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Friday, 22 April 2011

Billy Liar - It Starts Here

Honesty is in short supply these days
It's an attribute that has apparently went out of fashion.
Of course people say that they want it, but try and give them the undiluted truth and watch the reaction.
It's rarely a pretty sight.
From adults swallowing political spin to school kids claiming they genuinely like Justin Beiber - so as not to offend their peers - the lies that oil the wheels of society are everywhere.
One place you wont find them though is on Billy Liar's 'It Starts here'.
Soul bearing rawness are the three little words that probably crop up often enough in critiques, but that's the immediate surface impression of it.
Dig a little deeper and there's far more going on.
The first thing is that he is keying into a long tradition of musical expression.
Woody Guthrie, Billy Bragg, Joe Strummer and TV Smith have all forged ahead with this style of folk punk social commentary to great effect, and now Billy Liar has set forth to carry the torch to yet another generation.
The thing about those highlighted is that many try to emulate them by singing protest songs, but that seems to miss the point to an extent because they had the ability to raise awareness through highlighting social issues on a personal level.
They pushed forward the meat of a story and not the banner headline with their success being rooted in the familiarity of what they wrote.
Billy Liar has this ability to communicate to.
Whether he is passing comment on the the state of the music industry or the use of drugs he is filtering it through his perception of the issue and in doing so isn't providing an abstract commentary, but instead one that we can feel a kinship with.
Secondly he provides a barrier between the listener and his lyrics.
His guitar and voice provides a distraction to what he is singing about and that's not a bad thing as it makes it more palatable.
Remember what I said about honesty being out of fashion. To purely rant is counterproductive as the truth is too much for most people to comprehend.
Was it Jack Nicholson who said “You can't handle the truth” in A Few Good Men?
There's probably a great deal of worth and honesty in that statement.
If Billy Liar was just to stand on speakers corner and shout the lyrics out then most people would tuck their heads down and keep walking because they don't really want to address what is being said, but wrap the words up in a song and deliver it with passion and the message filters through with less resistance being placed in its path.
That is really the key to getting the story across, and that Billy Liar at a young age can comprehend that stands him in good stead for the future.
And lastly..........Well he writes good songs.
That may sound simplistic, but unless the performer has an ear for his craft then it doesn't work.
Billy Liar does though. His ear is finely tuned.
It may be that he is the angry young man of punk touring relentlessly up and down this country with his guitar gripped white knuckled in has hand, but he is also much more than this and It Starts Here provides ample proof of that.
Now go and buy it. Go and see Billy, Post about him on your blogs or even just visit his myspace and make your own mind up.
You might not like what you hear, but it's difficult to ignore.


  1. Thomas Ignatious27 October 2011 at 09:26

    Fuck man. At last. A real punk blog. Punk in you don't give a fuck do you. Shit. Kylie and Billy Liar. Having both on here is the real punk attitude man.

  2. Well thanks. The whole idea of punk having rules does offend me. So I just rattle in what I want, and yes, I don't give a fuck.