Bill's Blog

Welcome to Bill Bates website

bill bates

I love to perform my songs at folk clubs, folk festivals and at house parties. I sing a mixed set of funny songs and serious songs. My objective is to entertain and have some fun and hopefully you will enjoy yourself at the same time.

I call myself a Dyxsluxic Song Writer, which just about sums me up. I go wrong every now and again but I keep smiling.

I am not as good a songwriter as Steve Knightley (Show of Hands) and not as funny as Keith Donnelly.  I thought I’d let you know this to manage your expectations!

Read More
Bill's Blog

As I fell off my roof, I remember thinking, “Louise is going to kill me!”.


Every now and again I visit an Hypnotherapist. His name is Peter Delves and he helps me with the “Issues” I occasionally have. I have to admit I am in two minds about Peter. Is he a top bloke? Or, has he actually hypnotised me to think that he is a top bloke? Maybe he has hypnotised me into writing about him?

I first went to see him after falling off  my roof. (It was actually more of a Lean-Two. About 9 feet high and 50 feet wide – but it was high enough). It was a busy old day. It was Louise’s birthday, and Matthew was playing in a football cup final and we wanted to get there on time.

Read More

How Do You Get More Gigs?

How to get gigs

I’ve been a singer songwriter for over 40 years (which, to be honest, scares the hell out of me) and in that time I have worked with hundreds of musicians of various abilities.

Over the years I have noticed that some artists are really good at selling themselves. They know what content to include on their website, how to network on different Social Media sites and they are constantly connecting with their audience.

Read More
Bill's Blog

Proud Of My Italian Ancestry

Uncle Luigi

Watching Italy v England Six Nations rugby match reminds me that I am proud to have Italian ancestors and I am in fact a quarter Italian. As far as I can make out my Grandad and Grandmother (mum’s mum) was born in Sicily and rumour has it all the family were fine musicians.  Grandad Luigi (pictured above) loved the violin, taking it with him everywhere he went. It may also explain my love of pasta, ice cream and grapes.

Read More
Bill's Blog

My First Visit To Banbury – I Will Get My Coat!

Banbury Folk

My first full time job, at the tender age of 15, was working as a sales assistant in the Burtons Menswear store on the Parade, Leamington Spa. There I learnt to sell. If a customer came into the store to buy a suit my job was to ensure that they went out with two suits, a shirt, a tie, a raincoat and hopefully two pairs of trousers. It was up-selling. It wasn’t commission led either – it was “fear led”. In my opinion, my boss, Mr Roberts, was a git and he would rip me to bits if a customer came in for a suit and they only walked out with a suit. God help you if they came into the store for a suit and left without buying anything.

Read More
Bill's Blog

Public Speaking

When 2 Minutes Was Too Long

I joined an international organisation called Toastmasters. Their objective is to help people become more confident at public speaking. The Leamington Spa branch of Toastmasters are called Spa Speakers and can be found here.

Speaking in public is something I am not naturally good at – I get my words mixed up and my thought process gets cluttered. It is out of my comfort zone. I am not comfortable with small talk either – general conversation within a group environment is way out of my comfort zone.

Which were very good reasons for joining up with Spa Speakers – it is good to get out of your comfort zone occasionally.

Read More

How was I?

How Was I?

I remember asking a mate after a gig “How was I?”  I had just come off stage, full of myself, and I thought I’d aced it.

“Not bad”, he answered, “but you could have been a lot better”.

He then tore my act to bits telling me where I could have introduced a song better, asked why I kept looking at the ceiling when I was trying to remember my words instead of looking at the audience, and why did I sing the last song in G when it would have been better down a tone.

He was just being honest. I asked him and he told me the truth which I hadn’t expected.

Asking for feedback is difficult – and I didn’t get the reaction I expected!

The Mutual Appreciation Society does you no good at all.

Read More

House Gigs: Playing In The Front Room, Patio Or Among The Flower Beds

House Gigs

After a folk club gig I was having a chat with a member of the audience who asked if I would play a gig at their house one Sunday evening and how much I charged.  I thought about it and said,

“I won’t charge you anything, but get everyone who comes to the party to donate £5 towards the cost of the gig.”

After agreeing a date I arrived at the House Gig an hour before the party was due to start and set up a very small acoustic amp in the host’s living room and set up my microphone and mic stand.

House gigs are great fun. Just don’t stand on the flow beds, it doesn’t go down well.

Read More
1 2 3 4