Ladies Night

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Annie Winter with band @ Chaplins, 15 MayAnnie Winter is playing Chaplins tonight, accompanied by Andy (percussion) and Zak (guitar, associate in from White Collar Boxing). As I’m my usual late getting out its near her set end; Annie invites Jemma to join them for an encore rendition of Monkey Man. Again Annie’s voice is striking, blended with the others in this impromptu band (she’s normally with Andy on full kit in her band) makes for a great sound, Jemma takes a strong lead and tries to get lively things going in the audience, with some small success.

Krista Green @ Chaplins, 15 MayKrista Green starts with a fave of mine from her recent material, Cherry Pie. Going by the rapturous applause as she ends its not only my favourite. Krista then starts with opener Move Along In My Own Time from her current album Moments With The Universe. Between these two songs alone there is quite a of contrast in vocal and playing styles, chirpy dropped vowels style with percussive guitar, to smoothed out long words and slow stroked chords to suit. Newer song More To Life Than This is more guitar based, however the vocals as ever with Krista are clear and well pronounced, no hesitation picking out the witticisms here. After a similarly glorious set, she finishes with her delightful oldie now entitled What A Shame What A Shame. Great.

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HopeFM & Tripp In

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Snow Wolf (Jemma and Annie) are Solid Air Conrad‘s guests tonight on the show. They are a lot of fun, even though I thought I was taking a risk having them on, thanks to their sometimes crude or obscene comments on facebook or on stage. The ladies are on best behaviour, making the show a joy rather than a chore. They play 6 or so songs live, and have prepared at least that many again to include that we don’t get time for. We also receive perhaps a dozen messages, and a phone call from Gibraltar.

We feature a phone in with Neil King the man behind Fatea magazine, regarding the Fatea awards 2011, which were announced a week or so ago. We also mention the Fatea Showcases, the next 3 month installment being available from 1 February, featuring a lot of artists local to Bournemouth in this nationwide trawl of the best folk / acoustic artists.

After the show I head out to the Thomas Tripp to see and hear Hannah Robinson. Its only as I’m reminded by the chaps there that they’ve not seen me for a while, that I realise the last time I saw Hannah do a solo set was at the Jackie Leven & Pete Christie gig, at the back end of 2010. Its shocking how time flies, and how a year can pass so quickly without noticing who I hadn’t seen. On to the gig, she is playing mainly her own material with just a few covers thrown in. The pub is populated without being crowded, and many are appreciative of her songs, acknowledging she’s there by providing applause appropriately.

As the crowd thins throughout the evening, so do does the attention unfortunately. Hannah soldiers on through just being the best she can be. Its her first gig at the Tripp as a soloist, so she’s pleased to have a “thanks you were very good” from the bar staff. And she gets my vote of thanks too, I just can’t believe I’ve left it over 12 months to get my Hannah fix 🙂

Apologies for the lack of photos – forgot to take a studio pic, and the lighting was too poor in the Tripp for the blackberry to capture Hannah effectively…

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.

Pink Moon’s Third Birthday

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As the title suggests, 3 years ago Solid Air started their acoustic night called Pink Moon on alternate Tuesdays in Chaplins and latterly, the Cellar Bar.

Jemma & Annie Pink Moon 3Tonight we’ve had Parallel Universe, Solid Air Conrad’s alter ego with Si Genaro (who only tend to show for significant Solid Air events), Jemma Davies solo, later joined by Annie Winter for some duets before Annie solos, new band Casini Division then old hands Mother Ukers.

Jemma then Annie are on as I enter, they do some guitar and vocal swapping, they’ve brought a vocal crowd with them. There is quite a crowd here overall, band supporters, and moreover Solid Air supporters – those who enjoy experimental and acoustic music

Casini Division Pink Moon 3Casini Division start out looking very nervous – eyes shut, turning away from the crowd. What the nerves don’t mask is the latent talent that they have. Vocalist Lizzie has a good voice, there are some interesting effect generations, and usable backing tracks. In all they foretell promise of good high energy things to come in the future as they develop their direction . They also have a sizable, vocal crowd, always positive on a Tuesday night. I find out afterwards they had EP’s available, they’ve all gone by the time I speak to them, so no chance to play them on the show…

Mother Ukers Pink Moon 3Mother Ukers are allocated the graveyard slot, and sadly some of their audience have already had to leave. For the uninitiated (like I was) Ukers is pronounced you-curs (as in ukeleles). They start with Firestarter (Prodigy), then into 20th Century Boy (T-Rex) like no other versions I’ve heard – I also didn’t realise there were a variety of ukeleles, having missed the ukelele orchestra when they’ve gigged in town, the additions being a bass and a tenor ukelele.

They carry on throwing all types and genres of music at us, Lucifer’s Blues, Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon), Bowie (Space Oddity), The Cure (Love Cats), Happy Mondays (Step On), polished off with a Beatles medley.

All done in differing styles, not simply induced due to the nature of the instruments (well, except Love Cats – nothing can disguise that bass line).  There are also lots of interjections and self-mickey takes – “three big blokes with small instruments” and similar comments. All in all an enjoyable (if late) evening – Happy 3rd Birthday Pink Moon.

A Frenetic Pink Moon

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Phil. J King is just starting when I arrive – I spoke at length about him a few gigs back – suffice to say this time I get to hear my favourite track of his, Life’s Rich Tapestry – loaned guitar and all (broke a string in the first song – big thanks to opener David Brown for being generous) .

Iridescent Lightbulb and Pointless Graffiti also please this critic, well written, and offering different musical perspectives between them. Each of these are available on Phil’s 2009 EP Life’s Rich Tapestry, available from Phil at gigs, or by messaging him.

Next up Annie Winter and Jemma Davies; they’ve picked novelty name Constable for this gig, starting by a debut of a track penned last night, fresh indeed. Annie plays, Jemma sings. They’re very giggly and a lot of fun, not taking themselves at all seriously, even though the song topics feature strong issues such that the giggles and crude comments are a bit of a distraction.

It’s also interesting to hear their alternating voices as Annie solos the second song; Annie much like a deep Stevie Nicks, Jemma more of an Amy Winehouse. It takes until the fourth song for them to sing an arrangement together, Jemma harmonising in the chorus of a song predominantly Annie’s. They switch the guitar over for one song, Jemma’s turn to be doing the solo, before handing back Annie’s musical dominance.

Next up an amalgam of Quinns Quinney and Jack Ratts. The instrument mix is something else – bouzouki, washboard, fiddle, acoustic guitar, two banjos and a bass guitar!

With this mix it’s no wonder they launch straight into frenetically pacey bluegrass – Cripplecreek up first. Eventually the vocals catch up with the music volume-wise, with 9 things going on all at once there’s a lot to keep ones ears occupied..

Jack Ratts feature one of the fastest pickers as noted by Andy Stock in bouzouki player Andy. He’s also calling many of the shots for this jam session – they’ve not played together before so everything is one big experiment, which works (for the most part, broken strings excepted). What I find vaguely amusing is my mate, Hawkeye, is up with the second banjo, however a string break causes him to miss out on a few songs, then he can never get back into it (so he comments after). Hawkeye is a professional troubadour, particularly playing in Denmark – shows that even pro’s can get thrown with this sort of playing.

Chris Woodford closes the evening on the nightshift, however I’m leaving before pumpkin time.

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 http://www.ted.com/ (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…