With roots in Belfast, Northern Ireland, artist Billy Gillies has the world ahead of him as he embarks on his international tour and we were lucky enough to catch him for an incredible set at Ora Nightclub in Seattle this past weekend.
Billy has taken the main stage at several notable festivals and venues such as the Hollywood Palladium, Insomniac’s Dreamstate Festival, Glasgow, and more. Signed to Atlantic Records with a fanbase of over 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Billy’s latest single DNA reached #14 on the UK’s Official Singles Chart and #25 at US Dance Radio.
Ora was buzzing with members of the Seattle trance and techno fam, and there was a lively turnout. Filled with beautiful progressive techno, Billy Gillies set was a masterclass in beautiful progressive techno, with a very euphoric feel and a consistent beat with several songs that had the crowd singing along and letting go.
The club feel of Billy’s sound matched the ambiance of Ora perfectly, and as Billy typically plays larger festival settings seeing him perform in a more intimate setting felt really special!
One thing that I really liked in particular about Billy’s performance is that he played out a large amount of the songs that he dropped. A lot of DJs have very rapid transitions, which is also great, but there is something moving about true progressive beats. Playing more of a song out allows for drops to build, and gives the bass a chance to really progress and flow more seamlessly.
It reminded me of that one song that talks about playing the 8 minute version for those 2 people who appreciate it – same energy. The dancefloor was full of people who clearly had a deep appreciation for techno and trance. Even though a lot of the songs were played out, it still didn’t take away from the momentum of the set at all, and was done in very methodical and tasteful way, to where it supplemented the music that was already playing perfectly. It also shows a lot of skill to make the consistent beat interesting and dynamic over a 2 1/2-hour set.
Billy stayed very true to techno, and is very good at what he does. I love when people do what they are really good at. Also, there’s something really minimalistic about techno and broken down UK tech that makes it really nice. He has really pioneered this perfect almost nostalgic early 2000s club-esque sound with roots of early techno while blending it perfectly with current day tech house, while dabbling in elements of happycore.
It was really fun to hear him play some of his bigger songs, such as Youth and DNA. Especially towards the end it was really clear that he was turning up the heat and having a fun time as he was taking the stage.
His mixing, like his music, is very melodic and fun to dance to. You can really feel it, and feel the soul behind it – a powerful, emotional combination that contrasted the calming, consistent bass. It’s fantastic to see an artist own their sound and not feel the need to mix multiple different genres at once. At the show, I was thinking about how a lot of the vocals sound like they are being sung by a siren at sea.
The uplifting and fun sound of Billy Gillies absolutely translated into his live performance and it was one not to miss. The visuals were unique and provided a nice addition to the music as well. Overall, we had a great time seeing Billy Gillies at Ora nightclub and everyone should go stream his latest single DNA.
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