BILL CALLAHAN (formerly SMOG) – This Sunday at Spring & Airbrake

Bill Callahan
(formerly SMOG)
with special guest ALASDAIR ROBERTS

Tickets £13.00
Doors 8pm

Tickets on sale now from Katy Daly’s, Virgin & all usual Ticketmaster outlets. Credit card bookings & info: 0870 2434455 or book online at

**Tickets also on sale at the door on the night**


In 1987 Bill Callahan of Smog went on a freighter cruise. “I don’t know if you know what these are,” Bill says, “It’s these barges you see out in the ocean that don’t ever look like they’re moving. They are full of cinnamon or raw wicker, some cargo like that, and they sell a few berths. There were spaces for seven passengers on the one I went on. For six weeks I was on that thing with my cousin Lee, a couple retirees with absolutely nothing to do and a guy who turned out to be a famous crime novelist who was there to work on his next book. My parents had insisted that I needed to cool my wheels because I was getting into some trouble, as was Lee. So we went to
Papeete, Tuamotu, Suva.

When we finally pulled back into Baltimore’s harbor, I was struck by one thing: the smog. The skyscrapers came in a close second, but they sort of looked like seashells to me. The seashells I’d been collecting at all the ports. But the smog made me say, ‘I live in smog.’ And that stuck with me. I had been writing some ‘instant songs’ while on the journey, short things I could dilute the sea fever with.
When I got home my parents presented me with a bill for 2 grand so I decided to make a record to make some quick cash. Four years later I had the two grand to pay them back.

That was my first album, SEWN TO THE SKY, which came out in 1990. I was like a caged animal set free after that. Roaming the
world with a variety of pick-up bands and making a record wherever I could.”

Leave a comment