Billy Bibbyand the Wry Smiles play The Leopard, Doncaster

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While Catfish and the Bottleman’s stock rises, their former lead guitarist is more than happy with his decision to quit the band and go solo.

Catfish founded when Billy Bibby and Ryan “Van” McCann began playing guitar in Billy’s parents’ home in North Wales back in 2007.

However, in summer 2014, just a few weeks before the release of their debut album, lead guitarist Billy quit the band.

Now he is back with his debut EP, Bide Your Time, and tour, having played just a handful of dates with his new band The Wry Smiles before Christmas.

“Leaving Catfish was just one of those things,” he says. “I am very proud of what I achieved in Catfish, I look back on it with fond memories, but I’m just focused on the future now.

“I just want it to be as big as possible – I’m not afraid of success and everything that comes with it.

“We’re just doing as many gigs as we can, hopefully making people want to come back, trying to make this tour a success and build for the future.

“Where Catfish are now is where I want to be with my band, but I want to be even bigger.”

Billy may have his sights set on Catfish’s success, but he is determined to do it his own way with his own sound, starting with debut EP Bide Your Time, which, Billy admits, has a more “country vibe” to it, compared with the “guitar-driven” sound of Catfish.

“Bide Your Time is the first line of a song I wrote that means a great deal to me,” he says. u

“The song is not on the EP but will be released in the near future.

“That’s another reason why I chose this particular title for the EP: right now I’m focusing on the future and what it holds for myself and the band.

“In my opinion it also explains the music business well in you have to be patient. Things don’t happen quickly.

“You’ve got to regroup, take your time, and make the right decisions without rushing it.

“ To have another pop at becoming a successful artist, biding our time is what we have to do. I couldn’t be more determined at the moment though, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

n Billy Bibby and The Wry Smiles play The Leopard, West Street, Doncaster town centre, on Friday, February 19, from 7pm. Tickets are £10 on the door or £8 in advance from www.leopard-doncaster.co.uk