Calendar of Events

May 2024
May 14, 2024
Billy Liar
Show Starts:
8:00 pm
Show End:
11:55 pm
Doors will open approximately 30minutes prior to show start time.
Entry Fee:
$
10
Ages
21
and up allowed
About the Show and the Artist:

“Billy Liar is one of my favorite songwriters. Powerful and honest.”
Tim Armstrong, Rancid

In May of 2022, after a year of heavy touring across the US and Europe, Billy Liar and his band barricaded themselves into Big Dog Recordings studio just outside of Antwerp, Belgium with producer Joe McMahon (Smoke Or Fire). For seven days and nights they spilled blood, sweat, and beer into Billy’s new album, emerging only to stock up on more Brussels sprouts and cheap vodka.

The end result is Crisis Actor, a cathartic ripper of a punk record about life, death, breaking up, and barely surviving the pandemic era.

“I feel like we’ve all been living in crisis mode for the past few years,” Billy says about the album’s provocative title. “Hell, I’ve been doing it since I was a teenager. And I feel like a bad actor most of the time, struggling to contain all my anxieties and inconsistencies.”

Billy’s previous album, Some Legacy, earned him high praise from outlets like Brooklyn Vegan, Punknews.org, and Louder Than War. And it caught the attention of one of his favorite artists: solo songsmith Frank Turner. It was a full circle moment when Frank Turner—coincidentally touring through Belgium while Billy was in the studio—joined Billy to record guest vocals on a new track called “Negroni.” A track which, synchronistically, was written with references to some of Frank’s lyrics.

Other guests on Crisis Actor include keyboardist Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady / Against Me!) and guitarist Joe McMahon (Smoke or Fire). Meanwhile, drummer Robin Guy, who has played with everyone from Faith No More to Sham 69 to the Bay City Rollers, fought through the agony of cancer and chemotherapy to supply the album’s furious rhythm.

The tracks on Crisis Actor run the gamut of emotions, as evidenced by songs like “Hogmanay.” The title is a traditional term for New Year’s Eve in Billy’s native Scotland, and the song blends melancholy themes about drinking and dancing alone with a Celtic-inspired upbeat tune and lighthearted delivery. On their final night in the studio, Billy and his band gathered in the vocal booth for this song, drank heavily, threw each other into the walls, and sang themselves hoarse to create an anthem of triumphant misery.

The emotional peak of the record, though, is the closing track, “Troubled Mind,” which is a stripped-down acoustic confessional.

“It’s a song about owning up to the holes in my brain,” Billy explains. “The lyrics are the rawest I have ever written. So much so that I actually broke down when we were recording it. Which we kept on the album.”

Crisis Actor takes the sadness and sweetness of The Cure and filters it through the angry grit of The Clash and Rancid to create a modern punk album with a wounded heart, belted through a blown out larynx.

Or, as Billy himself puts it:

“It’s an album for the end of the world.”