Interview with Adam Bulley of Wingin’ It.
Adam Bulley and Chas Mackenzie, described as one of the most highly rated duo’s in the country, are both award (in the “Danny Kyle” at Celtic Connections) and plaudit (for their live and recorded material) winning. They play Inverness as part of their tour that takes them to the Highlands and Islands.
The name “Wingin’ It” seems incongruous with the depth, beauty and context of your music, how did you come up with the name for your act?
The name originated back when we started out playing in pubs. We were constantly trying new things and the name seemed to fit with our approach. It probably sums up our live show (where we continue to push ourselves) more than our album.
The name has seen you well, as you mark ten years performing together, what are the key elements of your endurability?
We’ve always just tried to have as much fun as we can. We take the music seriously, however we still find things that surprise each other.
Whether it’s the musicianship on show or the ability to relate to the audience, what goes into the planning of a live gig and how much does improvisation play a role in the night?
With our live show we generally have a layout of each piece and its structure. Improvisation does play a part in our performances though, and I think this is probably a big reason why we’ve managed to keep the material feeling fresh for this long. The element of risk that this brings hopefully translates as energy and excitement for the audience.
It was 7 years (or thereabouts) between your debut EP and your first album, why was there such a time lapse between releases?
I think we needed a bit of time to figure out what kind of album we wanted to put together before we felt comfortable going into the studio. Partly that, and partly we’re lazy!
One reviewer described your 2013 album as “a startlingly original, crisp and vibrant piece of work”, what is your relationship with the album now?
Yeah, we were very lucky with the reviews that we had in for “For The Many”. I think it’s something that we’re both still proud of. It’s an album that we put a lot of time and effort into making, and the fact that we can still listen to it without cringing is always a good sign!
How significant was the winning of the ‘Danny Kyle’ award at Celtic Connections in 2007?
Winning the Danny Kyle award definitely helped us to get our foot in the door with some festivals and promoters. It was possibly the first time that we realized that we could do more with the duo than just the pub circuit and branch out a bit more. That’s a period we still look back on with fond memories.
What’s next for Wingin’ It?
We’re currently working on some new material for the live show. We’ve also started bringing visuals into the show, with projected videos alongside our performances, and this seems to be very effective. We’re also looking at writing new material as well, possibly looking to record some new music next year.
Wingin’ It play Eden Court on the 30th of July. Tickets available online.