Forbidden Planet’s Halloween

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Bit of a special Solid Air tonight, for halloween many are in costume of varying sorts and we have an unusual bill. We also have the usual forbidden planet visuals; the films on-screen behind the musicians are all dark and sinister.

Antonia Edgeley-Long @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctAntonia Edgeley-Long opens, for what is her farewell gig before she goes travelling. She’s playing sweet acoustic picked chords and her voice is very exposed over the top, makes for a lovely vibe, and is in real contrast to the blackness of the night and the atmosphere set by the films and us dressed and decorated peeps. Antonia Edgeley-Long with Alex 'Honest' Taylor @ forbidden Planet, 31 OctAlex “Honest” Taylor joins her for her ending, which includes Boris Pickett’s Monster Mash.

A spooky Language, Timothy! @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctLanguage, Timothy! never fail to surprise; tonight they open with a pleasing rendition of Suicide Is Painless, the M*A*S*H theme. We then have a music box intro, before Mrs P reads a sinister ghost story from a girls annual, while The Chairman overlays this with awkward synth discords and samples of girls laughing evilly, all very effective, and scarily told. Language, Timothy! @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctWe next have a rendition of my fave classic Ghost In The Machine, not heard this performed live for a while, melded into samples from The Omen. Next a spooky story from The Chairman to wound music box accompaniment followed by their ending, a tribute to Jimmy Saville, who would have been 85 today, the lament Jonny Has Gone For A Soldier

The Worry Dolls @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctThe Worry Dolls close the evening, in half acoustic mode – a laid back end to the evening, despite the large numbers of intruments involved – guitars, ukelele, bass, violin; keys & drums in the background. They have chosen sombre songs for the set tonight, still excellently arranged and orchestrated, they take a particular slant to cover Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, choosing a modal form to present it to us. Towards the end of the set they throw in some of their more lively tunes, the sort of stuff one can jig along to. Good enjoyment and contrast to the evening.

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Vida Plugged & Acoustic Sessions

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Vida @ Walkabout Sun 30 OctI’m in Walkabout for Vida‘s performance – they’ve been offered a Sunday night slot as a result of a competition they were in at the bar. I’m surprised at the way the venue works for live bands – the stage is decorated and well lit, with the expected plenty of space for dancing. While there are maybe 30 people here, Walkabout is so large the place seems empty, which is a shame as I’d like to see bands like Vida breaking into newer venues, showing that local live music can work for a platform.

Soapbox over, this is the first time I’ve heard them non-acoustic, outside of their Smokin’ Aces residency. This means Rio (drums) can use his proper kit, and its given him a new lease of live – or he’s just missing the opportunities to flair in Big Face and Dusty. The numbers are funkier, and there’s strong disco evidence in effect too, as well as the as ever strong harmonies from the girls. Karl (guitar) and Tim (bass) seem to be enjoying the groove too, though playing to a seemingly empty house must be hard.

Some (other) punters do step forward – including a rather butch Amy Winehouse dress-alike – who Elena picks up on and engages with, before launching into the Vida version of Back To Black. That’s what I like about Vida, having plenty of stagecraft means they work with whatever they’re given, even if its lemons not plums ūüôā

Sunday Sessions @ Chaplins, 30 OctOn to Chaplins for their Sunday Sessions, where Andy Stock is regaling the select few with his sung stories. As usual for me, by the time I’ve been downstairs for a drink and returned, he’s finished! Sunday Sessions @ Chaplins, 30 OctWe’re left in the uncertain hands of Lorenzo (beat pad), Andy (guitar) & Michael (Bass), more or less jamming together since they’ve not played before. ¬†Andy is on solo again afterwards, and regales a totally incorrect song, that is actually really funny. Not to be repeated here, sorry (radio rules) ūüėČ

Fright Night – 29 Oct

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Many places seem to be focussing more on halloween parties (with DJs) than live gigs tonight. One place that isn’t is Mr Kyps, who have Metallica tribute band¬†Mentallica on tonight, with¬†Silent Prophecy supporting.
I’m only here as I volunteered to help out with the lighting, I don’t think the music would particularly be my cup of tea.

