Champions, Bournemouth

20110211 - Willowen

Tonight Miles Hunt and Erica Nockells of the mighty band The Wonder Stuff were supposed to be gracing the stage at Champions. However a last minute phone call from the band’s manager to the venue’s promoter stated that they had cancelled at very short notice. As it was a Friday night and a decent crowd was expected, the Champion’s staff hastily turned things around and arranged free entry gig and for the three pre-arranged supports acts to provide the evenings entertainment.

The first of these were Willowen a band that describe themselves as ‘surf folk’, they are local lads from Bournemouth who seemingly took their name from a school friend…… presumably William Owen!! Tonight they are a two piece minus their usual keyboard player, Jonny Phillips on acoustic Guitar and George Fullerton who plays a unusual instrument , a Cajon which is a box that he sits and taps out the drum beat with his hands, it is very simple but effective.

20110211 - Willowen

The band seem to have an immediate connection with the audience right from the start and impress with self written songs such as ‘Right For Her’ and ‘When You’re Here’. Despite the band’s young age they are full of confidence and are certainly heading in the right direction.

The ‘Mother Ukers’ provide a bit of light entertainment with some great covers played on a Ukulele and a small Ukulele sized bass. A few of the numbers got the audience singing along, such as a version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, the band then discussed the no show of Miles Hunt and offered in a way of small compensation to play a few covers by The Wonder Stuff much to the delight of the audience. ‘Golden Green’ and ‘Unbearable’ were performed very well despite only being rehearsed in the band’s earlier sound check and they were accompanied by a small choir of disappointed Wonder Stuff fans.

20110211 - Liability

The band that are now the headliners are an acoustic duo called ‘Liability’ comprising of the dreadlocked Lee and Paul who both play their guitars with masses of enthusiasm and energy at a frantic pace. The folk punk duo entertained with a mix of their own material and a few choice covers including ‘Hope Street’ by the ‘Levellers’, their banter with the crowd was very engaging keeping everyone interested and involved.

As their set drew on the guys drank more and more, including a few shots delivered to the stage by a willing helper, this changed the mood slightly with a wave of drunken Pirate songs performed including Bobo (the Gay Pirate), Drunken Sailor and ‘Johnny I hardly Knew You’ which sound suspiciously like ‘English Civil War’ by The Clash. It all ended well after midnight with Liability winning over the fans with a varied and interesting performance.


You Said Hush

Hope Street

Words and pictures by;
Dave Chinery(Chinners)

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