Track of the Day: Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles – Are You Ready?

Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles at Barfly, London © Sarah Lockwood Photography
© Sarah Lockwood Photography

Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles formed in the North Wales and Chester, UK area in autumn of 2015. The band’s first 6 months together have been incredibly busy and productive: a debut EP and over 30 gigs across the UK, from Inverness to Brighton, from Swansea to Doncaster, and many places in between. Not slowing down for a breather, the band began mapping out an aggressive festival and touring schedule for the coming summer and autumn months and set aside some studio time to record a brand new single: ‘Are You Ready?’ released 17th June, 2016 which is our track of the day.

‘Are You Ready?’ is a boisterous, timeless, and irresistibly likable rock song. The opening draws the listener in immediately with flawless vocals punctuated by energetic guitars. The verses and chorus compete with one another for catchiness, with no clear victor other than a desire to stop thinking and start dancing, swaying, and singing. The song has been played live in every set since the band’s first gig in November of 2015, so Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles knew based on audience reactions before even setting foot in the studio that they had a catchy little number in their repertoire.

One of the most remarkable passages of the song consists of the guitar solo crafted by Rob Jones. Frontman Billy, who prior to founding this band played lead on Catfish and the Bottlemen’s Gold Certified album The Balcony, praises his guitarist’s 6-string prowess. “Rob’s guitar on this track simply blew me away. The way he goes from single note playing to two notes in the solo he makes it look effortless and he achieves that melodic element that I personally always favour in a song. Done all within two takes. That’s a true professional.”

Rob confirms with a nonchalant, matter-of-factness: “Bashed the whole song out in one or two takes. It took 20 minutes”. He adds that this recording experience was a natural progression for the band in comparison to the previous sessions that gave birth to the debut EP, Bide Your Time. “Basically it’s the first song we worked on together, Bill with the lion’s share and then we added our own parts. I wanted to write a catchy solo based around the melody but with my own little nuances. I wanted it to be something people sing back and have stuck in the forefront of their brain!”

Rob Jones, lead guitarist photo © Sarah Lockwood Photography
Rob Jones, lead guitarist photo © Sarah Lockwood Photography

The brand new single is released digitally on all major distribution and streaming platforms. Physical CDs will also be available at live shows. The CD cover is themed to a night of bingo. Billy explains the personal story behind it, “The artwork just sprung to mind when we were at bingo one night with me bro, mum, and mad auntie! My brother Steve was standing in the queue waiting to buy a ticket and I just saw an opportunity to take a picture. As soon as I did, I wanted that as the next single cover straight away. It just has a down-to-earth and endearing quality to it that instantly made me want to use it”.

Are You Ready single artwork
Are You Ready single artwork

“Down-to-earth” and “endearing” are words that also aptly describe this emerging band made up of talented musicians who have bonded quickly as a unit and continue to impress. We are ready and waiting to hear more from Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles.

Connect with Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles on Facebook  and Twitter.

UK SUMMER 2016 DATES (More to come)

JUNE
25 Manchester | Black Dog Ballroom NQ | Mrs Boon’s Cake & Tea Party

JULY
14 Rawtenstall | The Artisan
15 Perth | The Green Room
16 Dundee | Buskers
17 Glasgow | Broadcast
23 Stockport | Blackthorn Festival
29 Banbury | Also Known As
31 Lake District | Kendal Calling | House Party

AUGUST
06 Whitby | Coastline Festival
20 Doncaster | Blackfest
26 Manchester | Night & Day Café

SEPTEMBER

02 Lode, Cambridgeshire | Lodestar Festival
03 Merthyr Tydfil | Bowstrong Festival
17 Tickhill | TFest

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