Silent Prophecy @Mr Kyps (Thanks to Silent Prophecy for photo permission)Having said that I wouldn’t generally like the style, Silent Prophecy do a good job of producing loud thrashing rock, albeit they have a technical problem with the 2nd guitarist such that he only makes it on stage for the head banging sessions. While I don’t know the material, what they’re doing is good, female lead vocalist Theresa is animated, and Tony (guitar) and Miles (bass) are soloing enough, clearly trying to make up for Ollie, their missing 5th man. I find it hard music to listen to, since I can’t pick up many¬†cues for pace changes, slightly important when trying to think ahead for the next lighting scene; I don’t think I do a decent enough job as a result (well, I’d only given myself 10 mins before doors open to explore the system), sorry guys, and thanks for letting me use the photo…

Mentallica @ Mr Kyps Sat 29 OctMentallica come on all bells and whistles, as with¬†Silent Prophecy they’re good at their stuff, posturing, rock stances, lightning fast fret work and solid rhythms. They’re making the most of the crowd, garnering their support and encouraging them to join in with the oys and heys, hand banging stuff galore. Its a shame I don’t know any Metallica material, I can’t give a flavour of how close, as a tribute act, they approximate the original sound and flavour.

My relief on the lighting desk has arrived, so I can spend more time appreciating what¬†Mentallica do, rather than focussing on looking for cues; there’s so much going on with their sound, and the crowd are up for a head banging mosh party. I also get a coffee – there something a little surreal about catching mosh rock sitting with a cuppa! And its good enough for me to want to stay beyond my normal 3 song limit¬†ūüôā

Freefall Collective @ Perv Circus, Winchester sat 29 OctOn to the Winchester, where Perv Circus is in full swing. Its a club / DJ night yet is featuring the rarely heard in Bournemouth band Freefall Collective. These guys are all over youtube since they held residence on the Arcadia stage at Glastonbury 2009 & 2010: they only tend to play huge festivals – yet here they are in their home town playing a local gig.

…And they are absolutely awesome. It helps that the Winchester is full of plenty of partygoers all up for a good time, so the crowd are frenzied as the band take the stage. Kristy‘s vocals are amazing, with MC Jon providing many visual entertainments. As its halloween the lads have all gone for the Live & Let Die voodoo face paint job, all black and white making striking contrasts in the lights. Beats from a DJ with synths, drums, rhythms from a dual percussion section, occasional guitar, and those MC and vocal shouts and wails. All amazing stuff, I’m chuffed to be able to witness it.

Since they’re on from 1am, they finish sometime into 2, and the party continues on after. I leave after a time jumping around, to hook up with the remnants of the Chaplins & Cellar Bar Fright Night party. There’s something strangely releasing when hidden behind a mask such that people don’t recognise you – all good for a laugh. I get back at a very confused 4am – forgot about the clock shift, so its now 3am !?! What a night!

More Friday Parties – 28 Oct

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Empire Affair - Red LightAfter a select gathering of friends for a mates birthday, I continue my night out at my geographic local, The Athelstan. Empire Affair are there, I noticed when slipping in earlier in the month with mates for a drink. As is expected they are full on, taking up the stage area by the door.

They’re covering Flyaway when I walk in; move into their own material, as they promote their Red Light EP, then back to the covers for the crowd pleasers. All of it is musical, loads going on from all three guitaists, with Neil (vocals) in particularly shouty mood – small wonder, halfway through their newest song, he leaves the band to it and slips to the bar for a red bull!

Oxjam Crew & Ski @ Shindig, fri 28 octOn to the Winchester, and this months Shindig; dedicated as the Oxjam closing party, Tapioca are just finishing their set – good rockin blues. As they end host Ski Daddle gets the Oxjam crew onstage for a little thank you, before the rest of the Kentucky Fight Club join him for a final rock out and mosh.

KFC @ Shindig 28 October - thanks to Steve Biddle for the photoThere are solid rock drums and tricky mandolin parts to the pumped up numbers, even their slow-at-the-start song, Wild Wild West, featuring gentle soft key synths gets the KFC pumped up action – there’s a reason these guys call their event Shindig :). Thanks to Steve Biddle for the photo.

