CAMPAIGN – TOUR PUBLICITY
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Six years, six albums and countless singles, eps and collaborations later, and finally this February – March, we are blessed with a return visit from our favourite royal, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.
Born Will Oldham in Kentucky USA some 40 years ago, Oldham christened the Bonnie mantle after the dissolution of his previous outfit(s), the hugely influential alt-country outfits Palace Brothers and Palace Music. Since then Bonnie 'Prince' Billy has amassed a catalogue of some twelve studio-albums, all weirdly inventive takes on the roots genre: country-western, bluegrass, Appalachian folk, and which has seen cover versions from the likes of Johnny Cash, Cat Power and Mark Lanegan while the list of renowned public admirers would fill a press release on its own.
His most recent release, Wolfroy Goes to Town, continues in his own unique tradition but in true maverick style moves ever sideways from expectation, this time with the addition of vocalist Angel Olsen – a solo performer in her own right – and guitarist Emmett Kelly; Billy's most recent consistent collaborator and the one-man band known as the Cairo Gang. It is these performers plus drummer Van Campbell who will be joining the Bonnie 'Prince' Billy on this Australian tour.
Aided by vocalist Angel Olsen, Wolfroy Goes to Town is perhaps his strongest and most consistent collection for years. In fact, the entire thing is an absolute, unerring joy. NME 8/10
Live one can never know what to expect from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy other than to hugely entertained.
Oldham is made for this kind of gig, looking as he does like a pastor from the American South; he waves his arms theatrically as he delivers his lyrics, at times bending double as if the emotional weight of the song is a heavy cross to bear. – The Fly.Co.UK
Safe to say those of us who have followed Oldham as he has toured shyly and quietly in support of his seven earlier BPB releases have never seen anything like the Oldham who was energetically bounding around the stage on Sunday like a little yoga Buddha-slash-monkeyman in blue leotard and bare feet. – heyreverb.com
Call it country, call it folk, call it what you Will… it's safe to say that there is nothing out there quite like Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.
TOUR DATES / TICKETING INFO:
Tickets $47.70 + bf from www.gardenofunearthlydelights.com.au, phone 1300 FRINGE (1300 374 643) or in person at the Garden, FringeTix outlets and Venue*Tix outlets.
+ Mick Turner (dinner and show or standing room only). Tickets on sale Friday 10th March from www.webtickets.com - Polyster Recs (City and Fitzroy), Thornbury Records and Basement Discs/
Bonny's parents performed intercourse merely once, but it was deeply tantric, lasting so long they conceived and birthed 3 children during the single act. Bonny was born Siamese twins, conjoined at every part of the body–overlapped perfectly on top of one another so he looked like just one guy. During puberty, Bonny's Other began to itch, so he underwent a procedure to be surgically separated from himself, cell by cell. When doctors attempted to reassemble the extracted Boniface, they wound up with just two frogs, a jaybird, and a monkey holding a banjo. It was at this point he began to noodle around with music.
The Bonny 'Prince' quickly showed skill: he could reach into an oak tree with his bare hands, pull out its still beating heart and show it to the tree before it dropped dead. Afterwards he reached into its corpse and pulled out a handful of chili. It was upon this chili that Le Bonnes supped during his lean years of artistic struggle.
Determined to forge his own scrappy sonic path, Billy invented a brand new musical note out of just a bottle cap, a sack of raisins and a lawnmower engine, all held together with dried duck sauce and twine.
Every night he fell asleep with cookies in his mouth, wet the bed in the shape of Abraham Lincoln, and awoke covered with bruises in the shape of lyrics. The first time Bonnie tried to sing, nothing came out except thousands of flies. He nursed these creatures on the milky diligence of his meaty teat and soon their bellies were so round they sang like angels.
His new album is a bit of a departure. As this was his first project without the backing of the Pips, Our Bonne chose to surrender full control of the recording process to his mustache, Lionel. When asked about the topic, Dr. Boniface P. Billy will only reply “There are… no words to describe… the things I say.”
So, tragically, it is left to the critics to summarize his work:
“They say the great ones are misunderstood in their time? Bonny Prince Fucking Billy can’t even tell time.” - KY Daily
“Dr. Prince-Billy's music demands that the listener climb directly into his own heart and sniff every cranny until finding the one cranny fit to be anointed King Of Crannies and then scrape up that cranny and carry it home in his CrannyBag© (sold separately).” - gurneynuts.org
“He has beehive pubic hair.” - Vanity Fair
“Music so lovely it makes Beauty Itself look like a wart on a turd puked a tumor.” - Auralstrangulator.com