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Bill Fay

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London, United Kingdom (1966 – present)

Bill Fay is a and pianist from London.

Fay began writing songs in the early 1960s while attending university and in 1966 cut a demo using a mobile studio belonging to a man named John Boden. Impressed by the demo, ex-Them drummer Terry Noon helped Bill to sign a recording contract with Decca. In 1967 the label released the single “Some Good Advice”/”Screams In The Ears”, produced by early Donovan co-manager Peter Eden. The single “introduced [Fay’s] characteristic downbeat melodies and scrambled impressionistic lyrics”, according to allmusic reviewer Richie Unterberger. The self-titled Bill Fay was released in 1970 and was followed by Time Of The Last Persecution in 1971. Neither records sold well and Decca decided to end Bill’s contract shortly after the release of Time Of The Last Persecution.

Bill had returned to the studio in the late 70s, but these sessions weren’t released until January 2005 through Durtro/Jnana records as Tomorrow Tomorrow and Tomorrow under the moniker of the Bill Fay Group. In 2004 wooden hill records released From the Bottom of an Old Grandfather Clock, a collection of demos recorded between 1966 and 1970, plus one song recorded in 2000.

Bill has since contributed “It’s the Small Things Now” to the Not Alone charity compilation and “Pear Tree Tomorrow” to Bill Fay Group guitarist Gary Smith’s Supertexture project.

American band Wilco have played Fay’s song “Be Not So Fearful” in live performances and the band’s singer Jeff Tweedy can be heard singing it in the documentary “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco”.

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