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Billy The Kid Rocks the Rivoli

An email appeared in my inbox a few weeks ago. It was an invitation to attend a charity fundraiser at the Rivoli, hosted by Banyan Tree Initiatives and Low Income Families Together. What caught my interest was the person doing the inviting.

Billy Pettinger, AKA Billy the Kid, was performing solo as the first act. Emails exchanged and an interview arranged. Not knowing what to expect from a solo guitar act (the potential for boredom is pretty high), I sat down for the set.

I was not disappointed.

Upon taking the stage, Billy set the tone by launching into a heartfelt rendition of Billy Bragg's "To Have and To Have Not". The rest of the set consisted of her own songs, both solo work and material from her band Billy and The Lost Boys. The set was kick ass, and Billy is one of the best female guitarists I've ever met.

After the set, Billy and I sat down for a pint a quick interview (after running around the building trying to hide from the blistering techno-rock).

Billy is a new transplant to the Toronto area, landing here after years of touring and working out of her home base of Vancouver. She's no stranger to the road, boasting a recent 5-month/60-show tour that saw the Lost Boys blast across the whole country before making the move to Toronto; opening for some pretty big name bands, including Face to Face, DOA, and The Weakerthans.

Billy also runs Lost Records, and independent music label with 7 releases to date.

As with any long distance relationship, the whole band didn't survive the move. Billy's in the midst of reforming the Lost Boys, and like Spinal Tap, seems to keep killing drummers.

"I you like to have fun, and hang out, and you want to tour... my name is Billy and I write songs. I have a band, called the Billy and the Lost Boys. We have a couple of videos, 3 albums, we love playing and having the sweet life. So if you play drums, come find us."

As with every interview I do, I really only have one question. "Who are you and what do you do?"

I think Billy had the best response to date: "My name is Billy and I am a wrecking-ball".

Indeed. Billy's a sweetheart and a hard workin', hard rockin' girl. Keep an eye out for her and her band around town in the next few months. You'll be happy you did.


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