Willowen are a sprightly three piece band with a fun and energetic stage presence. Jonny takes centre stage playing acoustic guitar and sings in an intimate style which draws you into the lyrics. George on percussion attacks a Cajon and symbol with more enthusiasm than a Labrador puppy. He is the driving force in the band keeping it upbeat and energetic. Jasmine on violin decorates every song with catchy hooks that you'll be whistling days after you heard it. Not only are George and Jasmine excellent musicians but they both also provide backing vocals, giving Jonny the luxury of having a variety of different styles when harmonising.
Each band member is an entertainer leaving no one in the shadows, which keeps the audience captivated. I as an audience member always enjoy seeing performers who have great character on stage, someone who is able to entertain between songs. All of the members in Willowen are experts at this, using humour and wit to introduce their songs which often gives a great insight into the inspiration behind the song.
WHERE DOES THE BAND'S NAME COME FROM?
It came from a good friend of ours who has inspired a lot of the songs that I wrote. His name is Will Owen, he does joke that he will one day sew us for stealing his name.
WHAT'S THIS YEARS BIG NEWS?
We're playing at Wickham Festival and Purbeck Festival which we are really looking forward to. We're also doing a small tour around the south of England to promote our new EP 'Monster' which will be released on 9th August. We are pretty busy and already have 45 gigs booked this summer.
IS IT DIFFICULT TO ORGANISE A BAND OF 3 PEOPLE?
It's a great help to have someone like George, he is the brains of the operation. He can remember every gig we have ever played and every future booking we have. He books all our gigs and organises us, I think he enjoys it too.
WHAT'S YOUR PREFERRED TYPE OF VENUE?
Any venue, so long as there are people in it. one of our favourite venues is the Cellar Bar in Boscombe, we know the sound guy there and it is always a good atmosphere. We haven't yet played a full-on festival, We did play at Bovington tank museum which was an out door gig with a massive festival type stage. It was a lot of fun but we will be playing two proper festivals Wickham and Purbeck Festival this year.
WHY DO YOU PERFORM AT OPEN MIC NIGHTS?
We like to remember our roots, it was at an Open Mic Night where we got started. It's also about publicity getting known and getting out there. Open Mic Nights are an amazing environment to practice, it's good to practice in front of an audience.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON PERFORMING FOR FREE?
We are happy to play for free some times, that's just how you get started as a band. But eventually you get better, people start to hear you and you get a name for yourself. If you're good paid gigs will follow.