Brothers Grimmer Late Night Special

Leave a comment

Brothers Grimmer @ The Sloop 19 Feb 2013Its a Tuesday night, I’ve wandered across town to The Sloop for their open mic, after another great early evening with my church small group. The Sloop have started something a little different, in that they are providing a slot for a band to try out, with the hope of gaining a (paid) Friday or Saturday night slot. This is however at the tail end of the open mic, which means its nearly 11:30 by the time a very slimmed down (in more than one way) Brothers Grimmer start their set.

Brothers Grimmer have slimmed down to a four piece, their former second guitarist has called it an end for now, so its left to Bo-bo (Shawn), Macko (Mike), Embryopup (Lee) and Guru (Matt) to perform the tunes. The second diet tonight is the minimal amount of equipment they’re using – Matt’s drum kit is just snare and bass with a few cymbals, there’s a couple of amps and that’s it!

Macko balances - Brothers Grimmer @ The Sloop, 19 FebNo matter, the music is still good, the stories behind the songs are more clearly heard here at The Sloop than at certain other venues I’ve heard Brothers Grimmer play at. The odd layout of The Sloop plays into dancer Macko’s arms, he effectively makes three small dance floors of the various areas – very much “in the round”!

Brothers Grimmer @ The Sloop 19 Feb 2013The sound is still very full on for what is now “just a three piece” band; even on reduced kit Matt is busy, Lee providing a full sound even with just a small combo. Brothers Grimmer staples are here, with a few of the newer material (new album being recorded) and a cover scattered about, even a band with as good originals as these have to cover material just to get the gigs in today’s tribute obsessed world. After a too short 40 minute set (as we’re all tired at this hour) they call it a night, shame as this has been good.

Advertisements

Hawkeye’s Birthday – A Poole Story

Leave a comment

Milk Machine @ Hope FM 15 FebIts a Sunday evening, I’ve been at a family party in Southampton all afternoon, and Hawkeye Houlihan let me know about his open celebration tonight, when one of the bands he’s in, The Milk Machine, were featured on the radio show a couple of weeks ago.  Much fun ensued on mic and while we were off air too – the photo kind of shows it all – 5 large blokes squeezed into a small box.

Quinns Quinney @ Sloop for Hawkeye Bday 26 FebBack to tonight, and Quinns Quinney (well, a much reduced version augmented by some The Milk Machine hangers on) are on stage at The Sloop, doing their usual array of mixed up covers, Eye Of The Badger, then a Greek dance version of Hit Me Baby One More Time (with orders not to laugh). Despite not being full complement, they are still playing their folk stomp material, fast, furious and demanding to be jumped to.

The Milk Machine @ Sloop for Hawkeye Bday 26 FebThe Milk Machine are in full effect tonight, even though Hawkeye has by this time been plied with enough rum to make him comically forget the set order, delegating (or delicating as he puts it) to the other members of the band both choice and vocals. Lots of Happy Birthdays and even a champagne presentation interrupt the set, with much merriment too. For their last song we have a kazoo orchestra to improvise a brass section, as the song is revealed to be Dance The Night Away

The Jack Ratts @ Sloop for Hawkeye Bday 26 FebThe Jack Ratts are the last band for this night, and have grown to a musically filling seven piece from when I’ve seen them before. Furious irish style, much like the Pogues thanks to the accordion and fiddle, and with added washboard from Crowman making a repeat appearance. Sidney on the mandolin and bouzouki has been in all three bands tonight, a bit of a master effort considering the frenetic nature of the tunes.

Parisian Walkways & Quiet Ending

Leave a comment

After the fantastic 2nd day of the Dorset Music Awards DMA 40 , and a not so fantastic yet still short session determining the results, the other judge Cath Burke and I are welcomed into The Winchester, where Bethany Jameson is performing On The Banks Of The Seine, a musical journey inspired by the music of France, Paris particularly. This is a mixture of interpretations of e.g. Edith Piaf songs, and original material sung by Bethany, and accompanied by Romano Viazzani on accordion.

Bethany Jameson @ Winchester 22 JanBethany is well able to carry off the provocative French songstress routine, sassy and sultry, full of that joie de vivre. The majority of the audience is seated, as we’re late we’ve had to prop up the bar at the back; we are totally attentive and silent, many are nodding (seated) or sashaying (standing) along to the songs, some telling of love, others political in nature: “It is French Cabaret after all”, Bethany quips. Just great songs, maybe not as emotionally charged as perhaps I was anticipating, finished with risque Just Her Younger Man, which I riskily played out on the show last week to help promote this night.

