Saturday, July 12, 2008

REVIEW: Polka Dot Dot Dot

Whammy Bar
Saturday 12 July

Words by June Hart
Photos by Charlette Hannah

I have longed for a band like this without even realizing it. The beauty of a cappella harmonies is usually the realm of choirs and barbershop quartets, but Polka Dot Dot Dot bring fun and intelligence, with moments of absolutely beauty, to what some would call an old fashioned style of music.

Using only minimal instrumentation, the three members of Polka Dot Dot Dot, Jordan Smith, Colleen Johnson, and Onyx of Olympia, bring a fresh and modern take to a cappella music. Their tight harmonies and sweet and thoughtful songs were well executed. Sharing the occasional instrumental duties on ukulele, banjo, acoustic guitar, they even played a saw with a bow, and used ‘magic mics’. Utilising claps, clicks and thigh slapping, they were a dynamic act who prove you don’t need to make a lot of loud noise to have a lot of fun.

According to Local Cut, the all-American trio formed in New Zealand, with a mission to tour New Zealand, and gave themselves a few days to learn each others songs in order to so a year or so ago. Now they're back from the States to play for us again. They’ll be playing at the Wine Cellar on the 9th of August, so if you didn’t get to see them at the Whammy Bar, it’s not too late. Their album is even called Love Letters to New Zealand. Aren't we lucky they love us so much?

Although they were mostly original songs, Polka Dot Dot Dot put a gorgeous new spin on the traditional ‘hey, ho, nobody’s home’ canon. The upbeat foot stomping tunes were mixed in with a couple of beautiful downbeat songs thrown in to make your heart stop.

Polka Dot Dot Dot are a band you sure don’t see everyday. If only!

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