Press Kit

 

Contact Details

For all booking enquiries, contact Rich at MojoHobo Agency: rich@mojohobo.co.uk

For press enquiries, contact Billy at Uncivil Records: press@uncivilrecords.co.uk

Introduction

Billy Rowan, aka 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 swapped the decks for a guitar and started out as a solo act in 2007. Although he still occasionally does solo gigs, he now usually plays with a full band, mixing guitars, keys, drums, bass, percussion 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 Jason Mraz meets The Cat Empire…on a protest march…at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Performances

 

Billy and his band have performed 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. After starting out playing solo, Billy now has a Bristol based 5 piece band consisting of Jack Beddis on drums, Zak Ranyard on bass, Andreas Millns on keys, and Mathew Pharaoh on Congas. 2015 was an epic year for the band, with a jam packed summer of festival appearances and shows across the UK and Europe. Highlights included headlining alongside The Cat Empire, Grandmaster Flash and The Skints at Eden Festival in Scotland, playing to 1000’s of festival goers at Buskers Bern in Austria, and making a much anticipated debut appearance to a packed audience at Boomtown Fair near Winchester. 2016 looks set to be the bands busiest year yet, with 2 tours booked already, and numerous festivals across the UK and Europe.

The Music

The latest album “Monkey Suit”, which was 3 years in the making, was released on Sept 1st 2014 with a sold out launch party at the Attic in Bristol. The album fuses multiple genres, from reggae to hip-hop, folk to pop, but all held together by Billy’s signature style of vocal delivery and lyrical content. Have a listen to the album below:

The first single from the album, “Boyfriend”, was released in March along with remixes from The Future Dub Project, DJ Hiphopapotamus and Raithism. It has received very positive reviews, getting radio play by David Rodigan on BBC 1Xtra, Tom Robinson on BBC 6Music, plus numerous regional and internet stations.

Photos

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Videos

 Press/Reviews

 

“This is about as real as music gets!”

Andrew Marston – BBC Introducing

 

“..ten tracks of excellence…nothing short of a triumph! 9/10”

Due South West (for “Monkey Suit”. Read full review)

 

“The Undercover Hippy kept me thoroughly entertained with singer songwriter Billy Rowan’s amusing observations delivered via his witty lyrics and catchy choruses. This Bristol band has mastered the art of imparting political ideals on an audience who were totally involved with their MC style vocals and chilled reggae vibe.

eFestivals.co.uk review of Eden Festival 2015 (Read full review)

 

“His combination of catchy tunes, rhythmical vocal style, and socially aware (but often amusing) lyrics, is a recipe that is difficult to nail without seeming preachy or dull, but Rowan succeeds where many fail.”

eGigs.co.uk (Read full review)

 

“..like a hip hop Gomez… Politically driven, clever and fun. 9/10”

Bandman Review

 

“Billy Rowan’s impassioned response to prejudiced attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers is a celebration of our shared humanity”

Happiness Collective (for “Borders”. Read full review)