Ski Daddle close up @ shindig Fri 28 OctThe covers they throw in also get the KFC stomp around treatment, Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling is tricked up and fancy with the string tie effect, as is their take on Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills and the Cult’s She Sells Sanctuary. I’m exhausted by the time they finish, as seem most of the others in the crowd.¬† Totally made up for by the presentation of a bottle of bourbon from host & frontman Ski Daddle – goes down very well as I write this up!

Andy Grant Trio @ Cellar Bar fri 28 OctI hook up with friends Old Bloke and Mia (with others) and head off to Smokin’ Aces, where Disco’s Out (Murder’s In) are supposed to be playing ’til midnight.¬† However, they ain’t – they’ve been long packed up and gone by the time 11-ish comes round as we walk in.¬† Ho hum off to my true local the Cellar Bar for some fun and frolics…and the Andy Grant Trio are holding a¬†late-finishing session¬†:).¬† They look like they’re loving it, the crowd they have are loving it, and top tunes are emanating from the stage as a result – need to catch these guys live if you can, particularly when they pump it up for a venue like the Cellar Bar.

27 Oct Show – Sue Pugh & David Lambert

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Hope FM show logoTonight was a reminder about what a privilege it is to do the radio show. My good friend David Lambert has been on every year we’ve been full time so far, each time in a different guise. For his 2011 LiveWire Live appearance he has brought the wonderful Sue Pugh with him; they perform as a duo, and are starting to get back into the gig scene after illnesses and stuff.

David Lambert & Sue Pugh @ HopeFMSue has been involved with folk music for a number of years – she ran a couple of folk clubs for a time here in town, and is a former a capella singer. She still writes songs in that style, and there more than a few comic moments as David interjects humourous comments about her song writing.

Between them they have what seems to be 30 songs prepared; they wanted to be sure they didn’t run out of material. There are a range of styles from the songs in the set, mellow and soulful, uptempo and lively,¬†country and city influences, and trains too. Both David and Sue are also wonderful conversationalists, makes it easy for me to interview them, makes the evening go very quickly.¬† Afterwards head off to the Chaplins Open Mic, for Bex Grant, Andy Stock and Elliot Bradley. Si Genaro is also on the list, but I take my leave for an early(ish) night…

Oxjam Takeover 2011 Saturday 22 October

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Oxjam 2011 logoIt was at Oxjam last year that the idea was first asked of me (by the lads from much missed Bel Casino) to write up the gigs I go to, to help promote the bands I see and big up this amazing music scene.

Now one year on, this blog has grown its own shape, and the Oxjam takeover is bigger and better than ever. Its all started for 2011 at On The Rocks, where the Grubnium DJs are starting things off, and 60 Million Postcards, where I’ve come down for an acoustic afternoon with Ness.

Si Genaro @ Oxjam - 60 million postcardsJohn Llewellyn is just finishing, Sofi Reed¬†is just heading out having started things off, and Si Genaro takes to the stage. He’s playing some more laid back and contemplative numbers, perhaps as its an afternoon chill; Ness likes that he has a different style to many other artists. Si Genaro with Kimari Raven @ Oxjam - 60 million PostcardsAt the end he’s joined in a duet by Kimari Raven, and final song has MC Jon on stage with him.

Tim Somerfield @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsTim Somerfield takes Si’s place, again staying chilled at the start. Saying he’s chilled though, there’s a lot of fast left hand fretwork going on in conjunction with the chorded right hand. Tim picks up the pace and goes more upbeat toward the end, making more of the crowd that have turned up for him.

Chris Woodford @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsThe penultimate artist this afternoon is senor Woodford, just him and his 12 string guitar, playing it as brilliantly as ever, though he seems to only do a short set.

