Bus Stop Theatre, Halifax NS May 31
Solo Montreal act Bloodshot Bill didn't just help kick off the OBEY Convention V, he stomped it into a blissful ruck of dancing, thrashing and awe. Dressed in striped pyjamas under a silk navy blue robe, while geared with a guitar, bass drum, hi-hat and a generous amount of hair grease to pillar his pompadour, the rockabilly rocker took the crowd back to the time of pure 1950s rock -- a time where rock'n'roll music was still considered satanic. Bloodshot Bill took it a step further, sounding as if Charlie Feathers, Larry Brinkley and Link Wray had a deal gone wrong with the devil.
It wasn't long before his jet-black hair swooped onto his face as he snarled and snorted, hissed and hiccupped, and panted rhythmically to an otherwise classically crooned set based on once-ubiquitous subjects such as the drive-in and the twist. At one point, he offered a Keith's to a random crowd member while explaining, "You can't drink alone. You can't dance alone."
It was hard to believe this is a one-man band given the number of voices and sounds escaping from him. He proved his eclecticism instrument-wise, too, as he drummed on his fretboard and showed off fancy footwork on his bass drum pedal.
The set ended with a yodeling number where Bloodshot Bill shouted "OBEY" repeatedly before the final chorus, which he then tapered into an unquestionably sexual stupor of grunting and murmuring. It was a dirty, wild ride.
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