Hoedown & Partytime

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Bert Burnell Radio Rules band @ Inferno 29 SeptAfter an interesting and thought provoking evening with the lads from GodFirst Manthing, watching the awesome movie Touching The Void, I head on to the Inferno. A band I will refer to as the Bert Burnell Radio Rules band (BBRR band) are in full voice, reggae-ing up the weekend. Trying to be deliberately skiffle-ish with beer kegs, what looks like a zimmer frame and plastic tubs making up a kit of banging things, they want to be rubbish; some in this crowd love it, many look bemused as in what is going on here? Interesting electric string bass, ukelele, and guitars make for a conventional look, the outlandish clothes (Arthur Dent dressing gown, Mad Hatter hat) cross against this. One catchy song going down well could be subtitled Give Your Child A Rude Word For Christmas, it won’t be repeated here.

Kentucky Fight Club @ Inferno 29 SeptKFC, or Kentucky Fight Club to give them their full title, are on in full effect. Harry & Ski in matching frontman outfits, both prancing around to the nutty tunes they’re kicking out and making very merry with the songs and the crowd. Absolutely furiously fast, music to stand on benches and tables to get your thang on to, which some do in the bar. What I like best is that three unconventional instruments together (mandolin, bass and manic drums) can work so well together while still whooping up the joint. A few covers made their own way like Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night, Paradise City (dedicated to Boscombe) and a few other mixed up riffs in the original material (She Sells Sanctuary, Run To The Hills). All making for a great hoedown.

Admiral Shineysides @ Cellar Bar 29 SeptFinally to the Cellar Bar, where the full band line up of The Admiral Shineysides (albeit with stand in drummer) are ending their lengthy set playing some break beat blues. First time I’ve seen them in full effect; I can see why they’re a hit such that I’ve many good things about them, even if most is covers and tributes to Johnny Cash. They’re starting to write their own material; an encore tonight is one of these. Good stuff, and the party continues long into the night. Antonia Edgeley-Long is here; long time part of the Bournemouth music scene now in Cornwall, its great briefly catching up with her.

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Oxjam Bournemouth 2012 Launch Day

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Oxjam Bournemouth 2012 launch day flyer

Piper @ John's 40th bday CeileighToday is a big day for all fans of live music in the Bournemouth & Poole area – the launch day of Oxjam Bournemouth 2012.  And I’m away at a family live-band-run Ceileigh in Oxfordshire (Happy Birthday John) – piper included!  We leave to get back at a reasonable time, means there is long enough left of the night for me to reach Chaplins & the Cellar Bar to join most of final act Kentucky Fight Club’s set.

KFC @ Oxjam Launch, Cellar Bar 12 MayThey are a three piece tonight; I later learn that this is going to be KFC‘s normal mode for a while, drums, bass and mandolin only.  Even so the jumping on stage is enticing, the stomping on the ground encouraging, and the music’s good too, with KFC own-brand covers mixed in with their original material, all making a great end to what has been a fantastic day.

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 🙂

More Friday Parties – 28 Oct

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Empire Affair - Red LightAfter a select gathering of friends for a mates birthday, I continue my night out at my geographic local, The Athelstan. Empire Affair are there, I noticed when slipping in earlier in the month with mates for a drink. As is expected they are full on, taking up the stage area by the door.

They’re covering Flyaway when I walk in; move into their own material, as they promote their Red Light EP, then back to the covers for the crowd pleasers. All of it is musical, loads going on from all three guitaists, with Neil (vocals) in particularly shouty mood – small wonder, halfway through their newest song, he leaves the band to it and slips to the bar for a red bull!

Oxjam Crew & Ski @ Shindig, fri 28 octOn to the Winchester, and this months Shindig; dedicated as the Oxjam closing party, Tapioca are just finishing their set – good rockin blues. As they end host Ski Daddle gets the Oxjam crew onstage for a little thank you, before the rest of the Kentucky Fight Club join him for a final rock out and mosh.

KFC @ Shindig 28 October - thanks to Steve Biddle for the photoThere are solid rock drums and tricky mandolin parts to the pumped up numbers, even their slow-at-the-start song, Wild Wild West, featuring gentle soft key synths gets the KFC pumped up action – there’s a reason these guys call their event Shindig :). Thanks to Steve Biddle for the photo.

Ski Daddle close up @ shindig Fri 28 OctThe covers they throw in also get the KFC stomp around treatment, Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling is tricked up and fancy with the string tie effect, as is their take on Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills and the Cult’s She Sells Sanctuary. I’m exhausted by the time they finish, as seem most of the others in the crowd.  Totally made up for by the presentation of a bottle of bourbon from host & frontman Ski Daddle – goes down very well as I write this up!

Andy Grant Trio @ Cellar Bar fri 28 OctI hook up with friends Old Bloke and Mia (with others) and head off to Smokin’ Aces, where Disco’s Out (Murder’s In) are supposed to be playing ’til midnight.  However, they ain’t – they’ve been long packed up and gone by the time 11-ish comes round as we walk in.  Ho hum off to my true local the Cellar Bar for some fun and frolics…and the Andy Grant Trio are holding a late-finishing session :).  They look like they’re loving it, the crowd they have are loving it, and top tunes are emanating from the stage as a result – need to catch these guys live if you can, particularly when they pump it up for a venue like the Cellar Bar.

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.

Musicosity Old Firestation Upstairs Day 1 Friday

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Musicosity is a 3 day festival in the cente of town and on the beach, celebrating the best of original music in the area, with additional bands shipped in from elsewhere, Reef being the major name in this category.

Beckett @ Old Firestation 2 SepI’m in the upstairs section of the Old Fire Station, as I’m running one of the stages. Beckett are first up with their catchy tunes as ever, well played, and well received by the other bands present. I really enjoy seeing them as they’ve come such a long way from my first sight of them at an open mic ooh, 6/7 years ago?

Nudy Bronque @ Old Firestation 2 SepNudy Bronque (pr. New-di bronk) arrived later than they desired from Swindon after a series of van failures, yet still managed to provide a kicking show, full of enthusiasm and verve, lively tunes and just genuine good songs.

Kentucky Fight Club @ Old Firestation 2 SepKentucky Fight Club plug in and go with their amazing vigour, frantic mando with mad violin producing the usual folk / punk style of music, but with the usual added synth providing the difference between KFC and other well known bands in this camp. Finger kicking fun, loads of activity on and off stage.

Kiss Corona @ Old Firestation 2 SepNottingham based Kiss Corona are next up, they have some intricate programmed work, making their set perhaps the most polished of all. They are reminiscent of Fountains of Wayne (the Stacy’s Mom crowd), sounding much like that style while still being original with it

Last up is Boxes, no doubt named after the number of synths and bits and bobs they have – iPads, laptops etc, while still producing live music over the top with keys and guitar. Rhythmic and hypnotic all at the same time, enjoyable clever sounds.

After packing up, I make it to the Cellar Bar with just enough time to catch the fairwell gig for Roland as he leaves Mischa’s band. As ever fun, musical, random and amazingly lyrical. He’s also throwing a few covers in for good measure. One surprise is a song by Roland, on guitar (not uke or cello) through a loop pedal. Mellow and a good singalong all combined.