Soul Baby @ Christchurch FestivalChristchurch Festival this weekend, started off in style by the Bournemouth Ukelele Social – a kerfuffle at the gate means I hear them from afar rather than in the tent. Sounds good though. Soul Baby are a big attraction here, coupled with the start time (8 30) there is a half capacity crowd in this place, not bad for what is normally a quiet Friday night start.

No wonder they draw a crowd, half of them work at one of the big firms I’m town so they all come out, plus the music is good – soul covers in the main, with other matching tracks thrown in. Plus the visual attraction of four leading ladies on vocal harmonies, backed up by solid backline, no wonder they are popular.

Mils Malone and the Magic Tones at SpyreReally enjoyable, all the better for having Ness with me, however we need to depart (meaning we miss headline Pronghorn) as its been a busy evening so far what with running the kids craft club and all. A quick toast top up and I head out to Spyre where Looking Through Glass are launching their second album She’s My Co-Pilot.

Mils Malone and the Magic Tones are on stage as I walk in, good solid pop/rock, and I’m liking what I’m hearing for the two songs I catch at the end of their set. An overlong interlude and Looking Through Glass take their places. As expected they are dressed smart with their trademark retro-throwback monotone look. Their sound has really developed and settled into a good groove.

Looking Through Glass at SpyreDave has crystal clear vocals that float easily over the smooth sounds from the band, with trumpet accentuating the music. Kelly is also harmonising and backing on occasion, a welcome addition. They’re gigging the whole album tonight, in order. If you liked the EP (The Cycle Never Ends) you’ll love this fellow. Standout tracks: 1993, For My Baby. If you’ve not come across them before, check them out.

Big Face Reggae at Smokin AcesThey take a break and I take the opportunity to see Big Face Reggae at Smokin’ Aces. It’s also Martin Roberts’ and others birthdays so a big party atmosphere. Big Face Reggae are great as ever, and there’s something about having the band in your face (or you in their face) as you’re skanking around. Afterwards end up in the Cellar Bar with more mates just hanging around. Great night, despite the late finish.

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