Open Mic Tues

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Rincewind O'NeillsJust a short report about tonight, I was flitting about running errands and dropped into O’Neill’s for the Revolving Door open mic night, to find Rincewind doing passable Hawkwind covers; a 5 piece band fronted by Sarge, with Nacho Jase on sound and Si Genaro on some sort of sound generating ring modulator/ pitch shifter adding the necessary Hawkwind doodad effects.

Coke Can Jack Pink MoonAfter just the one act I head off home via the Cellar Bar where Coke Can Jack are putting on a great finishing touch to what by all accounts has been a good night – it helps that the place has filled up for the last of their set after the Levellers gig at the O2 Academy.

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Pink Moon Troupers, Short Revolving Door

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Coke Can Jack‘s last, brief number No-one Loves Me Like You Do woke up what had seemed a sleepy cellar Bar, bringing some inspiration with a spirited performance. Of that one song.

They’d been doing covers from when I walked in – unfortunate given what I’d previously heard from them – uninspired and mainly unwanted, it’s unusual for me to pan a band’s performance in these pages, however there was little original interpretation in what they performed – Driftaway and before that something else that just washed over me. However, they are getting up and doing it, rather than me stood there being the critic!.

Talking around and to them, their opening had almost been as good as normally expected, just not the bit I caught. Turns out they were a key man down – their percussionist who gives them all a lift, so they’d carried on like troupers rather than cancel the gig. So all credit to them for not wanting to let the night down, they are the main troupers of this blog post.

Willowen sound promising. Backed by cajon they play some decent rhythms and different chord sequences that normal for acoustic guitar, definitely part of the Bournemouth Surf Sea sound – upbeat, punchy and positive, evocative of long Summers and so on.

Second song The Story instantly brings a smile to my face, simply because of the chord progressions, and the soulful chorus. Here’s a trio that are a man down (just Jonny & George); this doesn’t really come across in the performance…

Even the ubiquitous singer / songwriter / guitarist ballad stays on the Surf/Sea-style topic, no sign of mournful, maudlin dirge here – “Don’t worry / everything’s going to be alright/you’ll see /just do what naturally what comes to you /
Don’t worry / everything’s going to be alright/you’ll see /just try talking to me”

They play Champions on December 30th, well worth trying to get to see these guys.

Pink Moon over, a brief jaunt over to O’Neill’s for a very short foray into the Revolving Door world, where Tony 2 Dogs is playing his last song – this again is yet more upbeat acoustic stuff (am I still at the Willowen gig?)

Followed by Susanah fresh from gigging in Nashville (not many can say that here in Bournemouth). Nice enough tunes, slip easily into singer songwriter box – lonesome heart tunes from the soul – my mate Paul West would call this New Country no doubt!

I leave before Graham Jones and Patrick get on – been a busy night with a small party before getting out onto the scene…and I want an early finish for a change.

An Amazing Revolving Door

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The open mics at O’Neills can be ropey at times; can also amaze through variety and talent – Tonight is one of those that amazes…

I walk in to a packed pub at 10:30pm to hear Si Crockett doing his usual thing, this time with Si Genaro on harmonica and Nacho Jase on Congas accompanying his surf guitar sound and vibrant vocals. While I might have heard the material before, the different musicians (and using the house guitar) gives the same songs a different edge.

Graham Jones next, as Si Genaro described him “the only man to make a guitar sound like a Harley Davidson …and that’s no mean accomplishment”. Graham does his own kind of blues again – similar riffs with a different lyric most times. His riffs made up of rolling chords, with “twiddly bits” thrown in every few chords providing the interest.

Third act up since my time here are Know1, a full band making their 2nd appearance, yet doing a first full acoustic performance – chaotic and disorderly yet all in a wonderful way. They play a combination of reggae and Bournemouth surf sound, pleasing on the ears possibly due to the natural laid back nature induced by the acoustic vibe. Their second song carries on the gentle musical vibe, yet the MC’d lyrics are poignant, describing the atrocities of kids in Africa forced to take up arms in uprisings. Third song changes the beat and rhythms slightly, ring changes reminiscent of Latin rather than Caribbean before their final act ditches the backbeats and offbeats totally, whilst still retaining the hopeful positive sound..

Next up is Howard Tucker doing some solo acoustic strumming, a hard slot to take up following Know1 (who were allowed a seemingly unprecedented number of songs). Howard has a good voice and enhances this with some inventive rhymes in his first song. Unfortunately the guitar moves out of tune slightly for his ballad, just when everything most needs to be correct to preserve the delicate nature of the song. He notices and does something about it for his final number. I forget at the time that I’d met Howard in Chaplin’s open mic a few weeks back, must remember more of these musicians.

Last up is a pure acoustic guitar played flamenco styles courtesy of Stuart Gauntlet, with lots of chords, stops and trills, making a need for intricate movements with both hands – I rarely see or hear true classical guitar in this fashion so this is a nice treat. Stuart tends to feature a lot on the Fiesta Latina Sunday nights at the Winchester, if you’re in the mood for this stuff.

Stuart then invites Si onto the stage to finish off the night with a few Simon and Garfunkel covers, Homeward Bound especially rousing enough of a response to get people singing along, which seems a little incongruous bearing in mind the way the crowd have mainly ignored the music as background for the past 90 minutes… The final number is some river blues, really Stuart allowing Si Genaro to showcase his talents on the harmonica, before Si takes over the mic and guitar to close the evening with one of his own inventions (I hesitate to call it a number or song as there is so much more going on, as ever.)