Tom Clements Chaplins

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Tom Clements @ Chaplins 27 MarchAfter a bit of a runaround, I alight at Chaplins where Del Bishop has just finished, and Tom Clements is entertaining the sub-capacity crowd. Not seeing him in a competitive environment is a bonus, the other two times I’ve heard him play was at the 2012 Dorset Music Awards. Tom’s taking retuning time to tell little stories and anecdotes between the songs, which is refreshing. Some songs are sinister, some are jolly, all have decent clever finger work, and with his sparing use of the loop and effects pedals Tom pulls off a good show. I’m with a good friend, and we’re comparing guitars – both of us being uncertain about the brightness of Tom’s Martin guitar, wondering if this seems to be a trait of Martins in general.

Tom plays Seven Years, which he’s played both other times I’ve heard him, and is the sample track he kindly sent to me to include in the station promos. As such its become a favourite of mine already, its simple via the loop pedal, rather than him entering 3 or 4 loops before the song really gets going, phrases are played it feels as a natural part of the song, then overlaid . The whole set is all going so well, then Tom slips in a cover of Sultans Of Swing, yet he plays it with such panache, and the change of guitar to a lighter less rich tone works really well.

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Del Bishop

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Del Bishop @ Cellar Bar 10 JanDel is taking the Tuesday acoustic spot this week in Chaplins & The Cellar Bar. He’s playing his usual mixture of well recognisable own material, and cover songs such as Ain’t No Sunshine. His own song Temptation, which I’ve heard many times catches me out as he’s leaving lots of pauses in it towards the end, I embarrassingly start applauding before the end of the song (serves me right for concentrating on this writing than on what Del is really playing). His slightly gravelly voice has just the right tone for the types of songs he sings, listening to him is always a delight as his choices are pitched perfectly for him.

Misty Eyes, Misty Blue

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Misty Blue @ The Richmond ArmsI’ve previously been tipped off about Misty Blue, admittedly by Lisa, one half of this Jazz Blues duo. She’s singing Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Dusty Springfield and the like, accompanied by Bruce Griffin on piano. The title refers to the wonderful tone and mood they bring to The Richmond Arms, a new venue for me. Apologies for the processed photo – the Arms is a nicely decorated pub, but the lighting is dismal for my crapberry.

Mr Griffin is wonderfully expressive on the keys, when called for half standing, swaying and providing added visual emphasis to keep pace with the music. I’ve not written about Lisa’s voice before, as I’ve not seen her since creating the blog; rich and mellow, perfectly in tune, able to reach deep with feeling, and high with passion, as called for by the score. I feel its a real privilege to just be able to walk in and hear them.

Del Bishop @ ChaplinsAfter this it’s off to Chaplins for the final couple of numbers by Del Bishop – totally different, yet still engaging and enjoyable all the same.

Chaplins Sunday

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Had an interesting start to the evening – Victor dropped by to have a chat, and hand me a copy of his latest album Moonbeams. I then had the church music group meeting, before heading over to Chaplins for their Sunday Session.

Jemma Davies and Del Bishop tonight. Jemma plays a really fun set, showing off her high ranged voice through well chosen covers mixed with her original material. I’ve heard her play many times, and this is the first time I can recall her playing and acting out a radio friendly set.

Herr voice is piercing in places, and is clearly the stronger part of her singer / guitarist act. The guitarwork is a good accompaniment, mainly gently strummed chords, with some thumb strums and percussive slaps to provide variation.

Del Bishop is doing his usual style of material, interesting work on the guitar alternating with strong chord work. His voice is strident, and reaches octave harmonies as well as deep root notes.

He’s had his misses in the past – one he comments on before he plays it tonight, and nails it. All in all a good two sets of acoustic goodness to carry on chatting and catching with people over.

The Neon Tigers on HopeFM

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The Neon Tigers promo shotThree quarters of The Neon Tigers join me in the studio tonight. The music played focusses on their EP, a copy of which I was kindly offered before the show.
The packaging presentation alone is impressive, here’s what Dorset Rock Online had to say about it…

 The Neon Tigers Friends EPI think a quick word on the packaging is needed! … Friends is presented in a silver tin case. It’s a bit of a ^%$ to get in to, but once you do you’re greeted with a card insert featuring the above track listing on one side and the above band portrait by Tim Churchill on the other. The disc itself is cradled in moulded plastic and the whole package comes across like a collectors edition release. With it being a limited run, I guess it sorta is. You can grab yourselves one of these packages from the band themselves at a gig or at Square Records in Wimborne.

