My first introduction to the Argentinian musician and performer, Diego Billordo, was through a rather splendid 7” single by long time favourites, Spare Snare (writes Andy Wood). They recorded two rather splendid songs, full of beautiful hooks and sweet melodies. My particular favourite was the energetic and infectious ‘No Quise Angustiarte. At this point I had no idea who Billordo was, he was clearly a song writer of some talent but remained an enigma to me until he arrived in Scotland for his first ever in 2017.
Basically one man and a guitar, Billordo is akin to an explosion in a confined space. A lovely, fun explosion that brings joy as opposed to pain. There is no barriers of language or between audience and performer at a Billordo show as he moves around the room sharing his wonderful songs and observations with a roomful of strangers who may have been initially no more familiar with his music than those Spare Snare recordings. By the end of his set he appears to have won over the entire room who are smiling as much as the man himself.
And this is the power of music at its most powerful. Communication. Desire to share and to have fun. And magical songs. Basically with no record deal, manager or booking agent, Billordo toured Europe winning over hearts and minds, keeping it simple and sharing his love for underground, heartfelt music and enthralling performance.
While a lot of the recordings feature a band, live and solo, the songs still sound absolutely wonderful.
And he is back touring Europe. One man, a guitar and a heart full of joy. And a Spare Snare t-shirt of course. Ahead of his U.K. dates this month Billordo kindly answered some questions for Manic Pop Thrills while travelling and playing in Europe and Scandinavia.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your music? What or who inspired you to start writing songs and performing?
In my life in music I have inspiration in classic indie bands, Hard Core 80’s zines culture and lo- fi artists. Punks and DIY action in life and arts.
How would you describe your music and performances to someone who had yet to hear you?
Imagine indie folk lo-fi mixing with punk rock . Imagine The Fall in folk mode. Imagine Bob Dylan with The Ramones. Imagine a guy who wanna have fun in music. But he have a compromise with DIY and underground music.
What is the music scene like in Buenos Aires?
Same rest of the world. You have mainstream music. And underground music. Ok … you can find me in underground music gardens…
You have just started a fairly extensive European tour. How are you feeling about this?
I’m very, very happy. It’s my second tour in Europe and I can’t believe all this. I am from a country from South America…in the past. In the books the history the people write …it’s not normal, an underground music from a Latin country in Europe. Ok. I write other history. I’m happy.
What are the most important things you need for touring?
Love and DIY . And a t.shirt by Spare Snare.
What are your favourite places that you have played in?
All Europe its good. And Scotland much.
Are there any places that you haven’t played that you would love to play?
Japan… EEUU. And Palestina.
How did you come to link up with Spare Snare? Do you see them as kindred spirits?
In the 90s I was a big fan for Spare Snare. And today same. I love all in Spare Snare. And magic of internet make all. Yes same spirits.
If you could organize your own festival (time, money and mortality being of no limit) who would you invite to join you at it and where would you hold it?
Ufff haha… mmm. In Dundee. Near to the river. And play these bands and artists…… Spare Snare. Nirvana. The Vaselines. The Fall. The Clash. Pavement. Guided by Voices. Sebadoh. Dinosaur jr. The Jesus and Mary Chain. Pixies. Neutral Milk Hotel. Fugazi. Daniel Johnston. The Velvet Underground. Ramones. Moldy Peaches. Prewar Yardsale. Lemonheads. Jonathan Richman. Johnny Cash. Caetano Veloso. Violeta Parra. Chavela Vargas.
Which question would you most like to be asked?
All this asks is ok.
Anything else that you would like to add?
Thanks for believing in me.
Here’s a short film about Billordo’s trip to Scotland last year:
Billordo plays Conroy’s Basement in Dundee on Saturday 19th May. More details here.
The full list of dates remaining on his European tour is as follows:
Saturday 12/5. Berlin
Wednesday 16/5. Glasgow
Saturday 19/5. Dundee
Sunday 20/5. Liverpool
Monday 21/5. London
Thursday 24/5. London
Friday 25/5. Bristol
Saturday 26/5. Genoa
Sunday 27/5. MONZA
Tuesday 29/5. Venice
Wednesday 30/5. BRESCIA
Thursday 31/5. BENEVENTO
Saturday 2/6. Barcelona
Sunday 3/6. Madrid