Two encores later and a quick hello and thank you, and I’m in the Sloop for a battle of the bands that Kimari Raven has told me about. I’ve missed all the acts, and arrive just in time to hear the results. She’s only gone and won it, despite not having many friends here to vote for her, yet she’s managed to win the other artists’ crowds over. Friend Emily said it was an amazing performance, really drawing everybody in with her, and Kat accompanying on cello again.

Sofi Reed @ Chaplins 22 JanBack home via Chaplins Bar, where Sofi Reed is putting the finishing touches onto a well-performed acoustic set, by all appearances. Steve Biddle also in attendance as Joe Potter is also on Andy Stock‘s bill. Just the tonic for a frenetic weekend. Sofi and Joe have been taking it in turn to play tonight, so I see the end of Sofi’s, and all of Joe’s, last sets. Joe Potter @ Chaplins 22 JanJoe plays a wonderfully warm-sounding Fender semi-acoustic, and strums and picks with the right hand, while the left alternates between chords and little harmonics, shown off best in song Queen Of Hearts – he’s had to detune the guitar accordingly, and retunes afterwards.

Andy Stock @ Chaplins 22 JanAndy Stock finishes the night, starting with The Facebook Song, including a pause and a pose for this photo opportunity… :). He’s also written a new song that has been floating around for a while, but only comes out after the event, a witty little ditty about phone tapping and hacking, topical 8 weeks ago, leading to a comment about him missing that boat…  All in all, makes for a peaceful close to a hectic, jam-packed and fun-filled weekend.

Rare Poole Outing

Leave a comment

Pete Christie @ BricklayersThe Bricklayers Arms was one of the best live music venues a long time ago – Pete Christie says he is playing his first gig here for nearly 25 years, and this was also one of the first venues he played as he just started gigging as a youngster. Live music has returned here after a long absence in celebration of Harry the manager’s birthday; Pete Christie is the artist chosen to play for this auspicious occasion, and Conrad (Solid Air) has been spinning some discs beforehand.

There’s a lot of familiar faces here, brought out either for the delights of the music, or because of the celebration. Since its a new venue for me, I’m unsure who would be a regular here; there is a great atmosphere and makes a good venue – the music is in the long room at the back which used to be a skittle alley. One notable here is Neil King from Fatea, who’s filled me in on the musical history of the Bricklayers.

The music room used to be out beyond what is now the back garden, with outside toilets, long since turned into housing. The Central is opposite just down the street, and across the main road is the Britannia; all 3 pubs used to do music as the Ashley Cross tour, where people could wander around between the venues (and some bands tried to play all 3 in one night!). Each lost its entertainment license until only the Central was left, over 20 years ago, and that has now gone, too. Mr Kyps, the only regular venue here now behind the Central, is a relative newcomer, having converted from a pool hall perhaps some 8-10 years ago.

Pete’s playing is superb as usual – I’ve previously used just about every superlative I know to describe his prior performances. Tonight he exercises a brand new song, Ballad Of An Ordinary Man. This is one of those rare songs that, should winds blow the right way, would be a hit. Instantly familiar, yet totally original, and totally memorable for singalong purposes, hopefully he’ll keep it for future. Neil tells me it is in the forthcoming Fatea showcase (due out on February 1) so catch it there.

Milk Machine @ SloopOn to The Sloop, another first visit for me (watch for drink prices – £1.60 for a squash!), Hawkeye let me know that The Milk Machine were featuring here. As I walk in I’m pleased to see yet more familiar faces, Ski from KFC, Sofi Reed amongst others. The music is cracking, good stomp stuff with old time, bluegrass and hillbilly; loads of us are enjoying the hoedown. The tunes are great, mainly covers played totally originally in the way only The Milk Machine can. Since Hawkeye knows I played Welsh Block on last Wednesday’s show he dedicates it to me, as I’ve just walked in, which is always a way to get noticed! What a night 🙂

Mischa & Merry Men @ Cellar BarBack to more familiar territory and Mischa is with his Merry Men in the Cellar Bar (after an obligatory Night Owl burger). Roland is back, Mischa’s also grabbed bassist Tom and as I walk in Alex has joined them on cajon. Alex’s band Admiral Shiny Sides apparently smashed the place earlier in the evening, being mobbed and “forced” to play 2 encores. Mischa announces he has an EP launch next Friday in Smokin’ Aces – this should be good – I’ve been waiting for fuller recorded material for some time, having had to rely on some open mic sourced material for a while now… I’m only in for 3 or 4 songs and all are performed with Mischa’s usual gusto, the addition of the Merry Men provides for fantastic musical exchanges between them.