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The first incarnation of Thee Epileptic Hillbillys was created back in the 80s by founder members Billy Oxley and Paul Oxley. The band soon emerged to make their mark with a name that more people were familiar with – The Radiacs. That band was a core part of the Sheffield scene regularly playing the North’s equivalent of The Klub Foot – The Take Two.
The scene ebbed and flowed and Billy went on to play with many bands notably the Blue Devils, The Tritons and later his first band of the millennium Thee Chills. Meanwhile Paul is most well known for his part in The Krewmen alongside many other projects and session work.
After Billy wound up Thee Chills, he and Paul decided to get Thee Epileptic Hillbillys going again, drafting in Paul’s son Steve on drums. Steve had been playing in his own band Cosmic Razor and as he’d been bought up on a diet of psychobilly from a baby, he was the perfect addition. In 2010 they played their first gig at The Dove and Rainbow as part of Mosh & Go’s Psychobilly Sunday as support to Graveyard Johnnys.
They quickly became firm favourites in the UK and abroad with their cheeky mix of humour infused psychobilly, rockabilly and inbred hillbilly, bringing singalong anthems to the masses.
Sadly in 2012 Billy suffered major health problems which led to a short hiatus for the band, but they soon bounced back, this time with Steve taking over the role as bass player from his dad and Adam Steenson joining the band on drums. (Adam had previously played with Steve and The Raise, who were incidentally on the bill of that very first Epiletpic Hillbillys’ gig in 2010.)
Gigs came flooding in again and Epileptic Hillbillys were a worthy support for some of the scenes top bands such as The Sharks, King Kurt, Demented are Go & The Meteors; and also as a crowd-pulling headliner in their own rights playing many festivals home and abroad – Bedlam Breakout, Inkfest, Pineda Psychobilly Meeting to name a few.
During this time Epileptic Hillbillys have put out three cd albums – Tales from The Underworld, Insanity and Take 2 – and a limited edition vinyl 10” Atomic It’s The Bomb. All recorded with Alan Wilson and released on Western Star Records. A 12” vinyl version of Tales From The Underworld was also brought out by Crazy Love Records.
In 2017 Adam decided to hang up his sticks and new boy Paul Mummery got stuck straight in. (Paul has a background in psychobilly, punk and metal having played with Sin Kings, Boston Rats, Norm & The Nightmares, and The Gonads.) Their first gig at Kingston’s Fighting Cocks in July 2017 was a sell out and the band are currently taking bookings for 2018. New recording material in the pipeline too.