Dorset Music Awards Grand Final

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DMA logoWe start an evening celebration of local music in Dorset tonight at the (rarely visited for this hack) O2 Academy, with the new Dorset Music Award prizes for 2012.
One Best SongDisco’s Out (Murder’s In)
Best Album / EPConstellation
Favourite Venue (Voted By Musicians): Mr Kyps
Contribution To The Music Scene: HopeFM

DMA judgesSurprised and pleased with those results, HopeFM can only play a part in the scene because there is a scene to contribute and participate in, therefore are standing on the shoulders of all the other nominees in this catogory, promoters and studios alike. Mr Kyps have a great venue, I’m sure more bands have played other venues than Mr Kyps, however they are the stage local bands aspire to, so deserved for that. Since I love Disco’s Out (Murder’s In) and Constellation so much, I’m chuffed on their behalf for the music awards.

14 April DMA final - Know One pwn the O2 AcademyOn to the Best Live Act, and Know One start in grand style jumping all over the stage, making the most of the various risers and podiums; the fans are loud and vocal even above the massive bass whumps and brass/wind showoff. Dean drops off the stage and skanks around in the camerapit, before jumping into the crowd (security chasing him) while the others in the band continue. 14 April DMA final - crowd shot attemptThe interlude while he rejoins the stage is filled with crowd chanting as encouraged by the band via drum beats, and jumping on the risers. A great opener and setting a high bar for the others to follow.

14 April DMA final - Bad Magic rock outBad Magic work really hard to reach said bar, and in my mind do achieve this towards the end of the set, with the crowd finally jumping around to their hard rock. While some say they are a blend of Guns and Roses and Def Leppard (possibly why I’m not personally a fan of their music – I gave this up as I left my teens), their guitarist is awesome, and lead Chris’ Freddie Mercury-like posturings result in shouts from the crowd. A good performance, with all the movement worthy of this stage, and though I’m not into their genre, its a solid performance overall.

14 April DMA final - Peace Love & Gloves Peace Love and Gloves are next, we can’t get away from the goujon crowd shouts even as they are setting up. 14 April DMA final - Peace, Love & Gloves soft toy merch - very originalThe crafty mums -literally- have been busy behind the scenes making hundreds of Peace Love and Gloves logo soft toys, which are liberally thrown into the crowd. As ever the music is good, and Mark’s lyrics about life and love, won and lost, are insightful. The crowd are moshing from the off, everybody – band and crowd alike – are really happy to be here, and the exuberance shows.

14 April DMA final - PachangoPachango have the unfortunate task of combating a now very noisy crowd, there are shouts all over for all of the bands. How to do this? Kick off loud and proud, and blast us away with sax ensemble and awesome percussion. Making the most of the huge stage just in being able to fit, rather than active movement compared with say Know One, vocalists Selby and Claudia are the only ones dancing about. No one can deny the fiesta atmosphere they create, its really good to see all the floor area filled with moving bodies, not just the front mosh area.

14 April DMA final - winnersThe winners are announced – Pachango win all the festival slots, Peace Love and Gloves are given an unprecedented Larmer Tree second slot, and also scoop up the big prize. Big Congratulations to both those bands.

The result astonishes many, until one understands how the three judges reach their decisions – they each pick two bands, one for their festival, and a different for their award winner. All unanimously pick Pachango for their festival, and pick each of the other bands as their winner, creating a 3-way deadlock. All bands have performed well and are absolutely fantastic at what they do, yet are all deemed derivative of their chosen genre. Peace Love and Gloves are considered the most original and “now” so walk away as the best out of the deadlock.

Again we have controversy aroused from the passions all fans feel for their love of music, all it means to me is that music is the overall winner and that everyone can choose to walk away from the 2012 Dorset Music Awards celebrating the vibrant variety and passionate nature in the Dorset music scene.

14 April DMA final - all finalists14 April DMA final - Paddy - Dare 2 Festival14 April DMA final - Catherine - Purbeck Folk Festival14 April DMA final - James - Larmer Tree festival

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Dorset Music Awards 2012 Quarter Final 1

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DMA logoJack Grace has already played by the time I arrive (8pm start, hard to make if you’re as disorganised as I am and don’t get home ’til late to go out again). Asking around I missed a good one – Jack and the gang did a pretty faultless show, good guitar work, and roped in a female vocalist too to enhance their sound.

