North of the Borderline....
Polkadodge, The Princess Alice, Middlesbrough
Dashing round Middlesbrough on a Friday night ain't great when it's wet, and tonight (August 8th) it was bouncing. After an hour in new bar Sticky Fingers watching the ever brilliant Shoot The Poet it was time to haul ass to the Princess Alice to catch a band I'd wanted to see for a while, Polkadodge.
This Sheffield-based foursome bring the noise in a BIG way. With a bouncy energy, equally radio- and hipster-friendly tunes and a hint of Catfish and the Bottlemen, they have the kind of cool-kid commercial appeal mixed with Northern grit that gets people excited. Plus, they wrote a song about a bloke that's fathered dozens of kids and contains the line 'you've been f*cked by the catfish'. Chuck in the band's ReverbNation profile in which lead singer John is lauded for his talent but 'is tragically ginger' and the video for recent single Borderline - where they run around spoofing 70s cop shows with cracking false moustaches and what looks to be all their own stunt work - and you've got a band that are as piss-takingly fun as they are talented.
Musically, they are spot on. With catchy tunes that make you want to jump, or thigh-drum if you're back's knackered and you can't jump, memorable choruses and play-again melodies, Polkadodge are really tight and together. Songs such as the aforementioned Borderline, recent release Laughing In Spanish and the fab Natural Heat are delivered energetically to an appreciative crowd. Even the band are bouncing, especially guitarist Martin (who gave me his setlist and a few minutes of his time for a chat. Cheers Martin!) who jumps and jigs through the set like a South Yorkshire Duracell bunny. The highlight for me is Catfish with its filthy bassline - I'm unapologetically a bass girl - and stompalong rhythms.
It's been a great gig. The only downside for me is that more people didn't get to see them perform, this is a band who need to be heard and deserve to go far. But on a cold, rainy night in Middlesbrough they've made everyone in this pub very happy indeed.
Find them in the usual social media places. Talk to them on Twitter @polkadodgeuk. Catch them live if you can. You won't be disappointed.