Oxjam Show & Gigs

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What a packed show – and with no live music session. Geoff from the Oxjam Bournemouth team drops by to give Chinners and I a run for our money on the talking front. There are so many gigs this week that the entire show was filled just with a gig guide and a few interspersed songs.

Fran Milner @ O'Neills 17 Oct

We’re so full, with texts and calls coming in, I completely forget my prep to promote Fiveways Folk, a new plug in and play folk night starting on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, the first session being on 24 October.

Sweetchunks @ O'Neills 17 Oct

On to O’Neills, where its my first chance to hear Fran Milner since she started gigging again a few months back. She’s just playing guitar, fairly simply, and her voice is compelling, really striding out across the muted audience.

"Stewart" @ Chaplins Open Mic, 17 Oct

Next up we have Sweetchunks, bravely going solo with a 6 stringed banjo. This doesn’t work (or rather, his fingers don’t) for the song he wants to start with, a Levellers cover, so instead switches to an old time style blues number and continues in the Americana trend. I’m enjoying it, there is a lot of self- and banjo- mickey taking, and the humorous songs despite seeming novelty, show a deep thoughtfulness too.

Antonia Edgeley-Long & Alex Taylor @ Chaplins Open Mic 17 OctOn to Chaplins for the open mic. There are rumours that Joe Potter and Antonia Edgeley-Long will be playing, not yet though, Stewart is renditioning some guitar and harmonica for us. Antonia is up next, with Alex paying some clever Spanish guitar for her to sing some covers with, along with added effects from the mixing desk.

Forbidden Planet’s Halloween

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Bit of a special Solid Air tonight, for halloween many are in costume of varying sorts and we have an unusual bill. We also have the usual forbidden planet visuals; the films on-screen behind the musicians are all dark and sinister.

Antonia Edgeley-Long @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctAntonia Edgeley-Long opens, for what is her farewell gig before she goes travelling. She’s playing sweet acoustic picked chords and her voice is very exposed over the top, makes for a lovely vibe, and is in real contrast to the blackness of the night and the atmosphere set by the films and us dressed and decorated peeps. Antonia Edgeley-Long with Alex 'Honest' Taylor @ forbidden Planet, 31 OctAlex “Honest” Taylor joins her for her ending, which includes Boris Pickett’s Monster Mash.

A spooky Language, Timothy! @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctLanguage, Timothy! never fail to surprise; tonight they open with a pleasing rendition of Suicide Is Painless, the M*A*S*H theme. We then have a music box intro, before Mrs P reads a sinister ghost story from a girls annual, while The Chairman overlays this with awkward synth discords and samples of girls laughing evilly, all very effective, and scarily told. Language, Timothy! @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctWe next have a rendition of my fave classic Ghost In The Machine, not heard this performed live for a while, melded into samples from The Omen. Next a spooky story from The Chairman to wound music box accompaniment followed by their ending, a tribute to Jimmy Saville, who would have been 85 today, the lament Jonny Has Gone For A Soldier

The Worry Dolls @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctThe Worry Dolls close the evening, in half acoustic mode – a laid back end to the evening, despite the large numbers of intruments involved – guitars, ukelele, bass, violin; keys & drums in the background. They have chosen sombre songs for the set tonight, still excellently arranged and orchestrated, they take a particular slant to cover Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, choosing a modal form to present it to us. Towards the end of the set they throw in some of their more lively tunes, the sort of stuff one can jig along to. Good enjoyment and contrast to the evening.

Sunday Best & Sessions

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Very quick post to suit the very short night. 

Krista Green facebook photoAfter a church music group practice I start at O’Neills where Fairplay have informed me Krista Green is playing.  When I walk in she’s playing mellow songs, her voice is really strong which I guess is as she does a lot of busking around town.

I missed Krista’s Bournemouth Unplugged heat (the only one I couldn’t make) so I think the last time I heard her was when she made an appearance on the radio show. Its a shame the place is half empty as she’s giving what I consider the performance of a lifetime – as I’ve not seen her play before I don’t know if she’s alsways like this, but the songs, though soulful, are still uplifting.

After covering All Right Now she finishes with a punchy self-penned song, percussive beating as each chord is played, with the chords being staccato-stopped as a result. Really enjoyable. She’s playing at Mr Kyps On 14 April and would be well worth catching there if you can – message her for a ticket.

I’ve also been chatting with Steve from TL Sound. Looking at the site he has some good material to say he’s only just started doing what he’s doing now with the dedicated studio set up, although he’s been mixing for a long time.

On the way back I drop into Chaplins very briefly – Antonia Edgeley-Long has played, Bex Grant is playing, Tony TwoDogs is waiting to go. A few brief words with Andy (Japan, Andy?) and I’m gone.

A Creative Evening

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Antonia Edgeley-Long Chaplins

Antonia Edgeley-Long starts up, her initial choice of song allows her to use a wide range of her voice – deep verses and high choruses.

This set is all new material, yet this fact isn’t really noticeable, save for the guitar work being under-developed; strummed chords for the most part. The chord progressions are fun, some switches from minor to major, and some modal work as well by the sound of it.

In her last song there is evidence of the future development, as gently picked arpeggios form an underlay for Antonia’s voice to soar over.

Jules Pitcher Chaplins

Next up Jules Pitcher. Straight off into gentle chord picking; she has a mellow rounded voice, this is music with gaps in.

Jules is also kicking in with the new material, her second number having been written the week before. It’s dedicated to her sister, who is pointed out to the crowd.

Tim Smart is taking the graveyard shift. He’s decided to play an accordian for the first part of hist set. As I walked in he commented he was “off to rehearse” – turns out he’s never played an accordian before so needs to learn the basics! Tim Smart all over.

