The Bills, a high-energy band that combines a variety of styles, will be playing at The Civic Centre on Nov. 13. The concert will be the Victoria group’s second performance in Golden, after they put on a show about 10 years ago when they were called The Bill Hilly Band.
The group formed in 1996 with five members.
“We had been playing together with different projects, and just started to do this one, and it just really caught on…the phone started ringing and the tours started happening,” said lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chris Frye.
The other members of the ensemble play a variety of instruments, from the fiddle to the mandolin, violin and viola. Frye said that the Bills don’t have one distinct style, but rather it is a combination of style that gives them their unique sound.
“The three main backgrounds for The Bills are folk music, jazz music and classical music,” Frye said. “We have guys who have played big shows at the Montreal Jazz Festival, we’ve played the biggest folk festivals in North American and the U.K. and then we have two guys who have been concert masters in the orchestra setting.”
Because of that background in Jazz, no two shows are alike.
“There’s a lot of room for improvisation…there’s a lot of room where the great musicians in the band get a chance to solo and do incredible things,” Frye said.
Some of Frye’s highlights as a member of The Bills were the group’s performances at the Calgary Folk Festival and the Tonder Festival in Denmark, a major festival that led to a 30 show tour all over Sweden as the band built a Scandanavian following.
The groups latest offering is called Yes Please, and the stop in Golden will be The Bills’ first tour of B.C. with the new album. On Yes Please, the band offers up twelve new original compositions and a seductive arrangement of a medley of gypsy-jazz ballads. Audiences can expect to hear the influences of global roots and rock alongside hints of Chopin, Stan Rogers and Django Reinhardt. For more information about The Bills and to sample music from their latest album, log on to www.thebills.ca. Tickets are on sale now at the Art Gallery of Golden.