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Billy and Bob to air poppy new sounds at debut gig
AS the frontman of Southend band Redtrack, Billy Wright propelled the group to successes many other local outfits would be proud of.
Landing themselves a gig on teen soap Hollyoaks, they put themselves in the spotlight and built up a substantial following.
But last year Billy decided it was time for a new direction, and more recently he’s devoted himself to BB, a new project that sees him team up with Bob Gulston, who joined Redtrack for their last few months.
BB play their debut local gig at Chinnerys, in Southend, this month, and the dedicated duo are aiming right for the top with their own brand of self-dubbed procktro- pop, rock, electro-sound.
Billy says: “I’ve known Bob for quite a while. He played in Redtrack for the last eight months.
It all started when we both went to the BBC Introducing masterclass and Bob was nominated as a producer and I was nominated as a songwriter.”
The pair hit it off creatively and decided then and there they wanted to start work on a fresh, accessible, poppy sound.
Billy says: “We saw all these people on stage, like Gary Barlow and Calvin Harris, who’ve sold millions of record. We both identified more with people like them than the kind of people who are too proud to make pop music.
“Some people say it’s selling out, but it’s not, it’s just selling. We made the decision to kind of commit wholeheartedly to something that was a lot more poppy and a lot more commercial.”
The pair realised BB was going to be a lot more than a side project, and Billy decided to draw a line under Redtrack and focus on the two-piece.
He says: “I don’t regret it at all. This is a definite jump forward. The reaction we’ve got from people who’ve listened to it has just been brilliant. What people loved about Redtrack is still there in BB. We’ve still got that kind of storytelling pop, it’s just in a different vehicle.
“Redtrack was a huge part of my life, but I felt like we’d taken it as far as it could go and it was time to move forwards.”
Billy has also found he and Bob have a shared bond, and the ease of just working with one other person has paid out in terms of ambition and productivity. He says: “It was definitely a natural progression for us. I was always writing pop songs with Redtrack, but now I’ve found someone who I can write with easily. Also Bob’s really, really driven as well. We’ll stay up into the early hours working on something.
“When it’s two people it’s 50/50. It’s like he’s the left leg and I’m the right leg, which is a really important partnership to have.” The gig at Chinnerys will see the pair joined by bassist Jack Cooper and Bob’s sister, singer Helen Gulston, for a full band set.
Billy and Bob aim to make a memorable debut performance.
Billy says: “We’ve got a light show and one of the guys who’s mixing it mixes JLS and people like that, so it’s going to sound brilliant.
“We’ve got smoke machines and confetti canons, we just want it to be a set above. We want people to come and go, ‘I’ve never seen that done before in that venue.’ ”
The pair are hoping that their infectious dancey sound will have fans getting down for a good old rave at the rock venue.
Billy and Bob have been recording tracks for their debut album, having already released their first single, Walk of Shame, in March. But they’re waiting for a solid offer from a label before they start looking to release it.
BB play at Chinnerys, Marine Parade, Southend, on July 20, with Plastic Youth and My Heroine at 9.30pm. Entry is £3. For more information, call 01702 467305