Tim Smart Chaplins

By the time he gets up, he’s more or less got the chords covered, any way up he’s amusing and looks to be enjoying it as hopefully captured in the shot.

Halfway through the set he picks up the guiar and invites sister Claire to join him. Sandboy is dedicated to an anonymous person in he bar who lives near Tim, and who the song was written about. We don’t know who it is, and Tim’s not letting on, all adding to the mystique. 

Tim & Claire Smart Chaplins

Fed up with the guitar, he chooses to sing I know an old lady who swallowed a fly a capella, with Claire harmonising at certain points, before finishing with favourite Bearded Lady.  As an encore he gets us all to join in with harmonies on a short round song, all uber-creative, totally enjoyable, and uniquely Tim Smart.

An Audience With Nigel Waite & Friends

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The evening starts with an introduction by Nigel, telling us about SeeAbility (formerly Royal School for the Blind) and the kids and carers that in these times need to find increased sources of funding, which is what this concert is all about.

Les Wild (compere for the evening) sets a mood and announces opener Stan Graham. I feel for Stan, he has a hard job to do in opening both the big bill, and warming up the large crowd that have turned up for this album launch. Pleasantly, the audience need little urging as Stan has a good set of singalong tunes – easy choruses to pock up, and Stan is quietly enthuastic about us joining him – dropping completely out for a refrained chorus so we can hear ourselves as the audience.

Johnny Coppin is invited to take a solo turn next up (he’s been billed as accompanying Nigel, yet hardly needs an introduction)
Obviously well known and liked within the club for good reason, this nationally acclaimed star only plays a couple of guitar tunes and a keyboard song; surprisingly to me the audience also gently join in at appropriate moments. Doing a bit of research later, I discover Johnny produced Nigel’s album, a snippet I’ve missed in the announcements.

I’ve not seen Tinderbox for a long time, so this listening session is long overdue. They play two songs, one from each of their first couple albums, again starting in the singalong mode that the evening has encuraged.
Monique drops a couple of allusions to her pregnancy, with a comment that she’s feeling hormonal and teary – rather endearing though. They finish with a heart rending song from the upcoming fourth album (estimated release near the end of the year). I guess they’ve been asked to keep their patter between songs short, as Dan hardly gets a word in, leaving his fingers performing the guitar magic to do the talking.

Compere Les Wild has his work cut out while the stage is reset for Martyn Windham-Read & Iris Bishop. Iris’ Concertina and Martyn’s voice are a beautifully different combination, before Martin picks up a guitar to add to the ensemble. Nigel interupts the set to ask Martin to insert a 4th track into his set list – this is a pretty tune that could just go on forever – and that is intended to be interpreted both ways! It was a song writing exercise, intended never to be performed, however if one likes it, its wondeful. Of couse, a repetitive tune and words, if one doesn’t get the vibe, can seem to go on forever!

Finally, after the interval and inevitable raffle draw, Nigel joins the stage, with Iris and Jonny to start; eventually Les, Bob Whitley (on blues harp) and Nigel’s daughter Marianne have all taken part at different junctures.

Nigel is charmingly self-deprecating – he quips “normally after the interval there’s the professional artist for the evening – not tonight obviously!”  He’s also comically just slightly clumsy (only a small amount), able to make light of tapping Iris on the head with the guitar by mistake. This continues as a running joke for the rest of the evening…

There are some good stories behind the songs, and interesting anecdotes about the songwriting and recording process, which I judge not able to be shared here, sorry! (despite the title of the post).

The evening has also been a success for SeeAbility, £650 has been raised on the door and via the raffle, in addition to any album sales.

On the way home I drop in to see Antonia Edgeley-Long at Chaplins – she’s headlining the Sunday Session tonight. It’s a rare pleasure for me to hear her solo voice, more often than not she’s joining Voodoo Vegas for a song or two, or fronting her rock covers band Supercharger Heaven. She finger picks, while singing at a pitch which is slightly elevated from her normal speaking voice. Yes OK, I’m a sucker for female vocalists, and I’ve been spoilt tonight with hearing two with exquisite tones with Monique from Tinderbox and now Antonia.

Andy Stock and AJ close the night with a couple of nicely hammed tunes, or perhaps I should say out-of-tunes, as they have a friendly argument about the guitar and blues harps not matching, all in all a very pleasant Sunday evening.

Pink Moon & Revolving Door, Tues 26 Oct

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Pink Moon is Solid Air’s fortnightly foray into the acoustic sunset. I missed the Pink Moon openers, walking down the steps of the Cellar Bar to Jack Chuter finishing off his set (decent enough from what little I heard of it), followed by the always vivacious Antonia Edgeley-Long.

This was a real change from seeing Antonia scream along with Lawrence Case on Voodoo VegasSo Unkind on Sunday night.  Her subtle resonant timbre, with her voice lilting over the artistic guitar work was really enjoyable. She was telling me she’s now fronting another band, more of the rock than the acoustic – shows she can successfully bridge both genres.

On to Tim Somerfield – self-described as Acoustic Solo-God – well he was with a percussionist tonight, with some solid and upbeat numbers.  Look forward to seeing him again.

Finally in the Cellar Bar were three good looking blokes from New Milton, going under the moniker Coke Can Jack. Good duelling guitar riffs, with some intriguing solos, and harmoniously accompanying each others’ vocals to boot.  Good stuff

Left the Cellar bar to wander into the end of Revolving Door at O’Neills, another regular Tuesday fixture.  As well as some usual friends in the crowd, Nacho Jase was up doing some Blues Rock, Rock & even Country & Western numbers in a finisher for the evening. Was good to hear him behind the mic for a change – he’s normally locked away behind the PA desk.