Show & Darren Hodson

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The show tonight is a Radio Boscombe curated show being the first Wednesday of the month. Started by Chinners and the Radio Boscombe chaps, carrying on the illusion that I’ve been away stirring up insurgencies and Cornish revolutions until I burst in during the second chat segment. The reality is I’ve had to miss a couple of shows due to being away on diving holiday in Egypt, which was fantastic thanks for asking, and has given me the break I didn’t manage to have over the Christmas period!

Jasmine Newsome-Stone is our musical guest invited along by Radio Boscombe, she plays some amazing solo songs, just her and her guitar. Sam Hutchinson has also joined us; he’s running a new feature A Little Bit Racey in a couple of shows time so is here sussing out the lie of the land. Lots of improvisation and laughter ensue amongst the live and canned music.

Darren Hodson @ Lord Nelson, 6 Feb 2013

Darren Hodson is on at The Lord Nelson; Chinners joins me to hear him after the show as we have some catching up to do after my time away. Darren plays covers to start, and slips in some of his own material during his second set. Shame the pub is quiet for this impressive troubador, we have a great time together.

Radio Boscombe Show & O Neills

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Radio Boscombe join us tonight, with Barry The Hedgehog, who has brought Betty The Hedgehog along with him. We’re still not sure if that’s for moral support or a secure escort as Barry has been expelled from rehab again. Any way, much merriment ensues with topics ranging from Oxjam to Cornish steam engine history, almost running Murray Walker over and emigrating to Spain.

Connor Heather @ O'Neills 7 NovemberO’Neills next, Connor Heather is giving us some tunage, Wonderwall and Space Oddity, with a couple of his own songs in there. Connor is available for weddings and parties, and he’s come on a long way since I first saw him, providing a gig experience at the 2011 Dorset Music Awards.

Sofi Reed @ O'Neills 7 NovemberOur next act, Sofi Reed, has gone viral on youtube with the song Pattern she includes second in her set. She shows off her fabulous voice while playing tricksy chords, and covers Michael Jackson while injecting her own style into The Way You Make Me Feel. Really enjoyable.

Kimari Raven @ O'Neills 7 NovemberNext we have Kimari Raven, with her own brand of quirky chords providing foot tapping songs. A stylistic trick she uses is to change modes during a song, making it sound like a key change, while letting her vocal rise over the top. Again, good music heard well.

Sonic Pete (Pete Clark) @ O'Neills 7 NovemberOur last act tonight is Sonic Pete, immediately he makes an impression with the clear picking on the chords, a rich, resonant strong in the middle, which almost gets lost in mush when he breaks into full strums, but only almost. Vocals are good, not overpowering while strong enough to match the chordwork. Worth catching again, though Pete seems to play a lot of open mics rather than regularly advertised gigs.

Show & packed studio

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Radio BoscombeHope FM LiveWire LiveTonight its the turn of the comedians of Radio Boscombe to bring our entertainment to our radio audience on Hope FM’s LiveWire Live.  Radio Boscombe have been a little bit sparse of late with other activities going on, they are all together this time though.  To start with Theresa Smith from Silent Prophecy, Ash Moulton from Voodoo Vegas, and Anne Lydon from Anne Lydon join us all; the usual Radio Boscombe pairing of Gary and George, with Chinners and myself.

Radio Boscombe in full effect @ HopeFM 3 OctStarting with Silent Prophecy‘s latest single, Anne recites some poetry; this becomes a reference for the rest of the show chit-chat.  Something so amazing I can’t help but comment – Anne and Theresa‘s smiles are wide and full and they both use them a lot. We also have some really comical moments come from asking Ash about the forthcoming Voodoo Vegas album – he can’t /won’t tell us what its called, what the artwork looks like, when it will be released, or when and where the launch gigs will be…

Bon Viveur Barry The Hedgehog hibernating @ HopeFM 3 OctThe opening gang unfortunately have to depart early (and I forget to grab a snapshot); third Radio Boscombe member Laura joins us, along with a rather inebriated Barry the Hedgehog, who’s allegedly been involved of a high-jack of a Jack Daniels tanker (other bourbons are available). Barry The Hedghog not hibernating - CPR required! Barry slips into hibernation, which turns into a drink-induced coma, causing some diversion!

