Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles is the superb new musical endeavor of Billy Bibby, former and founding lead guitarist of Catfish and the Bottlemen. No newcomer to the British music scene, it was in 2007, at age 17, that Bibby became the elder statesman of this working class quartet formed in Llandudno, North Wales. Catfish and the Bottlemen gigged their way across the UK, and occasionally abroad, building a fiercely loyal fan base, selling out increasingly larger venues, and ultimately securing a recording deal in 2013 that would lead to the release of a Top 10 debut album Certified Platinum in the UK. Billy Bibby and his band are ready to do it all again.
Billy Bibby’s current musical journey began in the summer of 2014 in the same, grass roots, DIY style that served him well in the past. Penning new tunes and trialling them in front of live audiences, as well as via demos posted to SoundCloud, garnered overwhelmingly positive feedback. The time was right to transition to a full band experience and, with the help of Simon Jones, bassist for The Verve, auditions were held and a new four-piece ensemble of talented musicians rapidly took shape. Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles are: Billy Bibby – lead vocals / guitar, Rob Jones – lead guitar / vocals, Matt Thomas – bass / vocals, Mike Pearce – drums.
Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles released their first single, ‘Waitin’ for You’, and played their first live show in November of 2015 and it’s been nonstop ever since: a debut EP Bide Your Time, a follow-up single ‘Are You Ready?’, over 70 gigs across the UK including numerous festival appearances, radio play on Radio X, BBC Introducing, Virgin Radio, Amazing Radio, and over 100 stations in the UK and abroad.
What's next for the band? Plan on more music releases in 2017 thanks to a Horizons/BBC Launchpad win to fund new music development. The band will continue to tour relentlessly, out to win over new fans one by one with their energetic, tuneful, and optimistic rock. Perhaps Tim Cocker of Virgin Radio summed up the band's future best when he said, "This fella knows how to write a chorus that one day a crowd–a BIG crowd-will sing back to him."
(Photo © Trust A Fox Photography)
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Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles image © trust a foxy