Krista Green @ DMA QF1 10 FebKrista Green is performing when I do arrive; having seen her on stage quite a bit recently with various other artists I’m slightly surprised to see her solo on the stage tonight. Not a problem for her, for the most part the near-capacity crowd are enthralled with her act.

Paint It Blue @ DMA QF1 10 FebPaint It Blue are faultless as ever, the songs are amazing, Hannah takes a bit of time out in between solid numbers to introduce the band members, a good important touch in my eyes.

Tom Clements @ DMA QF1 10 FebThe first noticeable element to Tom Clements is the large crowd he’s brought with him, who he enthuses and encourages throughout his performance. He’s playing brilliantly too, though lots of crowd noise is now prevalent, which fortunately doesn’t appear to put him off

Constellation @ DMA QF1 10 FebConstellation again have a large following here, T-shirts and dancing noted. The music has a new edge, honed and appealling, and the performance is visually entertaining too – I slighted them for this in the heat, but they had been partying hard the night before. No signs of fatigue tonight, just another awesome show like the other four acts tonight.

Disco's Out (Murder's In) @ Cellar Bar 10 FebOn to the Cellar Bar where Disco’s Out (Murder’s In) are making a welcome return, and ripping up the place which is as usual full for a Friday night. They inflict a couple of new songs on us which go down well, and Martin is taking more part now with witticisms in some of the gaps between, and within songs. Good end to a good night.

Nutty Roots

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Discos Out (Murders In) @ Mr KypsNuttyness the Madness tribute band are playing Mr Kyps; Disco’s Out (Murders In) are supporting, and doing their utmost to make a big sound and party things up – lots of their fans like me are here from their 95 person guest list, so its not only a great atmosphere but a good party too. Ed is absent reducing them to 6 on stage; Martin and Imogen seem to be behaving extra nuttily to compensate; Steve and Lee particularly are making the most of the large Mr Kyps stage by springing about with some awesome lunging action that unfortunately we just can’t coordinate with in the crowd 😀

Nuttyness @ Mr KypsAfter Disco’s Out (Murders In)‘s amazing set and a lengthy stage reset, Nuttyness enter the stage making a grand suited and booted appearance, hats and dark glasses in abundance among the 6-piece. They kick off with some great licks, The Prince, One Step Beyond, before taking it down a step with Another Weary Day. A shout for modernity from the 80’s tribute – they can be tweeted while live @nuttinessband, and they’ll include them in the show. Its pumped again with House of Fun, which is where I take an exit to catch other some other gigs.

Willowen @ On The RocksI reach On The Rocks in time to catch the last few songs from Willowen. Its slightly more subdued than the last time I saw them, at the Inferno, but the crowd here are more into the band than they seemed to be at that latter venue. They are all going slightly crazy for some of the pacier numbers such as Drowsy Maggie & Dan’s House. I’m just impressed with myself I’ve managed to make a gig at this place, all the better for it being an intimate band like Willowen.

Hiproute @ Cellar BarOn to catch the last of Hiproute‘s set at the Cellar Bar, they are doing some blues, appearing under the UK Roots Movement moniker, as per normal for the last Friday of the month in this place. The slide guitar work is fairly dominant, with large bass riffs leading over the top occasionally, both being underpinned by solid steady drums. This is definitely more funk than blues for the most part, especially as they break out the acoustic guitar and transport us on a jolly journey that definitely gets the foot tapping…

Oxjam Takeover 2011 Saturday 22 October

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Oxjam 2011 logoIt was at Oxjam last year that the idea was first asked of me (by the lads from much missed Bel Casino) to write up the gigs I go to, to help promote the bands I see and big up this amazing music scene.

Now one year on, this blog has grown its own shape, and the Oxjam takeover is bigger and better than ever. Its all started for 2011 at On The Rocks, where the Grubnium DJs are starting things off, and 60 Million Postcards, where I’ve come down for an acoustic afternoon with Ness.

