Queens Park Hotel, Bournemouth

The Members

It’s a mild Friday night, and we’re in Bournemouth for yet another small festival. This time round it’s a 3 day Punk/Ska affair in aid of ‘UK Homes for Heroes’, organised by local luminary one Lewis Hawkins of ‘Sound of The Suburbs’ fame.

Friday night sees the welcome return after a 2 year hiatus of local Punks the Gutter Rats. Armed with a set choc full of covers and originals they aim to open up. However, technical difficulties blight their opening. With much tinkering going on they belatedly start some 20 minutes later. They open with ANL’s “I Hate People” with gusto. The original look and sound hasn’t really changed that much, they just seem a little tighter. A cover of The Clash’s “Janie Jones” goes down well with this ever growing crowd. They follow that with “Porno George”, then the excellent “Blue Bottle”, before a beefy version of Adam & the Ants “Beat My Guest” which is great. The dynamic of Jason (Ayriss’s) son Jordan on 2nd guitar/vox is a good accompanyment as he shares vocal duties during the evening. The next song is a true story entitled “The Cellar”. When a punter asks what’s in the Cellar “Hamster” invites him round to find out!

Gutter Rats

Gutter Rats 1234

Back to the well-chosen covers they proceed with The Stranglers “Bring on The Nubiles”. Now I know only too well Jason wears his Stranglers heart on his sleeve, but they do it justice as he passionately bellows out the chorus. “Turn to Dust” follows before a cover double. “In A Rut” and “Bodies” will always be popular with this largely middle-aged crowd as many sing along. “Wet Dream” penultimately sets them up for a manic version of the Toy Dolls “Fisticuffs in Frederick Street”. And that was effectively that. Gutter Rats are back people-coming to a venue near you!!

Headliners The Members take to the stage for what we think is a soundcheck. Turns out they’ve started. Without a setlist to go by I will focus on what I remember. With the sound restored they get on with the set and “Chelsea Night Club” is an early highlight. People are now dancing and singing along. JC (bass/vox) tells stories and between song banter to keep us interested. ‘New English Blues’ is loud and anthemic while JC again praises the beauty of the women of Bournemouth, while lording it about our town. ‘Offshore Banking Business’ gives JC another opportunity for a rant, although it’s a well received rant. However, when he talks of the story behind “Solitary Confinement” he’s in his element.

The Members

The Members 12345

Let’s not forget that we all just want to hear the song that they made their name by, but I have to admit I know none of their back catalogue. And so after many pints of booze have been sunk a healthy and energetic pit goes wild to the opening bars of “Sound of The Suburbs”. With no barrier JC and Nigel (guitars) do their best to keep order down the front. The whole pub sing along before they end on an old Vibrators classic “Baby, Baby”. Long, loud calls for “Suburbs” to be played again are rewarded and the lunacy begins again! The Members go out with a bang and looking at this near-full room one hopes the charity concerned will earn a few bob. Tonight sets the weekend up for the main event on the Saturday, when a larger line-up will grace this very stage. But as a starter this was pretty good!

Set List
Gutter Rats
I Hate People (ANL cover)
Shred to Ribbons
Janie Jones (Clash cover)
Porno George
Blue Bottle
Put Your Clothes Back On
Beat My Guest (Adam &The Ants cover)
Bring On The Nubiles (Stranglers cover)
Turn To Dust
In A Rut (Ruts DC cover)
Bodies (Sex Pistols cover)
Wet Dream
Fisticuffs on Frederick Street (Toy Dolls cover)


Review and Pictures by Ross A. Ferrone.