The name Billy Bibby will be familiar to early fans of Catfish and the Bottlemen or to anyone who has perused the credits of the band’s début album, The Balcony. Billy was founding member and lead guitarist of the band until summer of 2014.
Since that time, as previously reported by XS Noize, Billy has stepped back to take stock and headed down a new creative path as a songwriter and frontman of his own, recently-recruited 4-piece. His first full band track, “Waitin’ for You” is now available on SoundCloud and Billy promises more music and tour dates in the months ahead.
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“Waitin’ for You” has a rockabilly (no pun intended) vibe, and a delightfully poppy shading of country rock twang. It would nestle nicely on a playlist alongside a song like George Ezra’s “Blame it on Me”.
The song was originally written a little over a year ago, one of Billy’s first post-Catfish tunes. In a telephone interview between Llandudno and Los Angeles, Billy explained that the song “came together fairly nicely, quite quickly.” With the main challenge being “to get the chorus in the right place to make it catchy enough. The verse and the bridge were quite catchy parts, so I had to try to make the chorus even more so.”
And catchy it is, from the first cheerfully boisterous notes of the intro to the plucky ending. That was the goal. When writing new songs, Billy seeks to write something “that’s going to be catchy in every section,” almost like a song of different choruses woven together. “I want everything to be melodic. I want people to want to sing to every bit of it.”
The song was recorded at Orange Sound Recording Studio in North Wales with Producer Russ Hayes who had previously worked with Billy on the first two Catfish EPs, initially seven years ago. Billy views Russ as a world-class producer, “one of the best musicians and producers I’ve ever worked with,” and who has managed to build a successful studio in a relatively remote area of the UK.
Similarly, Hayes has a great deal of admiration for Billy’s talent: ”As a producer engineer, the mechanics of music invariably tend to intervene in my emotional engagement with it. Perhaps because there seems, these days, to be a distinct lack of that which is simply honest in lyric, transcendent in melody, and bloody well played. Enter Billy.”
Since the band is relatively new as an ensemble, instruments were tracked separately for this first full band recording. Praising the band, Billy says, “They did it really efficiently. It just shows how good they are as musicians. They really nailed it.”
Billy confirmed that he is very pleased with the lineup and talked about the strengths of each band member–in addition to their youth–all are currently 21 years old. “Mike, the drummer, is a solid drummer who doesn’t try to overcomplicate things and plays where it’s needed. A lot of drummers struggle to have that balance of playing where it’s needed yet knowing when you need to show off a bit as well. Rob the guitarist is very solid. He’s got a melodic playing style similar to mine but is a lot more technical as well. He can add a lot to that lead role. And Matt the bass player is really solid as well. The trick with a band sometimes is to not try to be too much of an individual and try to work the song as a band. That’s what the bass player does as well. He locks in nicely with the drummer. I think he did his take in one or two takes. It only took him about 15 minutes!”
When asked to put the feeling of recording his very first single as frontman of a newly formed band into words, those words were relatable and from the heart, not unlike the lyrics of his new song. “It’s hard to describe. It just feels right. I feel happy doing it. I enjoyed every minute of it. “
Billy Bibby and his band will give their first ever, live performance on November 28, 2015 at Telford’s Warehouse in Chester, UK. Tickets are available HERE.
The Billy Bibby Band members are:
Billy Bibby, vocals, guitar
Rob Jones, lead guitar
Matt Thomas, bass
Michael Pearce, drums