"Tomorrow we’re playing in ‘Ook-la-homa…’," John Disco begins to sing, trying to remember the rest of the words...
‘Where the wind goes sweeping down the plains?’
"Yes! ‘Where the wind goes sweeping down the plains’," he continues in his lovely Scottish accent.
After their short opening set for Pavement, all three members of Bis seemed quite content with their set. And so did the crowd, if not a little confused by their disco-punk sound.
"Do you guys have any albums?" a young girl asks.
"Yeah," John smiles, as he lists them out for her.
"But where would they be?"
In the local indie shops, usually in the "shit-pop, brit-pop" section.
"But we’re supposed to be in ‘hep-hup’, next to the Beastie Boys!" John interjects.
Well you’re supposed to be, but you’re not. You’re next to Black Grape.
John gives sort of a cringing laugh, then takes a swig out of his beer. I look at him questioningly, and he explains that he grew out his scruff to pass for the legal age on their US tour. It’s a good thing, because they plan on touring in the United States for quite a while.
Enough of the small talk. Bis have scheduled the stateside tour in attempt to promote their sound to a totally new audience. "It just got boring in Britain," Manda starts. "The same people were coming to each show. We’re hoping to tour the rest of the world for a while. See some new faces." After waiting inside, wincing at the noise from the next band, the humble Manda-Rin makes her way outside. "What’s so entertaining about someone on stage standing and doing a long guitar solo? I’d rather watch someone jumping and dancing onstage enjoying themselves. You can at least connect with that. I don’t know how to play anything other than the recorder!" she laughs. "I just play notes by memory. When you’ve been playing the same songs for years, it’s really easy."
Bis have gained a high reputation in the music industry, as well as a great deal of respect from fans all around the world. How? Manda blushes at the compliment, and replies, "My best advice to any young musician is to practice, practice, practice, long and hard. And then record anything and everything you can. Put things out on 7" for local stores. Play any gig you can. The recognition will come after you’ve done your best." Words for any musician to live by. How could you not respect someone with that work ethic?