"Billy C is a cause célèbre these days, though none of the media kerfuffle has deflected him from repeatedly making a distorted noise full of riffs and hooks."
Wild Billy Childish & the Buff Medways – The Xfm Sessions
Marvellous! Live Billy Childish recordings! For those sadly unfamiliar with Mr Childish’s repertoire, this is as good a place as any to start. In some ways this recording encapsulates all that is truculent, all that is incoherent, and all that aspires to be different in his oeuvre. Though Childish flirts outrageously with the UK’s past (and I am sure he would call it a statement of artistic intent or a parallel lifestyle or something) he sensibly never allows any frippery to get in the way of his scorching rock and roll. Not for him the granny takes a trip-isms of fashionable bands. His is a punk sensibility that nods to garage and classic r’n’b. And the uniforms are integral to the trip, not additional.
Billy C is a cause célèbre these days, though none of the media kerfuffle has deflected him from repeatedly making a distorted noise full of riffs and hooks. As if to prove this, the first thing we get on this CD is a fabulous live romp in front of a sweaty and appreciative London audience, replete with swearing and missed cues. It makes you wonder why people like the Libertines ever bothered. Brilliant takes on a Strange Kind of Happiness and ATV make this an absolute joy to listen to.
The studio sessions proper boast an utterly manic version of Strood Lites (a set with Blur’s Graham Coxon on drums no less). Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot is as acerbic as you could wish and the brilliant David Wise gets a run out as well.
And as usual the artwork is tremendous.
Buy this; in fact buy everything he’s done.
Words: Richard Foster