-the-stage-at-royal-albert
  16. ^ http://life.royalalberthall.com/2015/04/01/pictures-and-setlists-frank-turner-concludes-the-2015-teenage-cancer-trust-season/
  17. ^ http://www.xfm.co.uk/playlist/2015/may/7/xposure-with-john-kennedy/
  18. ^ "Sunday Brunch". Series 4. Episode 17. 7 June 2015. Channel 4.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  19. ^ http://www.proclaimers.co.uk/?post_type=cpt_shows&p=1366
  20. ^ http://www.willvarley.com/uk-support-tour-with-the-proclaimers/
  21. ^ The Independent (23 October 2015).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/independent-albums-breakers-chart/20151106/255/
  23. ^ http://www.1.xtramilerecordings.com/news/2015/8/19/will-varley-new-album-postcards-from-ursa-minor-out-30-october-2015-supporting-frank-turner-on-uk-autumn-tour
  24. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08vqdhv#play
  25. ^ http://platform-online.net/2016/02/i-think-he-was-probably-drunk-will-varley-chats-about-songwriting-his-new-album-and-touring-with-frank-turner/
  26. ^ http://www.folkandhoney.co.uk/london/gig-review-will-varley-at-scala-n60/
  27. ^ http://newnoisemagazine.com/xtra-mile-announces-spring-2016-tour-with-frank-turner-skinny-lister-beans-on-toast-will-varley/#
  28. ^ https://www.common-tales.com/2016/03/rockpalast-zeigt-flogging-mollys-salty-dog-cruise-2016/2714
  29. ^ https://www.npr.org/2016/03/01/468352361/the-austin-100-a-sxsw-2016-mix
  30. ^ http://www.willvarley.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Will-Varley-ProclaimersA5-2.jpg
  31. ^ http://www.picturedrome.net/tickets/Billy-Bragg/20160601.htm
  32. ^ http://www.nnfestival.org.uk/festival/contemporary_music/billy-bragg
  33. ^ http://www.willvarley.com/shows-with-billy-bragg/
  34. ^ http://www.bestival.net/news/the-future-of-new-music-invaders-of-the-future
  35. ^ https://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/folk-festival/line-up
  36. ^ http://glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/LF16-953.png
  37. ^ http://www.1.xtramilerecordings.com/news/2016/9/9/will-varley-new-album-kingsdown-sundown-4-november-2016-watch-to-build-a-wall-video-november-uk-headline-tour
  38. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/independent-albums-chart/20161111/131/
  39. ^ http://www.stereoboard.com/content/view/202866/9
  40. ^ http://www.nme.com/news/music/glastonbury-2017-line-adds-even-names-field-avalon-bill-revealed-2056240
  41. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08vqdhv#play
  42. ^ "Records". www.willvarley.com. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 

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