Bournemouth iBar

A free entry show filled with punk pop bands is pretty much my idea of heaven, so there was only one place I was going to be tonight. I was back to my old tricks of arriving earlier than anybody else, though in my defence I figured it would get busy pretty quickly as all three bands playing tonight come under one of the most popular genres there is and it was free.

However the people of Bournemouth are clearly much cooler than me and only go out after dark when it is fashionably late. Except the men in drag that seem to walk the streets from midday most weekends. Anyway, slight digression; let’s get on with the important stuff.

Real Adventures were the first on tonight, and this was their first ever show, not that you would have known by the way they completely owned the stage. Definitely more punk rock than punk pop, the fast drum beats and gorgeous gravelly vocals reminded me a bit of Rancid and they seemed to be oozing confidence without being big headed. They are the kind of band that makes you want to throw yourself around, which lead vocalist; Lewis Reynolds was doing plenty of. Pacing around in front of the stage like a caged tiger, he didn’t stay still for a moment, making it impossible to get a photo of him, despite my numerous attempts. Clearly a man with a lot of passion for what he does, I was worried that he might have a few anger issues from the way he attacked the microphone both with his singing and by the way he threw it on the floor during their last song just so he could fling himself around with even more vigour. Luckily he is actually a really nice bloke! Good times. He even gave me a ‘hymn book’ – a little zine with some of their drawings and lyrics in which was novel and awesome. Really great band, lovely guys, keep an eye out for them. I had a bit of an excitable moment afterwards when I realised the guitarist, Leigh Gill, used to be in a band called Hooray For Me who I used to love which brought back some great memories.

The Afterparty were on next and gosh, these Southampton boys can sing. Sort of a mix between Billy Talent and Mayday Parade they combine emotive lyrics with punk guitar in a remarkably good way. I did notice their voices getting a little strained towards the end, but after hearing how capable the two vocalists were for most of the set, I’m guessing it’s all just a matter of practice and experience. Definitely catchy stuff, emo-tinged pop punk tends to go down well with a lot of people, so they could go far. Their song ‘All I Wanna Know’ is available for free download if you have a bit of a hunt on their facebook page which I had done before the show and it keeps getting stuck in my head which is a good sign!

This show was part of a promotional tour for headliners Save Your Breath in honour of their debut album ‘Vices’. I must be honest and say the first thing I noticed was that they could win a competition for the band with the tightest trousers ever. Still I figured I couldn’t really judge a band on their trousers alone, and I let them off their slightly dubious apparel when they launched into an energetic set. Musically they sat nicely between the previous two bands, punkier than The Afterparty and poppier than Real Adventures. Again great vocals, and after listening to the album they might just be one of those bands who are even better live than recorded. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Vices’ is a good album but somehow they seemed tighter and more exciting when playing live. They were full of enthusiasm and while they may not have the originality to set the world on fire, I hope they give it a damn good try, as I think they could make a lot of fans along the way.

Save Your Breath Setlist
Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy
Loud and Clear
The Lost Boys
Not In the Mood for Kiwi
Stay Young
Sweet Dreams, Bro
Don’t Let Me Down
You’re A Rebel, Alright
Rhys-O and the Legend Of…

Review By Sarah Lovegrove.

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