Champions, Bournemouth

It’s a special night in Bournemouth as Champions hosts one of its home grown talents in the form of four piece rock band, The Longest Day. After the release of the band’s debut album, ‘A State of Indifference’, they have been touring the UK and have managed to support upcoming band, Sick Puppies in Southampton recently. With their reputation building and a strong support line-up, inevitably an intense atmosphere surrounded the venue, for all the right reasons.

Up steps ‘Hessian’, a five piece band who kick off with an indie sound, backed by indie style guitar riffs, fast picking and long bending notes which accompany a synth keyboard, to give the band a thicker sound to go with their optimistic indie patterns. Alternating between fast picking and frequent pauses gives off the impression that their songs have been worked to incorporate these faster patterns with more stripped down styles to produce a more wholesome sound. A nice touch was hearing both male and female vocals from the band, with inevitable mixed gender harmonies which, when perfected, can melt anyone’s heartstrings. Their efforts were not heart melting, but they were certainly heart warming.

After an impressive start to the evening, Dorset Music Awards 2011 semi finalists, Evolver, took to the stage to prove that they could be in with a chance of winning the competition all together. I’m always interested in seeing unique bands and instantly, Evolver’s unique factors started to show as a lengthy build up was led by the bands guitarist using an ebow, which is a device which uses a magnetic field to produce a sound reminiscent of using a bow on the strings. The build up ended to eventually explode into a cover of ‘Live and Let Die’, which was in the style of Paul McCartney’s version. Just from hearing this song, it’s clear that front man Jordan has a fantastic voice and a degree of flamboyancy on stage, replicating Matt Bellamy of Muse. As he hits the high and low notes with perfection while playing the keyboard, it’s obvious that despite the young age of the band, they are not lacking in talent at all. The similar pattern in their songs that I noticed was how they like to build the song from slow moments to smashing through heavier riffs and it almost seemed like they were switching between styling themselves as Keane and then Muse.

The highlight for me was the bands cover of ‘Feeling Good’ which they played in the same style as Muses cover. Front man Jordan’s vocals were perfect for the song and half way through, brought out a megaphone, similar to Matt Bellamy’s routine. I have to mention the ability of their guitarist as well. He was sensationally gifted when it came to solos, with very detailed scales and fast transitions between using the whammy bar and playing, which almost seemed like he was being fast forwarded. A very talented band, who will no doubt be strong contenders for this year’s Dorset Music Awards.

With two quality performances from the support, it almost seemed like it couldn’t get any better, but on walks The Longest Day, to prove me wrong. Opening with a new song, the band smash into a trademark style with heavy riffs and soaring, pitch perfect vocals from front man, Dan. It’s clear that this band is of a different class, and deservedly won the Dorset Music Awards last year. They not only change the tempo, but vary elements of their songs, switching between heavy chords in tracks like ‘Monochrome’ and softer picking in ‘No More Heroes’ to achieve a broadened sound which lit up a fairly average sized Champions crowd. With their continual surge of heavy riffs, a stadium like atmosphere started to build and I have to admit that after a while I started to almost not believe that front man, Dan was singing his parts, as they were so pitch perfect. He relishes the long notes and these long notes definitely replicate a similar pattern in their songs which definitely adds to the diversity of their sound. With a mixture of old and new songs, a new feature to their set was seeing Dan being released from guitar duties to sing without a guitar in the newer songs. Dan admits himself that he is not a natural guitarist, and even though he is just as strong vocally with a guitar, he seemed much freer to be himself without a guitar between him and the audience.

Their set ended on a high with the bands two most notable tracks, ‘Monochrome’ and ‘Breathe More Air’ stealing the show. As the band played their last chord, I think it was fair to say that most of the room were all in agreement that The Longest Day is one of the best bands to come from Bournemouth.

Set List
The Longest Day
Utopia re-mix (entrance song)
Show Me How To Change (Working Title)
Kamikaze Dream
Slave To Wrong
No More Heroes
Untitled (New Song)
Untitled (New Song)
Breathe More Air (and outro)

Prelude (short intro)
Live and Let Die (cover)
James’s Song
One exception
Interlude (short intro to feeling good)
Feeling good (cover)
Bring it back


The Longest Day



The Longest Day Photos by;
Bob Whetton

Hessian and Evolver Photos by;
George Fullerton

Words by;
George Fullerton

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