Polly and The Billets Doux will be making a welcome return to The Cellars next week, for one final show before the venue closes at the start of August.
The acclaimed four-piece, who came together in Winchester, play at the venue on Wednesday.
When The Guide caught up with the band, they were on The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, enjoying a day off as they travelled between gigs in Glasgow and Hull.
Drummer Ben Perry says: ‘I work at (Winchester venue) The Railway as well as being in the band, so we’re quite in tune with everyone around us and what’s happening, and what’s happening to The Cellars is a sad indictment of what’s happening to small venues.’
‘We don’t play at The Railway so often now, but having been in bands around that area we’ve played there a lot, we try and play other spaces and mix it up a bit.
‘We try and play a bit more around the area these days. We’ve done a few shows in Portsmouth – we’ve played The Cellars, we did Southsea Fest, and I think we did The Edge of the Wedge.’
I work at (Winchester venue) The Railway as well as being in the band, so we’re quite in tune with everyone around us and what’s happening, and what’s happening to the Cellars is a sad indictment of what’s happening to small venuesBen Perry, drummer for Polly and The Billets Doux
When not on the road, the band are split between Winchester and Bristol. As Dan explains: ‘We’re kind of split between two different places.
‘Dan (Everett – double bass, guitar, vocals) was originally at the art college in Winchester and the three of us were in a rock band in Winchester.
‘I was engaged, now married to Polly. We started jamming, and living in the same house together. The rock band kind of phased out and this phased in.
‘It all came together quite organically. Polly and Dan were jamming together doing this jazzy stuff and (guitarist) Steeny and Dan were doing acoustic stuff.
‘Me and Polly would do things as a two-piece with me on drums and her playing a double-bass, and then it all kind of morphed in to this.’
Their sound has been described as a mix of blues, country, folk, soul and gospel.
But Ben adds: ‘The industry is obsessed with needing a specific pigeonhole, and we’ve been asked: ‘‘Well, are you this? Are you that?’’ But we’ve always inherently written what we enjoy and not worried whether it’s the ‘‘Billets Doux brand’’ or not.
‘We’re four very individual musicians who have tastes that range across everything.
‘And we’re always trying to keep open-minded to any new experiences when it comes to new bands and things we’re rediscovering from the past.’
Take your open mind to The Cellars on Wednesday. Doors open 7.30pm. Tickets £8. Go to thecellars.co.uk