Oxjam Jets & Jammin’ Evening Session

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Oxjam event posterGehko make Gehko@Oxjam jets & jammina delayed start following line up order changes to the gig tonight. Cool acoustic guitar with industrial leanings on the effects, as the bass riff kicks off what becomes a chirpy song. The next songs in the set create this vein of happy tunes with doubled up vocals.  Gehko have been around in this four piece guise for about a year now, their prior experience shows in the way the set hangs together, even with drum kit and PA hassles which caused the initial delay. They’ve been recording a debut CD engineered by Tom Clements, announced tonight not yet available.

Andy Stock continuesAndy Stock@Oxjam jets & jammin the paced style with his over sung acoustic style – he’s struggling off stage with bruised ribs and the like, yet there’s no sign of this from his set, giving it all with his voice as ever, with a mixture of own material and others’ covers all telling stories in song about gig life and home life.

I’veJack Grace Band@Oxjam jets & jammin not heard The Jack Grace Band since their DMA semi final appearance back in March. Tonight, in a slightly different guise, and more percussive than full on drums, its a very dreamy and laid back set, evocative of this Bournemouth surf and beach induced sound that’s being nurtured by so many bands here now. A friend of mine has tagged along with me this evening, they are most impressed with Jack’s band’s performance

Half Hour Hotel @Oxjam jets & jamminI’ve been waiting perhaps a couple of years to hear Half Hour Hotel in a previous guise of theirs, Lostaura, and I’m pleased to say the wait has been worth it. They are playing acoustically tonight, like the latter two acts, even so tech difficulties pervade their setup, causing yet more delays. Its a shame as various tech issues have invaded the whole evening causing delays to each act leading to dramatically shortened sets.  While Half Hour Hotel might hail from Brighton now, they were originally from Bournemouth, moving for a perceived livelier scene. This is most definitely Bournemouth’s loss; the vibe they have in this acoustic guise is fantastic, two guitars and an acoustic bass with cajon, rather than an electric bass as sometimes found with acoustic acts of this nature. Its all great and I’m disappointed when their shortened set has to come to an end

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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.

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.

LiveWire Live & Open Mic

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It was a show night, having had a band booked who were subsequently unable to come in, and having had such a fantastic weeked of Oxjam, decided to turn the show into a retrospective.  Having said that, still managed to fill the live music time with Andy Stock, who joined me in the studio.

Andy is real passionate about the music scene – he runs an Open Mic at Chaplins on a Wednesday (which he delayed for me to make this appearance tonight), plays in Hollowood and formerly Burning Shepherd and has made the occasional solo piece.  He was very much behind the scenes at Bournemouth Oxjam takeover; involved in the 6 month run up, then not being available on the weekend. Andy also arranges benefit gigs at Chaplins & The Cellar Bar – one’s coming up in a couple of weeks time (6 November)

Chaplins Banner
Chaplins Banner

After the show, which as usual seemed to be packed with music, chat and phone-ins (thanks to many of the Bournemouth Oxjam takeover promoters & organisers) I popped along to Andy’s open mic night, to find (surprise surprise) him opening up the night (once it was set up – late – thanks to me!). 

After Andy, Mischa (who had just stopped by briefly to say hello) was coerced into one performance (brilliant as ever, though he was on a borrowed guitar, and not “in his zone”).

After a short break, Howard Tucker got up and did a turn.  This was his debut performance in Bournemouth, having moved here 5 months before.  Hope to hear more of him, good solid work, and not much sign of the nerves. He commented that he didn’t yet know many people on the scene – at least he’d found the best bar to bump into many muso people…

Howard was followed by Graham Jones, with his inimitable guitar style and stomping blues.  Graham has a good voice, and is very generous within the community. I just find his manner of playing and shouting repetitive after the first two songs, which is a shame as he is good, it’s just me I guess…

Hans Slack was up next, the crowd really got along with his tunes. He finished with his cover of Sex On Fire, which I have heard a few times now. I think (about to annoy other acoustic artists here) that Hans’ rendition was one of the best ones I’ve come across, even with a slip up here and there.

Last act of the night was Chris Woodford.  I use a rendition of Chris’ Best Foot Forwards as the backing music for my show nowadays, his pieces (while they have names) are all instrumental, plucked slapped and strummed on a 12 string. 

As a closer, Andy Stock again took to the mic with a dedication to me – a cover of Alex Roberts’ Shoot The Breeze (we’d been talking about this song on the show). A nice rendition, if a mournful song (Alex’ version can be purchased from his website to raise funds for the Big Issue, and the story behind the song is posted there.

An open mic night for me isn’t only about the music – a lot of friends are there, Fiona Fox being one. Normally she’d be playing in a slot, however she wasn’t feeling up to it this night, shame. Also had a chance to catch up with David, the new chef in Chaplins – he’s with Harry for the long haul, trying to make a go of the cafe bar opportunity during the daytime with interesting menus, and reasonable prices, in the laid back atmosphere that Chaplins offers. 

Spent a lot of time with Harry, the owner of the bar – he’s making changes continually – the latest one being a replacement shelter over some of the back garden, and making good the existing fountains and waterfalls around the fishpond.  He has a strong vision for what he wants to see come of Boscombe, with the uprating of the seafront and redevelopment of the area in general, and a welcoming cafe bar is part of that redevelopment.