Champions, Bournemouth

It is Wednesday night and local Dorset Hampshire promoter Jurassic Mark has put together a promising line up of four great bands, who all on paper have something very different to offer. The 1st of these is pop/punksters from Portsmouth called ‘Midday Committee’ who kick of the evening in style with apparently a high energy spirited set, I say apparently as I only saw their last number as I was kept late at work, but my Rock Regeneration colleagues who were present say they were suitably entertained their set.

Deaf Havana

The 6 piece ‘Flight School Drop Outs’ from Havant near Portsmouth crowded on to the Champions stage in what I could only describe an initial shambles, they seem a little unorganised and were not sure what each other were supposed to be doing. Their Ska Punk sound is based along the lines of the styles Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake with a two piece brass section made up of a saxophone and an unusual plastic orange trombone possibly made by Fisher Price toys !!. They began to get a bit more confident as the set went on with some upbeat self penned songs such as ‘Chatty Breeze’ and ‘Through the Bushes’ which is apparently about stalking. The frustrating thing for me is that the band performed three cover versions on the night, I can accept a band doing one to get the crowd interested but three makes them almost a covers band, what they did was entertaining however I would have honestly preferred to hear more of their own material.

Bridge The Divide

Bridge The Divide have spent the last few days recording their debut EP here in the Champions studio, so tonight they were more than ready to get up and perform some of their new songs live. The five piece from Bournemouth have been working on their own style of rap metal as influenced by the likes of Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Rage Against The Machine. The band seem really fired up and hit the stage at speed with their 1st number ‘Change My Ways’ which combine twin heavy guitars with a fast paced rapped vocals. The next song ‘Stand and Stare’ is announced as the slow one, but it is anything but that, a fine wall of death and circle pit is created by the crowd, that brings huge proud smiles on the band members faces…..especially brothers Casey & George who seem delighted with the reaction. After a promising 30 minute set the last number is the customary cover and is the Christmas number 1 ‘Killing in the Name’ which get the crowd chanting the x-rated chorus along with the excited band who seem to have enjoyed every minute of their time in the lime light.

The Emerald Guard

The first thing I notice about The Emerald Guard is that they have not got a drummer, they use an electronic drum machine which is rather unusual for this sort of band, mind you The Emerald Guard are not an ordinary band. They combine electronic effect, keyboards and guitar to create a highly original sound that at first looks like each band member is just doing their own thing, it could only be described as a mess of sound, however it really works and the songs such as ‘Sasquatch ahoy’ and ‘Hammers & Knives sound really fresh. The TV comedy gambling quiz show ‘Bansai’ was the inspiration for the number ‘Betting Ends’ which hauls the audience in yet more with the continuing infectious sounds. The final number of the night ‘You Got Mauled’ is quite possibly the best the band had to offer with a cheeky guitar rift that brings lots of the crowd to the dance floor, the band causally leave the stage to lots of applause from the impressed crowd. The Emerald Guard have a dates at Endorse It In Dorset and Camp Bestival and they are sure to impress the festival audiences.

Bridge The Divide
Change My Ways
Stand and Stare
Killing In The Name

The Emerald Guard
Bring back the Grantham pig drive
Sasquatch ahoy
Hammers and Knives
Betting Ends
You got Mauled

The Emerald Guard

Bridge The Divide

Flight School Dropouts

Review, Pictures & Videos By Dave Chinery(Chinners)

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