The Winchester, Bournemouth


The Winchester Pub in Bournemouth continues with its great succession of live local music showcases tonight with two locally based bands Xander & The Keys and Sirpico along with a wild card from Salisbury called Pugwall.

Xander & the Keys have had a very busy year so far in 2014 with plenty of significant gigs under their belt including a successful trip to Croatia. The now four piece are slowly but surely building a strong reputation for themselves with their much talked about live performances. They take to the stage decked out in their smart matching white shirts and black ties and immediately launch into the first number with the sweet sound of the twin telecaster guitars.

Xander And The Keys
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The addition Lloyd Allen on guitar adds a great new dimension to the band’s sound with his huge effect laden sound really complimenting. The band play a set of songs from the debut EP “The First Marker” as well as couple of new songs “People I Know” and “Cigarette Blues” with the sound of a new direction beginning to emerge. They are certainly a band on a mission, with masses of determination and all the right ingredients to succeed.

Sirpico have been away from gigging for what seems like ages and rumour has it that they have been working on a new album to be released sometime in the near future by their new label Red Dragon Records. I have seen them perform many times and can honestly say I have never seen them play a bad gig. The band always put masses amounts of energy into their performances and have many great songs which all seem to have a good feel good factor about them. Tonight is no different and despite the poor turnout Al and the band deliver well in all areas.

Sirpico 1234567

There is a sample of new material in the form of “Too Long” which has the trademark epic Sirpico sound with guitars and keys aplenty. Also there is a few reworked covers added to the set for a bit of variety including Biffy Clyro’s “Mountains” and “Feeling Good” with some surprisingly good harmonies from bassist Paul Finch. Sirpico should be playing their music to a much bigger audience and let’s hope that their new album and Red Dragon Records helps them achieve this

Finally and quite unusually the out of town band were put on last and disappointingly as Pugwall took to the stage at 12:15am the vast majority of the audience had left the venue. The band are a three piece alternative rock band who have been around since 2011. They despite the empty room got on with the job in hand and perform a set full of great songs with harsh riffs and a crushingly refreshing rhythm section.

Pugwall 1234567

The band’s vocals come from all three members providing some nice variety. The highlight of the set had to be a passionately delivered number called “Jamie” which certainly left a lasting memory after hearing it for the first time. These guys produce a great noise which on a different night would have really pleased a packed Winchester Crowd.



Words & Videos By Dave Chinery (Chinners)
Pictures By Jon Musselwhite

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