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The Spitfires

Singer — Watford

Photo by Tony Biggs

Name, where are you from?
My name is Billy Sullivan and I'm from Watford.

What do you do?
I'm the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the band The Spitfires.

Describe your style in three words?
My own taste.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
I think it would have to be The Clash and The Specials (around 1979) with us on in-between them. They’re both massive influences on our music and I like to think we’ve taken elements of both bands but put our own modern outlook on them. 

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Punk and Mod. The attitude more than anything. I believe both subcultures can be looked at from a modern day perspective rather than a nostalgic one - that’s why you’ve got 23-year-olds like us digging those bands and records. And the way it’s made exciting again is for our generation to put a new slant on it.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Pete Townsend would be up there for me. His way of looking at a ‘pop song’ seems far more involved and inspired. But equally I’d love to spend an hour with Linton Kwesi Johnson as again, I love his style of writing and it’s very unique. 

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Nottingham Rescue Rooms for me was my favourite I’d say. Perfect size, stage and the crowd in Nottingham are fantastic. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it work on the upcoming Year Zero tour but I hope we’ll be back there next year.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
For me, it’s a band called The Redskins. Extremely political and a mix of Soul, Punk and Funk. Unfortunately, they only ever released one album and the lead singer disappeared from the public eye.


The Spitfires are a Watford based 4-piece band who blend elements of punk, reggae, soul and ska music.

The Spitfires' new Live EP is out now, featuring live versions of fan favourites 'The New Age', 'Tell Me / Year Zero', 'Stand Down' and 'On My Mind'. The 7-inch release was recorded in Hamburg in 2018.

For more information visit their website at www.thespitfires.org.

The first track you played on repeat?
If I'm honest, I can't remember! Probably an Oasis tune.

A song that defines the teenage you?
‘To Be Someone’ by The Jam.

One record you would keep forever?
'Village Green Preservation Society' by The Kinks.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
I don't really have favourite lyrics. However, I have plenty of lyricists that I love - Weller, Strummer, Neil Young, Morrissey, Bragg, Heaton, Turner.

The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
No song has ever been written which has given me the ability to get on the dancefloor! 

A song you wish you had written?
'Up The Junction' by Squeeze, 'There She Goes' by The La's, 'Inner City Blues' by Marvin Gaye. Perfect pop songs in my opinion.

Best song to turn up loud?
'Caught By The Fuzz' by Supergrass.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Me Myself & I' by De La Soul.

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
'I Am The Resurrection' by The Stone Roses.

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
Emily Capell who sings on our new album has a great EP out. I’m also liking Touts, Megative, The Skints and some of Lily Allen’s new album.

Photo by Tony Biggs

Name, where are you from?
My name is Billy Sullivan and I'm from Watford.

What do you do?
I'm the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the band The Spitfires.

Describe your style in three words?
My own taste.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
I think it would have to be The Clash and The Specials (around 1979) with us on in-between them. They’re both massive influences on our music and I like to think we’ve taken elements of both bands but put our own modern outlook on them. 

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Punk and Mod. The attitude more than anything. I believe both subcultures can be looked at from a modern day perspective rather than a nostalgic one - that’s why you’ve got 23-year-olds like us digging those bands and records. And the way it’s made exciting again is for our generation to put a new slant on it.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Pete Townsend would be up there for me. His way of looking at a ‘pop song’ seems far more involved and inspired. But equally I’d love to spend an hour with Linton Kwesi Johnson as again, I love his style of writing and it’s very unique. 

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Nottingham Rescue Rooms for me was my favourite I’d say. Perfect size, stage and the crowd in Nottingham are fantastic. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it work on the upcoming Year Zero tour but I hope we’ll be back there next year.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
For me, it’s a band called The Redskins. Extremely political and a mix of Soul, Punk and Funk. Unfortunately, they only ever released one album and the lead singer disappeared from the public eye.


The Spitfires are a Watford based 4-piece band who blend elements of punk, reggae, soul and ska music.

The Spitfires' new Live EP is out now, featuring live versions of fan favourites 'The New Age', 'Tell Me / Year Zero', 'Stand Down' and 'On My Mind'. The 7-inch release was recorded in Hamburg in 2018.

For more information visit their website at www.thespitfires.org.

The first track you played on repeat?
If I'm honest, I can't remember! Probably an Oasis tune.

A song that defines the teenage you?
‘To Be Someone’ by The Jam.

One record you would keep forever?
'Village Green Preservation Society' by The Kinks.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
I don't really have favourite lyrics. However, I have plenty of lyricists that I love - Weller, Strummer, Neil Young, Morrissey, Bragg, Heaton, Turner.

The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
No song has ever been written which has given me the ability to get on the dancefloor! 

A song you wish you had written?
'Up The Junction' by Squeeze, 'There She Goes' by The La's, 'Inner City Blues' by Marvin Gaye. Perfect pop songs in my opinion.

Best song to turn up loud?
'Caught By The Fuzz' by Supergrass.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Me Myself & I' by De La Soul.

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
'I Am The Resurrection' by The Stone Roses.

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
Emily Capell who sings on our new album has a great EP out. I’m also liking Touts, Megative, The Skints and some of Lily Allen’s new album.

The Spitfires | The New Age (Live)

The Spitfires | The New Age (2018)

The Spitfires | Over And Over Again (2017)

The Spitfires | On My Mind (2016)