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Village inspiration for band

Billy Wears Dresses
Billy Wears Dresses

by Emma Grove

A quiet village is the inspiration for an indie band’s debut album.

Space Hopper Summer is the debut album of Billy Wears Dresses and many of the songs are inspired by Newington, where the singer grew up.

Billy Wears Dresses is made up of vocalist 41-year-old Nick Spink, bassist Paul Moss, 41, drummer Ian Snowball, 36, and 36-year-old guitarist Martin Loft.

The members hail from all over Kent, but Nick said his experiences of growing up in the village meant so much to him, he was able to get album material from them.

Billy Wears Dresses write all their own material and have been playing together for about four years.

Nick said the musical influences are different for each member of the band.

The band’s name came from some graffiti they spotted on a wall in Dover.

Nick was born in a house in Red Robin cottages in Callaways Lane in Newington where his mum still lives.

Many of the songs are inspired by Newington and the name of the album, Space Hopper Summer, recalls when every house had a space hopper in the back garden in the 1970s.

He sings about the woodlands known as Monkey Island as well as characters he grew up with.

The first track on the album is called the Robin Song and is dedicated to growing up in Callaways Lane.

He said: “When I was younger, Newington was the centre of my world and like many other villages in Swale, was surrounded by countryside.

“We had one school, one church and one Chinese takeaway – I felt very lucky to be brought up in such an environment.

“Whilst there are songs on the album which highlight other places and experiences in Kent, as the lead vocalist I would like to dedicate my part in writing this album to my friends and family, past and present, in Newington.

“Thanks so much to those who still live in Newington and who regularly follow us around Kent.”

uE06E Space Hopper Summer by Billy Wears Dresses will be available in Kent HMV stores on Inline Records from Monday.

To find out more about the band, visit www.myspace.com/billywearsdresses

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