Show & Acoustic Nights

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Surfin’ Dave (without the Absent Legends, and without photo, too) is Conrad’s guest for the radio show tonight. Dave has many many stories, and can name drop with the best of them, thanks to an early relationship with Andy Kershaw when the latter was entertainments manager for Leeds University. The Clash and Billy Bragg are the most memorable now, alongside vast numbers of local artists thanks to the vibrant scene back in the day. Dave’s had a long live career yet with few recordings to show, though there’s music enough to pervade the two hours.

Kimari Raven, 11 April @ O'NeillsOn to the Anvil, which runs an open mic on a Wednesday. This is my first visit since it was the iBar, the lighting has improved and since its acoustic the sound is also good, albeit only the host Craig with two mates and two other gig-goers is present.

Riddl, 11 April, O'NeillsO’Neills run an acoustic show on a Wednesday, Kimari Raven plays her good sets of songs as I’m walking in and ordering, she’s enticed work colleague Riddl to get out and play, he does a good job of showing a few styles, mainly strummed chords with slight picking.

Easter Festive Beginnings

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Kathryn Price, 5 April @ InfernoIt’s the Thursday before the Easter long weekend, tonight I start at the Inferno, where Kathryn Price is opening the weekend long Infestival 2012. Acoustic music tonight with Kathryn, Tom Clements, Simon Lane, Karl Hayman and Phil King. Kathryn has a good strong voice, and she’s giving her all for what must be a pretty soul destroying gig with few active punters (though many people in the bar) and the air con blasting out cold of all things on a night like this one.

States Of Matter, 5 April @ Litten TreeStates of Matter are playing at the Litten Tree. They were guests on the radio show while I was away, courtesy of Radio Boscombe. They are loud (yet not enough to need earplugs) rock (and are good at it), have decent stage presence, and then go for the popular vote with their fans (of which there seem to be plenty here) by covering Summer of 69, straightforward though tight.

Simon Lane, 5 April @ InfernoSimon Lane has moved on to covers at the Inferno when I return, in his words the crowd here didn’t seem interested in his original material, and only slightly more interest in covers, even though they are well performed; his mature voice has great tone, and the guitar work is pretty solid, throwing in alternate chord work to classics such as House Of The Rising Sun. He’s acting as compere tonight and is including this in his act, trying to win over those that are here and interested.

Tom Clements, 5 April @ InfernoTom Clements is next here, starts with a cover before going into his own material, showing out some of the amazing finger skills he’s picked up over the times. I don’t need to say much more since I said it all at his Chaplins debut.

Yellowgroove, 5 April @ O'Neills O’Neills now, and Yellowgroove are just hitting their stride, moving from covering All Right Now into original Son Of A Working Man, with a drum-led interlude while they switch instruments and Simon works up the crowd. The party mood contimues as they stroll into new one That Man is An Animal, which they almost tribute to Jim Marshall of Marshall amps fame, who passed on today.

Morphic Fields, 5 April @ Cellar BarI leave during cover Stuck In The Middle to see Mutant Vinyl at the Cellar Bar, only to find I’ve missed him, and Morphic Fields are on by now, playing a blend of songs containing some kicking rock and smooth jazz/soul, all in one song in one case, very clever and they make it work really well.

Karl Hayman, 5 April @ InfernoKarl Hayman is on in Inferno, its rare that I’m at the same gig he is nowadays for whatever reason. His voice is quite unique in tone and timbre, and he’s good with guitar too, though no one is really here actively listening which is a big shame – he’s pouring his all into the set, mixing things up a little.

I end up at O’Neills hanging out with the crowd there, totally missing Phil King closing at the Inferno – my bad.

Comedy, Sushi & Acoustic Music

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A relaxed moment after the show, with Radio Boscombe, 4 April.“So tonight, Radio Boscombe herald the triumphant release of presenter Tim from captivity, and are broadcasting from a secret location where he can’t be found.” So leads the start to tonight’s show, as the comedy troupe have soldiered on without my presence on the show for the last couple of months due to my being involved on a Wednesday night training course with the church.

Laura's Boot!

Their ruse has been that I’ve been called away for National service to support Cornwall Nationalists free pasties from the pasty tax, which seem to have worked to some extent as I had someone come up to me earlier and ask how Cornwall was as they’d heard I’d been away!. Good catch, Radio Boscombe.

We also feature appearances from Tory Marginal (MP for Bournemouth South) and the New Forest Pit Ponies, both of which end up in deliberate chaos and with members theatrically storming out in a huff. Halfway through the show Laura joins us as usual hot foot from her other committment. I say hot foot, that should be big foot – she’s bought new boots that have 4 inch soles with industrial springs inside them.

Tim Somerfield, 4 April @ O'NeillsSofi Reed, 4 April @ O NeillsAfter the show we relax and catch up in the sushi bar next door to the studios – I can recommend the barbecued eel dish they do – before heading our separate ways, and I reach O’Neills where Tim Somerfield is playing, followed by Sofi Reed. Both are engaging, good playing again, and honing song performances for BMTH Unplugged, which is in season at the moment.

The Douglas Firs

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Douglas Firs, 3 April @ Chaplins BarI’ve been busy on IET business tonight, so I walk into Chaplins with enough time to hear the last half of the Douglas Firs‘ last set.  This is the first time I’ve heard them, I think, since they re-entered the UK from a trip abroad, though we’ve bumped into each other around town quite a few times since then.

The music is simplistic, the lyrics insightful as ever, the vocal well delivered, the songs well played.  Makes for an enjoyable evening, even if Woman Of Wood (that normally goes out to any female misogynists) is dedicated to me for turning up late!

BMTH Unplugged Heats & Solid Air

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The Winchester is host to this years BMTH Unplugged competition. I gave 4 months of my Wednesday nights to this last year, so it feels weird walking in halfway through the heats, only catching what turns out to be 2 full artists tonight

Chris Woodford, 2 April, Winchester PubToby Fitton is winding up as I wander in; Chris Woodford offers his masterclass on how to musically beat the crap out of a guitar – not content with keeping this to Geoff (Mr Lively)’s Yamaha, Chris has a new toy to play with in a well-suited Taylor – 3 pickups, solid body, floating sound hole, ebony and bone neck work. This time he’s wandering about the stage a little to provide some interest, and also announces songs – previously unheard of from this past-master of just letting the music speak.

John Jfl Llewellyn at Winchester Pub, 2 AprilJohn Llewellyn follows up to close the night with some pure songs, nicely sung, with slight interest from the chord work. Shame that for me the lyric refrains are rather depressing – “why get hired when you’re gonna get fired” – though I appreciate the ludicrously high note he reaches for that last line to end the song on.

The Neon Mile, 2 April, @ Cellar BarOn to The Cellar Bar, where The Neon Mile are running through some of their staple numbers, slightly progressive, insistent beats and oh, those gorgeous melodies and the beautifully dissonant chordwork to accompany them. Miscreants, near the end of the set, is just an amazing anthem, just needs 3000 people swaying with a lighter in the air to make this any better. Weight In Gold has been given some new treatment, making it more upbeat than the recorded versions.

Jemma and Annie from Snow Wolf are here having played earlier, I should have saved myself the hassle of getting over to the other side of town (and the ensuing door fee) to hear these girls play instead, since I’ve not heard them for a while, and I hear they’ve really tightened up their act.

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