Billy Vincent are a band from South London. Yes I know it is confusing. Name aside, they are a pretty formidable outfit. They describe themselves as 'Dirty Folk' and I suppose that is as good a way to describe it as any. To my ears I hear Dexy's Midnight Runners, early Del Amitri and The Waterboys making up part of their sound but they are far more difficult to pigeon hole than that.
With 'Nu Folk' enjoying a boom time with bands like Mumford & Son and Stornaway getting music hacks worked up into a frenzy, it is refreshing to find a band who make folk music that is not some figment of a suburban middle class imagination. Billy Vincent are dirty, so 'Dirty Folk' it is.
This four track ep kicks off with Prairie Wolves, a punk infused fiddle led romp which is the type of song likely to have punters astride a table top with a flagon of ale in hand singing at the top of their voice as everyone around cheers them on. They Break Bones follow a similar formula with shades of Thin Lizzy about it. Trouble Never Comes Alone takes the tempo down a notch and is perhaps the 'folkiest' of all the track. Last track Tubes/Wires strays into country territory and sounds decidedly out of sync with the other tracks, like a Irish wedding band attempting John Denver's County Roads. Don't get me wrong, it is not that bad a song, just a bit out of place.
There is enough about this ep to suggest that these guys are an interesting proposition well worth checking out in the future although you do get the feeling that it is in a live environment that they really come into their own.