Bournemouth Rock Cafe


Tonight the Bournemouth Folk Club are at the Bournemouth Rock Cafe for one their usual weekly gigs showcasing some of the best local and national talent. The headliners are fairly new Bournemouth band Wikkaman, formed from members of other local bands The Huckleberries and Yellow Taxi. They have recently been entertaining hordes of people with their brand of dark folk cabaret at many local festivals including Folk On The Quay and Colourfest. As usual with these evenings the folk club have laid on two quality support acts beforehand to warm things up.

Jack Grace

Jack Grace 1

The first of these is Jack Grace, a local singer/songwriter who is a regular performer around the local venues of this town. His well written songs and growing expertise with his loop pedal effects, along with his powerful emotionally charged voice, delight everyone in the room. His set is varied with songs about a host of personal experiences, including the brilliant “406” about his cousin who was killed while on service with the military in Afghanistan. Jack’s music and his wonderful voice commands to be listened to, and tonight’s audience were just perfect as they gave him all the silence he needed to be heard in full effect.


Fearne 12

Anyone who is a regular on the local music scene cannot have failed to have found the delightful music of Fearne. The band always arrive in various guises as a 6 piece, 4 piece, 3 piece and tonight as a 2 piece with just Alex and Nick on stage. The band are as ever fully engaging and seem to enjoy the intimate Folk Club setting. With just a double bass and acoustic guitar they glide gently through a 30 minute set mixing things up with a collection of originals and well chosen covers of personal favourites. A new song called “Yosemite” is the set highlight, and after hearing it for the second time the well written lyrics hammer home just what a great song writer Alex Beds is. The song is written from the heart about a deeply personal subject: his forthcoming honeymoon. I never tire of seeing this band live in any form, and if you have not seen them yet you are missing something quite special.

Do you like Folk music with a twist and would you like a local Jurassic history lesson? Well, if the answer is yes then you could do no better than to check out Wikkaman. The band all have stage alter-egos who come in the form of Jasper Brains, Eva Grateful, Micky Bryron, Lou Lou ‘Bang Lassy and Django Goddard. The songs are mainly written about local places including Abbottsbury, Badbury Rings, and a song called Tank Town inspired by Bovington, near Wareham. The five piece use traditional folk instruments to generate an upbeat and really visually entertaining display of what can only be described as madcap fun. Wikkaman don’t take themselves too seriously, and to be honest they are all a little bit mad, but very playful with it. Their performance clearly takes influence from slightly sinister early circus performers and the Vaudeville theatre style made first made popular in North America.


Wikkaman 12

The songs are all really well researched and contain masses of local history, as in “Journeyman”, a tune detailing how the monks used to handwrite maps long before sat-nav came along. “Abbotsbury” is about the famous argument between Henry VIII and the Pope with the song including a novel rap at the end. The slower “Moonfleet” is a gentle ballad, a beautifully sung song that tells all about the conflict between love and drugs showing a slightly more serious side of the band. The music, the storytelling, the eccentric personalities and the performance give the audience all the right ingredients for a really great set of pure entertainment. The band’s evening ended as it had started with the upbeat chanting of the song “Wikkaman”, demanded by the delighted audience who rewarded the band’s great night of work with a well deserved encore.

Wikkaman Set List
Bradbury Rings
Painted Man
Hangman Jack
Love Curse
Tank Town
Wedding Tree
Church Ope Cove
English Civil War


For further information on all the Bournemouth Folk Club gigs click here.

Words & Pictures By Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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