The Undercover Hippy + State Of Satta. Lending Rooms, Leeds. 26.03.2023.

A drive to Leeds for a bit of party reggae with good vibes and some real strong social messages. What better way to spend a Sunday evening. Lending Room is a venue that lends itself perfectly to small, intimate gigs. 360 capacity, decent bar that doesn’t rip you off, superb sound system and inclusive atmosphere.

First up State Of Satta. Although they are tour support for The Undercover Hippy they’re Leeds based and, consequently, there’s a few in tonight who have seen them before and are big fans. There’s rarely a gig when I don’t say “Always get there for the support” and tonight is no exception. State Of Satta play a superb set of dancing, energetic reggae sounds that, quite frankly, are joyful. Within minutes there’s a real party atmosphere and the place is bouncing.

Melodic, deep, deep bass tones and a band that clearly gives all and enjoys it. All overlaid with a beautiful brass sound songs such as Moonlight Bubaloo, Flip The Switch, Lions and new single Find A Way bring a real party atmosphere with clear political undertones.

Their set is over far too quickly. Check them out on streaming services. Better still send them a few quid in exchange for their excellent five track cd We Still Move.

The Undercover Hippy, aka Billy Rowan, is touring to promote upcoming album Poor Little England, out 07.04.2023. Anti-capitalist, anti-Tory, deeply political and a strict, positive belief in equality The Undercover Hippy vents these opinions over a background of glorious reggae infused beats with a vocal delivery touching on hip-hop. Add in the brass delivered by Aidan and Emyr from State Of Satta and it’s a sound that’s impossible not to move to.

Close your eyes, listen and dream and you could be swinging your hips on a sun soaked beach on a glorious tropical island. But this is Leeds, England and it’s the state of our political systems, the appalling way the current government treats it’s people, their shocking approach to refugees, corruption, mental health and more that run throughout the songs delivered tonight.

With a setlist covering a good amount of his back catalogue Poor Little England, Coming To The Gambia, Borders, Hey Boy, Truth And Fiction and the rousing Last Chance To Dance create that perfect combination of a fun-filled party with some serious messages that need to be heard. And whilst most here will already share the opinions of The Undercover Hippy there’s no harm reminding us that we need to keep resisting those that continue to strip us of our rights and dignity.

Two excellent bands, brilliant atmosphere, strong messages. If you want to dance to some seriously groovy beats and feel completely at home amongst like-minded people then check out The Undercover Hippy’s remaining tour dates. You won’t be disappointed.



Steve White

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