Dorset Music Awards Quarter Final 3

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Dirty Jerkers @ DMA QF3 24 FebWe start early tonight with Dirty Jerkers, who have been carried over from last week due to illness. They have sond good guitar sounds for their opening song that I like, and are throwing plenty of life into their set, for the most part (the bass player rarely turns to face the crowd). Even though there’s a less than normal crowd due to the early start – up to near capacity by the time they finish, the songs are squeezed in short, to get as many in in their set time. Its a shame they need to retune halfway through the set, as they lose the momentum gained from the third song, a strutty number which shows the variety these guys have, and let’s them visually entertain too. It’s a good set, I just feel I’ve wanted more verbal encouragement from the stage to the crowd to mosh, as the music and their antics require it ūüôā

Voice Of Reason @ DMA QF3 24 FebVoice of Reason¬†always pull out a lot of stops musically and visually, within the limitations of the showcase format. Singer Addie Jay encourages us to get involved, he’s also worked hard on the promotional material, good quality flyers etc. As an example of a break from their otherwise regularr hard rock, Dead And Gone has an amazing a capella start, voices in unison, while the drummer juggles his sticks in time to the beats during the song.

Veetacore @ DMA QF3 24 FebI’ve previously described Veetacore¬†as a good retro 80’s sound, doing them a bit of an injustice. They are modern while having that cool throwback with the music, aided by clever (one handed! – the other holding the mic) synth work against thumping bass riffs. Becky keeps name checking, and forward throws teasers about gigs and a new EP, which is a good thing. Tom’s guitar pedal board deserves its own photo – its huge.Veetacore - pedal board (well oversize) They also sing harmonies on occasion, and are pretty animated to the punchy music, they go down well with the crowd too.

The General Public @ DMA QF3 24 Feb I’m expecting great things from The General Public, and they don’t disappoint. Starting with a bit of a slant to Talking Heads, they next move into the funkier numbers I like the best from them, starting with Disillusioned Generation, a brilliant capture of the current mood of the nation, whether old or young. Mike’s faces are something to behold, and the dischords between bass and keys (standing up makes a big difference to the visual dynamic) work really well for me. Richie’s drumming is absolutely spot on, I just hope others have seen it this way too for them to have enough votes to push into Mr Kyps, which is what all the acts at this stage are working towards.

Pachango @ DMA QF3 24 FebOur next act is more an experiment to squeeze the ten musicians and percussionists of Pachango¬†on stage together, which works well enough on the wide Winchester stage to also give them room to jump around to the rhythms. They are on good form tonight, punching through the Latin influenced numbers, introducing a new one, including some of Selby’s beat poetry, all in all performing a good set.

Pump Action Radio @ DMA QF3 24 FebPump Action Radio¬†are all that I expected of the theatrical rockers that they are. Big chords. Big riffs. Big jumps. Big hits. Big sound. And all tight with it. There’s a good mix of the heavy rock, the lighter guitar work, the solo vocals (appropriately screamed out) and the varied use of the drum work, along with encouragement for use to participate too. A good live act, which is what this is all about.

Personally I’m pleased that all the acts in the Quarter Finals have had such good performances, it confirms to me that we have such an amazing scene here in the area and that all those chosen to reach this far have been worthy of their places. ¬†Texas Red @ Smokin Aces 24 FebA quick sortie into Smokin’ Aces finds¬†Texas Red entertaining the packed bar, though they are widely ignored by too many people in here¬†they play some good tunes and put on a good act, a good end to a great night.

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26 Nov Short Saturday

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Another night out, and the second chance I get to see¬†Yellowgroove¬†at Smokin‚Äô Aces¬†in as many weeks. I stick around for a set and a bit, and hence have an opportunity to hear their reworking of my favourite song, Son Of A Working Man. I like of many of their songs; this delivers all that they’d led me to believe, and its now longer, in my mind its only previous shortcoming. I leave after Loving Man, which followed a decent enough singalong cover of Mustang Sally.

I travel over to The Inferno where Willowen are playing. They are banging out decent tunes; its a bit different for a Saturday night since its acoustic while still plugged in. 6 string guitar-led with fiddle emphasis and cajon to provide the rhythm. They fit perfectly into the Bournemouth Sound stereotype, with good summery & beach sounds. I previewed their EP on the show this week as its available for free download at present from bandcamp, so get over there to gain a flavour. Another tack – they kick into a pretty faithful reproduction of traditional folk tune Drowsy Maggie before throwing in some of their own variations on that theme. I’m glad to have caught them before they come on the show in December, since I always prefer catching a band live in my research, to aid my show preparation.