Krista Green @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsKrista Green dashes in, cold off the street having busked for a while, provides great musical entertainment, yet its time for us to leave, having been here for a few hours, Ness needs to get home and I prepare for the night to come…

Sofi Reed @ Oxjam - SpyreI start the night at The Spyre, where Sofi Reed is kicking things off for the evening, having also started it all earlier at 60 Million Postcards. There are a few lighting and power problems – as I walk in Sofi ends her first song with no PA, which she wittily and humourously blames on my walking in, in this intimate environment. She plays favourite Breathe, then Broken Windows. As she starts the latter, the room descends into darkness as everything trips out. She soldiers on totally alone, in the dark, and still sounds fantastic!

MC Pat Page with County Hospital
Ed Pope back in Bournemouth

County Hospital @ Oxjam - WinchesterOn to The Winchester, where County Hospital are in full swing. They play their first song they ever played here in the Winch at their first gig, Mystery Shopper. The enigmatic Ed Pope is back in town, giving it large on the drums, its also great seeing Tim so relaxed and enjoying himself at this first County Hospital gig in town for a while. Luke on bass seems just one big grin. Pat Page joins them for one song as a guest MC, something different again, while Tim mucks about on an iPad. Slipping into their closer, Clare joins the stage to add some vocal changes to what has possibly been the best and most intense performance I’ve seen them give, ever.

Not Made In China @ Oxjam - Smokin AcesThe happiest band in Bournemouth, probably (Not Made In China) are in Smokin Aces starting off the nights festivities. DJ Trev from the Blind Pig Hot Swing Floor Show is hosting this evening. Not Made In China start as they mean to go on, straight into an African style guitar led swing / calypso. Trevor Hill introduces Not Made In China @ Oxjam - Smokin AcesThey also have some great harmonies going on.

Martin Roberts - Safari Park @ Oxjam - WinchesterBack to The Winchester and Safari Park (yet another band the irrepressible Martin Roberts has formed) have replaced Powdered Cows on the bill. I’ve not heard this 3 piece before, all three sing, Martin is on bass with this one. They are playing eminently accessible music, tuneful and enjoyable, not at all the quirky yet fun material I was expecting from knowing the other acts Martin is behind.

Trac Pawley introduces Mischa @ Oxjam - SpyreOn again to The Spyre. Trac Pawley of Language, Timothy! is hosting the Spyre, with The Chairman providing musical interludes. Masters Of None (Chris Woodford and Jeven) are halfway through their set, making good magic on their dual guitars. Masters Of None @ Oxjam - SpyreIts all instrumental, which makes it all the more special, especially since Chris takes it on himself to barrack some of the audience (well, Mischa and myself) in this great venue. 

Mischa @ Oxjam - SpyreMischa is on next, he’s lost his Merry Men this time and is performing solo, however he’s promised a few changes to his set as a result. He starts strong, announcing a feed line I gave him regarding DMA (billed as soloist and came with a band) whereas now he’s billed with band and is himself. Nice when people take what you say and reuse it ! Back to the music, as expected he’s animated and energretic, even though he’s come back from Devon, just for this gig. The Bands That Saved My Life is a song I don’t think I’ve heard before, though I must have done, full of angst yet still upbeat and happy. Love it.

Spiders @ Oxjam - WinchesterSpiders are another new band to me, they are playing good solid rock pop when I walk in to The Winchester. Strong drums and bass work with guitar riffing over the top. These guys then grab Ed Pope for his sax skills and they break into a form of jazz funk number for his appearance. The two guitarists are sharing vocals across songs since both have decent voices. We also have some dance moves being busted at the front of the crowd, good stuff.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.230707500316938.61483.100001330690156&type=3#!/photo.php?fbid=234519013269120&set=a.230707500316938.61483.100001330690156&type=3&theaterI catch the last 3 songs of Empire Affair‘s set at Champions. I’m personally pleased to see a largish crowd here too. The lads are giving it large and loud, I’m pleased I made the detour to visit. Neil is doing just about everything he can to inject energy and verve into the performance, which the others resolve with their pumping tunes.

