Tony Willé's message
I got in touch with Tony after visiting his site (here and also here) and I asked him to share his experiences with Felt.
This is what he generously likes to share.A big thanks to Tony.
Thanks for getting in touch. I've known about your website for a while and think it's excellent.
My work with Felt was as you say, playing on the two albums. I also toured with them, but not as a member of the band, as a solo acoustic support. Also on the bill was House of Love. I joined the tour in Liverpool and the small entourage was booked into a hotel. The plan was for me to sneak in and sleep on the floor of Martin Duffy's room (there was no room booked for me...I did the tour for fun). When we got to the hotel the owner was counting heads and I was the last so I had to go and sleep in the van that night!
I only played once with Felt as a band member (I think it was Chelmsford and I can't remember the year). I remember the Cocteau Twins coming along...it was Liz's birthday (29th August). I only had a short time to learn all of the songs and Lawrence told me I made a lot of mistakes.
I was never an official member of the band, although Lawrence did want me to join at one point. He and I lived in Moseley, Birmingham, Lawrence in a pristine flat and me in a shared house. One of the conditions of me joining was that Lawrence would come to my place, sort through my wardrobe and pick out the clothes that were destined for the charity shop (he didn't like my candy striped jacket). We didn't get that far though (...) Marco and I later started up a band together called The DAY. We played support to Felt's last ever gig in Birmingham, Marco playing in both bands on the night.
When we recorded Forever Breathes I was having trouble with one of the songs, 'Gather Up Your Wings and Fly'. I'd made the guitar part too complicated and kept getting it wrong. John Rivers, the producer took me off to a little room with a practice amp and told me come back when I'd sorted out something simpler. He liked to get all the guitar parts double tracked for a big sound but didn't want to do it mechanically so I had to be able to play all the parts note for note twice! The only track I failed on was the acoustic on 'A Wave Crashed On Rocks' which was in an open tuning and too difficult to play exactly the same twice. I worked like a trooper on all those arrangements. When I first heard the songs they were on cassette with just Lawrence on acoustic guitar. I worked out the arrangements basically from that. While we were at Woodbine Studios we had visitors one day. Alan McGee brought the Reid brothers along. It was good to meet them.
You asked if I played the solo on 'Riding on the Equator'. Yes, I did...the second, more fragile solo. Lawrence played the first one. As for photos I don't have any I'm afraid. I used to have some photos of Marco and me playing in The Day but I lost a lot of stuff moving around.
Ah well, I hope some of this is interesting and if I think of anything else I'll let you know. Feel free to keep in touch and keep up the good work!