Chaplin’s , Cellar Bar, Boscombe


Willowen are a band that spend long periods apart with the three members living in different parts of the world, which makes things difficult to arrange gigs and rehearsals. The logistics would stop most bands right in their tracks, however the determination of this band is staggering. Whenever they have a short time to get together they arrange lots of gigs in a host of places all over the UK. Tonight finds them in one of their favourite venue’s Chaplin’s. This is a venue they have played many times before and this gig is like a home-coming, with plenty of familiar faces in attendance.

The support act tonight is “Ollie Mint Taylor”, an angry young politically-motivated hippy who loves to use the word “Fuck” to get your attention. As my Mother always used to say “it’s not big and it’s not clever”! Ollie starts with a rather silly song about “Nigel” and says his Dad is called “Nigel”, and so is UKIP politician Nigel Farage…quite funny to start with.

Ollie Mint
Ollie Mint 1

Ollie skilfully swaps between acoustic guitar, mandolin and ukulele showing he is quite a capable musician with plenty to offer. A couple of well executed covers including “Higher & Higher” by Toots & The Maytals and “Four Simple Words” by Frank Turner sound great and are enjoyed by the audience. Once again the final song, called “Fuck Rupert Murdoch”, lowers the tone of his performance unnecessarily.

Willowen are a tight well-rehearsed unit who have the knack of turning every gig into a party. Tonight, in front of their adoring home crowd is no different. Kicking off with a trio of their own well-constructed original songs, they soon have the audience with broad smiles on their faces singing along.

The band have a really simple set-up with George on Cajon, Johnny on acoustic guitar, with Jasmine swapping between ukulele and Violin.

Willowen 1234

Their combined voices create some beautiful layered harmonies that have become the draw of their songs. “So Many Tracks” is a highlight, a powerful uplifting song that reaches out positively to everyone in the audience. The band all too soon come to the end of their set, but they are not allowed to leave as the audience enthusiastically demand more and are duly rewarded. A great band with so much youthful positivity and talent, they deserve to go far.

Set List
Nag Champa
Blue Car
My Life’s Mine
You Said Hush
Hippy Vampire/Black Horse And The Cherry Tree
Dan’s House
So Many Tracks
There’s A Monster Living In My Paddling Pool
Black Hole
The Story



Words, Pictures & Video by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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