A note on September gigs

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Just a quick note, apologies to subscribers and regular readers…

I took a week away in the middle of August, and then got rather busy doing other things and not writing the gigs I’d been to, even though they were all on my phone. 

Now rectified, though in the process I’ve changed my own (unwritten) rules – I’m trying to write less about each band, following comments that reviews were too lengthy.  Means I won’t be focussing so much on writing up a gig for those who weren’t there.

I’m also cutting back on writing up open mic nights – I still go to them, however I see too many artists at them to keep up with it all, and the photos (which are poor anyway from the crapberry) really don’t work well in the typical lighting conditions found at open mics.

Of course, these rules are still “unwritten” meaning I can change them at any time… 😉

Peace out…Tim.

The General Public @ Cellar Bar 29 Sep

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As ever, I arrive too late to see Coke Can Jack – its become a running non-joke that I always arrive once they’re off stage.

The General Public @ Cellar Bar 29 SepInstead I just get the fun stuff of  The General Public. Many will have seen these guys, perhaps for the first time, at 2011’s Grooves On The Green, where its fair to say they pretty much smashed that gig.

They’re being a little bit edgy tonight, experimenting by making up the set as they go along. The bass is thumping, the drums are crashing, keys are mashing and the vocals and rhythms are spot on.

Get It On has become a fave, simply as I play it a lot on the show. as they play it here, it full of a funk driven bass riff, while the harmonies are together and well balanced, good for a live sound.

It wouldn’t be fair to say that they didn’t smash tonight, however the crowd is a little small to say this has been one of their best gigs for ever. It is one of their entertaining performances though, I’m pleased to have been here for it.

Bad Apples @ Champions 24 Sep

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JoElle are just finishing as I walk in. I’m liking their cool rolling blues guitar riffs coupled with female vocals.

Charlie Hole @ Champions 24 SepNext up is Charlie Hole, I’ve not seen this fella (who’s sickeningly talented for one so young) for a while. He starts with a couple of mellow tunes on the piano, before switching to guitar for some slightly livelier songs. He has a great voice, and is audibly clear tonight, important as his songs tell good stories.

Bad Apples are a bit of a supergroup, formed by drummer Jimmy Copley, with Micky Moody as slide guitar virtuoso, Ian Jennings on bass, Mick Rogers guitar and lead vocals by Robert Hart.

Bad Apples @ Champions 24 SepThey play some laid back blues to start, slow beat with strong bass – Ian plays a string bass rather than bass guitar. Lead vocalist Rob is full of the posturising, the gig is being filmed so he plays up a lot to the camera, which makes for good entertainment. They slip easily into Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Cold Shot, then Muddy Waters Dirty Little Schoolgirl.

Bad Apples @ Champions, Mick Rogers solo songAfter JJ Cale we move into a Hand Jive / Magic Bus medley, then a Mick Rogers rock and roll solo while the stage is reset – exit the string bass and slide guitar, Jimmy joins the duo with Mick, then enter bass guitar and telecaster for original slow blues. Towards the end the pace is picked up, the slide guitar re-entries first as solo by Micky, then a switch to own signature guitar (Bad Apples @ Champions, Micky Moody "named" guitar fretboardMicky Moody on the fretboard, as picked up by photo) for some real good stomp stuff.

An amazing gig for a debut performance, admittedly hardly surprising considering the lineage and heritage of the individuals (Manfred Mann, Whitesnake, Jeff Beck, Go West and Tears For Fears all feature in the commentary. Towards the end drummer Jimmy Copley is lauded as the inspiring creator of the band, and plays some awesome solos on the kit. Great to hear, hope they play town again.

Dubheart @ Cellar Bar Sat 24 SepOn the way home, inevitably drop into the Cellar Bar, where Dubheart are creating a massive storm with their beats, rhythms and overall great reggae sound.

6 Sep Houshka

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Language, Timothy! kit 2 @ Houshka 6 SepLanguage, Timothy! kit 1 @ Houshka 6 SepLanguage, Timothy! let me know about this, the 9th Houshka, since they are curating and opening this interesting acoustic night. They have created their own soundtrack to the film Le Ballon Rouge and perform it live, all 20 minutes worth or so.

There have been lots of studies on emotion and feeling as created by film scores, so having an alternative, that also fits so well is unusual and special. As expected with Language, Timothy! there is the normal array of now rare and exotic electronic instruments, coupled with xylophone and sampling sequencer, a few of which are captured in the snaps.

SUSBUS @ Houshka 6 SepS.U.S.B.U.S (Southern Ukelele Store Bournemouth Ukelele Social) make an acoustic ensemble of 6 ukeleles, playing well known songs (Bad Moon Rising, Daisy, Delilah etc) and creating a lot of fun in the process. There are forty of them or so that meet in the Portman Boscombe on the last Tuesday of the month, this is a select few of that number.

The Spectral Mirror @ Houshka 6 SepThe Spectral Mirror close this varied night. As our compere puts it, it’s been the most number of intruments ever (thanks to Language, Timothy!’s array) and the most ever number of musicians (thanks to S.U.S.B.U.S ). Spectral Mirror are electric guitar and old school Rhodes organ/keyboard, playing with a video backdrop of the first half of Koyaanisqatsi (Unbalanced World) – wide angle shots of monument valley, empty endless landscapes (and the like) – to create a rather atmospheric tone, lots of space in the music, a contrast to that which has gone before.

