Falkirk born jazz bass player, Wells began his career playing in Rent-A-Dep, a jazz / rock combo from the early 1980's. During the next decade he became more involved in the local jazz scene, backing artists such as Bobby Wellins and Bruce Adams. In 1989 he formed the Bill Wells Octet, which went on to feature most of Scotland's main jazz musicians, such as Phil & Tom Bancroft, as well as London based players such as Steve Noble and Oren Marsha. In 1993 Wells guested with The George Burt Band on the One Records compilation.
1995 saw him set up the label Loathsome Reels, and release his first CD "The Bill Wells Octet Live '93 - '94". The following year he worked with trumpeter Harry Beckett at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, winning the Scotrail Award for best Scottish based performer. It was during this time that he met Stephen Pastel, who went on to introduce his music to a wider audience. This in turn led to him working with bands such as the Pastels and others on the independent Glasgow
scene. 1997 saw him co-produce an album for Andy Shanks & Jim Russell with Davie Scott, and then the following year he guested on the Future Pilot A.K.A. album, "The Bills Wels Octet vs Future Pilot A.K.A.", which was released to wide acclaim, on the Domino label. A track from this record was remixed by French DJ Kid Loco and featured on the HBO TV series 'Six Feet Under'. At this time Wells was a member of the 'House Band' for the BBC Choice series "The Beat Room", backing artists such as Eugene Kelly (of The Vaselines) and Chip Taylor (writer of 'Wild Thing", and uncle of Angelina Jolie!).
Wells then collaborated under the name of The Phantom Engineer in 2000, before recording an album, "Incorrect Practice", as The Bill Wells Trio.
In 2001 he worked (with the Pastels) on the soundtrack of (and appeared in) David Mackenzie's film "The Last Great Wilderness".
The following year he supported Belle & Sebastian on the first leg of their European Tour (with Isobel Campbell), played in Germany with Backworld, recorded an Album with Jad Fair, did a remix with Norman Blake, was commissioned to write an arrangement for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, and released two records; "Also In White" by the Bill Wells Trio & "Ghost Of Yesterday" by Bill Wells & Isobel Campbell. Both these records were also released in Japan on the P-Vine label.
In 2003 Wells went to Berlin to make an album, "Pick Up Sticks" using computer and
sampler only. This recording also featured Stefan Schnieder, Annie Whitehead and Barbara Morgenstern.
2004 saw him touring and recording in Japan with Maher Shalal Hash Baz. He has also either played or recorded with a diverse range of artists including Arab Strap, Lol Coxhill, Belle & Sebastian, David Tibet, The Telstar Ponies, V- Twin, Teenage Fanclub, Kama Aina, Kid Loco, Barry Guy and Evan Parker among many others.
During 2006 Wells received a Scottish Arts Council 'Tune Up' commission for a tour of Scotland with a group of Japanese musicians. He also released a couple of albums, "Osaka Bridge", and an album of Billie Holiday cover versions with Isobel Campbell (previously of Belle & Sebastian) entitled "Ghosts Of Yesterday"
In 2007 Wells formed, the semi-ironically titled, The National Jazz Trio of Scotland.
January 2010 saw Wells appearing at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, with Aidan Moffat, with whom he began recording a collaborative album later in the year.
2011 saw the collaborative album with Aidan Moffat, "Everythings Getting Older", released to great critical acclaim, followed in 2012 by a limited edition 7 inch single called "The Power & The Glory Of Love".


As The Bill Wells Octet:
"The Bill Wells Octet Live '93 - '94" (CD album, Loathsome Reels, 1995)
"The Bill Wells Octet vs Future Pilot A.K.A." (CD / vinyl album, Domino Records, 1999)
As The Bill Wells Trio:
"Incorrect Practice (CD / vinyl album, Geographic Records, 2000)
As The Bill Wells Octet:
"The Bill Wells Octet meets Lol Coxhill " (vinyl album, Textile Records, 2001)
As The Bill Wells Trio:
"Also In White" (CD / vinyl album, Geographic Records, 2002)
As Bill Wells & Isobel Campbell:
"Ghosts Of Yesterday" (CD album, Creeping Bent Records, 2002)
As The Bill Wells Big Band:
"Society Of Musicians" (CD album, Loathsome Reels, 2003)
As The Bill Wells Octet:
"The Bill Wells Octet" (CD album, Loathsome Reels, 2003)
"The Bill Wells Octet Live 96" (CD album, Loathsome Reels, 2003)
As Jad Fair & Bill Wells:
"Whale" (CD album, Friends & Relatives, 2003)
As Bill Wells:
"Pick Up Sticks" (CD / vinyl album, Leaf Records, 2004)
"Osaka Bridge" (Cd album, Karaoke Kalk Records, 2006)
Aidat Moffat & Bill Wells:
"Everything's Getting Older" (CD / internet album, 2011)
"The Power & The Glory Of Love" (7 inch single, 2012)

The Pastels, "Mobile Safari" (CD / cassette / vinyl album, Domino Records, 1995)
Duglas T. Stewart, "Frankenstein" (CD album, Vinyl Japan Records, 1996)
Andy Shanks & Jim Russell, "Diamonds In The Night" (CD / cassette album, Culburnie Records, 1997)
The Pastels, "Illumination" (CD / vinyl album, Domino Records, 1997)
The Pastels, "The Hits Hurt" (CD / vinyl album, Domino Records, 1997)
The Pastels, "Unfair Kind Of Fame" (CD / vinyl album, Domino Records, 1997)
V-Twin, "Dark Tourism" (Domino Records, 1998)
The Pastels, "Illuminati" (CD / vinyl, Domino Records, 1998)
Future Pilot A.K.A. "Future Pilot A.K.A. vs A Galaxy Of Sound" (double CD / vinyl album, Sulphur Records, 1999)
V-Twin, "Free The Twin" (Domino Records, 2000)
The Gentle Waves, "Falling From Grace" (CD / vinyl album, Jeepster Records, 2000)
Future Pilot A.K.A., "Tiny Waves, Mighty Sea" (CD / vinyl album, Geographic Records, 2001)
The Telstar Ponies, "Farewell, Farewell" (CD album, Geographic Records, 2001)
Future Pilot A.K.A., "Beat Of A Drum" (single, Geographic Records, 2001)
The Telstar Ponies, "Hares On The Mountain" (10 inch vinyl single, Static Caravan Records, 2002)
V-Twin, "Call A Meeting" (Domino Records, 2002)
V-Twin, "The Blues Is A Minefield" (Domino Records, 2002)
The Pastels, "The Last Great Wilderness" (CD / vinyl album, Geographic Records, 2003)
The Nectarine No.9, "Society is a Carniverous Flower" (CD, Beggars Banquet Records, 2003)
Backworld, "Seeds Of Love" (CD album, World Serpent Records, 2003)
Isobel Campbell, "Amorino" (CD / vinyl album, Snowstorm Records, 2003)
Maher Shalal Hash Baz, "Open Field" (CD album, Geographic Records, 2003)
Isobel Campbell, "Time Is Just The Same" (Snowstorm Records, 2004)
YeonGene, "Me & My Burt" (CD album, Beatball Records, 2006)