Finally Mr Tory Marginal (MP for Bournemouth South – the two piers of Boscombe and Bournemouth) joins us, to complain about the Pier theatre being demolished.  When drawn that Oxjam have helped with the reprieve in using it for their takeover, he then kicks off about all this Rock music, and fans ripping up furniture; he rants on so much we blow him up with one of the seats that has been rigged with explosives.  George takes exception to this as we fade the show out to music…

Show & Chaplins Party

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Radio Boscombe with Olly the work experience guy @ HopeFM studio, 2 MayHad a fun show with a shakily starting Radio Boscombe and Olly (HopeFM’s latest work experience student who elected to stick around for LiveWire Live). The shaky start was thanks to Radio Boscombe‘s special guest not being able to make it due to illness, and one third being away, the other being en route as usual, leaving Gary to perform on his own, which he does admirably. Laura joins us later as usual and entertains with her usual life stories, this time she also includes a guitar and plays and sings a couple of her own songs, a good surprise!

Alex Cope with "Bongo" Mike @ Chaplins, 2 MayOn to Chaplins, where we’re full upstairs with one very raucous birthday party (happy birthday Sophie), while a wake continues elsewhere in the garden and balcony, with hot air balloons and all. Alex is being the Admiral tonight, Elliot the Shineyside being snowed up with Uni work. Mike joins Alex on bongos to make a small ensemble.

Paul Kelly @ Chaplins, 2 MayPaul Kelly is on next, with a digital piano that is set up in seconds, amp and all. He starts with a dedication to the memory of Levon Helm (of The Band fame), take a Load Off Annie, he has a really active jazz/ honky tonk style, working really weel on the decent keyboard. Paul slickly slips between numbers and sections, with a few interlude stories intertwined around why he’s playing the songs he’s chosen.

Neil follows with pretty standard guitar chords, yet a pretty good voice. Always gonna be hard to impress me following a decent keyboard player, like Neil has to now. He’s playing a mixture of ballads and up tempo numbers, and is a real crooner for the former.

Xander Allen & friends @ Chaplins, 2 MayXander Allen is up next, with a little combo of Selby, Dave and Julian They’re doing some rap and beat poetry, medleyed with various dance anthems that get everyone singing a long.

Tina @ Chaplins, 2 MayTina is my final vocalist before I leave, I miss the name of her guitarist, he’s some dude playing wicked Jazz guitar, while Tina belts out some Amy Winehouse, Marvin Gaye, and Duffy numbers.

Comedy, Sushi & Acoustic Music

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A relaxed moment after the show, with Radio Boscombe, 4 April.“So tonight, Radio Boscombe herald the triumphant release of presenter Tim from captivity, and are broadcasting from a secret location where he can’t be found.” So leads the start to tonight’s show, as the comedy troupe have soldiered on without my presence on the show for the last couple of months due to my being involved on a Wednesday night training course with the church.

Laura's Boot!

Their ruse has been that I’ve been called away for National service to support Cornwall Nationalists free pasties from the pasty tax, which seem to have worked to some extent as I had someone come up to me earlier and ask how Cornwall was as they’d heard I’d been away!. Good catch, Radio Boscombe.

We also feature appearances from Tory Marginal (MP for Bournemouth South) and the New Forest Pit Ponies, both of which end up in deliberate chaos and with members theatrically storming out in a huff. Halfway through the show Laura joins us as usual hot foot from her other committment. I say hot foot, that should be big foot – she’s bought new boots that have 4 inch soles with industrial springs inside them.

Tim Somerfield, 4 April @ O'NeillsSofi Reed, 4 April @ O NeillsAfter the show we relax and catch up in the sushi bar next door to the studios – I can recommend the barbecued eel dish they do – before heading our separate ways, and I reach O’Neills where Tim Somerfield is playing, followed by Sofi Reed. Both are engaging, good playing again, and honing song performances for BMTH Unplugged, which is in season at the moment.

