They first met in 2011 when recording and producing Ginger Wildheart's top ten album, 555%. Both had previously been in a number of bands. Willie's CV includes Honeycrack and Jackdaw 4, while Jon was in Cardiacs.
Willie says: ''I was immediately taken by Jon's remarkable and diverse musical talent but it took me an age to pluck up the courage to phone him and ask whether he'd like to do something together."
Jon, however, had been thinking along the same lines and was thrilled at the prospect of working with Willie .''It was a very collaborative process", Jon recalls. "We both brought songs to the table and we performed, sang and produced them together. You'd be hard pressed to guess who wrote what since we both were adding ideas left right and centre to each others work."
In 1998, following the dissolution of Honeycrack, Willie moved into writing music for film and television, working with some of the biggest names in British comedy and drama, including Steve Coogan, Armstrong & Miller, Rob Brydon, Julia Davies, Derek Jacobi, Stephen Fry, Simon Pegg, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.
When Willie and Jon formed The Dowling Poole they turned to fans to help fund the recording of an album. Bleak Strategies, recently released through 369 Records, was financed through a PledgeMusic initiative which saw money being promised by fans to get the project off the ground.
Recalling the likes of XTC, Blur, 10CC, The Kinks and The Beatles, Bleak Strategies is an eclectic and contemporary mix of semi-psychedelic pop, quintessentially British-sounding yet laced with harmonies and a multitude of influences from 50 years of rock and popular music.