Polly Mackey & The Pleasure Principle, Napoleon In Rags

Mike Hughes 18/11/2010

It's not that fact that Polly Mackey is relatively young, that's just no big deal any more. It's the mature rock sensibilities coming out of her and the band, the sort of music and writing that those of us old enough used to look forward to and expect from bands like The Pretenders.

I've been lucky enough to see them develop over the last eighteen months from something that simply had huge possibilities. That said, even back then some of their oldest songs - 'Seriously' and 'The Wall' had such a classic import that it was startling to realise that they had come out of a fledgling band. Such early promise can even give rise to worry about whether newer material will ever come up to initial indications.

However it's important to stay in the present and write about how they were tonight at London's Big Chill House, it's a live music review after all. It was a short showcase to unveil their official first 'proper' single 'Higher' and I am actually mighty relieved to report that that the new one is a rock belter of the same quality as the best of went before. Polly's voice has a big delivery but with some subtlety and an minor key emotional undertow that'll pull at your heart just like great hooks deserve. The band too are tight with what is turning into a bit of a trademark guitar sound complete with sliding intros. They've now gained a lot of experience gigging and in the studio, having played everywhere from Benicassim to Wakestock in a short career. Tonight being what it was, a release party, there was a lot of chatting to be done at the end, it might have even been moving and shaking. There's enough industry buzz - things like SXSW are seeing to that. Polly and the band really are at a stage where they just need to get in front of more people and I'm certain that as that happens, those that experience them will be as convinced as I am. For my part, I'm just looking forward to seeing them pull it off on a big stage

Set List - Seriously / Get Away / The Wall / Postcard / Leave Me Out / Higher / Silent Film