The Winchester, Bournemouth

10th February 2012
Featuring : Jack Grace, Krista Green, Paint It Blue, Tom Clements and Constellation

Dorset Music Awards

It’s a freezing cold Friday at The Winchester but it hasn’t put off a near capacity crowd for what is the first of this years Dorset Music Awards Quarter Finals hosted by Trevor Hill. First on is Jack Grace. He and his band play simple low-fi poppy indie. They appear very young but this is no obstacle.

They have a pretty backing singer, and are all sharply dressed – but its not just style over substance, they have a clutch of good songs too. The guitar work is confident while the drums and bass appear simple as they accompany Jack’s great vocal. Its always hard being first on but if they don’t make the final,expect to see this band on the circuit for a little while yet.

DMA Q1: Jack Grace
Jack Grace:01

Next up is soloist Krista Green. Krista sports a happy smile and sings heartfelt lyrics while playing her acoustic guitar with confidence. Sadly it seems lost on most of this crowd as by her second song all I can hear is voices in the crowd. Krista however carries on regardless with her soft,sultry,mellow vocals and gives us a set highlight with the amusingly titled “Shooting Stars on Milky Bar Guitars” which certainly made me smile. She leaves the stage to warm applause.

DMA Q1: Krista Green
Krista Green:01

Paint it Blue are up next. I’m reliably informed the music style is in the title! The band are an interesting collection of youth and middle age. Another pretty singer dressed in blue with a very distinctive voice. There’s some big middle 8’s going on here throughout their set but confidence once again shines through. “Can’t Help But Smile” is a highlight although (to this reviewer) all the songs seem a little ‘formatted’-soft bluesy vocal intro,big middle 8 then expansive percussive ending. Clearly not my bag but I’m alone on this as they receive generous applause.

DMA Q1: Paint It Blue
Paint It Blue:01

Next up another soloist, Tom Clements who has clearly brought half of Shaftsbury with him in support! His confidence is there for all to see. Tom plays in a folky, happy-go-lucky, upbeat style while his lyrics are heartfelt and almost spoken word in delivery. Getting your crowd onside early is always a good idea,getting them clapping along is a winner. His smile is getting wider with each song. Tom says all his songs have single word titles. “Reflections” is the standout song but all his numbers are good. He leaves the stage to the loudest applause (so far)!

DMA Q1: Tom Clements

Tom Clements:01

For this reviewer the best act are saved until last. I first discovered Constellation a year ago at Bandalism and was mightily impressed. They quite simply have it all. A five piece confident and competent in all areas. The sound is hard-edged indie but there’s no “wall of sound” with this quintet. The vocals are clear and loud throughout and the singer “busts some moves” not often seen in this town! The highlight though is their drummer who employs a heavy snare sound throughout. “Regrets” is the set highlight for me before they end with (to me) the slightly disappointing “Valentine”. Once again I’m in the minority as this largely female following of Constellation dance,sing and clap along. They leave to great applause. For this reviewer Constellation are “nailed on” for the finals-but I wasn’t on the judging panel! We shall wait and see.

DMA Q1: Constellation



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Review by Ross Ferrone.
Pictures & Video by Dave Chinery (Chinners).

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