Billy Nomates – The Moth Club, Hackney, 16 October 2021

It’s a Saturday night out in Hackney. The girls in front of us are eyeing up the guys next to them. One of the boys looks like a Hemsworth if you squint and have been at the 6% craft beer. They make their move. The boys look non-plussed but hey, there’s worse ways to spend an evening. The all girl support band, who are wearing cowboy hats, stand next to Hemsworth. They start line dancing to the music now coming from the stage. Hemsworth joins in. His mate is now chatting to one of the girls, the non-instigator of the initial contact. We’ve moved from brunette on brunette, through blonde on blonde to brunette on blonde. Who knows where it will end?

Enjoy it while it lasts kids. It may all be shutting downing again. This town could be a ghost town before Santa calls.

Aside for those of the crowd looking for hot fun, there was also Billy Nomates to provide our evening’s entertainment. Billy’s one album into her recording career. I first saw her doing a lockdown gig with Sleaford Mods and she makes an appearance on their recent Spare Ribs LP. Billy, aka Tor Maries, is a vocal presence on social media. She’s been spot on in recent weeks combating frequent comments from men in particular about her lack of a backing band. Aside from the economics of touring with a bunch of musicians in a post Covid environment, I’d make the following observations, about anyone who suggests that they know what is best for her.

  1. It’s bollocks
  2. No one tells Aphex Twin or Four Tet that they ought get a drummer and a bass player
  3. It’s bollocks

Billy is entitled to approach her art and craft how she sees fit. It’s her call. What she does do is simultaneously accessible and confrontational. Her soulful voice and excess of energy make for an engaging and watchable show. Her take on life in 2021 is as acute and witty as her mates from Nottingham. The songs are direct. There’s no flim-flam. No fat, no excess – this cuts to the point and to the bone.

With so much misdirection and obfuscation these days, a bracing blast of a person telling it like it is serves to provide a truth.

More power to Billy Nomates.

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