Billy in the Lowground
March 30, 2017
It’s always difficult to categorise a band that plays their own original material. Billy in the Lowground are often shoe-horned into the pigeonhole marked ‘Folk Rock’, mainly because they’re loud and there’s a distinct Irish influence courtesy of fiddle player Ruth, but the sound is continuously evolving, incorporating elements of Country, Rock, and yes, Folk.
Comparisons have often been made with the Waterboys and the Levellers, but there’s a distinctive tone to the band that’s all their own.
The band lineup comprises Chris Hibberd, who writes the songs and sings ‘em, Ruth Behan, niece of the notorious Brendan Behan, on the fiddle, Rob Fawcett on lead guitar, Ian Simpson on bass, Mark Styles on banjo and DFP on drums.
They’ve played hundreds of gigs in pubs, clubs, and venues large and small all over the UK since they formed in 1991, as well as festivals such as Glastonbury, Ashton Court, Trowbridge Pump, Pontardawe International Folk, Larmer Tree, Off the Tracks and Farm Festival.
They’ve also supported many well-known acts including John Otway, the Popes, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Norma Waterson & Martin Carthy, Oysterband, Rory McCleod and Fairport Convention.
2016 was a successful year for the band with their album ‘Ticket to Somewhere’ getting excellent reviews – Rock’n’Reel described it as “Nashville relocated to the wilds of Somerset, and played with Joe Strummer’s heart and soul” – and an award from Bristol radio station BCFM for the best album from a local artist.
For 2017 the band are already booked for several major festivals including Once Upon a Time in the West and Bearded Theory.