Winchester Pub, Bournemouth

The Jack Ratts

The Jack Rats don’t normally need a excuse for a party but with the release of the debut album “Sail The Deadly Seas” and with Christmas nearly upon us it was a must that they got out of the rehearsal studio to do some serious celebrating.

With it being four days before Christmas the Winchester Pub in Bournemouth was made to feel very cosy and festive with lots of Christmas cheer, to get everyone in the mood the band moved throughout the large crowd generously distributing crackers, party poppers and even free tots of rum to make sure the evening went with a swing. The first act to take to the stage are “The Maddison Tarheels” a four piece band of retro road makers who perform music from the deep south. Fronted by The Jack Ratts very on Fabian Maddison the ‘Tarheels’ use banjo, double bass, fiddle and a washboard to create a real authentic sound. The infectious foot tapping songs really get the party started with the “Crowman” generating some lively comedy banter with the audience, with songs such as “Wild Hog” and “Sugar Hill” sounding much like music found in early American cowboys saloons. A couple of well chosen covers like Aloe Blacc’s “I Need A Dollar” and a reworking of the one hit wonders Renex “Cotton Eyed Joe” get the audience singing along with the band. After a delightful 30 minute set the band leave the stage to plenty of applause from the more than well entertained but hard to please audience.

The Maddison tarheels
The Maddison tarheels 12

Continuing with the Road mending theme, the next act are Glastonbury’s “Minor Work’s Unit” who despite the flooding down in Somerset all made it all here in one piece. The five piece band fronted by Dan Bradford make a bit of slow start, as the audience begin to get their humour and music things seem to liven up. Using Ukulele’s, double bass, Harmonica, acoustic guitar and a Cajon to create a fusion of genres including Ska, jazz, reggae and folk. The cleverly put together songs about very random subjects raise plenty of smiles amongst the audience who by now are enthusiastically singing along and dancing. Vocalist Dan who delivers a very dry sense of comedy makes a comment about his unfortunate hair style looking a bit like that of Gary Glitters and sings a zany song about how the Glitter band let them down. The songs such as “Pedestrians”, “Little Pig” and “Give My Fiver back to me” all thoroughly entertain the by now very happy and slightly inebriated audience. The band put on Santa hats and white beards appropriately for the last number “Bearded Man” actively encouraging everybody to “gotta gotta touch your beard”. The all leave the stage and head straight for the bar in readiness for the main attraction.

Minor Works Unit
Minor Works Unit 12

Wimborne’s finest and most famous DJ Dapper Dan spins a few ska numbers to really get everybody ready for the arrival of The Jack Ratts. As the band take to the stage and start their 1st number the whole place erupts in ruckus dancing, the infectious sound made by the expertly played mandola, fiddle, banjo and accordion just makes everybody want to move and that does stop for the whole duration of the set. The band give no let up barely taking a breath in-between songs with their seemingly endless energy knowing no bounds. Father Christmas takes some time out from his busy festive schedule to join the band on stage and distribute some gifts into some willing hands of the by now drunken audience. Folk Rock legends The Pogues obviously give great inspiration to this band and the band show this by performing classic versions of “Streams Of Whisky” and “The Irish Rover”. As well as guest musicians Hawkeye on Banjo, and Crowman on washboard, the 7 musicians produce a tight well rehearsed sound that shows some excellent creative work especially on the pirate influenced songs such as “The Curse Of The Jack Ratt”, “Sail The Deadly Seas” and the “Tale Of No Hope” which would not sound out of place on a movie sound track for a Pirates of The Caribbean film.

The Jack Ratts

The Jack Ratts 12345

The Pogues influence continues with a fantastic crowd rousing “Fairytale of New York” which features the local up and coming singer Sofi Reed who does Kirsty MacColl proud with her duet with Jack Ratt Vinne along with everybody else in the audience who sing along at the tops of their voices. Just when you thought that was the end the audience literally beg for more and dutifully The Jack Ratts oblige with “New York Girls” recently made famous by “Bellowhead and featured in the Martin Scorsese film “Gangs Of New York”. The final number was the famous Jewish Folk song “Hava Nagilia” which means “Let Us Rejoice” and boy did everybody do that tonight continuing on well past midnight, all the correct ingredients were put in place by the bands and the venue for a truly amazing night that everyone who attended will remember for many years to come.

Set List
Murshin Durkin
Wind That Shakes The Barley
Cripple Creek
June Apple
Jesse James
Drunken Sailor
The Tale Of No Hope
Levan Polka
Old For England
Streams of Whiskey
Molly Magee
The Irish Rover
Johnny O/Kajuska
The Curse Of The Jack Ratt
Fairytale Of New York(With Sofi Reed)
Sail The Deadly Seas
New York Girls/Clumsy Lover Reel
Hava Nagila


More Videos from this gig can be found on our Youtube page here.

Band Links…Maddison-Tarheels/229843743775054

Words, Pictures & Videos By Dave Chinery (Chinners).

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