08/10/2010 | Polly And The Billets Doux – Stereo, York

Faye Aitken-Smith

Polly and the Billets Doux are the four piece band from Winchester that lived and jammed together before venturing out to gig.  In my imagination they stayed up all night with a passion for music that coursed through their veins, because that is what it feels like to listen to them.  These guys feed off each other, together they are possessed by a natural harmony and tangible chemistry that cannot be manufactured and they have achieved something quite beautiful and utterly unique.

There are no rules, there is just natural flow.  Polly and the Billets Doux do it their own way, and why not?   They knock the spots off nearly everybody else. Like gentle warriors forging ahead on a path that has been hitherto missed, their music hits you and it is hard to stop your body instinctively wanting to move in rhythm with the music on a tribal level. The band could have played Woodstock and not been out of place, yet to say this band are a folk or indie or a country group would be wrong. They are all of these and more; a taste of the 70’s with hints of Hendrix, Dolly Parton and Jim Morrison to name a few.  Suffice to say they create soul music in the real sense of the word and they combine most genres, including rap.

Follow My Feet, their current single is a swinging rodeo, reminiscent of an early day Beautiful South with a bit of Texas.  The Cup and the Lip, is a Fleetwood Mac-esque anthem, strings, harmonica and sweet melody; husky, sexy and strong, a sing into your hairbrush in front of your mirror song and The City and the Sailor is the same.  Add a couple of impromptu raps while the others were tuning up, an entertaining rendition of Technotroniques  Pump Up The Jam, Make My Day and a bit of Mr Bombastic which soon became the cherry on top of a very well iced cake.

There is no acting here, no pretend or wannabe, these guys are natural, the real deal.  Being in their presence is to feel the excitement of the days when music was music and stage schools were not in the equation. They are not thrown together, it is like they grew into each other and thrive symbiotically, they intuitively sense the other and they play their instruments like good friends holding a conversation, comfortable and charged with love, tenderness and fun. Polly and the Billets Doux are true music alchemists and they have picked up their instruments and found the ingredients to create pure gold.

www.pollyandthebilletsdoux.co.uk