Show & Darren Hodson

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The show tonight is a Radio Boscombe curated show being the first Wednesday of the month. Started by Chinners and the Radio Boscombe chaps, carrying on the illusion that I’ve been away stirring up insurgencies and Cornish revolutions until I burst in during the second chat segment. The reality is I’ve had to miss a couple of shows due to being away on diving holiday in Egypt, which was fantastic thanks for asking, and has given me the break I didn’t manage to have over the Christmas period!

Jasmine Newsome-Stone is our musical guest invited along by Radio Boscombe, she plays some amazing solo songs, just her and her guitar. Sam Hutchinson has also joined us; he’s running a new feature A Little Bit Racey in a couple of shows time so is here sussing out the lie of the land. Lots of improvisation and laughter ensue amongst the live and canned music.

Darren Hodson @ Lord Nelson, 6 Feb 2013

Darren Hodson is on at The Lord Nelson; Chinners joins me to hear him after the show as we have some catching up to do after my time away. Darren plays covers to start, and slips in some of his own material during his second set. Shame the pub is quiet for this impressive troubador, we have a great time together.

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Voodoo Vegas Album Launch

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A new venue for me tonight, The Talking Heads in Southampton, hence a first gig in this guide from this neck of the woods. Its the launch party for Voodoo Vegas’ long awaited studio album, and after a couple of false starts they’ve chosen this venue for the celebration

Si Genaro starts first, making this a bit of a Bournemouth invasion – Si Genaro @ Voodoo Vegas Album Launch, Talking Heads, 23 November 2012he’s opted to sport a gimmicky head torch thing because “he’s supporting two rock bands so needs to make something more of himself as an acoustic artist”. Starting with Dark Star, the beat boxing is already present from the start, tying into the song stucture (“break it down”, as we go into a bridge segment). Lots of Si’s banter is made of Si and (Voodoo Vegas’) Lawrence sharing a honeymoon together, and what they got up to together. What is missed is the reason for them sharing (a fiancée walking out before the weeding with the honeymoon booked, so the best mate is taken instead). Magneto is played out with the usual array of medley, then Phoenix, where he plays more of the straight guitar as demonstrated at the folk club, as is A Touch Of You a few songs later (where he loses the head torch gimmick – needs to be aware of the gravity of the situation, as he puts it)

Voodoo Vegas have played a lot of The Lash @ Voodoo Vegas Album Launch, Talking Heads, 23 November 2012support slots for UK Guns And Roses when the latter have been touring; The Lash are three members of that band, hailing from Gloucester they start the rock for the night. Second song Time Bomb gives the classic song about a night out and those that one sees a decent twist, with big drums and fast bass work. They give some treatment to Billy Bragg with a decent set of lead guitar riffs. Its not hard to notice they like drawing out the endings, long drum rolls and continuous chords, they also give a couple of songs to their barefooted drummer to lead, such as an Eagle Eye Cherry cover. The lead guitarist has a great looking and sounding white PRS-style, yet spends a lot of time tuning it. Their original material is pretty energetic, tuneful and good to bounce along to. What they do to the Ace Of Spades is interesting, with an allusion to U2’s Bullet The Blue Sky with the drums and bass intro, before breaking into the verse, the whole song given a break beat feeling, while still retaining its origins. Cleverly done, pulled off well and this crowd love it.

Voodoo Vegas @ Voodoo Vegas Album Launch, Talking Heads, 23 November 2012Finally we get to the big off, and its a good attempt at a grand entrance with some trance rock while the band enter an empty stage, and kick off big time with No More, then straight into Out There. Lots of plugs for the album as to vbe expected, while the awesome tunes continue with Bullet then A Perfect Girl. Lawrence @ Voodoo Vegas Album Launch, Talking Heads, 23 November 2012Lawrence is a great front man, bigging up the crowd, bigging up the lead riffs as they are bounced between Meryl and Nick, Ash pulling some great cliche poses
Steven Green has been stolen from UK Guns And Roses to play keyboards for Voodoo Vegas tonight, that and the pretty perfect rhythms from Matt’s drumming are all making this a true night to remember.