Si Genaro @ Oxjam - 60 million postcardsJohn Llewellyn is just finishing, Sofi Reed is just heading out having started things off, and Si Genaro takes to the stage. He’s playing some more laid back and contemplative numbers, perhaps as its an afternoon chill; Ness likes that he has a different style to many other artists. Si Genaro with Kimari Raven @ Oxjam - 60 million PostcardsAt the end he’s joined in a duet by Kimari Raven, and final song has MC Jon on stage with him.

Tim Somerfield @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsTim Somerfield takes Si’s place, again staying chilled at the start. Saying he’s chilled though, there’s a lot of fast left hand fretwork going on in conjunction with the chorded right hand. Tim picks up the pace and goes more upbeat toward the end, making more of the crowd that have turned up for him.

Chris Woodford @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsThe penultimate artist this afternoon is senor Woodford, just him and his 12 string guitar, playing it as brilliantly as ever, though he seems to only do a short set.

Krista Green @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsKrista Green dashes in, cold off the street having busked for a while, provides great musical entertainment, yet its time for us to leave, having been here for a few hours, Ness needs to get home and I prepare for the night to come…

Sofi Reed @ Oxjam - SpyreI start the night at The Spyre, where Sofi Reed is kicking things off for the evening, having also started it all earlier at 60 Million Postcards. There are a few lighting and power problems – as I walk in Sofi ends her first song with no PA, which she wittily and humourously blames on my walking in, in this intimate environment. She plays favourite Breathe, then Broken Windows. As she starts the latter, the room descends into darkness as everything trips out. She soldiers on totally alone, in the dark, and still sounds fantastic!

MC Pat Page with County Hospital
Ed Pope back in Bournemouth

County Hospital @ Oxjam - WinchesterOn to The Winchester, where County Hospital are in full swing. They play their first song they ever played here in the Winch at their first gig, Mystery Shopper. The enigmatic Ed Pope is back in town, giving it large on the drums, its also great seeing Tim so relaxed and enjoying himself at this first County Hospital gig in town for a while. Luke on bass seems just one big grin. Pat Page joins them for one song as a guest MC, something different again, while Tim mucks about on an iPad. Slipping into their closer, Clare joins the stage to add some vocal changes to what has possibly been the best and most intense performance I’ve seen them give, ever.

Not Made In China @ Oxjam - Smokin AcesThe happiest band in Bournemouth, probably (Not Made In China) are in Smokin Aces starting off the nights festivities. DJ Trev from the Blind Pig Hot Swing Floor Show is hosting this evening. Not Made In China start as they mean to go on, straight into an African style guitar led swing / calypso. Trevor Hill introduces Not Made In China @ Oxjam - Smokin AcesThey also have some great harmonies going on.

Martin Roberts - Safari Park @ Oxjam - WinchesterBack to The Winchester and Safari Park (yet another band the irrepressible Martin Roberts has formed) have replaced Powdered Cows on the bill. I’ve not heard this 3 piece before, all three sing, Martin is on bass with this one. They are playing eminently accessible music, tuneful and enjoyable, not at all the quirky yet fun material I was expecting from knowing the other acts Martin is behind.

Trac Pawley introduces Mischa @ Oxjam - SpyreOn again to The Spyre. Trac Pawley of Language, Timothy! is hosting the Spyre, with The Chairman providing musical interludes. Masters Of None (Chris Woodford and Jeven) are halfway through their set, making good magic on their dual guitars. Masters Of None @ Oxjam - SpyreIts all instrumental, which makes it all the more special, especially since Chris takes it on himself to barrack some of the audience (well, Mischa and myself) in this great venue. 

Mischa @ Oxjam - SpyreMischa is on next, he’s lost his Merry Men this time and is performing solo, however he’s promised a few changes to his set as a result. He starts strong, announcing a feed line I gave him regarding DMA (billed as soloist and came with a band) whereas now he’s billed with band and is himself. Nice when people take what you say and reuse it ! Back to the music, as expected he’s animated and energretic, even though he’s come back from Devon, just for this gig. The Bands That Saved My Life is a song I don’t think I’ve heard before, though I must have done, full of angst yet still upbeat and happy. Love it.

