After a short festive hiatus “Freestyle Fridays” return with their weekly showcase event at their warehouse venue in Holton Heath. Owner Mark Patrick has made plenty of positive changes since the place first opened; which now includes a well-stocked bar and fantastic colourful murals on the walls of Rocks stars past and present. The place has plenty of tables and chairs in front of the stage as well as some really comfortable sofas, giving you a great chance to kick back after a hard week at work. The only downside is for the bands, who have to work twice as hard to get everybody moving.
The first of tonight’s bands are a relatively new band “Three Fingers”, who have so far only played a few live gigs and bravely released one of them as their debut album “Live at Stickstock”. The Poole-based three piece features Dan Kennedy on Guitar/Vocals, Sam Taylor on Bass/Vocals and Toby Jones on drums. The initial impressions fool you into thinking these guys are just another Punk outfit, but as things progress these guys have influences coming from many areas to make their songs both interesting and refreshing. There is humour with the rowdy full-on “Ugliest Girl in the World” and a promising mosh pit classic “While You Were Sleeping”. They struggle with a few of their endings, but give them a few more rehearsals at this cracking facility and they will be giving some of the towns more established bands a run for their money.
A former member of The Devil’s Rejects Mathew Williams formed the Savage Underdogs in May 2015 and after a recent line-up change to include local guitarist Ben Stock the four piece band return to the Freestyle stage. The band’s intro track sounds like the place is being raided with police radios and sirens blaring. The band really liven things up with a great twin guitar sound, coupled with Matthew’s distinctive McGowan/Strummer-style vocals. The band have an abundance of original material and with some notable songwriting that shows some real promise. A tune called “The Church” gets an atmospheric church organ-style intro before the melodic guitars come in with a really great hook, which in parts sounds a bit like a speeded up “Is Vic There?” by Department S.
Tonight’s final band are Poole Rock/Metal band “Stranger UK” (For legal reasons) who are fronted by a great character called Ken Vater; who has played in bands for a long time, and despite possibly being the “self-confessed” oldest fella in the room; can still rock with the best of them. The sands of time seem to have only improved this band; with their latest member Josh Askew on bass (Drummer with Blues Machine/Fish out of Water) fully installed within the band, they are sounding really tight. They entertain us with Kevin Tucker’s epic guitar solos, combined with Martin Tucker’s ethereal Keyboards and Ken’s powerful vocals. There are original tunes like the thrilling “This Must Be Love”, “Streets of Desire” and a well-delivered cover of UFO’s “Try Me”. The set ends with a great sing-a-long with a number called “Walking Away”, which has a true old school “lighters in the air” feel to it.
Freestyle put on local band showcases each Friday check out our gig guide or the freestyle links below for details:
Words & Video by David “A Legal Reason” Chinery
Pictures by Jon “Reasonably Legal” Musselwhite