The Anvil, Bournemouth

Wartoad


A damp Sunday evening sees the return of local heroes C30s in support of “musical anarchists” Wartoad. The omens aren’t great with barely five of us in attendance! This doesn’t stop Andy, Paul and Dom putting in a heavy shift. They open with the familiar “Riding Away”, followed by “Leave It Alone”. Andy (l.vox/guitar) is in fine form, humouring us between songs. Paul (bass/b.vox) to his right is power personified on the bass while Dom (drums) keeps the beat. The set is largely familiar – a good mix of Grunge/Punk. “In A Little While” is an early highlight and they even debut two new numbers. Applause is generally muted – this crowd is way too polite this evening, (or not)! “Nothing To Do” is simply brilliant (with the ringing endorsement of being the best song heard in a Bournemouth venue in the last ten years) courtesy of Harv Hark (Menace) on a rare day off! The equally fine “The Old Model is Dead” swiftly follows and is equally fine. They even resurrect an old “Zimmer Frames” song in the shape of “Swings and Roundabouts”. “Wake Up” allows Paul to open up his lungs while they cap a fine performance, ending with “Beach Bum Baby”. By the last song, the numbers have swelled due to a bunch of “young-uns” venturing downstairs. Cries of “one more song” mean a Punked-up cover of the Who’s “Can’t Explain” is offered to great applause. What comes next meanwhile wonít easily be forgotten, as I will go on to explain why.

C30's
C30’s 12

OK, so Wartoad arrive in Bournemouth with a massive tour bus, no stage backdrop, no merchandise and a revolving door policy on band members! Still interested? Well here goes then! An inauspicious entrance ensues, and I can’t see any setlists. The lead guitarist insists on facing the drummer all night when not shoegazing. The rhythm guitarist insists on adding what can only be described as “child-like” backing vocals, while the keys man is grinning throughout. I’ve done my homework and had a listen on YouTube, but this performance is so far away from anything I have watched and listened to. The vocals from the bassist on the first two songs are largely unintelligible. Song endings are like practice jams and on their third song step forward main vocalist number two!

Wartoad
Wartoad 1234

I don’t know if it’s just me but they seem somewhat unrehearsed, either that or it’s just planned. As a reference point I’m picking up a bit of early Talking Heads but that may be just me. They announce a Cliff Richard cover with a title that escapes me – it’s no Cliff song that I’ve ever heard. Two songs later the “singer” takes to the drum stool. Not to be outdone the “new” bassist steps forward. The rhythm guitarist now assumes vocal duties – are you still with me?! It’s as humorous as it is shambolic – one can understand the large tour bus now! Another cover, the hugely self-indulgent “Helter Skelter” is offered. It’s The Anvil, not Ronnie Scott’s! This is the last straw for me as I take refuge in the upstairs bar. Another two “songs” are played, the last being “Too Drunk To F*ck” with added vocal duties from Andy Nazer. After forty minutes of their allotted time, they call it a night.

The whole ramshackle approach might be for some but is completely lost on me. I’m just glad I didn’t have to pay for the experience as I would have felt short-changed. I tried to get more band info but low and behold, their webpage is equally lacking. I’m struggling to be positive as there’s so much room for improvement. As one punter was heard to say “it’s as if a bunch of guys took a holiday and decided to play some gigs”! I’ll leave it there!

Set List C30s
Riding Away
Leave It Alone
Harmony Girl
UXB
In A Little While
Rollercoaster
If Only I Could Remember
Nothing to Do
The Old Model is Dead
Wake Up
It’s On
Aíint Right Baby
Swings and Roundabouts
Beach Bum Baby

Encore:
Can’t Explain (The Who) cover

Wartoad
Set List unknown!

Videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdXlZOLMj5Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4E0xhRpDSk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRBVYcvwGvk

Links
http://www.wartoad.com
https://www.facebook.com/C-30s-160952120341/

Review, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.

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