Saturday & Another Varied Night

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Mischa's Merry Men @ On The Rocks 21 Jan

I’ve had a fantastic day at the Dorset Music Award DMA 40 Heat, yet still decide to catch some more music in the evening, starting with Mischa and his Merry Men, who are in fine form at On The Rocks – I’ve never seen them in this guise, full on, plugged in and really going for it. He’s turned the acoustic folk rock style into a lively pumped up full on rock set with addition of a drum kit rather than percussion, and its great to hear this new sound.

Luke Ferre @ Winchester 21 JanLuke Ferre is starting the night off at the Winchester for Streebeck‘s album launch party for third CD The Peacock. He’s playing good acoustic songs; covering Karma Chameleon as I walk in before going through his own material.

Texas Red @ Inferno 21 JanOne of the acts on at the Inferno gig that Kentucky Fight Club are headlining (The General Public were supposed to be on the bill too yet cancelled) are Texas Red. I didn’t realise Elliot Bradley was in this band, he tells me this is his main band, as opposed to his solo stuff or Admiral Shiny Sides. They play some hard rock ‘n’ roll, with Tanya on lead vocal, wailing and screaming in good fashion, which again distorts the speakers, which I’m getting used to here. They are name checking both themselves and their material, which I like. They have some slick tempo changes too, I can overlook the drummer losing a stick and catching it again, putting the rest off for a beat or two.

Streebeck @ Winchester 21 JanI arrive back at the Winchester unfortunately just in time to miss Del Malone & Lucy Martin, while having to wait 10 mins or so for Streebeck to set up. I notice during the break that more lighting is set up in the Winchester, making it an even better venue than it already was. The lads join the stage and strike up the new tunes. I’ve not heard any of them apart from opener Evening Red, which I played out on the show to promote this launch. They’ve said they’re playing the CD through live, so I can say that the harmonies from Laurence (guitar) and Dani (keys) in Spare A Moment are good as ever, the music is fantastic, if the CD is like the gig, yet again Streebeck have pulled a good’un out of the hat. CD’s are available on order, or via download, from bandcamp.

Mobius Strip @ On The RocksMobius Strip are closing On The Rocks and its all a bit mad and messy in the crowd (I’ve missed Kinky Boot Beasts who have performed in the meantime.) The music is awesome, just right for jumping around and moshing to, which is happening aplenty around the room. As Old Bloke is here celebrating his birthday there’s also a lot of lunging action 😉

KFC @ Inferno 21 JanBack to Inferno for the last of KFC‘s set – they literally finish as I get settled at the front. So its on to the Cellar Bar for the usual end of a night, this time with the excellent Paint It Blue, who are kicking off some amazing tunes and have entered the rolling blues and blues rock phase of their gig. Paint It Blue @ Cellar Bar 21 JanThis just means that everyone in the capacity crowd is going a little bit nuts.

Since I’m now with friend Claire (another birthday celebrant tonight), and other friends Livvy, Sofi, Geoff and Jo, this forms a great place to join in the party, and we continue until the early morning small hours with much merriment and entertainment – means that by the end I’ve been up and active for about 23 hours – since I woke up about 5am Saturday morning, and it’s about 4 when I get in, I love these sober benders 🙂

Brief Solid Air

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This is a very short blog post – I’ve missed much of the evening due to watching too many inspiring talks on (well, it was a miserable weather night, which possibly explains where everyone else was!)

On entering the Winchester’s foyer, I’m engaged in conversation by the manager, wanting to plug a couple of things, hence I miss seeing Annie Winter & Jemma Davis, although they sound good through the doors!

On walking in (to a bar with about a dozen people in it) I hear that Si Genaro has opened, unusually doing none of the beat box or harmonica work he is most well-known for, instead, just Si and his guitar and voice.

Del Malone is up last, and performs admirably, although I’m not paying attention as an old school friend of Ness’, Hawkeye Houlihan is in the bar so we have a good old natter – in short he’s spending a lot of time in Denmark playing solo, duo and trio slots close to 100 times a year, really making it as a professional music in clubs and bars, and in Danish festivals.

Short post this time…

Solid Air Monday 1 November

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Walked in to hear the last of Jazz Morley‘s set. Jazz has a wonderful voice which almost doesn’t need a PA system, the clarity of her vocals mean the lyrics can be enjoyed, coupled with keyboard chord harmonies.  Shame I  missed the first of the set.

Jazz was followed by Del Malone, doing a solo acoustic guitar set.  Del was formerly the front man of Parker, two of which are also with Streebeck. Del alluded to this in one of his songs, co-written with Kevin, Streebeck’s front man.  Del was able to showcase an impressive vocal range, while the guitar work wasn’t as tricksy impressive as some, it was a good foundation for his strongly sung lyrics.

Last band on the bill were The Harriots, in from London after the Oxjam fundraiser at The Portman, and following on from a recording session in Penn Hill.  These chaps impressed, not just becuase they had brought a small following with them. In particular the second song of the set, which name I didn’t catch, woke the whole place up – shame more people weren’t there, their stuff is very jumpy and insists to be danced to. 

One other thing – they seemed to be having the worst gig ever. The lead guitar broke a string in the first song, and fortunately they had brought a backup guitar  – which then broke a string in the second song.  To cap it all the rhythm guitarist also broke a string, causing some swapping around for one of the songs where it seemed that particular string was needed.

According to their videographer the instruments had been fine all weekend, what with the Oxjam gig and a long recording session, so could have just been the atmospherics of leaving them out in the cold then bringing them into the warm venue.

Overall, the unusual style of having the bass and ryhthm guitars mirroring each other worked really well for me, and while the front man might not be the most energetic for the style of music played, they just got on with the stuff and showed they could play, while overcoming obstacles.  Impressive stuff.

First act up (before I arrived) was Mr Nodge (website not known), apparently went down really well, and I heard he seemed to have enough material to have carried on all night if there hadn’t been another 3 acts following him. According to Solid Air‘s Conrad, he brought a sizeable crowd with him for his debut gig. One to look out for in the future.