The Anvil, Bournemouth

Ricky Warwick & Damon Johnson

Tonight the newly refurbished Anvil in Bournemouth is hosting an intimate acoustic gig featuring two Rock legends, who between the two of them have played for a host of top bands including The Almighty, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper and more recently Black Star Riders. Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson are in town on a Monday night and their appearance has brought the venue to its full capacity well in advance. In addition, there are a couple of quality local supports to entertain us until the main attractions arrive on stage.

First up are Mountain Feet who feature brothers Jordan (Guitar) and Craig (Gray Bass), along with Nick Scott on Cajon. They are taking the more relaxed semi-acoustic route this evening with a set full or their own original tunes. The band shoe-gaze their way through, chugging along with Grungey-influenced Stoner-style tunes including “Praying for You” and ” That Ain’t The Way” from their debut ep. The short 30-minute set comes to an end with some nice intricate guitar work on a new track “Run the Risk”, from the “Base Camp” Ep. The band leaves the stage to much appreciative applause from the audience in this crowded basement venue.

Mountain Feet
Mountain Feet 123

Western Sand are no strangers to Ricky and Damon; as they went out on the road with the Black Star Riders in 2013, with their full-on high energy electric set-up. Tonight things are a little different as the band just have their acoustic guitars and a Cajon. They waste no time in showing just what they are made of. The twin guitars of Jimmy and Tyler come to life with some well-crafted original songs that translate well in this format. A new song called “Fly Like The Crow” is quite a departure from previous material, their first attempt at a ballad-style song; which goes down well with their home crowd. The last song “Broken Bones” includes lots of audience participation and is a great way of warming up for the headliners.

Western Sand
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Ricky and Damon arrive onstage to an amazing welcome from the Bournemouth crowd, who are all so thrilled to be at such an intimate show. Ricky said to the audience to “call their babysitters” as this was going to be a long show as they had so many songs to play. The two musicians have a great chemistry onstage and with just their acoustic guitars; they run through a set which is a historic look back at both their careers, with a few choice covers along the way. There is a passionate song called “Pontiac” from Damon’s solo record, as well as a song called “And Fools Shine On” from previous band “Brother Kane”.

Ricky belted out some of the more popular numbers by The Almighty including “Free n’ Easy” and “Wild & Wonderful”. The covers came in the form of a very different version of the Iron Maiden Classic “Running Free” and a wonderful reworking of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”.

Ricky Damon

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Just when you think that the show is coming to a close with a wonderful version of Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald”, the guys find a second wave. A rousing version of “The Boys are Back in Town”, complete with the ‘Bournemouth Monday night Rock choir’ on backing vocals. Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” gets the Ricky and Damon treatment before ending with “Whiskey in the Jar”. After a fantastic performance of over two hours on stage, the guys leave the stage to possibly the loudest applause every heard at the Anvil. A truly great night which will be remembered for a long time to come by those lucky enough to have a ticket.

Set List
No More Mr. Nice Guy (Alice Cooper)
All Hell Breaks Loose
Free n’Easy
Kingdom of the Lost
Before The War
Are you Ready
Dancing in the Moonlight
And Fools Shine On
Wild & Wonderful
The Weight (The Band)
Something Else
Summertime Blues
Running Free (Iron Maiden)
The Killer Instinct
Little Red Corvette (Prince)
Finest Hour
I’m Eighteen (Alice Cooper)
Death or Glory (The Clash)
Ace of Spades (Motorhead)
The Boys are Back in Town
Bound for Glory
Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen)
Whiskey in the Jar



Words & Video by Dave Chinery (Chinners)
Pictures by Jon Musselwhite

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