Champions, Bournemouth

This is no ordinary night of music at Champions, as for the first time since popular Bournemouth band ‘Clams’ broke up, the disbanded members have shared the stage. As soon as I walked in I could sense that there was a subtle emotional charge to this night as members from The Hops and The Neon Tigers are seen scattered across the room sharing memories of their former glory with their fans. It is obvious that the bands still share a strong friendship and want to enable old fans of ‘Clams’ to move on and love their new outfits just as much.

The Bournemouth rock scene is alive and kicking as Brothers Grimmer take to the stage. They are a unique looking outfit with a lead singer bearing a fantastic goatee, reminiscent of System of a Down bassist Shavo Odajian. The band showcased their take on progressive rock, showing varied tempo through their set, juicy breakdowns and harmonies that really hit the spot. Backed with their ‘official dancer’, manic break dancing and manic breakdowns meant that their set was an energy charged fire starter for the evening. There was even a strange moment where the bands bassist claimed he couldn’t feel his fingers, but carried on anyway.

The room was charged and up stepped The Hops who looked to take this show to the next level. Dressed in a smart casual fashion with suits (loosely done up), the band burst into a rock and roll fuelled set with atmospheric guitar riffs which were complimented by the bands powerful vocal harmonies. Further into their set it was clear that the band like to combine indie, swing and rock to create their sound. A nice touch was the green neon strings used by the band’s bassist, which only added to the upbeat nature of the performance. One of the last songs entitled ‘On The Beach’ gave the room a summery feel to it and almost made me forget just how cold it was outside.

Headliners, The Neon Tigers walk on like they’re on a mission and are soon met with their atmospheric organ intro track which transports you into an arena like atmosphere as the audience waits with anticipation. The music eventually dies down; and the band bursts into a triumphant opening with thundering piano riffs, chunky guitar, groovy basslines and ambient drumming. The opening couple of songs gives off the impression that they love to create melodic feel good anthems, for example, new track ‘Friends’ from their latest EP. There is a real bouncy and positive feel to their set and they show their ability to explore the vast spectrum of rock through edgy guitar riffs and intricate guitar solos ending every song. It’s a shame there aren’t more bands like The Neon Tigers, because if there were, every weekend would be worth looking forward to.

George Fullerton

The Hops (set list)

Claws Out
Last In Pictures
Enjoy The View
She’s Plan B
On The Beach
On Everybody’s…



The Neon Tigers (set list)

Sinking In The Quicksand Of Love
Going To Bed
Bring It On
Let The Good Times Roll
Float Like A Feather
You Scare The Hell Out Of Me
The Boy Needs Help
One More Try
Out Of Control

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace