Kings Park, Bournemouth

Boscombe Community Fair

This year the Boscombe Community Fair comes of age and the festival celebrates it’s 18th birthday. The festival has had the same goal from the start and it is an event run by the people for the people. At just £10 for the weekend or £5 per day the festival gives great value for money and the chance for lots of local bands to perform on a larger stage.

After a very wet start on the Friday evening the Saturday morning dawned with some very welcome blue skies and sunshine, just what the event needed to get the people out of their living rooms and enjoying themselves. Over the road at the Goldsands Stadium AFC Bournemouth have just kicked off their Division 1 match with Blackpool and at the Kings Park event Mountain Feet’s Craig Gray opens the main stage with some acoustic delights, while a circus entertainer is juggling very sharp wood work tools and performing unicycle tricks, delighting but scaring all onlookers. The main stage’s 1st band of the day are “Mischa & His Merry Men”, who are joined by local man of many talents Si Genaro who performs some sweet harmonica accompaniment. Mischa plays a really confident set full of highlights including some of his own self penned material like “Corrupt & Bent” and the excellent “Overworked & Underpaid”, which features some spine tingling guitar work along with a phenomenal rap from Si.

Mischa And His Merry MenMischa And His Merry Men

Next up we are treated to the great voice of Charley Talbot and her band “Just Us & Her”. They are a four piece that combine the elements of ska, funk and reggae with great very entertaining effects and their infectious sound gets people to their feet and dancing. There are popular songs like Jesse J’s “Do It Like A Dude” and a crowd pleasing favourite of “Monkey Man” that really increases the energy in the marquee.

Just Us And HerJust Us & Her

The BCF crew have to be complimented as unlike some other local festivals the changeovers were quick and efficient with just enough time in-between each act to grab yourself a very reasonably priced beer at the well stocked bar. The main stage has a compere from a local radio station called “Hot Radio” named Mike Savage, who makes a bit of a fool of himself by not doing his homework and getting some of the information a bit muddled-especially the bands names which raised a few chuckles within the crowd.

Fearne continued the quality afternoon of music with a 45 minute set containing cuts from their latest L.P.”Songs On Postcards”. Frontman Alex Beds conducts the crowd sing-a-long during “Dote On You” with relative ease. The now five piece band are probably more comfortable in this sort of festival setting that any other as they have played so many throughout their career. The set ended with the band having a bit of fun with a medley of Will Smith tracks; fused together with a bit of Eminen, with guitarist Adam showing off his impressive rapping skills. They tried to leave the stage but the crowd wanted more and they dutifully ended in party style with The Killers “All These Things I’ve Done”, with the obligatory crowd singalong with even the stage hands and the soundman joining in beautiful unison.


A large crowd was waiting in the marquee when The Sporadics took to the stage, giving the band a very warming homecoming welcome. The Ska/punk band waste no time in setting the pace high and immediately get the crowd dancing right from the start with “D.S.P.” The combined impressive guitar work of Andy Jack Ratt, coupled with the heavy dub style bass from Dave Bimble shows just what a class act this band is. Frontman “Westbourne Shaun” seems to know everybody in the audience and tries to give lots of people shout-outs from the stage, while keeping control of the microphone and his usual pint of cider in hand. The band perform many tracks from their debut album “Hear It Is”; as well as a couple of new ones which as you would expect of them, have some strong political views imbedded within the lyrics. The finale of the set is when long time friend of the band Iain Hallam is invited onstage to take applause as he is celebrating his birthday. The band launch in to “Freak” and Iain shows everybody his best Dad dancing. The band leave the stage after their high energy set with loads of cheers of very positive support for aband who more than won over this Boscombe crowd.

The SporadicsThe Sporadics

The festival continues with the mighty Pachango and the dance beat of the Freefall Collective, sadly I have to leave it there as family commitments take me elsewhere for the rest of the evening, but I will be back for tomorrow with part 2.



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

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