O’Neills, Bournemouth


A packed and slightly deflated O’Neill’s has just witnessed England get defeated By Uruguay in the second game in the World Cup. With the game ending at 9:45pm the night is still young and the venue has laid on some after-match musical entertainment to cheer everybody up after this difficult defeat.

The opening act is Penny Churchill from the Isle Of Wight, who bravely takes to the stage with just her acoustic guitar and performs a set of her own original songs. Penny is only 17 years old and picked up the guitar at the tender age of 9 and wrote her first song when she was just 12. The songs that Penny performs are well written and delivered with a confidence normally of someone much older. There are certainly no nerves here in front of this audience. The set includes the rather catchy “When You Know” and a nice personal song called “Carey”, all about her sister leaving their home on the Isle Of Wight. It cannot have been easy for any artist to open up a gig on a night such as tonight, however Penny Churchill achieved this with ease making everyone forget the pain that Luis Suarez inflicted on the National team.

Penny Churchill
Penny Churchill 

Next up we have local folk trio Kadia, a band who have really been making a name for themselves in and around the venues and festivals of Dorset. The trio are centred around Lee Cuff’s Cello; which creates a solid, melodic background for some really well-written original songs. Along with Chris Bailey on acoustic guitar and Dave Hoyland on Ukulele the band delight the O’Neill’s crowd with a set full of highlights including numbers from their debut EP “Signal Fires”, as well as a few unusual “out of genre” covers.

This contemporary Folk band manage to pull off a great reworked cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as well as a cleverly put together final monster medley which included 11 popular music songs all played on four chords, including “Teenage Dirtbag” By Wheatus, “Paparazzi” By Lady Gaga, “I Need A Dollar” by Aloe Blac and “Little Talks” by Of Monsters & Men. Kadia are a really great live band and seem to effortlessly have the knack of entertaining any audience that they play in front of.

Kadia 1

Bournemouth’s Willowen over the last 18 months or so have taken themselves on a journey all over the UK with a huge amount of high profile gigs, including showcase sets in London and some major festival appearances including a slot at this years legendary Isle Of Wight festival. This is down to a massive amount of hard work driving all over the country in Jonny’s Nissan Micra, performing to just about any audience who is prepared to listen. This has built up the band’s solid reputation as a reliable hard-working act who thoroughly entertain audiences with their own brand of quirk Folk. Tonight; despite their many gigs, the band seem fresh and full of energy ready for the gig ahead. Kicking off with the lively “My Life’s Mine” the band have their home crowd with them from the start.


Willowen 12

A brand new song called “Nag Champa” named after incense sticks, shows the band moving forward and experimenting with different styles. The three piece have really upped their game in the last six months since I last saw them. Visually the enthusiasm and energy has increased massively and the band play each show as if it is their last. They are really popular with their local audience tonight and have a barrage of requests bombarded at them, which in their shortened time on stage it is difficult to play everything that the audience want. Willowen is one of Bournemouth’s great success stories, showing what can be achieved if you work hard enough, and who knows where they will end up in the next 18 months……the only way is up!!

Set List
My Life’s Mine
Mind Maps
Nag Champa
So Many Tracks
You Said Hush
Dan’s House
Drowsie Maggie



Words, Pictures & Videos By Dave Chinery (Chinners)

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace