Progressive blues band Bailiff has been getting a lot of buzz lately for its throwback sound. Fresh off a headlining set at Lincoln Hall on January 9, drummer Ren Mathew tells Centerstage about the band's past, present and future.
Describe your sound in 140 characters or less. A friend recently described Bailiff as "Indie rock slant to a raucously syncopated Chicago blues aesthetic, all tied together with some of the tightest composition you'll hear on any side of the Mississippi..." I think he said it best.
Where and when was your first show – and what was it like? Our first show was at the Beat Kitchen back in April of 2007 and it was definitely a special night. Mainly because the room was unexpectedly packed, but regardless of the turnout, we were excited to debut the sound. We kicked off the show with "What I Was," and I remember when we hit the verse beat, the crowd erupted. Instant gratification I say. I also remember the show flying by (six songs total + one half-completed song for an encore). But the overwhelmingly positive feedback was early validation for the sound we were trying to create. So, that first show gave us a real good launch.
Name three of your favorite Chicago spots. The Green Mill is my favorite nightclub in the city. Folks always seem to be having a great time there and the musicians that come through are amazing.
Art of Pizza serves, in our book, the best deep-dish pizza in the city. And there's never a long line for the food.
Myopic Books, classic hipster hangout, with tons of good books to read. Good call to keep it open til 1am too.
What Chicago artist/band should we interview next and why? This past summer, we played a show with a talented group called 2Bijoux. Two beautiful ladies with soulful voices and energetic beats backing them up. I also remember them singing as much in unison as they did harmonize and they just put on a great, energetic show. They bring a lot with just two voices.