Show & Open Mic

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Radio Boscombe & poets studio takeover @ HopeFMThe studio was full tonight, as Radio Boscombe are back to full strength (George has returned) and two poets Steve Biddle and Carrie Wild (Mothgirl) also joined us, prior to their appearances at tonight’s Freeway Poets.  As ever there’s a lot of ad lib banter, this time mainly revolving around George’s long absence (due to filming his role in 14 Girls Named Rebecca). Steve and Carrie perform a number of poems, some humourous, some dark, all impressively delivered live, we also feature music from Jouis’ EP (recorded in Steve’s studio) and Bad Magic (Steve favourites, playing Champions later in the week).  Afterwards I head off to the usual Wednesday Open Mic at Chaplins.

Shaun Gary Palmer @ ChaplinsAndy Stock opens before inviting Shaun Gary Palmer to make his debut. Good guitar work for his first choice of tune, and an amazing show of vocal performance for his last song; a Ben Howard cover in the middle, and a few elements of retuning required (his guitar – an Ibanez – is apparently notorious for it).

Admiral Shiny SidesAdmiral Shiny Sides take the spot next, playing some old country stuff, Johnny Cash and so forth. They’ve improved since I last heard them, getting tighter and less mucking about but still with some fun thrown in. Andy’s booked them to play the Cellar Bar this Friday, and at this point I take my leave.

Show, Open Mic & Tripp Out

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Radio Boscombe arranged their Christmas Special Show for listeners to HopeFM. Comprising the usual mix of original material performed live, canned material from prior shows, and classic material from other comedy groups they’ve been associated with there’s a good blend and balance, even if the ironic tribute to the Pearl Harbour 70th anniversary fell on some ears harshly (had a phoned complaint).

Aaron Gregory dropped in with some tunes and his new EP to promote a charity fundraiser he’s organising for Sparkles, providing a hydrotherapy pool for St Victorias school, Branksome, and much was made of some of the artists who are giving their time for free to play and hopefully swell the coffers.  Rock Regeneration reviewed the night.

On to the Chaplins open mic, where Chris Woodford sets a strong tone by opening with his usual harmonic symphonies. What I find amusing is he drifts from movement to movement, with breath pauses to allow a change in mood, mode and tempo, and those breaths are always thought of by some in the crowd as stops, hence a couple of claps soon falter.

David Mansell takes to the chairs. He’s another amazing guitarist, I’d normally have thought him more of the blues persuasion than other genres, unlike Chris he sings too. Tonight he’s sticking to gentle folk ballads, the archetypal story in a song. He’s playing with including some Jazz guitar expressions, I like that he throws in a gliss chord at the very end of a piece, slowing down the a big burst to signify “I’ve finished, cue your applause”. Dave’s big finish is a blues number, good 8 bar staple.

Madison Tar Heels are 3 Jack Ratts members under the watchful eye of Hawkeye. They kick off a bit of a stomping set with CrippleCreek, really fast banjo work, slap string bass and washboard making great taps. The lively nature of the music is catching, there are whoops and various Southron phrases thrown around from both the band and the audience. The music is all old time, 19th century Americana  (I did call this Bluegrass though I’m later informed this is called old-time, invented before bluegrass; its all in the picking action, aparently…) – Cluck Ole Hen, Turpentine and the like. Short, snappy and a lot of fun.  Its so much fun, that by the time I leave, I’m too late to catch Pete Christie at the Thomas Tripp tonight – the difference in bar closing times & travel between can be awkward sometimes…

Christie Wednesday

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Had an eventful show tonight – it normally is with Radio Boscombe on board, just seemed more so than usual. They have another album out, with more all new material so we spent some time previewing some of that, plus the usual banter and a set of birthday dedications from various “notables” that they’d “acquired” – it was my birthday a week or so beforehand.

A brief stop off at O’Neill’s to see two songs from Roomful Of Mirrors before heading up to Chaplins for the open mic. Turns out a lot of my semi-pro muso friends had decided to hook up – Krista Green, Ant Lewis, Mischa, Kimari Raven, Sofi Reed.

