Lytchett Matravers

Acoustic Movement

Acoustic Movement is an intimate two-day festival brought to you by Crawdaddy – the team behind the now well-known Wonky Donk and Calan festivals, amongst others. The format is tried and tested – find up to 500 well-meaning people; with an interest in a music style, and encourage them to pop along and party.

Acoustic Movement by its title could imply a succession of “solo singer-songwriter/bad-covers-playing guitarists”, each pouring their angst-riven heart out in public. Fortunately nothing is further from the truth, if all goes according to plan.

Entertaining bands are on the bill; each bringing a different flavour, while still just about retaining the acoustic element redolent of this festival’s genre. Headliners Bonsai Pirates & Quinns Quinney are already well known on the South Coast local circuit, with both bringing a very different musical texture.

Friday has developed into a balmy Indian Summer of a September evening, very relaxing thanks to the laid back atmosphere. Due to last minute cancellations and non-appearances by a number of soloists the start is delayed by a couple of hours. This unfairly provides a tarnished reputation to a festival, beyond organisers’ control to a large extent.

Acoustic Movement

A late afternoon/early evening begins with Lorrinda; a professional music tutor to juniors, and no stranger to performance. This is her debut gig as a solo artist. Lorrinda has a great sounding voice, and is reeling off echoes of some of her favourite tunes. I loved her cover of “True Colours”, but then it is a favourite song of mine.

Acoustic Movement
Tom Clements

Rural Dorset based Tom Clements is clearly pandering to the reviewers, so his brilliant set shouldn’t really deserve a mention! He is good with the banter and has great songs played well. Buy his album “Roots Morals and Other Choices” as it’s excellent.

The In Laws are a surprising act; a bit of research shows that the members are in other bands (e.g. Johnny Boxcars – more later). They play some kicking Skiffle-based Rock’n’Roll; I particularly like the strong bass and cajon working together.

Acoustic Movement
The In Laws

The wonderful Wikkaman put on a very entertaining performance. My own personal favourite “Church Ope Cove” has them in fine voice, and it being the third song in the set the crowd are by now caught up in their alternative vibe. Their special brand of Dorset weirdness is reaching a peak, and yet they keep exploring new avenues musically and theatrically to bring on a show.

Acoustic Movement

Gehko give me the first true surprise of the evening; between a couple of us we were wondering who the full drum kit was for, and these guys are giving it the full beans with a mix of Pacey, rhythmic songs and more sedate tunes. It’s also good seeing a band that had seemed to have faded from the local scene so alive with vitality.

The evening stays focused to an upbeat up-tempo style, with “Johnny Boxcars” pulling a Skiffle/Rockabilly set. Slide guitar is used in abundance; when coupled with that solid drum and slap bass combination redolent of the theme, these guys seem unstoppable. They have fantastic vocals too!

Acoustic Movement

Finally, we reach the end of a great opening night and are vociferously encouraged to “aahr” along. Playing their first ever festival headline the Bonsai Pirates give it “laaahrrge” with jumping songs that get the already hyped crowd on their feet. Arresting vocals from four of the five of them and a few corny pirate jokes thrown in to cover for switches and re-tuning. I’d previously only seen the Pirates in three piece Ambient/Acoustic mode, so it’s a real pleasure to be treated to the verbal antics of the plugged-in five piece.

Acoustic Movement
Bonsai Pirates



Words by Tim “special hat no. 3” Heywood
Pictures & Video by Dave “no hat here” Chinery (Chinners).

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