The Anvil,Bournemouth


My weekly coverage of all things Punk keeps me local as I head to Bournemouth’s (The) Anvil. A venue synonymous with Rock/Metal allows a rare Punk night to happen, and the Bournemouth Punk scene is represented well again this evening. First on are Rotten Scoundrels, making their live debut. This fast-paced 3-piece open with an intro song before getting down to business. All three band members have played in other bands (I’m reliably informed) so know their way around a stage! The main vocals are a mixture of loud, angry and gravelly in places; but sit perfectly with their harsh, dare I say it “Hardcore/Punk” sound. That said they have other influences going on including Ska/Punk, Folk/Punk and Street/Punk. “Can’t Catch Me” reminds me a little of Rockabilly/Punkers “Graveyard Johnny’s” – a lightning quick guitar section with frenetic, rat-a-tat drumming and a forceful, direct vocal which pulls no punches.

Rotten Scoundrels
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“The Dam” follows before the Ska/Punk-infused “Too Ten” breaks up the out and out speedball delivery of the majority of their set. ‘Shed’ is a humorous little ditty before they humour us with a song about “Teenage Ninja Turtles” no less! “Old Mess” explodes into action and at barely 70 seconds is the perfect Punk short. Loud, fast and aggressive; the vocals take me back to early Exploited – you barely catch your breath and the song is over! “Involuntary” takes the slow/fast route and gives the vocalist “breathing space” for the faster vocal parts of the song. The band aren’t afraid to be experimental and there’s no shortage of noodling going on in places. They end with (I believe) a Jungle Book cover, continuing their penchant for humour within their set. For a band making their debut they manage to play to a full room who stick around. A great debut gig, enjoyed by many.

The Crash Landings
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Next up are a band making a gradual progression around these parts. The Crash Landings are currently working on material for a soon to be released LP and tonight will play some of these songs. They too open with an “intro” piece before the brilliant and anthemic “Officer”. Simon (vox) is also loud and gravelly from the outset (there’s a running theme here)! “Shove It” sees the dual vocals of Si and Ant (vox/guitar) and Seb (bass/vox) – it’s angry and confrontational and a real statement song which this audience soon sing along to in unison. “Falling Apart” and “Overdose” follow before early set highlight, the anthemic “Hatemail”. Si, ever the speaker for the band is at pains tonight to thank us all for coming in good numbers and supporting the scene-the venue(s), the bands, and promoters and press alike. No subject matter is out of bounds with The Crash Landings, not least on “Results” – a song about; yep you’ve guessed it, waiting for your results from the “clinic”! Si explains that their next song is the first they ever wrote. “Billy’s Got Tourettes” is simply brilliant – a set highlight with a humorous singalong chorus that is now stuck in my head. “Billy, Billy, and Billy’s got fuckin’ Tourettes”….. Si continues with the banter and thank you’s, then gets back to it with “The Wall”. I’m sure he said it was a Pink Floyd cover, but it certainly wasn’t one I recognised. They end in emphatic fashion with another singalong anthem “Prozac Empire”. In such a small room but with a great sound, tonight they absolutely nail it. The Crash Landings I’m sure will get the recognition their sound and songs deserve, I for one look forward to their forthcoming album.

As we wait for the headliners they begin sound checking. Straight away I’m of the opinion it’s gonna be a loud one. The snare and kick drum sound huge. They eventually take to the stage and bulldoze us with a set of 3rd generation, UK82 inspired Punk. From the outset it is totally lost on me. The vocals are largely indecipherable, however I imagine that’s the point. One cannot criticise the musicianship, it’s just simply too loud in a basement venue. All I can hear is the drums throughout and while I understand this is their sound, I simply decide the last bus home is calling and make an early exit.

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For this reviewer tonight has taught me that Bournemouth’s Punk scene is alive and thriving, and we have a scene worth shouting about. More gigs like this will only encourage the “main players” to venture just that little bit further along the South Coast, which can only be a good thing. With Punk’s (unofficial) 40th Anniversary only just around the corner now is the time to celebrate this great genre. I for one will drink to that!

Rotten Scoundrels
We Took
Can’t Catch Me
The Dam
Too Ten
Stand For
Old Mess
Jungle Book

The Crash Landings
Shove It
Falling Apart
Billy’s Got Tourettes
The Wall
Prozac Empire


Review and Pictures by Ross A. Ferrone.