O2 Academy, Bournemouth

Featuring: Escapefrom’98, Sansara, Empire Affair, Sirpico, Lyrical Monsoon, The Cramatics, and Monty

Bandalsim III

It’s Saturday night, it’s Bank Holiday Weekend and it’s only Bandalism 3! With the venue slowly filling, tonight’s first act take to the stage.

Monty are a 3 piece Bournemouth Indie band who open with “Glassjaw” amid some jangly guitars. The vocals are fine, as is the music and their performance sees the band use the full stage area-no speaker stack is left unchallenged! “Glass in the Road” is decent enough but when they attempt a Vaccines cover I find myself cringing with the vocals. They make a decent enough stab at “Norgaard”. It’s just the vocals are so out of key, which is a shame because the guitar parts are near perfect. They end on a high though with the impressive “Lost in the Flock” which is simply excellent. With some lower slung guitars and a little more live exposure I feel this 3 piece could be on to something.


Monty 1

Next up are The Cramatics, a Bournemouth 4 piece Soul/Pop/Indie band. This band are new to me and on this evidence a little nervous on a big stage in front of a large crowd. They run with it though and open with “Like Gold”. These young good looking guys are impressing the younger ladies in tonight’s audience who scream in appreciation. I just feel too much energy is wasted in between song chat/banter, rabble rousing if you like. There’s no doubting their musicianship, which they display for all to see. The guitars and vocals from Chris and Max (respectfully) are clear and audible, while Alex (bass/keys) is confident throughout, as is Dan (drums). I finally lose interest when we get a self-indulgent “rap” incorporating songs by Ed Sheeran, amongst others. Though-it just doesn’t work for me. This crowd on the other hand love it and they leave to great applause. With more confidence they are an A&R mans dream so I wish them well.

The Cramatics
The Cramatics 1

Sirpico are up next. One of Christchurch’s better known bands take to the stage with supreme confidence. On the back of a recent management deal this 4 piece have little to prove but much to offer. They open with “In Your Soul” displaying singer Al’s trademark vocals and piano parts, a staple of most of their set. Their Indie/Rock/RnB crossover works well on the big stage and they make a big noise tonight. Dan (guitar) provides the power chords, accompanied by Ben (bass) and some hard hitting from Kristian (drums). Old song and live favourite “The River” is, as always the set highlight but all the songs sound better on a big stage in a bigger room. “Human Wreckage” is another highlight before they leave us on “Everything She Had”. An altogether great performance from a band finally reaching their potential I feel. Definitely ones to watch.


Sirpico 12

Next up are another act new to me. Lyrical Monsoon are from out of town, Salisbury to be exact! Looking around it’s as if half of Salisbury are here judging by the response to their entrance! This Salisbury musical collective make an early impression on the audience with a mixture of swagger,confidence and a clutch of rappy numbers. Now I’m no rap officanado but these guys get this crowd moving almost from the off with the appropriately titled “We Got The Funk”. Carl and Gavin provide the vocals and play off eachother as they strut around the stage. The bass provided by Jack accompanies the beats in this mash-up of styles which is a sure fire winner. An interesting take on “Sweet Dreams…” works well-inspired in no small part by the Marilyn Manson version, but unique enough to call it their own. The guys (I’m informed) over run their slot, but everyone is having such a good time no-one notices! They leave to great applause and no doubt garner a few new converts. There are large festival stages just waiting for bands like Lyrical Monsoon – I for one will be watching with interest!

Lyrical Monsoon
Lyrical Monsoon 1

When Sansara take to the stage next it’s their fans who steal the limelight. This 5 piece Rock act are everything one would expect of a band from this genre. Big riffs, big hair, showmanship and a clutch of heavyweight songs to match. About 10 diehards (if I’m counting) among their entourage take it upon themselves to mosh, jump,climb-generally amuse themselves to the music. It’s hilarious to watch and at least gives security something to “panic” about. Their fans though are simply having fun! Tom (lead vox) has a vocal not unlike Pearl Jam, although this is no tribute show-these guys are up there on their own merit. Sam (lead) is the main shapeshifter in the band while Mike bludgeons us with his powerhouse drums. Simon (bass) is smiling throughout and cant keep still for a minute while to his right Chris (guitar) bears more than a passing resemblance to Phil Oakey (though I doubt it’s deliberate)! They open with ‘Save Me’ which is rather apt considering one of their fans is now on the floor! “Broken” soon follows before the fans go to town with exuberance on “Taking Over”. “Come To Life” is another highlight but once again their fans need no encouragement! They end on a number called “Deride” and leave to good applause. I can imagine at a Rock/Metal festival these guys would come into their own and make many new fans, but tonight both band and fans make an impression!!


