Bournemouth Folk Club, Sugar & Spice


The Bournemouth Folk Club has a new home in Boscombe; a new venue called “Sugar & Spice” in the precinct behind the Tardis, right door next to McDonald’s. The club is run by the Burke family who work tirelessly to provide music lovers with exciting acts that educate and entertain. Tonight the intimate place is packed for two of the areas finest bands, who have been brought together for a great double-header.

The first of these is Fearne, a band who over the years keep everybody guessing as to what they are going to metamorphose into. They have played as solos, duos, quartets and brought in any number of different musicians to ring the changes. What stands out above all else is their top class songwriting. Whichever way their songs are played they work and can touch whoever listens.

Tonight they are a three piece with Alex on acoustic guitar/ukulele, Adam on electric guitar and Nick on bass. The band have clearly not lost any of their charm and are on top form giving the audience some teasers from the new album, which is due out sometime in 2016. The new songs come in the form of “Yosemite”; a deeply passionate song all about Alex’s American honeymoon and “Took the Game Too Far” about Alex’s Polish Grandfather, who liked a drink or three. The trio over the years have built up a certain chemistry and playing together seems just so effortless. Adam and Alex grin at each other over the odd hiccup with Nick ever concentrating on how everything sounds.

Another new song called “Five Weeks at Sea” is dedicated to a friend who is in the military as a trained sniper, he is present in the audience tonight. This is apparently the first time he has heard this song. Fearne’s set ends with the live favourite “Dote on You” which features an added twist. The song includes some great audience harmonies and a couple of choruses of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. The band leave the stage to much love and appreciation from their adoring faithful audience.

Fearne 1234

Tinderbox are made up of Monique Houraghan (vocals), Dan Tucker (Guitar) and Bob Burke (Guitar). They are a band that I have heard a lot about but never actually seen. The first thing you notice is Monique’s vocals; they are so pure, clear and sincerely delivered. The acoustics of this room make it an ideal location to listen for music like this. As with most gigs at the Bournemouth Folk Club a silence descends on the room when the artist plays, a respect that is not given at many other venues. I think the people that frequent these shows are genuine music lovers and have come to listen not to chat.

Tinderbox delve deep into their back catalogue to bring some delightful tunes that are clearly enjoyed by the audience. Early highlights include “Gotta Get out of This City” and a beautiful emotive new song called “Grown Up” all about Monique’s daughter Ola’s first day at school. In true folk fashion each song gets a story-like introduction to give some background. The vocal harmonies and light-fingered guitar work of the trio cannot be faulted, a true joy to listen to. Tinderbox invite Fearne back to the stage for the final three numbers which included the addictive “Travelling”, a new Fearne song called “Journey of The Man” and a playful cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. A fantastic end to a brilliant night of music from two of Dorset’s best loved bands.

Set List
Flow like a River
Down The Tracks
Lovely to Me
Gotta Get Out Of This City
Grown Up
The State of Play
Homewood Bound
Feel Like I’m Alone
Travelling (With Fearne)
Journey of the Man (With Fearne)
Jolene (With Fearne)

FearneRich Man
Sea of Bills
Hear ye
Man of Constant Sorrow
Fire in my Belly
Took the Game Too Far
Five Weeks at Sea
Dote On You/Lion Sleeps Tonight


Words by Dave Chinery (Chinners)
Pictures by Jo Elkington

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