Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Spotlight on musician Billy Bottle

In January 2015, the UK media covered the appearance of Musician Billy Bottle and his partner Martine Waltier on the BBC talent show, The Voice.

Billy and Martine's version of Snap!'s 'The Power' was a hit with the audience and viewers, though sadly not the judges.

However, Billy's outfit gained a lot of attention in print, online and social media. He wore bright orange tights under a pair of blue shorts.

We were pleased to be able to interview Billy recently.

Hi Billy, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your music?

I was born a northerner to mongrel parents (Geordie dad and North London mum and raised on Moorland walks, summer carnivals and industrial grit).

I wrote songs from the age of seven, learnt piano and taught myself guitar having been immersed in the folk scene of the north, indie scene of the 90s and through a vinyl time-machine, the psychedelic sounds of the 70s.

I studied music formally but then forgot it all on the road with a circus.

Now, I write songs about now…

Photo © Jack Gorman 

How can people find out more about your music and the band The Multiple?
For everything about The Multiple tune in to our portal:

Earlier this year, you and your partner Martine appeared on the BBC show The Voice. How was that experience?
We both remarked that when we came out on stage it felt like we were actually inside the TV!

It was lots of fun and that's the spirit in which we went into it - just to be ourselves. I'm not a very competitive person so it was certainly a voyage of learning.

Your appearance on The Voice led to some media coverage of you wearing tights and shorts. Can you tell us more about why you wear tights?

Ultimately, I like how it feels. There's something similar to being naked about it (which is also enjoyable of course). I have a little Honda SH-50 (which goes even slower than it used to since a trip to Cornwall) so long-johns already feature heavily in my wardrobe. I was looking for something which suited my androgynous nature and the tights and shorts combination I thought balanced each other out nicely.

Photo © Jack Gorman

What kind of reaction have you had to your choice of clothing?

People seem to love it. We've had so much support (!) it's nice to know there's so many other like-minded people around. Reactions have ranged from hilarity to complete indifference. It feels good to be able to be yourself.

Photo © Jack Gorman

Do you have any favourite brands of tights?

To be honest I haven't dabbled too much, I think I only have about three pairs to my name. Looking around it seems to be quite hard to find small organic retailers that offer different colours but I'm always open to suggestions.

Photo © Jack Gorman

There has been a lot of media coverage of tights for men recently. What are your thoughts about the greater visibility of men buying and wearing tights?

I've only ever been an accidental follower of current fashion but I say 'show us your legs gents!'.

Photo © Jack Gorman

What projects are you currently working? What can we expect to hear from you and The Multiple in 2015.
We have a new single out, La Belle Epoque (the video in which I wear slightly less than tights!). There'll be festival appearances throughout the summer and we'll be sunbathing safely as much as possible...

Thanks for speaking to Hosiery For Men Billy. I hope readers will check out your music and we look forward to hearing more about your music over the coming year.


  1. What a wonderful insight to a really fascinating artist (very rare nowadays)

    Thanks for the insight!

    Kay Tights and Ladders

  2. Great article and we LOVE all those colourful tights + socks combos! Billy reminded me of Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran in some shots :-)

  3. Very nice! Great interview and creative fashion!