Spiders @ Oxjam - WinchesterSpiders are another new band to me, they are playing good solid rock pop when I walk in to The Winchester. Strong drums and bass work with guitar riffing over the top. These guys then grab Ed Pope for his sax skills and they break into a form of jazz funk number for his appearance. The two guitarists are sharing vocals across songs since both have decent voices. We also have some dance moves being busted at the front of the crowd, good stuff.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.230707500316938.61483.100001330690156&type=3#!/photo.php?fbid=234519013269120&set=a.230707500316938.61483.100001330690156&type=3&theaterI catch the last 3 songs of Empire Affair‘s set at Champions. I’m personally pleased to see a largish crowd here too. The lads are giving it large and loud, I’m pleased I made the detour to visit. Neil is doing just about everything he can to inject energy and verve into the performance, which the others resolve with their pumping tunes.

Mutant Vinyl front line @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsI arrive at 60 Million Postcards in time for Mutant Vinyl‘s set, just missing the ends of both Kentucky Fight Club at Smokin Aces, and Dirty Jerkers here at 60 Million Postcards. Mutant Vinyl announce this as their reunion, and its a bit different than their last gig in town, full 6 piece plus roadie Mitch. They are funking around with the rhythms something amazing, Mutant Vinyl back line @ Oxjam - 60 Million Postcardswith Ed’s lyrical eloquence interspersed with little sax solos in the opening number. All this while being able to hear “f… all” through the monitors (as he puts it). As expected there’s a full crowd here all in anticipation of the return, covering the full length of the long bar at the start, and quite reaching to the door by the middle of the set. Crowd to the doors @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsAt the end Acid Honey is inevitably thrown in, however totally remixed live and thrown around, both pumped up, then taken to a chilled out vibe, as Pat takes to the stage briefly to MC some stuff. The band carry on building a crescendo from chilled to full on crashing rock chords at the end, to immense applause and cheers. Mutant Vinyl are back (for this one night only, at least)!Mutant Vinyl Sax break @ Oxjam - 60 Million Postcards

Peace, Love & Gloves @ Oxjam - On The RocksOn The Rocks has Peace, Love and Gloves doing their rock thing to their usual huge crowd of people, all jumping around to the incessant beats. They also feature MCs doing bits and pieces of the vocal line, turning an otherwise three piece into five. Having heard a very early demo tape, almost acoustic in nature, I’m impressed with their live set, and the huge energy they produce from stage, send into the rowd, thhen feed off to push for a better gig and show

Michael Wookey @ Oxjam - SpyreI started the evening at The Spyre, and end here (well, almost), right at the very end of Michael Wookey‘s set, and manage to hear his encore, which is a simple number on onmichord and vocal synthsizer. He’s also shirtless when I walk in, I hear afterwards it was as intense a performance as an artist can offer; right on the boundaries of music and fine art, and is loved all the more as a result.

DO(MI) @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsJet down to catch the last last act – Disco’s Out (Murders In) at 60 Million Postcards again (running a little late). Like so many of the acts tonight, they are really going for it and giving out one of their best sets ever. The usual unusual costumes are evident; they end in grand style, with Martin ending up on the drum kit hiding in the ceiling… DO(MI) finale @ Oxjam - 60 Million PostcardsA great party end to a great party night, with DJs on after to continue into the small hours.

I head on to Smokin Aces just to see what’s happening, and really enjoy the set played by DJ L33R0y, though I can only stand the pace until 2am or so, having been out for nearly 12 hours!

In all, 6 venues, 8 comperes/DJs, 17 bands and artists all crammed into 1 day/evening … How cool and together is this music scene in Bournemouth?!?  – please remember the Oxjam Bournemouth CD is available on bandcamp – 22 tracks for £5.

Party Night – Fri 14 Oct

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The Goodfoot Band @ 1812 14 OctI start the evening well with a close friend’s 30th; Georgie Porgies do a good spread of food at their eat all you can buffet. Then on to 1812 where The Goodfoot Band are strutting their funk thing. I love what these guys do so much, yes its covers in the main, but they make a party go with a lick and are great for this bar, where we’re all up for a bit of jiggin’ & jostlin’. Vicky has the most amazing voice, that barely needs amplification (as best shown last night). In this environment she excels, as do the rest of the band.

