Shit Hot Records Historical Archives
Billy Nielsen (Billy Nielsen)
Billy began playing guitar at the age of 11 and was writing songs by the age of 12. At this time he started singing and playing guitar in public and an early teenage career saw him appearing on UK Summer Shows in 1989 and 1990 with 60s legends, such as Showaddywaddy, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, Screamin Lord Sutch, Jet Harris (The Shadows) and a host of others. Playing to 2000 people a night at the age of 13! This period also included numerous UK TV appearances. In 1993 as Billy's songwriting matured he moved into a more acoustic based field, and from 1994 to late 1998 he toured this material throughout the UK as an emerging singer/songwriter/guitarist. Appearing at the Edinburgh Folk and Bradford Festivals, and London venues such as the Marquee Cafe, 12 Bar Club, Rock Garden, and Mean Fiddler Acoustic Room. Support appearances included English folk star Eliza Carthy, the late Cuban guitarist Isaac Guillory, and Irish singer/songwriter Kieran Halpin. 1997 saw Billy composing the score for musical production The Shout based on the life of Henry Freeman a legendary 19th Century Whitby Lifeboatman, and was staged at YMCA Theatre, Scarborough, November 1997. This project steered Billy into wanting to study music composition further, which led to him being institutionalised (namely at the University of Hull, Scarborough Campus), where he studied for a degree in Music Technology with Music and so he returned to education at 22 after leaving school at 16. A Masters Degree in Music Composition followed, at the University of Huddersfield. This period gave Billy new ideas and musical interests such as flamenco, which has influenced his guitar playing, even studying the style at a summer school with virtuoso guitarist Juan Martin. As a result flamenco tinged songs feature in his more recent repertoire. The songs on Shit Hot Records are from his 2002 album, '7 Years Gone' recorded and produced by his friend Alan Young for a degree project, and are from a catalogue of songs from 1995 onwards. A best of kind of album looking back on Billy's career since the mid-nineties, with a few newer songs included such as 'Image Tools' and 'Another Friday Night'. Due to academic commitments, live dates have been limited to a few gigs here and there, and plans for a return to touring were halted due to ligament damage in both forearms, restricting Billy's guitar playing and songwriting output. However, he has now recovered significantly enough to allow him to play live for a short set, and since September 2005 has been gigging again around Scarborough, including supports to the The 'legendary' Groundhogs with Chaz De Paolo, Kieran Halpin and Acoustic Gathering 2006 with Jon Gomm and Nick Harper headlining. At the Beached Festival 2006 he began playing with a band (Ben Westwood on Drums and John Cunliffe on bass) as a one off. They have continued now for 8 months as The Billy Nielsen Band, creating new electric arrangements of old songs, and incorporating new material into the set. During this time they have played the UniON Festival 2007 @ Scarborough Train Sheds to 375 people, and have been recieving great acclaim at their live shows. Billy will be recording some new material soon (April 2007) for an acoustic e.p. and continuing live sets solo and with his band.
Inspiration: Many, anything I've ever heard. Even briefly on the radio. From rock to classical to flamenco. But in the acoustic singer/songwriter field, anyone I was inspired by while playing on the folk/rock scene in the 90's.