Polly And The Billets Doux @ The Wheelbarrow 23rd February 2011

Polly And The Billet Doux put on a fantastic show at the Wheelbarrow which left me with the need to hear more material. The style of music this band plays is Blues meets Jazz with a dash of Country thrown in for good measure. Actually this combination does work wonders. The band consist of Polly Perry, Ben Perry, Andrew Steen and Dan Everett. This performance was rather energetic  and the songs on the night were complete crackers. In fact this was the first time I had attended one of their concerts and I was left impressed. There was a change of location as it was supposed to take place at The Lyttelton Arms but was moved to The Wheelbarrow which was just up the road. Any how it is so nice to see a band with the reputation Polly And The Billets Doux have play in such a intimate venue. For those who don’t knowthe  festivals they have played at include Glastonbury, Loopallu and The Big Chill. The majority of the set was focused on the debut CD Fiction, Half Truths and Downright Lies which was released in 2009. The phenomenol set kicked off around 9.10pm. Before kicking this off Polly told the crowd about they played in Nottingham the night before. Cry Cry was the first song on the night and this is very uptempo plus this is a strong country song. It’s like Dolly Parton was singing the song minus the American accent. Follow My Feet was next and this was again very uptempo and it was delivered by Polly perfectly. This song you could have a good dance too. After a round of applause the band then launched into To Be A Fighter. After this album track Polly then urged the audience to shake their bottoms and shoulders for the next song if they wanted to. Now this song does not feature on the album. Fallen was the song (I don’t know the actual title of the song). Well the lyrics are both strong and perfect. During this song I could see traces of Kitty, Daisy & Lewis in them. Next it was onto a impromptu performance of Make My Day which was oringinally sung by NAPT. The reason Polly sung this was so the guys could change their instruments. Now this sounded incredible and slightly special. I love things that aren’t planned and the rest of the audience loved this short take on this song. It was then onto Don’t Trouble Trouble. I liked this song it is more Blues infused. Who Do You You Love? followed on and this was a strong powerful song. The majority of the song was sung by Andrew Steen. It definately went town well with the audience.  The Cup and The Lip followed on and it was mainly sung by Polly Perry. Now her vocal range is extraordinary plus she also showed off her harmonica skills during the song. The Rounder was mainly sung by Andrew Steen with the rest of the band harmonising. “This next song I have to stand on one leg for the duration” Polly told the audience. The reason being she was playing the guitar for this song Pretty Thing (again I am guessing the title). Polly actually resembled a flamingo standing on one leg. Back to the song it was very uptempo and like The Cup and The Lip there were some outstanding harmonica skills. There was actually a country feel to the song and the lyrics were perfect. I definately look forward to hearing the studio version of this song. It was then onto Head Of Steam which is the title of the bands EP. There was then some chat about steam trains then after Polly and the rest of the band launched themselves into this song. This was a powerful song and Dan was playing the massive cello for this song. Everything geled together for this song and I really enjoyed it. The penultimate song was Back To Earth. Polly was on the cello for this track. I liked it when it got slightly pacey and overall it was a brilliant song. The night ended with House Of The Rising sun which was a epic 8 minute song. This was delivered at a furious pace and the vocals were tremendous. Judging by this they certainly have what it takes to deliver belting performances in the bigger venues. Once such venue which would be perfect for them would be the Jazz Cafe or there is The Union Chapel which has amazing acoustics. The thought of hearing Polly and the rest of the band play at The Union Chapel sends shivers up my spine.

SET LIST

Cry Cry
Follow My Feet
To Be A Fighter
Fallen
Make My Day
Don’t Trouble Trouble
Who Do You Love?
The Cup And The  Lip
The Rounder
Pretty Thing
Head Of Steam
Back To Earth
House Of The Rising Sun

OVERALL: This was the first time I had witnessed this band live. To be honest I was left impressed and had the urge to hear more material by them. The combination of Blue/ Jazz and Country works wonders. The set played was mainly focused on debut album Fiction, Half Truths And Downright Lies plus a few songs I have not heard before. My favourite song on the night had to be Fallen which was slightly catchy. Well the song most certainly captivated me and that happens when you have infectious lyrics. Even though that was my favourite song on the night I thoroughly enjoyed them all. I look forward to seeing this band live again because they certainly have what it takes to make a huge impact on the music industry.

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