Review: Polly and the Billets Doux in the Spiegeltent

5 June 2013


The spiegeltent is now well under way on Crescent Gardens in Harrogate.

The weekend saw the children’s festival and this week has a whole range of acts performing. To call it a tent really doesn’t do it justice however.

The spieglent is part of the Harrogate International Festivals.

Monday evening saw Polly and the Billets Doux play. They are a four-piece band with a  style that covers folk, rock, blues, soul and even gospel.

Being a Monday night, there wasn’t the biggest of turn-out. I suspect some of the acts later in the week will be packing the place out though. Polly knew how to talk to the audience though, keeping them entertained with quirky anecdotes between songs – who would have thought she was interested in taxidermy!

Individually each of the band members are strong and confident musicians. Apparently they enjoyed a curry in town before walking down to the tent and straight on stage (to some nervousness of the organisers).

Polly’s vocals are powerful when they needed to be powerful and wonderfully tuneful and modulated when the song demanded. Delivery was very tight with the vocals and lead guitar particularly impressive.

Credit where it is due, the Harrogate International Festivals are putting on some great nights. It’s all about entertainment and challenging people just a little on what they should listen to.

This year the HIF have also licked the bar into shape, so you can have a draft beer or glass of wine and pretty reasonable price. Couple that with the ticket entry price, it gives a lot to like about the Spiegeltent.

The Craig Charles night on Thursday promises to be something different and as far away from Red Dwarf as it could possibly be.

The Demon Barbers are also worth looking out for on Saturday night (8 June 2013) as are the free sessions being run over lunchtime.

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