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The Hillbilly Killers - The Basement

The Hillbilly Killers, Pic by Angela Padovan
Apr 24th 2013 | Natasha Lee
Beer in hand, Bill Chambers clambered onto the stage and began casually strumming his guitar. Is this it? Have The Hillbilly Killers hit the stage without a warm-up act? “We are the support act,” growls Chambers, “'cause we couldn't afford one, we've decided to support ourselves.” Support they did, with fellow Killers Catherine Britt and the foppish Tim Rogers gracing the stage as soloists, playing hymns from their own collection.

Soon the country ménage a trios reformed beneath the dimming stage lights. Britt's voice is an angelic ease between Chamber's 'hillbilly daddy' drawl and Rogers'… well, Tim Rogers-ness, which reared its head several times during the set, with Rogers recounting the time he was forced to share a single bed with a mortified looking Chambers (“I kept him up all night 'cause someone had given me these pills and they turned out to be Ritalin”). With only one song to their name – They Call Us The Hillbilly Killers the group went on to share those other secret song wares they've been working on; a tribute to coal mine workers, a nod to those in the world who are “beautifully fucked up” and a delightful fuck you to love with the hot-dog-toe-tapping-hand-clapping-head-nodding gem, Love Sucks And I Hate It.

Chambers and Britt embraced and enchanted the crowd – bouncing off one another through harmonies and honky-tonk guitar work. Rogers, on the other hand, clad in a velvet suit with cowboy hat (yee haw!) stayed solo on stage right, playing to the band's backing duo, seemingly off in his own world.

With a CD on the way and more shows lined up, The Hillbilly Killers might be a band in its infancy, but with such a healthy pedigree, the group have only a few quirks to sort out (like, you know, a support act) before becoming a country music staple. Just give them some time. And keep Rogers off the Ritalin.

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