Champions, Bournemouth

Hand In Glove Records is a record label from Dorset with one ambition; to bring big bands to the area and give the locals a crack at supporting them. The show was meant to take place at Chords in Poole, but after the beloved venue lost its licence, the show was moved to Champions and brought forward a couple months. This was their first show and they took a gamble by booking Friends Electric at the beginning of the year.

Frustration will have turned to joy for the promoters as in the time the show was delayed; Friends Electric hit the big time with slots at Radio One’s Big Weekend exposing their true colours. The band has now booked festival slots at Isle of Wight, Latitude and Glastonbury to name a few, showing just how far they have come since remixing songs for the likes of Ellie Golding.

Opening the night were three piece indie outfit Wild Fire, who wasted no time in strumming their first chords to a strong following that had flooded to the front of the stage. They showcase a jumpy indie sound with a notable wholesome feel to their songs, especially considering the small numbers in the band. The band members are quite young, but their songs show no lack of experience which is an encouraging feature for them. My personal highlight was ‘Colour’ which showed off a memorable chorus and made me completely forget how young the band members are. They are definitely one for the future of the Bournemouth indie scene.

Next up are Great Bear Lake, an indie band from Bournemouth who open with ‘Prince William Sound’ to instantly state their mellow indie vibes. These guys are more about the melancholy side of their genre, but their deliverance doesn’t give off any negative vibes. There is a sense of understanding and a good connection with the crowd. Along with a bit of juice to their sound, there could be something there for this band.

I have encountered Dom Remi once before and I can guarantee you that they are a live band who won’t disappoint you. Their sound is quite something, as they manage to switch my attention between each of the many different shards making up their set. This is mainly achieved through ‘Midnight’ off their latest EP. This track takes you through a melodic swing of indie rock and hits you with a strong chorus. There is no doubt that this band have got what it takes to be huge in Bournemouth.

Kinnie the Explorer make up the final support act as the night draws closer to the end. I am having an awesome time. There is a buzz at this gig that most shows at Champions don’t have. The room is almost full, the heat is swelling round the room and there is a very positive energy in the venue. Kinnie manage to be just what I needed at this stage of the night. The drinks were sinking in slightly and I needed something to keep me there. Kinnie the Explorer did the job with a chilled indie sound which intrigues me. As front man, Peter Lanceley opens his mouth during opener, ‘Fairy Lit Hung Flowers’; I hear a unique vocal style which accompanies the chilled vibes with a natural confidence. A set made up of mostly unnamed songs would usually hint a lack of confidence with new material, but they seem as tight as if these songs had been practiced for years.

It’s the time of the headliners. Before they are even on stage, Friends Electric give off a hefty expectation as they are the first band I have seen to bring their own sound desk and lighting system. The band take to the stage, and as I look around, it appears most of the under sixteen’s have left. It was probably past their bed time. The band opens with Opposites Attract and the room starts to dance along to what I can only describe as melancholy indie dance music. There is a fantastic reaction to their highly anticipated set and as they flow through former release ‘Something You Should Know’ and their latest single ‘Fireworks’, the whole crowd dances along. There is a very atmospheric sense to their sound as reverb soaked vocals fuse with the soft synth patterns to create a spacey indie sound which accompanies pulsing dance drum beats. The band enjoys their set and end on crowd favourite ‘Golden Blood’ which sees most of the crowd sing the lyrics along with satisfied looking Friends Electric sharing smiles. This band deserve their spot light and I can only hope that their unique, inviting sound warms to the nation and we see a lot more of these guys across the country this year.

Download their new single ‘Fireworks’


Set List
Friends Electric
Opposites Attract
I Am You
Something You Should Know
Silver Moon
Follow Me
Come Around
Thousand Hands
Golden blood

Kinnie The Explorer
Fairy Lit Hung Flowers
Blind Spider

Dom Remi
Where the Worst of You Are
New Song #2
New Song #3
Shoot to kill
Long Way Home

Great Bear Lake
Prince William Sound
Autumn Dogs
Black Sparrow Years
Marvelous Persona

Wild Fire
I’m not staying
The Antiseptic

Words by George Fullerton.