Meryl (rare acoustic) @ Voodoo Vegas Album Launch, Talking Heads, 23 November 2012 The acoustic guitars are broken out after Tied Up, for What I Pay, a new one written and recorded specially for the album. Mary Jane follows, then Cheeky Riff (stolen from Focus Pocus). Ash, Meryl @ Voodoo Vegas Album Launch, Talking Heads, 23 November 2012King Without A Crown has been reworked for the album, thanks to producer Pedro Ferreira, and is played out in the new form tonight. Lost In Confusion has also been reworked, with a keyboard intro prefixing the well known guitar lead. Ash, Theresa Smith @ Voodoo Vegas Album Launch, Talking Heads, 23 November 2012Theresa from Silent Prophecy provides additional vocals for this ballad, formerly known by that title. Theresa stays on stage for The Ferry Song, which has been given a very dirty delta blues twist. What surprises me is that she leaves for So Unkind, which featured Antonia Edgeley-Long on the prior live album. Mind you, it again has been glammed up thanks to more keyboard work, and I guess the new album warrants a different version than having a female vocal track.

big hair @ Voodoo Vegas Album Launch, Talking Heads, 23 November 2012So Unkind proves very popular with the crowd, nearly every line being thrown back at the band, and we have Jimmy Silver as a mini encore (they don’t like bothering with all that encore rubbish, as Lawrence says). They do reprise King Without A Crown as a finish; this is subsequently released as a single with video footage from this gig

Solid Air Show & Standup

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Great show tonight with Solid Air’s Connie, Jorge joins us to plug the Afro Tallawah gig with Solid Air, we have a host of Cuban and Celtic fusion music representing the other bands he’s been involved with.

The second part of the show is with Alex, aka Nesboy Productions, and some of the work he’s produced with others, particularly Hazey and the J’s. Its really interesting hearing about some of the behind the scenes work that goes on.

Martin Roberts does standup as an alligator @ Chaplins 14 Nov

On to the Chaplins open mic, where amongst others, Martin Roberts is doing a standup turn. This is something else – starting with a treatise on the number of pizza places in Christchurch, and the large number of martial arts courses available, coupled with a large coverage sewage works, leads on to the Mutant Ninja Hero Turtles. Catch up with some of his material on youtube

Acoustic Solid Air

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Charlie Hole @ Solid Air, 12 NovemberCharlie Hole appreciates an appreciative audience and says so when comparing us to the restaurant crowds he’s normally in front of nowadays. He’s the third artist in this special acoustic line started by Pete Read and Fran Milner – the front stage area of the Cellar Bar is filled with chairs, candle lights flicker in jars for an ambience reminiscent of Sirius evenings so many years ago.

Charlie has a great voice; the sound set up perfectly for his guitar style with rich tenor tones, and clear high notes. He has many standout songs, his take on Hey Yeah (Outkast) is something else, and a very short song, Birthday, has cut-to-the-heart lyrics that really make one ponder.

Douglas Firs @ Solid Air, 12 NovemberFor the first time in a long time (about 4 years by their reckoning) The Douglas Firs are gracing Solid Air. The intervening time has been filled with tours in Canada and the United States, where more writing has also been a feature. Much of that material is offered to us tonight, still enchanted, haunting, contemplative yet also poking fun at the falsities we construct around ourselves.

Pete Christie @ Solid Air, 12 NovemberOur masterclass in acoustic performance is granted tonight by Pete Christie, starting with the introduction to Ballad Of An Ordinary Man, where the chords are looped with a small amount of slide, to then allow chord picking over the top.

Pete Christie with Fran Milner @ Solid Air, 12 November

What I like is that the looping isn’t the main thing, its just a method to showcase Pete’s guitar skills, voice and clever lyrics within a bigger framework than the single guitar would normally allow.


Fran Milner
 provides keyboard and vocal harmony work for Normal Shade Of Blue just adding to the musical magic that tops off this great acoustic evening.

Ant Henson Leaving Party

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Si Genaro @ Ant Henson leaving do, Centre Stage 11 NovSi Genaro is on stage back-announcing Rachel Henson‘s Imaginary Jam Band as I walk in, he then takes the music floor with a couple of surprisingly decent and straightforward tunes – he’s giving the beat-boxing a miss (apart from the last song of six) instead playing and singing his songs au naturel. Something that works well is whistling between his teeth, with a touch of reverb its very atmospheric. Shows that as well as being the performance, he can also be a performer.

Hannah Robinson @ Ant Henson leaving do, Centre Stage 11 NovHannah Robinson starts her set with Monster, and continues with some more great work. Its better hearing her in this folk club venue, even though its noisier than a normal folk club evening, its still quieter than the music pubs and clubs she normally frequents. Her voice is very clear, the guitar work very open and delicate.

Ant Henson @ Ant Henson leaving do, Centre Stage 11 NovAfter a short interval (where I take the opportunity to catch up with some of the great and the good in the room) Ant Henson takes to the stage. I’ve not heard him in such a long time; I realise I’ve missed the rotund sounds from his 12 string when I hear them again.

