Bloodshot Bill

Bus Stop Theatre, Halifax NS May 31

BY Sandi RankaduwaPublished Jun 1, 2012

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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