Thursday 31 May 2012

William Control // Review, Leeds Cockpit

Wil Francis, best known as “Aiden’s” front man, has returned to UK shores with his solo electronic based project “William Control”.

Est.1987 headed down to Leeds Cockpit to discover why this solo venture is everything that Aiden isn’t…

“Silentium Amoris” is a poem by Oscar Wilde; now however, it is also the title of William Control’s latest album. Released in April Wil is back on the road showering fans with hits from the record, as well as treating the crowds to songs from his back catalogue of the project now in its fourth year.  

Defying typical conventions in music and its respective genres William Control combines the beauty of music and literature. Although the crowd gathered this evening at The Cockpit is modest, the turn out it is testament to the music that William Control creates, proving that is transcends age limitations. It is very clear that whether he is playing to a large or small audience that his on stage charisma and enthusiasm is unfaltering. Commanding the stage, his backing band and indeed the audience Wil guides the set through the epic and grand opener, “All Due Restraint” to the more recent “Kiss Me Judas”.
Mid-way through the set, “Disconnecting” sees the crowd turn into a dancing frenzy and the song typifies William Control’s sound; 80s new wave electronic synth sounds mixed with melodic beats. Smoking by this point in the evening, Wil is captivating and mystifying and announces a song which he’s never played over in the UK before. “Cemetery” is more bleak and stripped back than many other songs featured in the set and its quieter beginnings slowly build into an electrifying chorus.

William Control on stage in Leeds
The lines of “Strangers” are mimicked on stage; “He picks her up and ties the rope so tight, her cuffs are swelling black and blue, pinching and bleeding”, as Wil [pre-arranged] takes a girl from the crowd and ties her wrists. The direct and soaring “Beautiful Loser”, taken from his debut album “Hate Culture”, pierces through the venue as the set comes to a conclusion.

However, the crowd are not yet satisfied and beckon William Control on for an encore. Wil regales of how it has been two years since his last visit to Leeds and that he’s happy to be back, before bursting in to “Perfect Servant” with its dark and sexually explicit lyrics. Ending the set tonight with “I’m Only Human Sometimes” the enigma that is “William Control” is broken down; his alter ego, the darker side has been released. The distorted, melancholic and sinister sounds are everything that Aiden aren’t, part of the reason behind the project.  Dark and beautifully macabre, Wil Francis’ lyrics blur the line between art, music and literature. Perfectly poetic, the set is theatrical and wholly engaging; a show we recommend you experience for yourselves!  

Stay locked to Est.1987 as we have an exclusive interview with William Control coming very soon!