Athelstan Arms, Christchurch

Empire Affair

After their storming performance at the “Bandalism” gig at the O2 Academy in Bournemouth earlier this year, Empire Affair are building a solid following around the local music venues in Bournemouth and further a field with further gigs planned in London. The five piece band were who formerly known as “Echo” are tonight gracing the stage of their local public house the “Athlestan”. This is the bands last gig of 2011, rounding of what has been a great debut year with the release of their great EP reviewed here on Rock Regeneration.

The evening kicks of with two tracks from the EP, which really get the party started with lead vocalist Neil Tallent (who looks like he should be in a Franz Ferdinand tribute band) using his masses of energy encouraging everybody in the place dancing and singing along. The band included a couple of previously unheard new songs which for some strange reason have been temporary named using boys names “Fernando” and the outrageous “Techno Terry” both of which showed promise with the excellent twin guitar sound from Jack Woolston and Matt Park working to great effect.

Athelstan Arms: Empire Affair
Gallery: 12345

The respectable sized crowd are treated a set littered with covers from Empire Affair’s favourite artists including a surprisingly great version of Britney Spears “Hit Me Baby One More Time” which was sang as a tribute for her 30th birthday, other highlights included a rousing version of Sow Patrol’s “Run”, and final song of the night “Kings of Leon “Use Somebody” which had virtually the whole of the pub singing at the tops of their voices along with the band. Playing covers in a pub to a drunken crowd is not easy and Empire Affair know what their home crowd wanted and delivered it in fine style, some of the cover versions may have sounded a little unrehearsed in places, but the important thing was that the band’s own songs such as the brilliant appropriately titled “December” and “Take Me Down” stood up well and shined through. It is clear that this band have the songs and ability to take things to the next level. 2012 could be an even better year with the Dorset Music Awards just around the corner. Could they been contenders? Only time will tell.

Set List
One Of Me
Teenage Kicks(The Undertones)
State Of Flux(Bloc Party)
See You Tomorrow
Fly Away(Lenny Kravitz)
Some Day(The Strokes)
Fernando(New Song)
Hit Me Baby One More Time(Britney Spears)
Can’t Get Through
Run (Snow Patrol)
Techno Terry(New Song)
Take Me Down
Use Somebody(Kings Of Leon)

Review and Pictures by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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