Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Bills: Yes Please

Yes Please
The Bills
The Bills - the quintet from the West Coast of Canada - are back in the UK for a series of tour dates. They have released a new album too.

Track List

Hallowed Hall
The Plant Song
Shining Face
After Music
Not The End
Little Tribune
Scotch Bonnet
Pandora's In Flames
Love's Medley
Gale In My Sail
Quarter Century Mazurka
Blackberry Ivy And Broom
The Gardenton Waltz

The Bills have one foot in the folk genre, with the other planted firmly in roots music. They have been described as a ''Canadian acoustic music supergroup'' and, having listened the Yes Please several times, it's easy to see why. The list of instruments utilised by The Bills is impressive and should give an indication as to what one can expect to hear.


Marc Atkinson: Vocals, guitar, piano, percussion, mandolin, mandola
Richard Moody: Vocals, violin, viola
Adrian Dolan: Vocals, piano, fiddle, accordion, viola
Scott White: Vocals, upright bass
Chris Frye: Guitar, percussion, lead vocal

The songs all contrast greatly. The two stand outs for me are The Plant Song and Shining Face. The former sounds a jaunty little number at first impression, about a man neglecting a plant, but on closer inspection it is perhaps several shades darker than it initially seems to be. Shining Face is a much simpler song, with love conquering all being the theme of the day. It's upbeat and catchy.

Five of the tracks are instrumentals, not needing lyrics to convey their message. Of these, the one I enjoyed most is The Gardenton Waltz, which starts with a simple - yet highly evocative - piano piece, before the other instruments (starting with the violin) are introduced, one at a time, as the tune builds into something very intricate indeed. It eventually comes full circle and ends with the simple piano bringing about a fitting conclusion.

It was a good decision to include several instrumentals. As good as the lyrics of the songs are, it is good to be able to really focus on the instruments and their intricate interactions.

The Bills are certainly no strangers to the UK, having already notched up noteworthy appearances at events such as Celtic Connections and the Cambridge Folk Festival. Starting this week, they are all set to win new fans and reconnect with existing followers at 15 different venues.

UK Tour Dates

Fri May 23: Hothouse, Morecambe

Sat 24: Ireby Festival, Cumbria

Sun 25: Playhouse 2 Theatre, Shaw, Oldham

Mon 26: The Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Tues 27: All Saints Church, Hereford

Wed 28: The Met, Bury

Thurs 29: Swaledale Festival, St Andrew’s Church, Grinton

Fri 30: The Ropery Hall, Barton upon Humber

Sat 31: Selby Town Hall

Sun June 1: Brookfield Hall, Renfrewshire

Tues 3: Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline

Wed 4: Eastgate Theatre, Peebles

Thurs 5: The Sage, Gateshead

Fri 6: The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

Sat 7: Gate to Southwell Festival, Notts

Head to their official website for further information.

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