The Anvil, Bournemouth

Viking Skull

It’s hot in Bournemouth, 26 degrees all day without a cloud in the sky. So what do 100 metal heads decide to do? Spend 4 hours in a basement listening to some killer bands and drinking themselves silly. It was also assistant manager/Anvil promoter Bear’s Birthday. So take on water you’re gonna need it!

Bournemouth’s own classic rock heroes Western Sand, start the ball rolling with their excellent 70’s rock tinged style. These guys always give value for money and once again put on a tight show. The Anvil have a smoke machine that when you press a little button it sends a waft of dry ice smoke across the stage ceiling, this would be pressed every now and then during the sets to add to the atmosphere.

Western Sand
Western Sand –1234

Another local band, In The Hills, are playing their third ever show but sound as if they have been together for years. Heavy downtuned riffs engulf the Anvil basement and once again the ITH steamroller flattens everything in its wake, one of my favourite live bands at the moment.

In The Hills
In The Hills –1234

I can’t make my mind up over The Mercy House, on one hand you could tell that they are all good musicians but their hard rock meets Grunge didn’t seem to make an impression on the Anvil crowd. Some of the band seemed just as disinterested as the audience and the whole set felt a little flat. Add to that the singer did not want the smoke machine on during their show, so the button was moved onto the stage so none of the crowd could press it!

The Mercy House
The Mercy House –1234

Thank the lord of rock that headliners Viking Skull were up for the party. As the temperature rose so did the Anvils attendance and the rip-roaring vocals of Roddy Stone let everyone know the obvious …it’s bloody hot! With sweat already gushing from every pore, VS open with the rampaging Crank The Volume and immediately follow with my favourite VS song Beers, Drugs And Bitches. Two songs in and the place is a freakin’ sauna, band and punters headbanging like mad, sending sweat flying through the air in all directions creating veritable monsoon conditions! The Skull don’t stop, each song performed better than the last and topped with a contagious enthusiasm. Jess Magera pounds the drums with energy sapping vigour and guitarists Dom Wallace and Frank Regan let fly lethal riffs left, right and centre. While stage right Waldie makes sure the chains on the walls are rattling with his bass lines. As the last song Skull Heaven starts to draw to a close, someone on stage begins to press the smoke button again…and again…and again. Until the whole downstairs is so full of smoke, that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. What a gig, you gotta hand it to Bear he always has best Birthday parties, with a little help from a kick ass rock band like Viking Skull of course.

Viking Skull
Viking Skull –1234

1. Crank The Volume
2. Beer, drugs And Bitches
3. Five Fingers of Steel
4. This Is The End
5. Born In Hell
6. Wizards Sleeve
7. Second Left On Harris
8. Hair Of The Dog
9. Machine Gun Honey
10. Red Hot Woman
11. Seedealer
12. You Can’t Kill Rock n’ Roll
13. Skull Heaven

Words and pictures by Dan O’Gara.

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