Champions, Bournemouth

Kids Can't Fly

It was a bleak day before the night began, as the news of local venue iBar’s closure caused a mass response of shock through social networking and probably ruined the promotion of the night. I turned up to Champions to see Kids Can’t Fly waiting outside and after chatting to them, they informed me that there was “no one” inside when there were only five minutes until the scheduled start of the night. I eventually went inside to find the opening band just finishing their sound check with a largely empty room billowing with self pity.

The Oceans Eyes

The opening band Oceans Eyes eventually took to the stage and attempted to shake the room up with an abrupt start with a front man overloaded with energy. Despite his efforts of jumping round the stage and walking into the crowd, the response never came, with the London based outfit blasting out their hard edged pop punk sound with no avail. The band should be given top marks for effort, but the emphatic nature of the front man meant that his vocals weren’t always spot on, but sharp harmonies from the guitarists and a very technically gifted drummer meant that there were more positives than negatives. With a poor crowd response, things got worse when their lead guitarist’s guitar broke and after a good ten minute wait of desperately searching for another, the band broke back into their set and finished with a look of relief. Their set was clearly limited by a static crowd and technical problems, but I am intrigued to hear their new EP when it is released and see them at another show.

Blue Youth


The crowd size eventually increased slightly as brand new two piece band, Blue Youth took to the stage. The band consists of members Edwin Pope and Marc Haynes who currently play with popular Bournemouth based bands such as Mutant Vinyl, Cella Creeps and County Hospital between them. The interesting original feature to this band was the way they switched instruments for each song, demonstrating their versatility as musicians with both of them performing on Guitar, Drums and with Edwin also showing his impressive skills with a saxophone. It was only a short set 20 minute set, but final track “Vampires Show & Tell” struck me as something wonderful with mystical sounds of the saxophone and seductive guitar rifts.

Kids Can't Fly

What happened next is a problem that most touring bands will face many a time. Once the local support has finished, the crowd will scatter and never come back. Kids Can’t Fly took to the stage to see roughly ten people remaining and rightly so pointed out the “F**k You Horseshoe” which is where the crowd stand in a shape which maintains the furthest distance from the lead singer. Without a care, the band broke into former single “Everyone” which burst through the negative feeling to the night like a hot knife through butter. A happy upbeat pop punk anthem never hurt anyone as even the small crowd started clapping along. Saxophone player Dave decided to bring the crowd to him, and in no time at all, I found myself at the front with my friends. In all honesty, I know every word to every one of their songs, so this was no problem. The band played a few new tracks from their upcoming EP with “Esmeralda” shining out as one to watch, with an addictive chorus which I had never heard before, yet knew the words to after one listen. Popular tracks such as “Tune In” and “The Summer” went down a storm and saw a lot of movement from such a small crowd. The set ended with recent tracks from their last EP “Heartstrong” and “She Called Shotgun” which stole the show for me. This band is loaded with energy, and even when faced with a crowd of which ten percent was the frontman’s mum, they showed they could pull off what I would say is their best performance I have seen yet…and I have seen them seven times.

Bournemouth is facing a rough patch at the moment, but I urge anyone reading this to get up and go to a gig at least once a week. There is so much good music out there to hear in this town, with buckets of local bands who just need good crowds to help them progress. Make a night out of it and support Champions as it is one of our best smaller venues. Keep music live.

Kids Can’t Fly
Leading Lady
Vicious Circle
We Are
Tune In
The Summer
No Matter What
She Called Shotgun

Blue youth
Rooster (Alice in Chains cover)
Vampire’s Show & Tell

Ocean’s Eyes
Room of Red
Keep Me a Secret
I Scream Your Name
The Best Stories Are Lived (Not Written)
Wake Up
A Long Time Coming

Kid’s Can’t Fly

Blue Youth

The Ocean’s Eyes

Words by George Fullerton.
Pictures & Videos By Chinners.