Champions, Bournemouth

Traffic Cone Wizard

On a warm Summers evening we await the of tonight’s 4 bands. Debut gig farers Traffic Cone Wizard (TCW) take to the stage. They comprise ex Pikey & the Gutter Rats members Stu (keys/vox) & Jason (vox/bass), Gutter Rat Damian (drums) & Sepia Daze’s Jordan (guitar). This being their debut gig they are showcasing new material & a few covers. Champions on tonight’s evidence is sparse so applause is limited early on but after two originals TCW do their take on possibly the finest b-side ever written-Tubeway Army’s ‘We Are So Fragile’ which does not disappoint. The intro is different but they make a decent fist of it.

Traffic Cone Wizard

The majority of their set is influenced by the post/punk era. We get a couple of slower more melodic numbers before Gutter Rats live favourite ‘Shadowplay’ where Damian’s percussion comes to the fore. ‘Shroom’ & ‘Ships’ drop the tempo once again before they end in the mid 90’s with a cover of Pulp’s ‘Babies’. Considering their bassist let them down last minute & Jason had 2 hours to rehearse the bass parts,this is a strong first gig from a band who I am sure we’ll be seeing more of.

Sepia Daze

Next up are Sepia Daze containing two members of Traffic Cone Wizard. An early break of his A string on Jordan’s guitar does not bode well for their set. Despite this they carry on regardless. When it becomes apparent they might struggle they make a plea for the ‘lend’ of a guitar’? The appeal falls on deaf ears & with this they engage in a ‘Hawkwindesque’ 10 minute jam. Then,Jason (TCW) makes a rabble-rousing appeal for a guitar yelling ‘come on,someone must have a guitar they can lend for about 4 songs-don’t get clicky,none of you are famous yet’! It works & said guitar is brought forward. The guys dispense with the covers tonight & play out with 4 originals in their trademark loud n proud style. Jordans vocals could be a little clearer but its only a minor complaint. They leave to decent applause.

For The Best

Third up are For The Best, a 5 piece with a female lead vocalist. The vocals are sweet in a kind of Indie female style but are drowned out by the wall of noise generated by the band. The drums also lack power, and the timing is an issue which is strange considering their Hardcore/Punk leanings. The band don’t lack ability, but I just don’t get the shoegazing amid the growling Hardcore backing vocals. Its a mishmash of styles but they have the largest following in the room, and get the warmest response so who am I to judge? They complete their short set (5 songs) & leave to great applause.

Steel Frost

Headliners tonight are Steelfrost who carry on the ‘wall of noise’ theme of the evening. To this reviewer its just plodding rock, and once again its shoegaze heaven. Their 2nd song ‘2nd best’ has an intro not unlike the UK Subs ‘Lady Esquire’, although I doubt its deliberate. They do an interesting line in strange song titles-the oddest tonight, ‘Concrete Telephone’! By now I’ve heard enough, and call it a night.

Traffic Cone Wizard
We Are So Fragile

For The Best
B. Hearts.
Between the Tides
If This Is…

Words & Pictures by Ros Ferrone.

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