The Neon Tigers on HopeFM

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The Neon Tigers promo shotThree quarters of The Neon Tigers join me in the studio tonight. The music played focusses on their EP, a copy of which I was kindly offered before the show.
The packaging presentation alone is impressive, here’s what Dorset Rock Online had to say about it…

 The Neon Tigers Friends EPI think a quick word on the packaging is needed! … Friends is presented in a silver tin case. It’s a bit of a ^%$ to get in to, but once you do you’re greeted with a card insert featuring the above track listing on one side and the above band portrait by Tim Churchill on the other. The disc itself is cradled in moulded plastic and the whole package comes across like a collectors edition release. With it being a limited run, I guess it sorta is. You can grab yourselves one of these packages from the band themselves at a gig or at Square Records in Wimborne.

 In the studio, I must admit I spend much time talking about the band and their stage act, rather than the music. I’m pleased we seem to be of similar mind – they feel that being in a band, they owe it to fans, promoters and venues to put on an impressive show.

It also helps them stick in the mind, whether because of
the visual presentation (band look);
the makeup (they glam themselves up a bit for their take on Rock Theatre);
the food (Gary makes giveaway titbits for gigs)
or even the music!

Talking to them they are humourously immodest yet humblingly realistic. They seem genuinely pleased as punch to be in the position they are in right now, while taking a short break from a pretty packed gig schedule to threefold:
give themselves a rest,
give Bournemouth a rest from them, and
produce / polish some new material for a second EP.

Again, a thoroughly enjoyable time for me, thanks to these excellent guests, once more I’m humbled that they want to take time out to talk to me and my listener about their art and talent.

After the show I drop in on Chaplins for the open mic, its been a while since I was here on a Wednesday. There’s a posse enjoying a Christmas meal party in half the room, looks like they’ve reached the end of eating, yet they’re sticking around (mainly) for music and drinks.

Andy Stock opens as usual with a long (for him) set of songs.  He includes my favourite cover Shoot The Breeze from Alex Roberts.

Susanah Lea is also present (having seen her last night in O’Neills); she regularly comes down here from her home up-country. I heard her with a more Country twist last night, tonight she’s doing some more of her own material, and a couple of covers for the benefit of the Christmas partygoers.

Del Bishop is up next. Good grunt on his vocals, steady chord work on the guitar. He has an intriging mix of songs, some ballads, some up-tempo. He plays a goodly number of good songs, all of them originally penned by him

Graham Jones is last up. This time he’ s a lot more laid back possibly due to the emptier venue (the party crowd left at 11-ish), so there’s only a handful of us left to enjoy this different side to what he normally does.

Another busy Wednesday night…

Pink Moon Troupers, Short Revolving Door

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Coke Can Jack‘s last, brief number No-one Loves Me Like You Do woke up what had seemed a sleepy cellar Bar, bringing some inspiration with a spirited performance. Of that one song.

They’d been doing covers from when I walked in – unfortunate given what I’d previously heard from them – uninspired and mainly unwanted, it’s unusual for me to pan a band’s performance in these pages, however there was little original interpretation in what they performed – Driftaway and before that something else that just washed over me. However, they are getting up and doing it, rather than me stood there being the critic!.

Talking around and to them, their opening had almost been as good as normally expected, just not the bit I caught. Turns out they were a key man down – their percussionist who gives them all a lift, so they’d carried on like troupers rather than cancel the gig. So all credit to them for not wanting to let the night down, they are the main troupers of this blog post.

Willowen sound promising. Backed by cajon they play some decent rhythms and different chord sequences that normal for acoustic guitar, definitely part of the Bournemouth Surf Sea sound – upbeat, punchy and positive, evocative of long Summers and so on.

Second song The Story instantly brings a smile to my face, simply because of the chord progressions, and the soulful chorus. Here’s a trio that are a man down (just Jonny & George); this doesn’t really come across in the performance…

Even the ubiquitous singer / songwriter / guitarist ballad stays on the Surf/Sea-style topic, no sign of mournful, maudlin dirge here – “Don’t worry / everything’s going to be alright/you’ll see /just do what naturally what comes to you /
Don’t worry / everything’s going to be alright/you’ll see /just try talking to me”

They play Champions on December 30th, well worth trying to get to see these guys.

Pink Moon over, a brief jaunt over to O’Neill’s for a very short foray into the Revolving Door world, where Tony 2 Dogs is playing his last song – this again is yet more upbeat acoustic stuff (am I still at the Willowen gig?)

Followed by Susanah fresh from gigging in Nashville (not many can say that here in Bournemouth). Nice enough tunes, slip easily into singer songwriter box – lonesome heart tunes from the soul – my mate Paul West would call this New Country no doubt!

I leave before Graham Jones and Patrick get on – been a busy night with a small party before getting out onto the scene…and I want an early finish for a change.