Mischa’s New Material

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Mischa Cellar Bar 2I’m in the Cellar Bar tonight, Mischa is here with Roland accompanying him. They start with a couple of staples Air I Breathe and One Of These Days before moving into some new material.

Cello is prevalent for the first part of the set, when Roland breaks out the ukelele its to move into some more bluesy-rock type of material.

As usual with Mischa the songs are all about events in his life, in that wear your heart on your sleeve fashion of his. Music is the purge that lifts our moods, and can also reflect where we’re at

Both uplifting and soulful, its always entertaining with Mischa on the stage, exaggerated even more so when accompanied by anyone, especially just Roland if not the full band. Makes it a totally different vibe. Big up man.

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Oposium on tour, on air

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Oposium Tour 2011Richard from Oposium joins me for 2 hours in the studio tonight. We talk about all things they’re into: 

  • the music, including debug radio plays of the latest two songs (videos available on their youtube channel)
  • the elemental piano cycle (they’ve done playing a piano in water and a piano on fire, now doing earth in this tour),
  • the Herd of Red Bison (the tour is called Have You Herd?)

plus the other wrappings that come by doing things an Oposium way – they are building an online virtual village of businesses wishing to do e-commerce, including the band and one of the church choirs they’re into, all built by their web business Conical Sphere.

Paint It Blue at O'Neill'sAfterwards I head off with some of the other station people to hear Paint It Blue at O’Neill’s. Great music going on here as ever to be expected with one of the most awesome blues bands on the circuit. They kick off with the slower blues in the main for the first half, reserving the punchier rolling blues numbers for the second.

Good stuff from a band with four gigs in 3 days ahead of them, and also a chance to catch up with those I’ve missed during my time away.  Next is over to Chaplins for Andy Stock’s open mic – Bex Grant with her powerful voice, Graham Jones with his blues and Joe Potter from Jouis (amazing gravelly vocals, totally unlike when he speaks) feature here, as well as a catch up for me with many others.  All enjoyable stuff.

Show & Bournemouth Unplugged Final

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Ali (and later, Martin) from Constellation join me in the studio this evening.  Despite being together and gigging for over a year, Constellation only hit my radar through entering the 2011 Dorset Music Awards, where they reached the Semi Final stage. I’ve written much about them as a result on this blog. 

Having the chat in the studio is enlightening about how they formed from friendships formed at classes in music technology, and how Ali was subsequently recruited as a vocalist.  We also talk a little bit about now old song The Flower Song, and about their supported charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers

The songs played are special exclusives, prepared yet unfinished cuts from their latest recording sessions, a CD to be produced real soon now.  As ever, really enjoyable, made more so by fan interaction via received texts, calls and emails from fans.

I’m then (in slow time) off to the Bournemouth Unplugged Final in O’Neill’s.  Its been a long journey from that first Heat in February, perhaps made more so by the mad rush to get from the studio to the bar in time to hear the first act.  Of the 32 acts entered, many have been amazing, I’ve picked up many new guests for the show. 

Of course there have been some that have been good, but just uninspiring – there are too many people that are picking up a guitar, strumming some chords and putting over lyrics – it’s not as easy as that, but even so need to be something a little bit different to stand out from the crowd. 

Overall, it has made for some nights of amazing music, even if it means continuous cajon playing (the unplugged bit effectively means no drum kits) for percussive accompaniment.  I’ve also been surprised to see my preconceptions blown away on some occasions, when having to structurally break down music into objective categories to define what’s best.

So, four acts in the final, Si Crockett, Chris Woodford, Phil King and Krista Green.  Every one of them plays what many say is their best set ever. The pub is absolutely packed – other artists from the competition, loads of fans of local live music, meaning the atmosphere is electric, and gives one a chance to catch up with nearlyeveryone who’s anyone on the circuit.  Enough of my ramblings, on to the prizes.

ITG song writer award.

This is for the best overall songwriter in the competition.  Martin from ITG productions wants to reward people with good original content and amazing tunes.  Goes to Ant Henson.

TL sound.

This is for PA hire, studio recording time and other related goodies.  Goes to Si Crockett.

Dreadlock photography.

This is for a free photo shoot by one of the upcoming portrait photo stars of the music scene, Old Bloke. Goes to Si Crockett, “for playing the best I’ve ever seen him play”

Purbeck Folk Festival.

Here Cath Burke is looking for an act that will fit particularly well into the vibe of this specific festival.  Goes to Krista Green.

Endorset in Dorset.

Gee starts by saying he isn’t used to and dislikes this judging lark (thanks for the support Gee, we’ve had to do this for 3 months!) and gets involved this time as the festival organiser available.  Goes to Chris Woodford.

New guitar (vouchers).

This was delayed with the main prize as they’re both awarded by Fiona, O’Neill’s manager. Its £350 worth of vouchers for a new guitar, since she wants the receipient to choose one for their style, rather than force something unwanted on them. Goes to Phil King.

Overall winner Bournemouth Unplugged 2011.

Finally we get to the end of the night – it’s been delayed (along with the previous prize) for 10 minutes beyond the others by Ant in the interests of suspense.  Fiona announces the winner as Krista Green, who wins a nice silverware trophy, a string of pub gigs at O’Neill’s bars in London, and rapturous applause.

Well done to all who entered and got through to any stage in the competition, particular shouts to Ant Lewis from Fairplay for organising everything, to Steve from TL Sound who’s been there each week driving the PA system, and to Fiona for setting aside most Wednesdays to allow musos to invade the bar mainly on their terms!  Also fellow regular judges Harry from Chaplins, Tone from bhone for the heats, Cath from Purbeck Folk Festival for sitting in occasionally, and Martin from ITG for taking some heat with me for unpopular decisions.

Solid Air – June

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Johanna StahrIt seems to have been a long time since I’ve been to a gig – lots of long weekends away on holiday can do that.

I’m back at my usual haunt, and Johanna Stahr is up first, playing some great tunes and singing well. For her last song she invites Lyndon to join her (in photo). Sweet voice, good lyrics and winsome songs.

Dusty Stray Solid AirDusty Stray had flown in from Texas for the Wimborne Folk festival fringe at the White Hart (organised by Wimborne’s town crier and last weeks show guest Chris Brown), so having him here is a big coup. His lyrics are clear, the guitar work gentle and accurately bang on, the songs are wistful. Really really enjoyable.

I leave before Hawkeye (Houlighan) and friends, and Lincoln based Midnight High take to the stage; first gig for a while and I’m not up for a midnight bash already.