Disco's Out (Murder's In) @ Cellar Bar 14 OctThe Goodfoot finish their first set, so I scoot over to see one of my favourite bands, Disco’s Out (Murder’s In) at the Cellar Bar.  It’s also Si Crockett’s last ever last night – him and his best mate Jon Pearson are off to Thailand tomorrow.  So there’s a lot of happy sadness going on, with the party band of all party bands.  Having said that, DO(MI) are deficient in numbers tonight, Lyndsey and Imogen aren’t around (Lyndsey had to push off after their first half).  The lads still put on the fantastic show they always do, with loads of jumping around going on, both off stage and on it.

The party continues after the (very late) gig finish, since it’s all our last chance to pass on bon voyage wishes to the travellers.  I just have to take my leave by about 1am, since I have a 5am train to catch the next day for a busy London weekend.  Party pooper!

Disco’s Out (Murder’s In) Cellar Bar

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DO(MI) Cellar BarVery short post about tonight’s Friday night gig.

Disco’s Out (Murder’s In) are playing the Cellar Bar, as an EP launch party. The EP is The Slightly Less Basic But Not Quite Advanced Principles of Disco’s Out (Murder’s In), the band ran a facebook competition to name it, which I won! My choice from the name came from their criteria, the first EP was The Basic Principles of …, and the next EP had to fit that convention.  Funnily enough, of all the names put forward, mine was the most complex, but was also the one they preferred the ring of, despite the complexity.

Enought for now, on to the gig, admittedly I’ve talked loads before about their sound, big horns based (2 trumpets, cornet, tenor sax) over a rock 3 piece. Tonight Beefcakes And Lime has been dusted off and given a welcome airing, as recognised by vocal fans such as Mischa.

DO(MI) 2nd EP coverThey’ve been working hard for hard for this gig, I gate crashed their rehearsal 2 days ago. Tonight is extra special for me since they award me with my EP naming competition prize of T-shirt, EP album and other memorabilia, most of which I wear for the remainder of the gig, fitting in with other hardcore and noisy fans such as Si Crockett, Geoff (Lively) and Lucy Davis. I’ve also been given one of only two credits on the EP, and Steve makes a very generous statement about me at the time of my award.

A great Friday night out.

There, I said the post was short – the night itself was long – I left at I think after 2am and the party was still going on!

Shows & Gigs!

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LiveWire Live logoHad a marathon run on HopeFm tonight – I was asked at lunchtime to cover Drive Home for Em, the show immediately before LiveWire Live. No photos for this blog either, apologies in advance.

Started on my own, as Em’s co-presenters Lizzie and Grant made it in later and the three of us did the two hours together – a lot of fun, including the challenge of having to read the travel while having my head massaged with one of those egg whisk style head-massagers.

Halfway through the latter hour Radio Boscombe join in (or should that be gatecrash) as they are the main guests for LiveWire Live. Grant leaves, Geoff and Andy join us to promote the Oxjam Fundraising launch gig this weekend at Chaplins & Cellar Bar, and Lizzie leaves.

Julian joins us to promote the Sunday evening Petra gig hosted by Wessex Christian Centre, before Radio Boscombe are finally given the air waves. The New Forest Pit Ponies also join us, for better but mostly for worse. They have a bust up on air, and Nicola (bass) storms out, and doesn’t return.

We recover by playing a song, the other two Ponies leave, and Radio Boscombe introduce Tory Marginal to us again, the MP for Bournemouth South (his mythical constituency includes the two piers and the sea between them).

The show finishes, and for once I don’t need to be at O’Neills, so I take the chance to gate crash Disco’s Out (Murder’s In) rehearsing, to thank them for their competition they ran, and to talk costumes for an upcoming gig.

Chaplins Open MicThen to Chaplins and the Cellar Bar, where Fiona Fox is hanging out downstairs with Bex Grant. A bit of chat with them, then upstairs to Andy Stock’s open mic. I’m very surprised to see Lou Brown, she’s just hanging out with Lisa McQuillan so have a chance for a catch up as we’ve not seen each other for a while. That’s what I love about Chaplins, one never knows who’s going to be just hanging out from the local scene, and it’s a great venue to have a chat and a muck about in.

Playing tonight are one song from Lucy Davies and her student Sarah, Spencer on ukelele, then Bex joins us with a bassist. He does a solo piece, very much in the style of Chris Woodford, taps and two handed finger picking, which goes down well. By this point it’s long past time for me to leave, so I do, missing Graham ‘Basic Blues’ Jones and Andy himself.

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