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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Truth & Fiction: The Undercover Hippy Returns To Brighton With Songs From The Serious To The Ludicrous

Sensing the shadows cast by tyrannical forces growing ever greater by the day - The Undercover Hippy is back and on a mission to combat the sinister powers-that-be with his cunning blend of humour, optimism and hard-hitting political commentary.

Mounting a new campaign with his first studio release since 2014's Monkey Suit, the subversive DJ turned singer-songwriter makes his long overdue return this Summer.

Largely inspired-by and rallying-against much that has come to grip politics and society over the last twelve months, Truth & Fiction is the forthcoming new record from the artist AKA Billy Rowan and will land on 20th May 2017.

Covering topics from the serious to the ludicrous, The Undercover Hippy's latest effort sees him offer his unique take on: fake news, internet privacy and the U.S. election, nappy wearing barristers and best friends trying to snog your mum.

Truth & Fiction is a much needed dose of passionate storytelling and thought provoking protest pieces that make for a must listen from one man on a mission.

Speaking about the writing and recording of the new album and what to expect, Billy says:

"For a while I was a bit worried that the last album Monkey Suit might have been the best I had to offer, especially when three weeks before going into the studio we still only had five songs written for a 10 track album! 

"But actually, the songs that have been written and developed during and after the recording process are probably my favourite tracks on the album. 

"It"s also meant that those songs are still really topical, as I've literally been writing lyrics and recording vocals right up to the final week of mixing. So yeah, I'm really happy with how it"s turned out, so you can expect big things!"

Those familiar with Billy"s music, will already know he is definitely not your average singer songwriter. After seven years spent DJ'ing and MC'ing on the Drum & Bass circuit, Billy switched up identities, swapping the decks for a guitar as he began a new life with a new moniker in 2007: the Undercover Hippy was born. 

Touring relentlessly ever since, The Undercover Hippy brings together soulful vocals, infectious reggae rhythms, and the lyrical delivery of a skilled mc, with a charismatic style and playful sound that has had audiences rapt from day one.

Working with producer and engineer Dean Forrest (Backbeat Soundsystem, Easy Star Records) at Cube Studios in Cornwall, they laid down the groundwork for the follow up to the Monkey Suit album with eyes on making their most accomplished piece of work to date.  

Locking himself away in his studio, Billy set about writing and developing the recordings into finished songs, before finally working with grammy nominated mix engineer Dean Barratt (Natty, Shy FX, Anoushkar Shankar) to mix, finesse and truly bring the resultant tracks that now make up Truth & Fiction to life.

With Truth & Fiction ready to drop this May, The Undercover Hippy - backed by his full band, mixing guitars, keys, drums, bass, horns and backing vocals - will visit Komedia Brighton on Wednesday 3rd May 2017. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley


Carleen Anderson has been hailed by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, as 'phenomenal and one of a kind' and now, for Brighton Fesival 20018, she's joining ranks with virtuoso pianist Nikki Yeoh, and Mercury Music Prize-winning rapper Speech Debelle.

Brighton bound Catholic Action are a product of Glasgow's famously fertile music scene but have won fans across the UK thanks to a run of peerless pop tunes.

Roger Daltrey is set to release new solo album, As Long As I Have You, which features Pete Townshend's inimitable guitar on seven tracks as well as guest performances from Mick Talbot on keyboards (Dexys, The Style Council).

RadioReverb, Brighton's not for profit radio station, will be Broadcast Media Partner for Brighton Festival 2018, following last year's partnership.

As part of World Poetry Day, the world's first and only mobile poetic first aid service will be open to everyone at Jubilee Square, Brighton, on Wednesday 21st March 2018, 11am – 4pm. 

Snow Patrol will return later this spring with Wildness, their first album in seven years, which finds the band searching for clarity, connection, and meaning, while staying true to the melodic songwriting prowess that brought them to prominence. 

The sexual health and contraception (SHAC) team in Brighton will be using new visual aids to help overcome female patients' embarrassment and stigma about their bodies after receiving a donation from Brighton artist, Jamie McCartney.

“Sometimes you have to go to the edge of the world in order to come back again,” says Chris Difford on the rollercoaster ride his eventful life in the music business has provided.

Reef, the revitalised west-country quartet, have returned with Revelation, their first studio album since 2000's, Getaway.  
The Damned by Steve Gullick 2018

It's 2018 and the results of The Damned's collaboration with another legend from pop's golden age – Tony Visconti, is about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public

Described as “the missing link between David Bowie and The Sex Pistols” Doctors of Madness exploded onto the music scene in 1975 with their theatrical, William Burroughs-inspired Sci-fi nightmare, they were misunderstood by many, but those who knew understood the importance of the band's dangerous, uncompromising approach to lyrics, to music and to performance.

In 2015 The Handsome Family became famous for providing the theme tune to Season 1 of HBO's hit TV drama series True Detective, introducing them to a whole new audience and a whole load of new fans. 
Charlie Craggs: Founder of Nail Transphobia

Brighton Dome joins forces with Brighton Women's Centre and Brighton Museum to celebrate International Women's Day 2018. Enjoy stalls, talks, tasters and specially commissioned work reflecting on the issues raised throughout the day.
Pic By Jasmine L Dunne

In the summer of 1969, Clarice looks back on her turbulent life. Having experienced a sheltered upbringing, the events that followed have left her with a feeling that the world around her was moving too fast. 

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