IN a new regular feature for the Worcester News, Jodie Hughes will be shining a light on the rising stars of the local music scene. Here, she interviews Polkadot Robot.


Polkadot Robot have become a well-known name around Worcestershire over the last couple of years, bringing the party to local venues with their choice of feel-good hits, and an infectiously fun atmosphere to get your toes tapping. 

The band is fronted by Lucy Graham, an incredibly versatile singer with a warm and energetic stage presence, with her cousin and local bass teacher Kerry White on bass. Chris Nicholls takes on the guitarist role, and is guaranteed to impress with his high level of skill. Crag Sharpe is on the drums, having toured with several famous musicians, such as singer-songwriter Dido. 

As well as regular gigs at pubs and bars, Polkadot Robot are the only band in the area who host ‘bandeoke’ events, where the audience can choose songs to sing (like karaoke) with backing from the band themselves.

So how did the idea behind Polkadot Robot come about?

Kerry:  I wanted to get a function band together, and my partner suggested Chris, who I knew from working at Worcester School of Rock and Performance together. We got together and came up with ideas for tracks, and then found Crag through a mutual friend.  Lucy is my cousin, and I knew from the offset that she’d be amazing for it!


You play a whole host of popular songs from all eras of music.  How does the crowd reaction affect the overall gig experience for the band?

 K: We aim our set so it is a non-stop party.  We try to give something for everyone, so if you’re into rocky or indie stuff we have a bit of that, and we also cover some 80s songs. If people are getting into one type of music more than another at a gig we try to do more of what they want. 


You are known for your bandeoke events. Do you think it’s important to have something unique like this to offer the audience?

Crag: It definitely helps in terms of entertainment.  People love it for parties and weddings.

K: In a party setting it works really well.  Everyone’s around their mates and cheering each other on.  There’s quite a community built up around it – there’s no ego with it.  People have actually joined bands with each other because of it, having seen people get up and have a go.  It’s given them the confidence to do it themselves.


Part of the fun of bandeoke is that people can sign up spontaneously on the night. Does the element of surprise make gigging more fun?

K:  It keeps us on our toes!  We have to have a wide range of songs in our heads!

C: We generally do alright, even when we are caught off guard with it!


Not only do you gig and provide bandeoke experiences, but you are also available for weddings and parties. How do you find the atmosphere differs for each type of gig, and what is the best thing about having such a variety?

K:  With a lot of pubs, it’s more people passing through who can see us.  Although, we’ve been on the circuit a while now, so we have started to get a few regulars who come out to see us whenever we play.  With parties you get more of a captive audience. They’re stuck with you all night!  We tend to gear the set more to what they want for parties.

C: At parties people tend to get more into it, because they know everyone there.

K:  We had crowdsurfing at one!


What are each member’s favourite songs to cover?

K: My favourite is Walk Like An Egyptian or Kids in America.

C: Crag’s has got to be Livin’ La Vida Loca.

K: Lucy loves doing Pour Some Sugar On Me.

C: Probably my favourite is Pretty Woman, but the Van Halen version.  It just sounds big! Rebel Yell is a good one too.

K:  It also depends on the night. If something is going down well with the audience we enjoy it more.


Finally, what can Worcestershire expect from Polkadot Robot over the coming months?

K:  On Sunday August 18 we are outside at the Worcester Arts Workshop.  On the 25th we’ll be on the Variety Stage at Sunshine Festival in Upton, then our next public gig is at The Black Star in Stourport on 20th September.  We’ve got our next full bandeoke gig on Saturday 28th September back at Worcester Arts Workshop. We’ll be at the Pillar of Salt in Droitwich and The Virgin Tavern in Tolladine soon, and we’ll have our Halloween special at Paradiddles in October too.


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