Sound Circus, Bournemouth

Heaven's Basement

Oh my. Sometimes, just sometimes, I go to a gig that is so good that all I want to write is “THAT WAS SO GOOD”, because I know that my clumsy attempts to manipulate the English language in such a manner in which to describe it to you will not do it justice at all. This was one of those rare and magical evenings…

It was Skarlett Riot’s first time playing in Bournemouth, and I really hope they play here again soon. A combination of upbeat rhythms, crunching guitars and immensely powerful vocals from the female lead singer, meant they set the bar high for the rest of the night. I found myself singing along to the catchy choruses even though I had never heard the band before. They did a great job of getting the crowd warmed up, everyone really responded to the great songs and the confidence and energy that was oozing from the band. I feel as the only thing that could possibly make them any better would be to not bother with the occasional shouty vocals that were provided by the bassist. As the lead singer had such a great, strong voice it just seemed unnecessary to have this element. Still, it didn’t take anything away from what was a great performance.

Skarlett Riot
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Buffalo Summer transported us back in time with a look and a sound that was plucked straight from the early 70’s. Sounding like a combination of Led Zeppelin and Lenny Kravitz. Their groovy rock style with its bluesy element got my hips moving, when music is this good I tend to forget where I am, leading me to get my groove on in public. I just couldn’t help it! I even briefly forgot how hot it was, I felt totally lost in the music. There were killer guitar solos straight from the start and the singer seemed to be just as lost in the music as I was; they all played with true passion. Between songs there was great audience engagement and some real appreciation for everyone who was watching them.

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The crowd seemed to be in a great mood whilst waiting for Heaven’s Basement, the quality of music that had already been played had been fantastic and we were all excited for the climax of this treat for the ears. Heaven’s Basement are yet another band who had not been to Bournemouth’s sunny shores before and they seemed to be under the impression that the place is full of pensioners. They certainly seemed surprised that the crowd were so rowdy and up for a good time.

Heaven's Basement
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Having played Download festival in June and selling out most of the dates on their current tour, they are a band who are clearly on their way to the top and it’s easy to see why. The drum beat coursed through the crowd’s bodies, the back and forth vocals on “Nothing Left to Lose” were like a perfectly executed game of pong, and they had so much energy. Even with the heat that night there was a proper dance pit going to “I Am Electric”, which is a simple song lyrically, but packs such a punch musically. Front man Aaron seemed to be enjoying himself just as much as the crowd and got down from the stage to join in with the fun.

Towards the end they did calm things down for a moment by paying “The Price We Pay”, which gave them a chance to really show off their talent. Just the guitarist Sid and singer Aaron were on the stage for much of the song, the soaring vocals and beautiful melodies sent tingles down my spine. They finished with the explosive “Executioner’s Day” which contained face melting solos and behind the head guitar playing which is always fun! Can you all come and play in Bournemouth again soon please?

Set List
Heaven’s Basement
Welcome Home
Can’t Let Go
Fire, Fire
Lights Out in London
The Long Goodbye
Heartbreaking Son of a Bitch
Nothing Left to Lose
I Am Electric
The Price We Pay
Jump Back
Reign on My Parade
Executioner’s Day

Band Links

Words & Skarlett Riot Pictures by Sarah Lovegrove
Buffalo Summer & Heaven’s Basement Pictures: Dan O’Gara

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