Sansara 12

Tonight’s big ticket sellers Empire Affair take to the stage. Having blown away all the opposition this time last year with a brilliant set and equally impressive stagecraft and attire, they open with a question – “Can You Feel It” – yes we can! Neil (vox) is in his trademark exuberant mood as he covers every inch of the stage. Behind him the band are tight and loud in a set that is note perfect. “One Night In Munich” is a highlight, and fast becoming a live favourite with its big chorus. Both Jack and Matt provide some fine guitar work alongside Tom’s bass and Darren’s hitting. The overall sound is very clean tonight which allows Neil’s vocals to shine through. There’s no let up in his dancing/jumping as he is animated almost their entire set. “Dancing On The Moon” is somewhat apt but they go out with a bang with the excellent “Tornadoes”. Another number with a big singalong chorus that doesn’t disappoint. When Empire Affair are this good there’s no-one better. The sky’s the limit!

Empire Affair
Empire Affair 12

Due to Checking Pulse cancelling there’s a late headline spot for those local Pop/Punkers EscapeFrom’98. They laud it being headliners and quickly whizz through their 30 minute set. They open with a staple live favourite of theirs in “All I Ever Wanted…”. With one eye on the clock and a realisation they might be limited to 20 minutes or less the guys crank it up full throttle. They to use every inch of the stage. “Secret Auntie” follows, another of their “family” inspired tunes. On “Chorus” they invite Rock Regeneration’s compere Chinners and Hope FM’s finest Mr. Tim Heywood to skank along to the song. Seeing these 2 “old stagers” made me feel young again! Seeing them “Skanking” made me realise my own dance moves aren’t so bad!! Either way those of us who have remained are duly entertained. They end to great applause and milk it for what it’s worth. EF98 have clearly enjoyed being the “headliners” tonight and we the public who stuck around have enjoyed their set.

Escapefrom '98
Escapefrom ’98 12

Bandalism III once again has proved a big success. Despite the original curator passing the baton to us at RR, we took it on and ran with it. Proof if ever it were needed that a stellar line-up will usually “pull the punters”. Much praise needs to be heaped on our ver own Dave Chinery (Chinners) for organisation, promotion, and his enthusiastic compering skills. Many thanks also to all the acoustic acts who played upstairs, and to Tim Heywood for compering. If you like real music keep coming to Bandalism. At a time when another local venue is about to bite the bullet we must keep supporting live music. On tonight’s evidence Bournemouth has a thriving music scene, lets all work together to keep it that way. Keep music live!

Bandalsim III

Glass In The Road
Norgaard(The Vaccines)
Who Needs An Education
Lost In The Flock

The Cramatics
Like Gold
New Feel

In Your Soul
Perfect Lady
Too Long
In The River
Human Wreckage
Everything She Had

Lyrical Monsoon
We Got THe Funk
Stand Up (The Last Waltz)
Sicker Than your
Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics)
7 Years Deep
Jack’s Song
Tight & Loose

Empire Affair
Can You Feel It
I’m Just Starting
Point Break
Titanium (David Guetta)
Dancing On The Moon

Save me
Taking over
Let it burn
Come to Life

Rat Race
All I Ever Wanted (Was to be in a Punk Rock Band)
Secret Auntie
Staying Home
Those Days Gone By
Chorus (with Tim Heywood & Chinners)


The Cramatics


Lyrical Monsoon


Empire Affair


Band Links

Words By Ross A Ferrone.
Pictures by Charlie Raven(http://www.charlieraven.com)
Videos by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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