The Wight Bear,Southbourne, Bournemouth

The Barker Boys

As Summer reaches its climax and we all try and get those last few gigs and festivals under our belts one last time, Southbourne is playing host to a charity gig with a difference. Tonight at the Wight Bear; or to give it its full name “The Wight Bear Ale House Micropub”, is hosting an intimate family event. Brother and Father of the proprietors have teamed up for a one-off performance of covers-all in the name of charity. Tonight’s beneficiaries will be The Wave Project, with a portion of the entry money going to the charity.

My party arrive bang on 8.30 as “Sean and Geoff” (Father and Son) are making themselves comfortable on chairs on this newly constructed stage. They open with “Here Comes The Sun” – rather apt considering it’s raining outside! “Mrs. Robinson” soon follows as I eventually get served. The bar is small in size and to say this is an intimate gig wouldn’t be doing it an injustice. With numbers limited it’s standing room only for most of us.

Not being an ale drinker I try a few ciders. I plump for a very sweet one which I’m informed contains whisky and honey. “In for a penny…” Anyway, back to the music. “All Over Now” is next before the first singalong begins with Travis’s “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” – again rather apt! REM’s “Man on The Moon” is excellent as the Barker Boys begin to loosen up and relax.

The Barker Boys
The Barker Boys 12

I’m reliably informed that this is the first ever gig in the bar, and plans are afoot to make it a once monthly affair. I suppose it’s all about pitching the right bands, but this definitely has an ‘In The Round’ feel to it (most successful for a short time at Mr. Kyps). Everybody seems to know someone here and it’s a bit of a who’s who of local musicians too. Anyway, back to the music!

“Waterloo Sunset” proves popular with the punters while “Wonderwall” has the whole room singing. I’m not privvy to any setlists so make note of the standout songs, in between our idle chat. “Major Tom” once again gets us in loud voice while “That’s Entertainment” is dedicated to Russ and Sassy (whoever they are)?! A 2 hour set flies by as they end with the best band in the world (Seans words), with the Beatles ‘A Day in The Life’. Long, loud applause is offered as they take the plaudits.

Tonight was like a reunion of old friends, with music being the common thread. A full house means the charity will no doubt benefit, and maybe this little gem of a bar in the heart of Southbourne will firmly be put on the map.

Line Up
Geoff Barker-Guitar/Vox
Sean Barker-Guitar/Vox

Venue Links

Review by Ross A. Ferrone

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