Pete Christie Thomas TrippWhile it was enjouyable hanging out with them, I really had to leave early to catch the last 20 minutes of Pete Christie in the Thomas Tripp. And boy was it a good 20 minutes, even though I’d missed a lot of my favourites he plays. He covered Love Of The Common People, which was made famous by Paul Young, originally made known by Nicky Thomas – first time I’ve heard his take on it, impressive.

Not a waste at all, missing out on all those other mates, to be able to appreciate again the magic fingered performer that is Pete Christie.

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.

Show & Bmth Unplugged Quarter Final 2

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Tonight the Table Top Circus joined comedy regulars Radio Boscombe for what promised and proved to be an amusing take on Sigmund Freud for the first part of the show. It was a bit of a mix up of a show, caused by my forgetting the 6 sides of carefully prepared research, and one member of Radio Boscombe running truant and needing to be reeled in by phone.

It makes for an interesting production style, having to continually think on one’s feet and improvise nearly a full two hour presentation. We pick up on the previous show, Drive‘s theme of the night, uniforms, as a fallback ad lib when our material dries up

Thank goodness I’d prepared one element online: a phone interview with Michael-James Dent regarding Dom Remi, coupled with an exclusive preview of their new song Midnight (now available on their myspace).

Dom Remi (pronounced Ree-Mee) are the band that were formerly known as The Metropolise. The Metropolise received a lot of radio play with their brash and raw sound. The lads recognised the rawness, and have polished themselves up a bit, changing the musical direction of the band in the process.

This change in musical direction warrants a change in name, in an attempt to prevent too much comparison. So, out of the ashes that were The Metropolise, we now have the phoenix arising that is Dom Remi. They are having a series of relaunch events including a renaming gig and EP launch on 14 May in Champions.

Towards the end of the show Radio Boscombe are augmented by Livvi, who we coerce into also giving an opinion on the evening theme of uniforms.

All in all, with everything going on, I was worn out even before going up to O’Neills for this weeks installment of Bournemouth Unplugged. Again the notes presented below are exactly what I wrote on the night, and used as a basis for my live comments on the night.

We are asked to mark out of 45, 10 points for each of Originality, Stage Presence/Audience Interaction, Song Writing Ability, and Technical Ability.  5 points are to measure the Crowd Reaction, clapometer style.  Finally there is a yes/no “Star” rating – do these guys have that undefinable something (the X factor of that show’s name).

Ant HensonAnt Henson starts, with a harmonica accompaniment this time (who’s name check I miss).
They are very animated together, fitting the music.
As they slow the music down, they slow the movement down to suit.
Great having the 12 string – boosts originality, yet doing similar chord work in the main
Unsure on 12 string tuning +1 if he notices, +1 if do something about it. Does it well with Krista filling in
Stereophonics The One cover – Laid back and totally different
Worked on the harmonies with Krista? If so it shows
Cheeky little beat box thing going on

Bob FletcherBob Fletcher
Big noisy songs
Strong intro then into a spiky number, beatboxing included, much like 2 or 3 songs in one
Good crowd working for you – Like the “behind the front row” comment
Looks really pleased to be here, infectious – great with Julian
Really developed in the past couple of years – good confidence
His staple Tom Jones has been taken to the next level
Wandering over the pub after teaching the singalong section
Then a quiet finish to show off different techniques, voice and guitar

Chris WoodfordChris Woodford
Has a rack of guitars with him rather than just the twelve string
Animated despite sitting on a chair. Great dynamics.
Can just never get tired of chris’ stuff
Outstanding
(another judge has written “Masterclass”)
Real mess about of smoke on the water – adding variety through slide resonator dobro

The Sabres The Sabres
Hard job following that! So what do you do? Do what you do best & come in strong and lively
Tight on the breaks
Kept crowd – hard for last act
Ritchie good voice
Lots of audience dancing

The top three tonight were separated by 1 point, with each scoring over 100: 103, 104 and 105 by the time all judges scores are collated.  The Sabres just miss out, as Chris Woodford and Bob Fletcher take the available Semi Final places. Congratulations to both.

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