Mutant Vinyl front line @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsI arrive at 60 Million Postcards in time for Mutant Vinyl‘s set, just missing the ends of both Kentucky Fight Club at Smokin Aces, and Dirty Jerkers here at 60 Million Postcards. Mutant Vinyl¬†announce this as their reunion, and its a bit different than their last gig in town, full 6 piece plus roadie Mitch. They are funking around with the rhythms something amazing, Mutant Vinyl back line @ Oxjam - 60 Million Postcardswith Ed’s lyrical eloquence interspersed with little sax solos in the opening number. All this while being able to hear “f… all” through the monitors (as he puts it). As expected there’s a full crowd here all in anticipation of the return, covering the full length of the long bar at the start, and quite reaching to the door by the middle of the set. Crowd to the doors @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsAt the end Acid Honey is inevitably thrown in, however totally remixed live and thrown around, both pumped up, then taken to a chilled out vibe, as Pat takes to the stage briefly to MC some stuff. The band carry on building a crescendo from chilled to full on crashing rock chords at the end, to immense applause and cheers.¬†Mutant Vinyl are back (for this one night only, at least)!Mutant Vinyl Sax break @ Oxjam - 60 Million Postcards

Peace, Love & Gloves @ Oxjam - On The RocksOn The Rocks¬†has¬†Peace, Love and Gloves¬†doing their rock thing to their usual huge crowd of people, all jumping around to the incessant beats. They also feature MCs doing bits and pieces of the vocal line, turning an otherwise three piece into five. Having heard a very early demo tape, almost acoustic in nature, I’m impressed with their live set, and the huge energy they produce from stage, send into the rowd, thhen feed off to push for a better gig and show

Michael Wookey @ Oxjam - SpyreI started the evening at The Spyre, and end here (well, almost), right at the very end of Michael Wookey‘s set, and manage to hear his encore, which is a simple number on onmichord and vocal synthsizer. He’s also shirtless when I walk in, I hear afterwards it was as intense a performance as an artist can offer; right on the boundaries of music and fine art, and is loved all the more as a result.

DO(MI) @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsJet down to catch the last last act – Disco’s Out (Murders In) at 60 Million Postcards¬†again (running a little late). Like so many of the acts tonight, they are really going for it and giving out one of their best sets ever. The usual unusual costumes are evident; they end in grand style, with Martin ending up on the drum kit hiding in the ceiling… DO(MI) finale @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsA great party end to a great party night, with DJs on after to continue into the small hours.

I head on to¬†Smokin Aces just to see what’s happening, and really enjoy the set played by DJ L33R0y, though I can only stand the pace until 2am or so, having been out for nearly 12 hours!

In all, 6 venues, 8 comperes/DJs, 17 bands and artists¬†all crammed into 1 day/evening … How cool and together is this music scene in Bournemouth?!?¬† – please remember the Oxjam Bournemouth CD is available on bandcamp – 22 tracks for ¬£5.

Party Night – Fri 14 Oct

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The Goodfoot Band @ 1812 14 OctI start the evening well with a close friend’s 30th; Georgie Porgies do a good spread of food at their eat all you can buffet. Then on to 1812 where The Goodfoot Band are strutting their funk thing. I love what these guys do so much, yes its covers in the main, but they make a party go with a lick and are great for this bar, where we’re all up for a bit of jiggin’ & jostlin’. Vicky has the most amazing voice, that barely needs amplification (as best shown last night). In this environment she excels, as do the rest of the band.

Disco's Out (Murder's In) @ Cellar Bar 14 OctThe Goodfoot finish their first set, so I scoot over to see one of my favourite bands, Disco’s Out (Murder’s In) at the Cellar Bar.¬† It’s also Si Crockett’s last ever last night – him and his best mate Jon Pearson are off to Thailand tomorrow.¬† So there’s a lot of happy sadness going on, with the party band of all party bands.¬† Having said that, DO(MI) are deficient in numbers tonight, Lyndsey and Imogen aren’t around (Lyndsey had to push off after their first half).¬† The lads still put on the fantastic show they always do, with loads of jumping around going on, both off stage and on it.

The party continues after the (very late) gig finish, since it’s all our last chance to pass on bon voyage wishes to the travellers.¬† I just have to take my leave by about 1am, since I have a 5am train to catch the next day for a busy London weekend.¬† Party pooper!

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