On The Rocks, Bournemouth

Agatha's garden

It’s now officially Winter and the layers come out. However, the only layers on show at On The Rocks tonight are eyeliner! That old rarity of a Goth gig is upon us. Billed as a pre-Halloween gig this is a good chance to see two local bands from the local Goth scene.

Opening tonight are Vampyre Heart, a “concept-Goth” act if you like! Summer (vox) tells us early on about her sore throat and illness of late, you wouldn’t know it on this performance. Yes, she might not be hitting the highest notes but her voice carries almost the entire set. They open with LP title “The Ghost Of Time” and then “Devil’s Mercy”, two Halloween-inspired titles if ever I’ve heard some. Listening to Vampyre Heart one cant help but detecting a nod toward Goth mainstays Die So Fluid. Vocally the similarities are there from a band that are unapologetically Goth. Taff (bass) has an interesting style of playing, almost fingering his strings while twisting his hands around said instrument! Multi-instrumentalist D Soul is the main shape shifter mind as he uses up every inch of this small stage. Most of these songs have that big 80’s Electro/Goth sound running through them,but if I have one criticism its the length of some of the songs-unless of course you’re releasing that 80’s staple the 12″ single! “Freak Inside” is another great song before they leave us with set highlight “Evil Eyes”. This is a first for me witnessing this band and with the release of a novel to accompany said LP, one can expect bigger audiences for Vampyre Heart.

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Headliners Agatha’s Garden need no introduction. Having picked up their instruments once again after some 20 years the original line up are back before us once more. They open with “The Collector” and play many great original songs from their extensive repertoire. “Run” and “(Makin’ Love To A) Creature” are set highlights while new song “My Last Temptation” gets some movement from the few who want to dance. The quite excellent “Triffid” gets wheeled out tonight and doesn’t disappoint, while Alice Cooper’s “Elected” is the first cover of the night. Dean (vox) is in great voice while Tony (bass) remains statuesque almost throughout. Tom’s power-drumming is a feature and tonight they are right on it. Two great Sex Pistols covers are popular, ‘Something Else’ and ‘Pretty Vacant’, while Dean pays tribute to recently bereaved with “Rest In Pieces”. The Cramps song “Goo Goo Muck” is put into the set to finish, yet the band agree to play just one more song much to the delight of the audience. “Teenage Kicks” seems rather appropriate after the Punk covers of earlier and ends a confident set by a band enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Just a shame there aren’t more people here.

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Agatha’s Garden
The Collector
Hearts N Flowers
Statue Moved
Tryna Convince You
Tower Of Dreams
My Last Temptation
Girl Death
(I In Love With A)Triffid
Something Else
Pretty Vacant(Sex Pistols)
Rest In Pieces
Elected(Alice Cooper)
Goo Goo Muck(Cramps Cover)
Teenage Kicks(The Undertones)

Vampyre Heart
The Ghost Of Time
Devil’s Mercy
Hell Asked Why
Crazy Maybe
Life Of Solitude
She Cried
Freak Inside
Evil Eyes


Band Links

Review By Ross A “I always dress cool” Ferrone
Video By Dave “I made a fool of myself by wearing fancy dress” Chinery (Chinners)

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