Centre Stage, Bournemouth

Featuring Joel Gregory & Estee, Aaron Jamie, and Becky Plotneck

Aaron Gregory

Aaron Gregory is a pillar of the local music community generously supporting the scene with a number notable charity events to his name, he recently arranged a small 2 stage indoor festival called “Sparkle Fest”, and has given his time for free to compare a gig at On The Rocks during the Oxjam weekend.

Tonight that generosity continues as a portion of the door money from this his album launch gig goes to providing much needed equipment for local schools. Aaron’s new album “Last Dance To The Carousel” is a concept album all about the local Dorset area, and tonight it is being unveiled to the public here at the home of the Bournemouth Folk Club at the Centre Stage. This evening a bountiful amount of quality support acts have been laid on to keep the audience entertained before Aaron takes to the stage.

The first to take to the stage is local teenage Poole girl Becky Plotneck who is performing her very 1st ever live performance here tonight. Despite this, she seems confident with hardly any nerves and calmly takes her place on the stage with just her acoustic guitar. Becky takes on some tough songs by Corrine Bailey Rae, Laura Marlin, and “Blackbird” by The Beatles which she executes really well showing what a great well toned voice she has. A surprise in the form of an explicit version Frank Turner’s “Heartless B**tard Mother F**Ker” turns a few heads in the audience, I’m sure though this song has been chosen for that exact reason, I hope her Mother approved. Becky leaves the stage to some huge applause which starts her musical career off in a very positive way.

Becky Plotneck
Becky Plotneck 

Next up is local singer songwriter Aaron Jamie who had not performed on stage until a few years ago when he picked up a guitar and performed at one of the many open mic sessions, he enjoyed it so much he continued. Aaron has a very passionate soulful voice and when singing his own original songs they are delivered in a very heartfelt way. The slightly negative side to his performance which I am sure with time can be improved is the unorganised way his is on stage. Not really having a prearranged plan of what he is going to play, indecisively flicking through his notes. It did not help that his music stand was right near his face so the audience had an obscured view of him. Putting these points aside his vocals and guitar on these well written songs shine through to impress throughout his short 30 minute set.

Aaron jamie
Aaron Jamie 1

Next up we have Aaron’s brother Joel Gregory who has been making a name for himself after moving to London, working the busy music scene very hard to get his music out there. A reward was forth coming in the form of nationwide coverage on TV programme “Soccer Am” with his fellow performer, rapper, Estee. Joel stepped out on the stage with just his acosutic guitar and proceeded to blow everyone in the room away with his beautifully soulful voice that really delivers in a big way. The previously noisey audience were tamed into silence as Joel’s performance demanded attention, with songs like the brilliant “1989” and the gentle “Turn Off The Lights”. Estee then takes to the stage to give a completely unique performance accompanied by Joel on piano with a song that combines the two styles of vocals in a very original way. Estee’s non aggressive rapping style and Joel’s soulful tone provides the audience with a performance to remember, their very loud applause indicated their huge enjoyment of the set.

Joel Gregory
Joel Gregory 12

Living in the shadow of a sibling is not an easy thing to do and it is a very big ask of Aaron to follow that performance, kicking off with the opening title track of the album “”Last Dance To The Carousel” is apparent that the vocals are sadly not a patch on his brothers. The locally based songs like the seedy “Derby Road”, and “We Will Always Have Weymouth” are received well and the audience give Aaron lots of positive encouragement.

Aaron Gregory
Aaron Gregory 123

Aaron is joined on stage by Sean Gallager who provides some excellent accompaniment on guitars and bass along with singer Sarah webb who’s vocals really bring these songs to life especially “To The Sea” where this catchy tune got much of the audience singing along, it was a shame Sarah’s delightful voice was not used on more of the songs. A unusual choice of cover in the form of the Oasis song “Mucky Fingers” is thrown into the set while a technical problem is sorted. “Under Parkstone Skies” is a songs dedicated to the sights and sounds of Ashley Cross with it’s inspiration coming from the summer “Grooves On The Green” festival. The best song of the night is “Smoke” which has a catchy infectious chorus which was popular with the gracious audience. In all the thing that stood out for me tonight were how very disappointed I was at how weak Aaron’s vocals were compared to many of the other singers, I so wanted to be positive about his singing as he works so hard and is genuinely a really nice chap, but despite his best efforts he was upstaged by many of his invited support acts.

Aaron Gregory

Joel Gregory & Estee

Aaron Jamie

Becky Ploteck

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Words, Pictures & Video by Dave “ummm YouTube” Chinery (Chinners)

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