Sunday 14th July 2013

Ashley Cross Green, Parkstone, Poole

Grooves On The Green

Featuring: Pronghorn, Mutant Vinyl, Eleven XI, Not Made In China, Thirstyman & Annie Winter Band
After the continued success of the annual local family music festival Grooves On The Green, it was decided to make the event a ticketed two-day affair, giving the opportunity for more local bands to be viewed by a much wider audience than they’d usually be used to in the music venues around Dorset.

The event just happened to fall on one of the hottest weekends of the year so far, and the park was an ideal place for the festival, with its welcomingly shady trees and a cool fountain to take a dip in if things get too overheated. Sadly, due to a clash with another local festival, the Rock Regeneration team was only able to attend on the Sunday, but our spies say that the first day went really well with some great performances from bands like Draw Me Ugly, Fish Out Of Water, and of course everybody’s favourite party band Disco’s Out (Murders In). This year a second smaller acoustic stage has been introduced to give other artists the chance to perform. Opening this stage on Sunday was the very talented Si Genaro coupled with guitarist Chris Woodford who thrilled crowds with an early set of skilful musicianship.

The first act on the main stage was the “Annie Winter Band” who started at just the right pace to get things going, performing tracks from their brand new album “Zooni” which will be launched on the 31st August. The laid back blues style drifted gently out into the park and into the ears of the more than willing listeners. The four-piece made good use of their short time on stage with some excellent soft vocal skills from Annie Winter herself, accompanied by smooth guitar work from Ed Houston. They left the stage to decent applause from the sun-blessed audience and attentive praise from the onstage compare Conrad Barr, who seemed more than happy with their performance.

Annie Winter Band
Annie Winter Band 12

Next up were “Thirstyman,” who continued the laid back vibe with some great original songs, combining acoustic and electric guitars with some beautifully-delivered harmonies from all areas of the band. Their influences come from a variety of places including traditional English folk, Americana folk, as well as Hispanic and gypsy-infused elements using additional violin and mandolin to create their original atmospheric tunes. Front man Pete Thompson formerly of “The Absolute Darlings” seems to be relishing this chance to play with his band to a larger audience, despite the heat, wrong choice of stage attire, and wishing he had worn his shorts in this 25 degree heat. The band’s varied styles of songs range from the rather unusual “Fish” to the lovely “No Time For This” which I’m sure earned the band a whole new group of fans.

Thirstyman 12

“Not Made In China” brought more upbeat tunes to the party, quoted by local radio DJ Tim Heywood as being the happiest band in Bournemouth. The band doesn’t fall short of this label, with some really uplifting tunes that adopt some of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” sound, mixed with large amounts of Morrissey and Marr. At the moment, the band is without a drummer, so the multi-talented Ed Pope of Mutant Vinyl stepped in willingly at a moment’s notice. The band perform a mixture of old and new tracks, including “Sick Of The Six”, dedicated to everyone that hates buses, that’s from their 2nd EP “Southernisms”; “The Rat Race”, and the excellent “Retro Rejects,” a song all about old toys of days gone by stored up in the attic. The band’s completely unique sound using uplifting twin electric guitars, combined with Tiff Wheaton-Green’s delightful vocal talents are just the tonic for a day out in the sun; and as I look around there are plenty of people in the park thoroughly enjoying the band’s uplifting set.

Not Made In China
Not Made In China 12

The volume and the energy is pushed up for “Eleven XI”, who take to the stage and playfully throw lots of beach balls into the crowd, much to the delight of many of the children at the front. The five-piece band fronted by Paul Read is a truly versatile bunch of musicians, who perform a collection of well-crafted songs from the forthcoming album that are all uniquely different from each other. There are elements of pop, rock, reggae and soul, infused to make a sound that is really listenable. The Ashley Cross crowd welcomed the music with open arms, giving a few energetic souls the chance to get up and dance to songs like “Brothers & Sisters” with its infectious reggae beat and nod to its inspiration of The Police with a little bit of “Every Little Thing She does is Magic” mid song. The band leave the stage after around 45 minutes and get the best reception of the day so far from the audience.

Eleven XI
Eleven XI 12

Ed Pope make’s his second appearance of the day, this time with his band “Mutant Vinyl”, who bring a completely different vibe to the other bands before them. This is the great thing about Grooves On The Green – the eclectic mix of genres. Ed’s raw youthfulness and many talents are displayed in his playing of many instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, saxophone and keyboard, which, combined with his band, makes for original and ground-breaking music. Despite a few initial sound hiccups the band pull out their big sound and fill the park with jazz-infused reggae dub tunes. With Marc Haynes on Guitar, Josh Haberfield on drums and Mitch Johns on Bass, Ed directs each band member to deliver exactly what is required within each song. Their songs, such as the echoing dub epic of “Dread” and the powerful classic “Acid Honey”, spark some real interest within the audience who once again seemingly enjoying the tunes despite many hearing them here for the first time.

Mutant Vinyl
Mutant Vinyl 12

At last are final band of the day “Pronghorn”, a band who were in fact formed right here in Parkstone, and they have a lot of fans here today to join them on this, their homecoming show. The audience need no encouragement at all to get up and dance to the band’s very own brand of “cowpunk” a sort of folk rock style using banjo, fiddle, and a washboard to create a unique Dorset genre. Frontman Lamer’s fast-delivered rough West Country style vocals are joined by virtually all the band’s fans singing the words in beautiful Parkstone unison. The songs come thick and fast with familiar tunes like “Banjo Case”, “Hej Sokoly” and “Boscum Stamp” which was renamed for the day to “Parkstone Stamp”. The audience couldn’t help but dance energetically for the complete duration of the set. The seven-piece end the day on a high with their version of Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades”, reworked in unique Pronghorn Style; a fantastic end to what was a perfect day all round.

Pronghorn 12

In September this park will be used once again for another welcome two-day festival, “Party In The Park” full of local bands. All the details can be found here.


Band Links

Videos, Pictures & Review By Dave Chinery(Chinners)

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