Musicosity Old Firestation Upstairs Day 2 Saturday

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Christa Vi @ Old Firestation 3 SepAnother day, another jam packed gig as part of the Musicosity Festival, again upstairs in the Old Fire Station.  Christa Vi start, they consist of Christa herself on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, with a full band including synths behind her.  Nice varistion of tunes, since there are assortments of acoustic and electric guitars, keys and bas changing about during the set.  They’ve also brought an active crowd with them, which fills the front portion of the stage.

Next up is Alex Roberts; I big him up as his usual Cellar Bar self, where he really kicks it out with the roots music.  This time he’s in a fairly contemplative mood, and includes a number of political swipes at how things are progressing in society in general.  All this is the chat interspersing his usual poignant and witty songs, this time just played on the lap steel and harmonica. I’m so captivated by his performance I forget to grab a photo for the blog, sorry Alex…

Goldray @ Old Firestation 3 SepGoldray are the third act tonight; featuring Kenwyn from Reef they are a little disappointed to be playing upstairs on the small stage, rather than downstairs on the big stage (where there aren’t that many of the gig going public to be honest) – all bands here could have benefitted from maybe not just a larger stage but at least one without a pillar in front of it (see photos).  The music is female vocal led by Leah, with clever effects overlaid, very high energy and a lot of fun, and they look good too.

The Dark Lights @ Old Fire Station 3 SepThe fourth band of the six tonight are The Dark Lights, they sounded amazing in sound check, unfortunately the stage has been rewired a few times by the time they get on, so a bit of time is spent by my searching for and re-plugging lost cables. Once on they sound great, however (as anticpated during the sound check) the drums get louder throughout the set, causing the whole balance to go out.  Its a shame as the music they’re producing is awesome, multiple keyboards and samples providing neat backing to amazing guitar led tunes.

ASP @ Old Fire Station 3 SepNext we have ASP, I’ve seen these guys a few times before, normally at festivals,where they really kick out their rock sound. They are loud and punchy tonight, so loud I feel I can’t give them my best efforts in providing a decent, clear sound.  This is a shame, since the songs they have are pretty good, and done pretty well. I need to pick my moments to give advice to bands, too, since when I suggest a few things, they don’t go down too well. Whoops, and sorry lads.

The headline act are Dead On TV. The good thing about Musicosity is that it is a genuine headline, rather than a “finish after midnight closer” – I’m only able to start them little later than I wanted but it’s still only gone 10pm when they’re on.  They were desperate to have the lights off during their show, so I was unable to capture a shot of them. I love their sound – twin guitars, twin keyboards, and four male vocal harmonies, in lead and three backing singers with the guitar, bass and keys.

Musicosity Old Firestation Upstairs Day 1 Friday

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Musicosity is a 3 day festival in the cente of town and on the beach, celebrating the best of original music in the area, with additional bands shipped in from elsewhere, Reef being the major name in this category.

Beckett @ Old Firestation 2 SepI’m in the upstairs section of the Old Fire Station, as I’m running one of the stages. Beckett are first up with their catchy tunes as ever, well played, and well received by the other bands present. I really enjoy seeing them as they’ve come such a long way from my first sight of them at an open mic ooh, 6/7 years ago?

Nudy Bronque @ Old Firestation 2 SepNudy Bronque (pr. New-di bronk) arrived later than they desired from Swindon after a series of van failures, yet still managed to provide a kicking show, full of enthusiasm and verve, lively tunes and just genuine good songs.

Kentucky Fight Club @ Old Firestation 2 SepKentucky Fight Club plug in and go with their amazing vigour, frantic mando with mad violin producing the usual folk / punk style of music, but with the usual added synth providing the difference between KFC and other well known bands in this camp. Finger kicking fun, loads of activity on and off stage.

Kiss Corona @ Old Firestation 2 SepNottingham based Kiss Corona are next up, they have some intricate programmed work, making their set perhaps the most polished of all. They are reminiscent of Fountains of Wayne (the Stacy’s Mom crowd), sounding much like that style while still being original with it

Last up is Boxes, no doubt named after the number of synths and bits and bobs they have – iPads, laptops etc, while still producing live music over the top with keys and guitar. Rhythmic and hypnotic all at the same time, enjoyable clever sounds.

After packing up, I make it to the Cellar Bar with just enough time to catch the fairwell gig for Roland as he leaves Mischa’s band. As ever fun, musical, random and amazingly lyrical. He’s also throwing a few covers in for good measure. One surprise is a song by Roland, on guitar (not uke or cello) through a loop pedal. Mellow and a good singalong all combined.

1 Sep Smart Mutant Emeralds

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Tim Smart has made a surprise appearance tonight so he’s on stage when I arrive – see the youtube video of his take on I Know An Old Lady for interest. As ever one of the best entertainers around, even when says he doesn’t know beforehand what he’s going to do!

The Emerald Guard @ Cellar Bar 1 SepThe Emerald Guard are on next. Two guitars and bass, accompanying some clever key/synth work. The phrase “wall of sound” is used a lot in radio talk – these guys deliver that in droves. There are some good riffs and hooks here, almost danceable rhythms, and the lyrics are neat enough for the music style.

Mutant Vinyl do Jazz @ Cellar Bar 1 SepMutant Vinyl are playing their last gig for a while, Ed starts with a jazz sax solo (Brecker Bros – Funky Sea Funky Dew) “as he’s never had the bottle before”. Note the music stand – stand-in of Tim Smart in the photo. Despite Mutant Vinyl @ Cellar Bar 1 Sepbeing their last gig for a while, this is very cut back at the outset, just Ed with dad Jim on drums. I don’t know what it is, I’m not normally a fan of a wailing vocal, however with Mutant Vinyl it just fits and works. Pinks Dagga is on youtube.