Champions, Bournemouth

New Town Kings

On a chilled Sunday night when the weather has been poor all day, you wouldn’t really expect there to be much of a buzz in Bournemouth, and to be honest there wasn’t really a buzz as I rocked up to Champions with a few friends. There were only about twenty people in the venue so I was slightly concerned, especially as most of these people were band members.

Nonetheless, the only support act for the night in the form of local band Know One, burst into their edgy take on their self described genre of political rap reggae. Despite a small crowd, there is some movement in the crowd with smooth reggae vibes masked by the break beat tempo of their front mans vocals. The spacey dance moves of the band help ease the tension as the static crowd gradually start to enjoy themselves with smiles exchanged as the delay soaked sounds from the band continuing to flood my head. I have to admit that I could hardly make out what their front man was saying due to the effects on the microphone being quite overwhelming, but there is real potential for this band as their sound is unique and will ensure that they make a good impression on all who hear them.

New Town Kings

The crowd size doesn’t seem to improve as New Town Kings make their way to the stage, but as the nine piece ska outfit play their first chords, the crowd comes to life and almost everyone in the room starts dancing with skanking a clear speciality amongst the crowd. The vocal qualities from front man, Chris Watts is mesmerising as a very genuine ska sound fuses with elements of reggae to keep the energetic crowd moving throughout the whole night. Eventually, even the crowd members hovering around the bar are encouraged to dance and happily respond with an applause meeting their efforts. The number of members means that there is a very rich sound with an extra percussionist to accompany their drummer, so all the percussion elements of ska and reggae are covered in their live show. It almost seems like they could have just stuck on a CD and it would have sounded just as tight as they are clearly a well rehearsed touring band. Ending with ‘insert name’, a lengthy applause sees the band close on a high. This was probably the best performance I have seen from a band at Champions this year and I can’t wait for them to return.

Set Lists
New Town Kings
News Stand
Hollow Head
La La World
New Town Hop
Round and Round
String a Long
Take Hold
Stay On Ya Feet
Fire In The Hole

Know One
In The Box
Come Home
Bite Your Tongue
Shot Down
Child Soldier
Lost Your Way
Am I Invisible

Words by George Fullerton

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