Billy Rowan, (formerly The Undercover Hippy), is definitely not your average singer songwriter. His music brings together acoustic guitar, soulful vocals, infectious reggae rhythms, and the lyrical delivery of a skilled mc. After 7 years spent DJ’ing and MC’ing on the Drum & Bass circuit, Billy ditched the decks for a guitar and started out as a solo act in 2007. Although he still does solo gigs, he now usually plays with a full 7 piece band, mixing fiddle, Hammond organ, drums, bass, congas and backing vocals to create a high energy, interactive and highly entertaining live show. Combining intelligent, provocative lyrics with dangerously catchy hooks and a feel good groove, this is music for the thinking man to shake his arse to. Think The King Blues meets The Cat Empire…on a protest march…at the Edinburgh Fringe.
From starting out 5 years ago playing in festival cafes for a free meal, Billy and his band of back-street groove pushers now perform at some of the UK’s best festivals, including Glastonbury, The Big Chill, Green Man, The Secret Garden Party, Sunrise Celebration, Ireland’s Electric Picnic, and many more. Highlights for 2012 included performing on the main stage after Mr Motivator (!) at Scotland’s Eden Festival, and headlining at the amazing Beatherder Festival. After starting out playing solo, Billy now has a Bristol based 7 piece band consisting of Joe Gaywood on drums, Zak Ranyard on bass, Callum McSherry on violin, Andreas Milns on keys, Jessica Langton on backing vocals and Mati Congas on… Congas.
As well as booking the whole band, it is also possible to book Billy as a solo act, or as a smaller acoustic act. This is a very different sound to the full band, incorporating double bass, cajon, strings, and with many different songs that are too mellow for the mainstage party slots. In any of these forms, Billy can hold a crowds attention and leave people wanting more! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for all booking enquiries.
Billy is now leaving behind the Undercover Hippy moniker and recording his first full length album under his own name, which he will be touring from Spring 2013. The new album is still in production, but you can hear some of the demo recordings in this sampler