Yellowgroove @ Smokin’ Aces

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Yellowgroove @ Smokin Aces 18 NovThis is Yellowgroove‘s debut at Smokin’ Aces – it’s to be followed up with their second gig here, next week. They start the second set with Hero Wanted – I’ve missed the first set due to being late. They also perform Wheels of Fire, which was acoustically debuted on the show they came on, on Wednesday. Its good hearing the full-on version on stage, even with the cut back sound that’s needed here.

Yellowgroove window of sound @ Smokin Aces 18 NovHaving said that, its not as cut back as bands normally include here – they don’t have any small amps, so they’ve stacked everything up in the window – this gives them even less room on the small stage than normal, not that one would notice, they’re still moving about as normal, its just a few paces, rather than strutting across the whole stage as they would normally do….

Their progressive song Avalon starts more laid back, yet still aggressive and passionate, just ‘cos they can’t move a lot doesn’t mean they’re not still putting everything into the performance. As the progressive nature takes hold, Avalon is seriously moving on. Surprisingly they don’t do an encore; I was seriously hoping for a repeat of personal fave Son Of A Working Man (which they started with tonight, looking at the set list). The lads tell me since new drummer Chris has joined, they’ve extended it (something I’ve wanted for a while with this great yet short song) with a drum section. Oh well, another time :).

Trev's Yellowgroove Birthday Cake @ Smokin' Aces 18 NovI then spend some time hanging about enjoying the Smokin’ Aces¬†vibe, DJ Jevon playing some cool tunes, all part of Trevor Hill‘s (Dorset Music Awards, Devils Music) birthday celebration – Yellowgroove have even made him a ‘Y’ shaped cake…a brilliant touch capping a brilliant night out.

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.

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!

Made In Pangaea & Focal – Thu 13 Oct

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Jouis @ Made In Pangaea 13 OctDarren was on the show last night promoting all that Made In Pangaea is about – he did a good job, since I’m here!¬† Jouis are just about to start when I join in with what promises to be a wonderful evening. Having last heard them in acoustic mode at Steve Biddle’s So Much So book launch its a delight to hear them in full on mode, and at a decent non-overpowering sound level (thanks Totally Lostit).

Vida @ Focal, just before Crazy In Love 13 OctFor those that haven’t wandered across¬†Jouis before they are a Brighton band formerly of Bournemouth, mixing up funk and prog, with decent rhythms and melodies. They are great to groove to, or just to chill out to, as your mood takes you.

Kimari Raven @ Focal, Smokin Aces 13 OctI pop over the road and down the hill to catch tonight’s Focal at Smokin Aces. Vida are the host/esses and start with four songs, one a new one, the last being a fave of mine Crazy In Love. They soon give way for the vocal talents of Kimari Raven, who amazes me nowadays with her confidence, despite (or perhaps because of) some pre-gig nerves.

Besh O Drom @ Made In Pangaea, trhe Winchester 13 OctBack to¬†Made In Pangaea and Besh O Drom are in full effect. Gipsy folk yet not really, it’s all just a good excuse to have a bob around to incredibly fast rhythms and notes on some form of wind synthesiser. Absolutely frenetic is about all I can say.¬† There are loads of people rammed into the Winchester by now, and the music is pumping them into a frenzy.¬† While the lyrics are not understandable, they are delivered at such a pace, and the sax solos are so extreme, that it’s almost impossible not to jump around in time to all that’s going on.¬† Well worth catching these guys on one of their rare forays into the UK from their Hungarian home.

Vicky Barents & Tim Rea @ Focal, Smokin Aces 13 OctAfter what seems a more or less continuous jump up and down session, back to Focal for a totally laid back end to the evening. Vicky Barents (of The Goodfoot Band) is doing a set of her unique covers and originals, with Tim Rea accompanying her. Mellow and soulful, she is a real diva, voice all over the range, and strong with it, the amplification is barely needed in the small and intimate bar. Love it.

Vida @ Focal 2nd time around :) 13 OctFinally¬†Vida perform a closing set. They’re in full plugged in mode tonight, giving Tim and Karl ample opportunity to show off their instrumental talents to counter the amazing female harmonies, all while Rio is doing his best to provide the beats on the electric drums. A fantastic night on all fronts.

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