Centre Stage, Bournemouth

Walk The Night

Tonight at the Centre Stage in Bournemouth is the start of a new regular monthly event put together by local musician Darren Hodson. Darren performs himself in several bands BB3, The Southern Companion, The Velvet Hearts, The 24/7’s as well as solo acoustic shows. With this much experience along with a host of musician friends this event hopefully will be something the local music scene can very much look forward to each month.

The 247's

The 247’s 12

The openers for the show tonight are The 24/7’s a band fronted by singer/song writer John James Newman who famously appeared on TV show “The Voice” performing The Stereophonics song “Dakota”. as well as supporting Bon Jovi at the O2 Arena in London with his band The Velvet Hearts. The band provide some really seriously well put together music combining Darren’s electric and JJ’s acoustic guitars to great effect, thrilling each member of the audience with each track played. The band show their huge amount of experience as well as having a really serious amount of chemistry going on with the natural way that the music is delivered, seemingly with ease which is just a sheer pleasure to watch. The songs come in the form of ‘How It Feels’ apparently written in a kitchen on the back of a discarded electric bill, with drummer Ollie on vocals as well as the great “Stay with You” and bringing the tempo down slightly for “She”. The vocals were delivered with large amounts of passion and emotion with “JJ” really proving his worthy place as front man of this band. The 24/7’s leave after a short 30 minutes on stage to large amounts of enthusiastic applause, a superb start to the evenings entertainment.

Darren Hodson And The Southern Companion

Darren Hodson And The Southern Companion 12

Next on tonight’s agenda we have Darren Hodson & The Southern Companion featuring many members from the 1st band, so the efficient changeover and the interval was thankfully very short. The Southern Companion first came to many peoples attention when they had a great run during the Dorset Music Awards where they only just missed out on a place in the final to tonight’s headliners “Walk The Night” who were then called “Bad Magic”. The Southern Companion are made up of twin electric guitars played over keys, coupled with an extremely tight rhythm section performing rock n roll with distinct American Country leanings. The band like The 24/7’s show off their skills with their instruments with ease, especially Darren Hodson’s guitar work which is just magical on songs like “The Leaving Kind” and opener “Too Much Is Never Enough” . Darren’s wife Sally and JJ are both invited to join the band on stage for a few numbers towards the end of the set giving the songs like “Weekend Wednesdays” some really welcome and well delivered harmonies. It has been far too long since the Southern Companion played in town and tonight’s gig was a rare treat for this audience, who by their reaction seem to enjoy every second of the band’s really well delivered performance.

Walk The Night
Walk The Night 12

The headliners “Walk The Night” are a little out of their comfort zone tonight as they have never really played to a seated audience before. They are more used to playing in pubs and in rock clubs, where they have a standing more energetic audience. The Centre Stage is a venue with rows of tables where the audience are more used to sitting comfortably listening rather than jumping around. This young band full of youthful talent kick off strongly with a slightly higher volume with their very in brand of hard rock influenced music. The four piece comprising of Chris Payn(Lead Vocals/guitar/keyboards), Scotty Faron(Bass), Rus Scagell(lead Guitar) and the rock solid Andy Smooth(Drums) all have such a passion for what they do and really know how to entertain any type of audience. The band are currently recording their debut EP at Room With A View Studios in Ringwood which should hopefully be ready for release soon. As well as some more established tracks the band are airing some new material which shows a new maturity and a slightly different direction with the introduction of some keyboards. The band invite Darren Hodson to the stage to perform a surprise performance of “Rocky Mountain Way” which sounded amazing, combining the two guitars coupled with Chris’s colossal vocal sound. The curfew of 11pm soon arrived signalling the end of a great evening featuring three great bands, all of whom sent each member of the audience home thoroughly entertained. The next in this series of shows is in the same venue on the 18th July again with Darren Hodson & The Southern Companion, JJ Newman & The 247’s, as well as local based band The Mercurymen.

Set Lists
Walk The Night
Can’t Get Enough
The Road Song
Rocky Mountain Way/Tainted Love (Joe Walsh cover with Darren Hodson)
No. 1

Darren Hodson & The Southern Companion
Too Much Is Never Enough
Weekend Wednesday’s
Soul Sister
The Leaving Kind


Band Links

Review, Pictures & Video by Dave Chinery (Chinners).