Billy Vincent. Prepare to fight battles to see this poetic, Swiftian rock band. Colliding with the music of BV for the first time is like walking into a messy, intoxicating Hogarth painting. I promise you will never, ever want to leave this room soaked in melancholy and mayhem, laced with a dash of authentic Americana.
The beguiling troubadours in this dangerously accomplised rock ‘n’ roll band are Dave Vincent and Billy Barratt. They are aided and abetted by Jamie Pope on lead guitar, Joeph Kinsey on bass and vocals and Jack Blenkinsop on vocals and drums. Vincent is the softly spoken one. He looks like one of Cromwell’s Roundheads in the Devil’s Whore. His hair is long and the colour of anthracite. He and his Finnish girlfriend, a talented textile designer, and alumni of St Martin’s, are into sustainability and keeping it local.
Barrat has the magnetism and the swagger to break hearts. So far, so rock ‘n’ roll.
When they tell me they first met at St Mary’s Primary School in Carshalton, I can’t help thinking of another great rock n roll co-conspiracy: Jagger and Richard, who fatefully met on Dartford Station. There is nothing that comes close to discovering a rock band when they are at the tipping point of taking off into the stratosphere.
Billy Vincent are close to that place. Vincent and Barratt write dark, dangerous, intoxicating songs straight out of the pages of Swift and Dickens. Topics range from domestic violence to murder, debauchery and ball and a love that is less than ordinary, naturally. Then, they change direction and offer an accomplished, melancholy slice of lonesome Americana, in Prairie Wolves. The stand out track on their last album is: Dead Men’s Shoes. And yes, it is a love song that will run around your brain.
It’s the kind of song that to steal a phrase – ‘ would make a bishop want to kick in a stain glass window.’
It certainly had this rock chick dancing down the street.
You’ve been warned.
Billy Vincent are playing The Monarch
on November 1st! Go check them out.
Band Photography By The talented, up and coming rock photographer : Jo Monck – www.jo-monck-photography.co.uk
Shot on location at the legendary – 12 Bar Club, Denmark Street, London, for Ethical Hedonist