“HOW WE DOING CHESTER ?” asks Vil (real name Harry Wilson) as he enters the stage area of the revived Alexanders. Meanwhile a man with big headphones and leather jacket claps his hands in the air… Vil’s debut release “The CH3 EP” was described by Schott’s List as combining a “solid blend of modern hip hop” with a “tangible bedroom vibe”; and the set certainly impressed with Vil’s lyrical dexterity backed by a driving mechanical beat.
After the show, the ex bishop’s High pupil and resident of the Hood (AKA Boughton) was kind enough to answer a few questions about his work.
“I am the drummer in The Jigsaws. I tried to write some Jigsaws’ songs and failed miserably because I’m not very good at metaphors, so I became a rapper.” Vil doesn’t discriminate when it comes to music: “I really don’t single anything out, theres nothing that I won’t listen to. I used to say “this isn’t music, its just manufactured pop” But its all a sound, you listen and you enjoy it.”
He says that his song writing is inspired by “whatever is going through his head” combined with whatever music he is listening to at the time. “I listen to a lot of other hip hop, I’ll go through phases of listening to different styles of music. I’ve got some more jazzy stuff coming out , at the moment I’m in a funk and soul phase.”
This was only the second performance by Vil, but he has plenty of band experience with The Jigsaws. “We’ve only done one other gig as Vil which was the 02 academy in Liverpool. That was quite good, its a very different vibe to Alexanders… If you have seats in a venue and you’re trying to listen to music that’s a good thing. If you’re to create a massive atmosphere and everyone’s going for it, seats should be banned!”
Harry describes Vil as “not a band, more a live act”. His friends in the collective are DJ Craig Lawrence”human MP3 player” , guitarist Joe Ankers, and fellow rapper Stephen Benson ” the only one mental enough to learn all of my lyrics”. Although Harry produces, writes, records and markets all his own work, he is greatful for the support of his friends. “I couldn’t do it without them” he says.
With lyrics like :
The sickest looking creps this side of the Dee / In the forest but there aint no sign of the tree
Vil takes inspiration from the Chester area, with the line referring to the Forest House pub. The Jigsaws also sing of Chester, with one song inspired by the Blue Lagoon on Northgate street (now the Blue Lagoon Charcoal grill). Vil champions the low budget appeal of the Forest House but his ultimate night out would be Kuckoo. Its good but expensive. If you’ve got the money, go”
Vil’s future dream is to “work in Chicoland” claims his cousin Beth. Vil laughs and says that he wants to be able to pursue his musical dream either as a solo act or with the Jigsaws. Which does he prefer? ” Have you ever tried bringing drum gear on public transport .I only have to bring a mike here, its sound!”
Away from music, Vil works along the Riverside with a boat hire company and as an ice cream vendor “I enjoy it.It’s annoying when people pay for a small ice cream with a 20 pound note. You only have a small float!”. Of Boughton life he says…”you live there don’t you. You can play football and you can go to Sainsburys and that’s it. You’ve got that takeway Fat Boys… ” He says his new obsession is the Garden Lane cafe, as his family are launching a new micro pub in the Garden quarter named “The Goat and Munch” in the near future.
Thank you Vil