Bailiff is—well, first, let me just say: the band didn’t write this bio. I did. I’m Evan Sult, drummer in the bands Bound Stems and Harvey Danger. I know about Bailiff because I heard them through the walls of a practice space I was visiting. They were working on a new song, and I ended up outside the door of their room, listening to them work out a well-crafted 5/4 drum rhythm against this tight, high guitar part that sunk straight into my memory—I was still humming it to myself three days later, no shit. I had to knock on the door and find out who they were. Turned out they hadn’t even played their first show yet. It was one of those moments. Meeting them was kind of like finding that one perfect t-shirt at the Village Discount—you see it on the hanger, on the rack, among a thousand other stained and pointless shirts, and you just know you’ll still be wearing that shirt a decade from now.
I’m no fool: I got myself on over to the Beat Kitchen to catch their debut. It was packed on a Wednesday night, well over a hundred folks in the band room. For a first show? Yeah—plus, there were people calling out song titles! Not in that supportive-friend way, either, but in that way that means someone really wanted to hear the songs. Bailiff was LOUD, smooth, and collected, and they had all of six songs to play for the crowd. Keep in mind, this is their first show. I spent a little time watching the crowd, because I have to admit I’ve never seen a first show go so well; Bailiff had the audience’s complete attention, friends and strangers alike.The show was a complete success.
So Bailiff the band is just starting out, which is a lucky thing for all of us, because it means we get to watch something real cool right from the launch. The band is new, but the musicians have been around for years. They’re all real sharp players, working the tension between restraint and release. Josh’s melodies are super efficient, delivered deadpan against a guitar that’s saying as much as the lyrics are. The drums—well, that’s my instrument. Ren’s drums are fucking great, pulled so far back that you might not recognize how much technique and taste are informing the part. And the bass is just plain dangerous. They’re tight enough that you’d think they’ve been on tour together. There you are. Not much else to say about a band at this stage, I reckon, except: Get involved now, because you’ll be seeing their name around Chicago soon enough in any case. Cheers!
1. Everyday Fire
2. What I Was
3. No One Held Me Like You Do
4. In The Reverie
5. Little By Little
6. Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen)
Visit the band’s website
For our friends who live in countries where YouTube is blocked, watch the session on Vimeo.