O2 Academy, Bournemouth

Featuring: Kings Mews, Saturday Sun, Sirpico, Empire Affair, Constellation , Butcher Blues Foundation and Lady Winwood’s Maggot


Bandalism is an event thought up and arranged by local promoters “Whitehall Events” to showcase local bands,giving them a chance to perform on a large stage in front of larger audiences than they are normally used to. This is the 2nd event of this kind after the 1st in October 2011 was a complete success with both bands and music fans, with them all giving it a big thumbs up. This year the format has changed slightly in the fact an acoustic stage has been added in the upstairs bar to increase the entertainment and add further value for money. Despite the event slightly clashing with the later kick off of 17:15 for FA Cup Final, thankfully the football did no go to extra time and penalties, so the first band hit the main stage at exactly 20:00.

O2 Academy: Kings Mews
Kings Mews 01

First off the bat, The Kings Mews, a Jazz/Funk quintet from Brighton, opening the night with a whisper rather than the shout I was expecting. The style of music was at times, mellow, calming, at times something that was nigh on impossible not to groove to. Regardless, following a soulful cover of the White Strips “Seven Nation Army”, an insistence to plug their free CD’s, King Mews had cemented themselves as solid, enjoyable musicians.

O2 Academy: Saturday Sun
Saturday Sun 0102

Next in line, Saturday Sun from Swanage. These guys, sporting a very grungey, Nirvana-esque image, proved to be one massive fake-out. The music, for starters, was incredibly ambient and soft, mellowing kind of tunes. However, this was immediately juxtaposed by most of the chorus’ of the songs, which would break into a pounding wall of noise that was delivered with surprisingly strong, yet subtle vocals. All in all, not my average cuppa, but I can see the talent these guys have, musically each member knows what they’re doing, for sure.

O2 Academy: Sirpico
Sirpico 0102

The third band on stage were the quartet of Sirpico, and this is really where things begin to heat up the otherwise freezing Cold O2 Academy. These four guys filled the empty chasm in the main floor with their own infectious brand of ballady rock tunes. Sirpico just exuded energy and jovial charisma, clearly these are men who enjoy what they do. A favourite song of mine was the well known tune of “The River”, a joyous, shuffle beat anthem, with some quite disturbing lyrics, that really got in the audiences heads turning, their feet moving, and their drink flowing.

O2 Academy: Empire Affair
Empire Affair 

After Sirpico blitzed the stage and left to a raucous applause, act four would have to be something quite special, and special it was. In the shape of Empire Affair, a fresh faced, young and ready to rock. By far one of the most involving bands of the night, the opening track, a brand new song called “Sebastian” came accompanied by the loyal fans singing along with the guitar riffs, a sea of hands raised up high, and more than a few cheers and whoops. But what of the actual talent these indie rockers have? Well, with a front man almost impossibly named Neil Tallant, he more than lived up to his namesake, bringing swagger and presence to the stage like no one had done so far. A brilliant set (Including a well placed cover of Lana Del Ray’s “Video Games”), tons of energy, and music so infectious, it will stay in your head for ages.

O2 Academy: Butcher Blues Foundation
Butcher Blues Foundation 0102

The Butcher Blues Foundation were the next to grace the Boscombe stage that night, with a kind of power that was some levels above the previous acts. I’m not joking, the main word I would use to describe these guys is power, the guitars and the bass well complemented each other, with the drums unrelenting in their power and pace. If anyone, for some obscure reason, had been drifting off during this wonderful showcase of music, then they will have been snapped back into the room with a bang the moment the BBF slammed through their songs. Proper ballsy stuff. Thumbs up from me.

O2 Academy: Constellation

With the evening drawing to a close, Constellation, the penultimate band, were next up, and – even though I had seen these guys previously – impressed me all over again, opening with their own interpretation of “Learn To Fly” by the Foo Fighters, and brilliant originals such as “Turns To Gold”, this sonic assault presented by the Bournemouth five some were truly marvelous, disappointingly their set was mainly made up by mostly cover versions, despite their original material usually being so impressive with great songs such as “Valentine” and “Flower Song”. Keep an eye on these guys, and don’t miss out the chance to see them live.

O2 Academy: Lady Winwoods Maggot
Lady Winwoods Maggot 0102

And, with the night coming to an end, the final band, Lady Winwood’s Maggot, were the closers for the amped up crowd. Presenting their own way of doing things, a Death Western boot to the face of anyone listening. Front man Mark Baines stalks the stage and delivers his growling vocals in powerhouse songs such as “Buffalohead” and the rebellious “Bulldozer”, complimented by the banjo lines of Chris Hopgood, and the vocal harmonies present in many of their songs. These folk-punk bruisers were a brilliantly uncomplicated way to finish up a fantastic night of live music, and they are certainly headed to bigger things in these next few months. A brilliant night, and one that so perfectly highlights the local music scene, an ever thriving industry that just keeps getting better and better, the more time goes by. People of Boscombe, you are lucky to have such an event pass you by, I know I felt lucky to be there. The great news is that there is going to be another Bandalism 3 in October if you would like your band to play get in touch with their team here http://www.facebook.com/bandalismbournemouth who will let you more about the next event.

Kings Mews

Saturday Sun


Empire Affair

Butcher Blues Foundation


Lady Winwood’s Maggot

Band Links

Review by Mike Masters
Pictures & Video by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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