Show, Open Mic & Tripp Out

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Radio Boscombe arranged their Christmas Special Show for listeners to HopeFM. Comprising the usual mix of original material performed live, canned material from prior shows, and classic material from other comedy groups they’ve been associated with there’s a good blend and balance, even if the ironic tribute to the Pearl Harbour 70th anniversary fell on some ears harshly (had a phoned complaint).

Aaron Gregory dropped in with some tunes and his new EP to promote a charity fundraiser he’s organising for Sparkles, providing a hydrotherapy pool for St Victorias school, Branksome, and much was made of some of the artists who are giving their time for free to play and hopefully swell the coffers.  Rock Regeneration reviewed the night.

On to the Chaplins open mic, where Chris Woodford sets a strong tone by opening with his usual harmonic symphonies. What I find amusing is he drifts from movement to movement, with breath pauses to allow a change in mood, mode and tempo, and those breaths are always thought of by some in the crowd as stops, hence a couple of claps soon falter.

David Mansell takes to the chairs. He’s another amazing guitarist, I’d normally have thought him more of the blues persuasion than other genres, unlike Chris he sings too. Tonight he’s sticking to gentle folk ballads, the archetypal story in a song. He’s playing with including some Jazz guitar expressions, I like that he throws in a gliss chord at the very end of a piece, slowing down the a big burst to signify “I’ve finished, cue your applause”. Dave’s big finish is a blues number, good 8 bar staple.

Madison Tar Heels are 3 Jack Ratts members under the watchful eye of Hawkeye. They kick off a bit of a stomping set with CrippleCreek, really fast banjo work, slap string bass and washboard making great taps. The lively nature of the music is catching, there are whoops and various Southron phrases thrown around from both the band and the audience. The music is all old time, 19th century Americana  (I did call this Bluegrass though I’m later informed this is called old-time, invented before bluegrass; its all in the picking action, aparently…) – Cluck Ole Hen, Turpentine and the like. Short, snappy and a lot of fun.  Its so much fun, that by the time I leave, I’m too late to catch Pete Christie at the Thomas Tripp tonight – the difference in bar closing times & travel between can be awkward sometimes…

Show & Bournemouth Unplugged Quarter Final 3

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Bit of a hit and miss show tonight – my guests baled on me with about 20 hours notice, so I populated the time instead with many promoters providing details of their wares:

Trev Hill from Dorset Music Awards: final in the O2 Academy this Saturday – unheard of to have local bands in on a Saturday night. Trev also talked about Smokin’ Aces (feat. Mutant Vinyl this Friday).

Tone Foster from bhone: a weekend of fundraising gigs for Julia’s House and Dorset Cancer Fund over the May Bank holiday

Andy Razz from Chaplins: the weekend highlights inc. Andy Stock band supporting Friday night’s entertainments.

Pete from Apples & Snakes regarding Thursday night’s poetry slam competition between Southampton and Bournemouth.

Finally a phone in from Dave of the New Forest Pit Ponies, who will be guesting on the Radio Boscombe show in a could of weeks.

As usual at present, I leave early to dash to O’Neills for Bournemouth Unplugged. Mischa starts and again I’m leaving my judging comments here.

Mischa

MischaVibrant. Great Up stuff
Timed percussion on Air I Breathe
City Breaks improv jam percussion. Good effort & different with the tone poem style. Don’t need to tell us (upfront) its a new untried song – we wouldn’t know otherwise
Only applause from crowd during set, whoops only from me that I can hear!.
Starting to sound samey y 3rd song Memories
Lots of patter from Mischa, including judge schmoozing !
lots (too much?) ukelele compared to cello
Great bop at end with Overworked & Underpaid. Typical Mischa putting his all into it.

Us judges get told off at the end for applying some constructive criticism vocally during our feed back section.
Only nice comments allowed vocally in the pub, it seems.  Specifically we’d mentioned the bit about ukelele rather than cello, and Mischa had changed his set that night as a result of comments from the Dorset Music awards.  My response was to ask him to turn and read the screen (where the Bmth Unplugged logo was displayed)!.

