Made in Accrington, Lancashire, Billy Bibby moved to the seaside resort of Llandudno, North Wales at the age of eight with his parents and younger brother. He first picked up a guitar shortly thereafter and has been teaching himself and honing his guitar skills ever since. From his teen years onwards, Billy’s existence has been divided between living by the sea in North Wales and touring extensively throughout the UK and abroad. The combination of life on the road and a relaxing home base as a haven for songwriting provides a nice pace of living, perfect for creating new tunes.
The bulk of Billy Bibby’s music career thus far has been with Catfish and the Bottlemen. As a founding member of the band, Bibby cut his gigging teeth for seven years across the UK, Europe and America as lead guitarist and backing vocalist. This voyage started when he was just 17 and ended when he was 24. One of his greatest achievements to date is earning a gold disc for the band’s top ten debut album, The Balcony, which has remained in the UK charts since it was first released in September 2014. This breakout success culminated with a win for Catfish and the Bottlemen at the 2016 Brit Awards for British Breakthrough Act.
At the helm of his new band, Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles, Billy seeks to forge his way in the industry with a project showcasing his own songwriting. His expressive voice surprises and delights the listener with its flawless, timeless and effortless qualities. Possessing powerful, melodic pipes and a set of songs to match, Bibby prides himself on making meaningful, relatable records that resonate with everyday people. Influences from such greats as Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, Mark Knopfler, Noel Gallagher and James Bay are prominent but not defining, supporting an approach that legendary Manchester DJ and recording artist Clint Boon describes as “classic British songwriting with a strong nod to Americana.”
Bibby spent much of 2015 on tour, trialling new acoustic material and garnering praise and positive feedback. That led to a series of auditions to recruit a full band with the help of Simon Jones, former bassist for The Verve.
Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles are appearing at the Black Smiths Arms in Harworth on the 28th May hosted by Ginger Beard. This Haworth collective of musicians and promoters are becoming a destination for local and national unsigned touring musicians. They are also hosting the Scarborough Arms Stage at Tfest which will see Billy Bibby return to Doncaster alongside Sheffield’s Velcro Teddy Bears and Scunthorpe’s Twisted Revolution.
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