The Waverlies are essentially four poets, two of whom are also singer songwriters and all four have collaborated on songs, poetry and combined pieces. They were formed out of performances at Poems & Pints nights organised by the Phoenix Writers in various venues around Edinburgh, most prominently, The Diggers. They've done more than their fair share in promoting local poets and singer songwriters by staging regular performances with open mic spots. Mike, Billy and Bob are all well published poets. Mike is so good with words and melodies that it's just plain scary, Billy is a dry, laconic performer of some of the wittiest and most perceptive poetry being written today and Bob's poetry has inspired many listeners, not least Tom. Bob and Tom have co-written more than a dozen songs since The Waverlies were formed.
Tom Fairnie: I won a prize at school for writing a road safety slogan and ever since I've struggled to live up to that promise. However, I did win the West Lothian Songwriter of the Year award a couple of years back so I guess that proved something. It goes without saying that I'm very proud of both achievements.
Bob Shields: The poet of relationships. A great influence on many poets, writers and songwriters.
Mike Dillon: One of the very best songwriters anywhere. His wordplay is stunning.
Billy Cornwall: The Water of Leith runs in his blood and occasionally down his trouser leg.
Mark Barnett: The missing fifth man. Mark is becoming an essential part of The Waverlies sound.
Nancy Somerville: Has performed with The Waverlies several times mainly because she has still to find a good excuse not to.
Jane Fairnie: Sings harmony on many of the poetry/song combinations and adds a special voice to The Waverlies low growl.
Martin Boland: Has stood in as a substitute Waverley on occasions and played wonderful guitar on The Harbour At Symi.
What inspired them?
Tom: "Writers Workshops; where people like John McCauchie and Mike Dillon gave me the benefit of their critical faculties. I'm proud to say that some of my own writing has been included alongside theirs in a publication called Elephant's Eye, which is edited by Mike and features writers in the Workshop."
Bob: "Everything from Dylan Thomas to Bob Dylan via Mike Dillon."
Billy: "Hibernian and Leith."
Mike: "Mud, tundra and stars on the road to Kirkconnell."