 In the studio, I must admit I spend much time talking about the band and their stage act, rather than the music. I’m pleased we seem to be of similar mind – they feel that being in a band, they owe it to fans, promoters and venues to put on an impressive show.

It also helps them stick in the mind, whether because of
the visual presentation (band look);
the makeup (they glam themselves up a bit for their take on Rock Theatre);
the food (Gary makes giveaway titbits for gigs)
or even the music!

Talking to them they are humourously immodest yet humblingly realistic. They seem genuinely pleased as punch to be in the position they are in right now, while taking a short break from a pretty packed gig schedule to threefold:
give themselves a rest,
give Bournemouth a rest from them, and
produce / polish some new material for a second EP.

Again, a thoroughly enjoyable time for me, thanks to these excellent guests, once more I’m humbled that they want to take time out to talk to me and my listener about their art and talent.

After the show I drop in on Chaplins for the open mic, its been a while since I was here on a Wednesday. There’s a posse enjoying a Christmas meal party in half the room, looks like they’ve reached the end of eating, yet they’re sticking around (mainly) for music and drinks.

Andy Stock opens as usual with a long (for him) set of songs.  He includes my favourite cover Shoot The Breeze from Alex Roberts.

Susanah Lea is also present (having seen her last night in O’Neills); she regularly comes down here from her home up-country. I heard her with a more Country twist last night, tonight she’s doing some more of her own material, and a couple of covers for the benefit of the Christmas partygoers.

Del Bishop is up next. Good grunt on his vocals, steady chord work on the guitar. He has an intriging mix of songs, some ballads, some up-tempo. He plays a goodly number of good songs, all of them originally penned by him

Graham Jones is last up. This time he’ s a lot more laid back possibly due to the emptier venue (the party crowd left at 11-ish), so there’s only a handful of us left to enjoy this different side to what he normally does.

Another busy Wednesday night…

Show, Freeway & Open mic

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In short,

The long version:

Another show night (it being Wednesday). Joined for the regular first Wednesday of the month outing with Radio Boscombe, and their usual live and pre-recorded comedy, interspersed with bits of music and Anthony Fairweather‘s poetry, songs and humourous interludes.

After the show, hotfooted over to The Winchester for the regular first Wednesday of the month outing called Freeway Poets – Grow. Walking in late after the show means wading through a packed crowd, reaching the bar for a drink and some excellent nibbles courtesy of Lotus Seed, and being entertained by Performance Poetry.

Dangermouse was first act I saw, otherwise known as Olly Bland. Followed by aforementioned Anthony Fairweather before being capped by Will StophaTshaka was also scheduled next – giving a lift to Anthony and Laura meant I missed him.

All 3 acts vary, in their approach, yet all gave quality output and entertainment.  Unfortunately for Anthony and Will, technical problems seemed to plaque their performances, which did not affect Olly at all, who recited a couple of inspired pieces.

Anthony sings and rants to CD accompaniment on some pieces, yet the CD track seems to dip automatically DJ Announcer style whenever the mic is used – not great.  This, coupled with dodgy CD cues, seemed to be enough to put him off his first piece (he is a perfomance poet with a prominent speech impediment) yet he was able to recover sufficiently to give an overall good performance, hitting a chord with many of the crowd present.

Will was expecting to rely on a laptop, yet had connection difficulties.  A beat box he’d also brought along was playing up, causing him to mess up a few cues which all added to the entertainment.  “What this is”, he quipped, “is some bloke driving for 3 hours from London on the night there’s a tube strike to mess up a live performance in Bournemouth”.

Despite this, he seemed appreciative of the audience’s response, and genuinely grateful to have been offered a repeat invite to joint headline Freeway Poets.

Having offered to give Anthony a lift to the station (dropping Laura from Radio Boscombe off on the way) we left before the second joint headliner Tshaka, and before the artworks by some artists from  Technicolour Moon
 were completed – they were looking really promising.

On to Chaplins on the way home for the traditional Open Mic session – Fiona Fox giving her all on the guitar with her sweet voice.  She has what look like small and fragile hands, yet manages to pull off chords and stops with a panache others fail to acheive.  Talking to her afterwards, it’s not all about technique, (polymer coated strings help), although technique is a major part.

Del Bishop was in the chair next, playing a number of covers in his own style, offering some singalong opportunity.  Followed by son Sam, who’s set was far too short! (I blinked and missed most of it).  Andy Stock finished the night as is usual – another 12 am close (where does the time go?)