Forbidden Planet’s Halloween

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Bit of a special Solid Air tonight, for halloween many are in costume of varying sorts and we have an unusual bill. We also have the usual forbidden planet visuals; the films on-screen behind the musicians are all dark and sinister.

Antonia Edgeley-Long @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctAntonia Edgeley-Long opens, for what is her farewell gig before she goes travelling. She’s playing sweet acoustic picked chords and her voice is very exposed over the top, makes for a lovely vibe, and is in real contrast to the blackness of the night and the atmosphere set by the films and us dressed and decorated peeps. Antonia Edgeley-Long with Alex 'Honest' Taylor @ forbidden Planet, 31 OctAlex “Honest” Taylor joins her for her ending, which includes Boris Pickett’s Monster Mash.

A spooky Language, Timothy! @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctLanguage, Timothy! never fail to surprise; tonight they open with a pleasing rendition of Suicide Is Painless, the M*A*S*H theme. We then have a music box intro, before Mrs P reads a sinister ghost story from a girls annual, while The Chairman overlays this with awkward synth discords and samples of girls laughing evilly, all very effective, and scarily told. Language, Timothy! @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctWe next have a rendition of my fave classic Ghost In The Machine, not heard this performed live for a while, melded into samples from The Omen. Next a spooky story from The Chairman to wound music box accompaniment followed by their ending, a tribute to Jimmy Saville, who would have been 85 today, the lament Jonny Has Gone For A Soldier

The Worry Dolls @ Forbidden Planet 31 OctThe Worry Dolls close the evening, in half acoustic mode – a laid back end to the evening, despite the large numbers of intruments involved – guitars, ukelele, bass, violin; keys & drums in the background. They have chosen sombre songs for the set tonight, still excellently arranged and orchestrated, they take a particular slant to cover Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, choosing a modal form to present it to us. Towards the end of the set they throw in some of their more lively tunes, the sort of stuff one can jig along to. Good enjoyment and contrast to the evening.

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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.

6 Sep Houshka

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Language, Timothy! kit 2 @ Houshka 6 SepLanguage, Timothy! kit 1 @ Houshka 6 SepLanguage, Timothy! let me know about this, the 9th Houshka, since they are curating and opening this interesting acoustic night. They have created their own soundtrack to the film Le Ballon Rouge and perform it live, all 20 minutes worth or so.

There have been lots of studies on emotion and feeling as created by film scores, so having an alternative, that also fits so well is unusual and special. As expected with Language, Timothy! there is the normal array of now rare and exotic electronic instruments, coupled with xylophone and sampling sequencer, a few of which are captured in the snaps.

SUSBUS @ Houshka 6 SepS.U.S.B.U.S (Southern Ukelele Store Bournemouth Ukelele Social) make an acoustic ensemble of 6 ukeleles, playing well known songs (Bad Moon Rising, Daisy, Delilah etc) and creating a lot of fun in the process. There are forty of them or so that meet in the Portman Boscombe on the last Tuesday of the month, this is a select few of that number.

The Spectral Mirror @ Houshka 6 SepThe Spectral Mirror close this varied night. As our compere puts it, it’s been the most number of intruments ever (thanks to Language, Timothy!’s array) and the most ever number of musicians (thanks to S.U.S.B.U.S ). Spectral Mirror are electric guitar and old school Rhodes organ/keyboard, playing with a video backdrop of the first half of Koyaanisqatsi (Unbalanced World) – wide angle shots of monument valley, empty endless landscapes (and the like) – to create a rather atmospheric tone, lots of space in the music, a contrast to that which has gone before.

Language, Timothy! on Forbidden Planet

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Add a descriptionNot an obscure reference to the wording of the blog, but a quiet evening at Solid Air’s Forbidden Planet, with this arcane and experimental duo. Thee Chairman and Mrs P have an ornate and varied range of mainly electronic instruments, rarities from the 80’s, and they use these in incredibly creative ways to provide entertainment, interspersed with samples taken from all sorts of sources – Mary Poppins, government safety warnings, Willy Wonka and other esoterica.

What I like about them is just the very seriousness of their performance, while fielding the most wild and weird musical creations. Sometimes accompanied by guitar, some times sung (good voices), more often tone poem like, the lyrics always tell a story, and are important to catch.

I’m heavily biased of course – these guys were one of the first to be introduced to me and the show by Conrad, and they’ve become good friends since, even though they’ve not been gigging for a while. They did a little turn at my birthday garden party, and had written some dedicated songs about it and me for that set. Included then, as now, is What I Sing, very catchy – A minor, C, G minor, D 🙂  This is available on their only album, Spring Corner, which is worth catching a copy of if you can.