Dan Rumsey

Dan RumseyStill got those untrimmed guitar strings (that I commented on at DMA heats)
Nice choice of progressive chords in 1st song (missed name)
She Wolf different style guitar still similar vocally
Has a (vocal) posse with him, yet not really catching on around the pub (unlike Bob Fletcher’s masterclass last week)
“La’s” are brave and show confidence that hasn’t really been that present so far. 5th song.
Also tuneful wailing going up the octave
His stuff grows on you.

Phil King

Phil KingSounds surprised to have a posse. Starts with Life’s Rich Tapestry, one of my faves of his
Good variety chords, finger work,
Good banter to cover tuning, and noticed the out of tune (+1 tech recovered)
2nd Irish style ringing the tempo changes.
Clear lyrics throughout so can properly judge the song writing ability
Come Together is done in a totally gritty manner, taking a low chord approach rather than the high chord in the riff
Good intro to Iridescent Lightbulbs showing off a range of techniques before launching into a solid yet repetitive sequenced riff, broken by bridges and false endings
Good variety of song choices in the set overall – high originality for that.

David Mansell

David MansellGreat ballad opener – rich
Keeps it to a low key set for all songs
Clear voice, rich resonance on the guitar.
Great story telling through the songs.
Not really demonstrating different styles either vocally or on the guitar
Not the type of music to cut across here, which is a shame as it’s good mellow stuff

 On the night the two acts to gvo through are Phil King and Mischa – the latter only clear by half a point.  I feel a bit churlish as Mischa hasn’t stuck around, I suppose being ill and yet still perfoming like he has has to be taken into considedration!

Show & BU Heat 6

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My guests tonight are The Luminaires, with a cut direct from the studio of their debut EP. Its still in final mixdown stage, so the track that’s bought in to play has not been heard by some of the band even, it’s that fresh. They were last in the studio with me in November, after wowing me with their debut performance at the Oxjam take over; then our topics ranged across all sorts of topics; this time the chat is slightly more focussed – probably as band savant Dave is keeping a lid on himself and his wide-encompassing knowledge.

Afterwards I head onto the now familiar jaunt for Bournemouth Unplugged, O’Neills.

Jonny Neesom Bmth UnpluggedJonny Neesom draws the opening straw tonight. He’s got an interesting style, playing plucked open chords while providing an overwash of MC’d chant rap. Previously I’ve only heard him do 2 or 3 songs at an open mic, to hear him perform a fuller set is good, and shows he does have more songs in his repertoire, with more or less similar styles. When he sings, its very much tone poem style, really allowing a focus on the originality of the lyrics.

Chris Woodford is second. A very quick setup ( and tune up) and he’s in. The first chords still the place, he pauses, one can hear the silence spread across the room, before he launches into his now familiar routine. I’m sort of au fait with the material, yet I never know if I’ve heard each piece of his before or not. It’s varied both in dynamic and style, in that there is chord picking, chord struumming, finger picking (with either hand), taps, pulls, and then when one thinks there is no other style to show off, he slips into lap steel mode and throws in the other moves he’s known for. Winner of the 2008 Dorset Music Award, he’s no doubt on a cert to go far in this competition. Foo Fighters’ Everlong is his choice of cover – yet he’s made it totally his own.

David Mansell Bmth UnpluggedPenultimate act David Mansell starts with a little introduction, promising us a range of genres, and a (very short) story behind his opening song. I’ve not heard David play for a long time. He’s a traditional guitarist compared with the first two acts, he is not coming across as the singer songwriter-guitarist he really is. No sign of the endless strumming here, we are presented with some well-orchestrated chord sequences and foot tapping rhythms, accomplished jazz guitar and blues beats.

Shanon Fontaine Bmth UnpluggedShanon Fontaine closes the evening. She’s bright both with the greeting and the appearance. I must admit to having seen shanon around in crowds at gigs and speaking with her, yet not knowing she played. She has an open picked chord style for verses, pretty much a perfect accompaniment to her isolated voice. Yet for the choruses the now sliced chords pick up the pace and her voice boosts accordingly. In another song she hits some staccato chops that again augment and complement. Shanon is also experimenting with a loop/delay pedal, very basic usage but it helps provide extra depth to the deeper tones she’s singing this time around – this range seems to suit her better than the higher end she’s used up to this point.

Another enjoyable acoustic musical evening courtesy of Fairplay and Bournemouth Unplugged.