Billy Childish

~ Person

Legal name: Steven John Hamper


Billy Childish (born Steven John Hamper, 1 December 1959) is an English painter, author, poet, photographer, film maker, singer and guitarist. Since the late 1970s, Childish has been prolific in creating music, writing and visual art. He has led and played in bands including the Pop Rivets, Thee Milkshakes, Thee Headcoats, and the Musicians of the British Empire, primarily working in the genres of garage rock, punk and surf.

He is a consistent advocate for amateurism and free emotional expression. Childish co-founded the Stuckism art movement with Charles Thomson in 1999, which he left in 2001. Since then a new evaluation of Childish's standing in the art world has been under way, culminating with the publication of a critical study of Childish's working practice by the artist and writer Neal Brown, with an introduction by Peter Doig, which describes Childish as "one of the most outstanding, and often misunderstood, figures on the British art scene". He is a visiting lecturer at Rochester Independent College. In July 2014 Childish was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from the University of Kent.

He is known for his explicit and prolific work – he has detailed his love life and childhood sexual abuse, notably in his early poetry and the novels My Fault (1996), Notebooks of a Naked Youth (1997), Sex Crimes of the Futcher (2004) – The Idiocy of Idears (2007), and in several of his songs, notably in the instrumental "Paedophile" (1992) (featuring a photograph of the man who sexually abused him on the front cover) and "Every Bit of Me" (1993). From 1981 until 1985 Childish had a relationship with artist Tracey Emin.

Thirty years after Childish's first musical releases with Thee Milkshakes and Thee Mighty Caesars, a crop of lo-fi, surf rock and punk groups with psychedelic subtexts has surfaced referencing the aesthetic established by Childish in both their band names and in various aspects of their sonic aesthetic: Thee Oh Sees, Thee Open Sex, Thee Tsunamis, Thee Dang Dangs and many others.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1987 Which Dead Donkey Daddy? Billy Childish & Sexton Ming 1
1998 Devil in the Flesh Billy Childish & Dan Melchior 2
1999 The Cheeky Cheese Billy Childish & Sexton Ming 1
1999 In Blood Billy Childish & Holly Golightly 3
2000 I Am the Object of Your Desire Wild Billy Childish & His Famous Headcoats 1
2002 Steady the Buffs Wild Billy Childish & The Buff Medways 2
2003 1914 Wild Billy Childish & The Friends Of The Buff Medway Fanciers' Association 2
2005 Medway Wheelers Wild Billy Childish & The Buff Medways 2
2005 Heavens Journey Wild Billy Childish and The Chatham Singers 2
2007 At the Bridge Billy Childish With The Singing Loins 1
2011 Forensic R' N' B Wild Billy Childish & The Spartan Dreggs 1
2012 Dung Beetle Rolls Again Billy Childish and Sexton Ming 1
2012 Coastal Command Wild Billy Childish & The Spartan Dreggs 1
2012 Dreggradation Wild Billy Childish & The Spartan Dreggs 1
2012 Tablets of Linear B Wild Billy Childish & The Spartan Dreggs 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 I Am the Billy Childish Billy Childish 1
1996 Made With A Passion (The Kitchen Demos) Billy Childish 1
1999 Crimes Against Music: Blues Recordings 1986–1999 Wild Billy Childish 1
2002 25 Years of Being Childish Billy Childish 1
2006 My First Billy Childish Album Billy Childish 1
2009 Archive From 1959 - The Billy Childish Story Billy Childish 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2003 The Xfm Sessions Wild Billy Childish & The Buff Medways 2
2004 The Genius of Billy Childish With Thee Milkshakes and Thee Headcoats Billy Childish 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2001 'Til It Is Over Wild Billy Childish & The Buff Medway Fanciers' Association 1

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