Ant Henson with Nicky Hann @ Ant Henson leaving do, Centre Stage 11 Nov

He’s inviting various people to join him in songs, Tom Francis starts with him on Djembe, first joiner is Nicky Hann on flute for something fairly contemplative; they explain that she was the one that really got him gigging through a Parisian busking tour years back. Ant Henson and Fran Milner's helping hands @ Ant Henson leaving do, Centre Stage 11 NovLeo joins next, he’s accompanied Ant with percussion pretty much everytime he’s played recently. They all leave and Fran Milner joins Ant, to “cover his mistakes on piano”, as he puts it. He does a cover of an Our Blinkered Eyes song, Glass Eyed Doors. Ant Henson with Tom Flanery & Si Genaro duelling harmonicas @ Ant Henson leaving do, Centre Stage 11 NovNext up are  Tom Flanery and Si Genaro on duelling harmonicas as the pace picks up, such that the music is fast and furious by the time Tom Francis and Leo rejoin on percussion for 20 42, a supposed spoof song that kept its place in Ant’s set as its turned out he likes it.

Ant Henson with Tom Francis, Tom Flanery, Stephen King Leo @ Ant Henson leaving do, Centre Stage 11 Nov

A good evening, and a great send off.

I drop into Chaplins Bar on the way home, and Adam Phillips (Asp, Fish Out Of Water) has the whole bar clapping and hollering as he finishes an energetic song.

Alex Cope @ Chaplins, 11 November

Alex Cope is running the night for Andy Stock, and closes the evening, playing a few covers, and also inserting a lot of his own material, in the style of some of the covers

Radio Boscombe Show & O Neills

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Radio Boscombe join us tonight, with Barry The Hedgehog, who has brought Betty The Hedgehog along with him. We’re still not sure if that’s for moral support or a secure escort as Barry has been expelled from rehab again. Any way, much merriment ensues with topics ranging from Oxjam to Cornish steam engine history, almost running Murray Walker over and emigrating to Spain.

Connor Heather @ O'Neills 7 NovemberO’Neills next, Connor Heather is giving us some tunage, Wonderwall and Space Oddity, with a couple of his own songs in there. Connor is available for weddings and parties, and he’s come on a long way since I first saw him, providing a gig experience at the 2011 Dorset Music Awards.

Sofi Reed @ O'Neills 7 NovemberOur next act, Sofi Reed, has gone viral on youtube with the song Pattern she includes second in her set. She shows off her fabulous voice while playing tricksy chords, and covers Michael Jackson while injecting her own style into The Way You Make Me Feel. Really enjoyable.

Kimari Raven @ O'Neills 7 NovemberNext we have Kimari Raven, with her own brand of quirky chords providing foot tapping songs. A stylistic trick she uses is to change modes during a song, making it sound like a key change, while letting her vocal rise over the top. Again, good music heard well.

Sonic Pete (Pete Clark) @ O'Neills 7 NovemberOur last act tonight is Sonic Pete, immediately he makes an impression with the clear picking on the chords, a rich, resonant strong in the middle, which almost gets lost in mush when he breaks into full strums, but only almost. Vocals are good, not overpowering while strong enough to match the chordwork. Worth catching again, though Pete seems to play a lot of open mics rather than regularly advertised gigs.

Lady Winwoods Maggot Show & O’Neills

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Lady Winwoods Maggot @ Hope FM studio 31 Oct The Lady Winwoods Maggot boys take over the banter tonight – well they need to as my head is somewhere else, and Chinners covers a lot for me. We start on about the rise of X-factor and the like, with their insights from behind the scenes as entrants to the first competition run. We move on to a lot of other subjects, prompted as a result of their latest CD, the Rise Of Karaoke Culture And The Death Of Rock ‘N’ Roll.

As sort of expected, there are a lot of off-air non-broadcast-able moments (perhaps we ought to provide an audience feature just to hear what goes on off-air), and some unexpected sharp cuts to songs or spots as some subject matter strays a bit close to the bone….

Si Genaro @ O'Neills 31 OctOn to O’Neills briefly, Si Genaro acting the compere fool and also entertaining tonight, made up as a rather sinister joker all in black and white. Playstation Hero is his last song, with lots of other bits thrown in, Monster Mash, shrieks and screams, raven calls and the like, in addition to the beat box material Si is known for.

Phil King @ O'Neills 31 OctPhil King is birthday boy tonight, dressed as a mummy he fits in well with the Rocky Horror Picture Show movie shown in the background. He’s brought a sizable crowd to party with him, who seem to like it as he starts with one of my faves of his, Life’s Rich Tapestry. Then debuting a new song, full of bass notes and trademark twiddles and chord progressions. Get Together is accompanied by a dancers floor show thanks to Amanda and Martine, I take my leave for the evening.

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