The Anvil, Bournemouth

Mikey Ball

Mikey Ball and his band The Company released a 6 track EP last year that I rated in a review to be one of the best local releases of last year. The band is made up of Bournemouth based musicians featuring Scotty Farron (Bass), Adam Pulfer (Guitar), Matt Sawyer (Guitar) and Lloyd Whitbred (Drums). Tonight they have a rare full band gig together at the Anvil and sadly it is the last for bassist Scotty who has his sights on fronting his own band in the not too distant future.

The evening kicks off with a delightful new discovery in the form of Poole singer/songwriter Shannon White who kicks things off with some amazing confidence and great style. Shannon is totally unfazed by those in the room rude enough to be conversing when she is playing. There is a good mixture of original tunes along with a few well-chosen covers including a rehash of AC/DC’s “TNT” which gets an instant positive crowd reaction. This somewhat boasted Shannon’s confidence further and the remainder of the set she played with a very animated smile on her face. Her voice is powerful, honest and a real joy to listen to. The set ends with an angsty version of Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” which gets her some well-earned hearty cheers as she leaves the stage.

Shannon White
Shannon White 

After travelling down for the gig from London’s Bimm University “Skinny Knowledge” take to the stage with a familiar local face at the front. Andy Smooth former drummer with “Walk the Night” and still current drummer with “Black Water County” returns with a different role in a new rock band, formed with handpicked musicians in London. The 4 piece rock band crank up the volume and entertain right from the start with some considerable tunes featuring plenty of bass groove and epic guitar riffs. There is a song called “Home” written from personal experiences about the upheaval and discoveries of leaving home with another called “Inferno” about robbing a bank. A great band in the making only at the genesis of their time together and with the correct wind in their sails doors may begin to open for them.

Skinny Knowledge
Skinny Knowledge 12

Jack Grace is another familiar face around these parts, a Bournemouth artist that likes to experiment with his sound and openly evolve. Tonight Jack is with his third band of musicians and possibly the best so far. They kick off with a newer song called “Blindside” which incorporates lots of new sounds and textures including the nice addition of keyboards. They play “406” next a set regular, this time it is rejuvenated with a powerful reprised version of “Remember Me” which gives the tune a massive atmospheric build up. The crowd really lapped up every note that the band delivered and as each song was played you could feel the excitement within the audience. The set ends with a big tune called “Self-Destruction” one that keeps giving and giving right up to the end. A perfect warm up before tonight’s headliners.

Jack Grace Band
Jack Grace Band 123

I have been looking forward to seeing Mikey Ball and his band the company for a while now. The last time they played together was in November. I was sadly I was doubled booked and had an appointment that I had to keep with Bono and his band in London. The five-piece band take to the stage and immediately from the infectious smiles of their faces you just know they are in the mood for a great night. Kicking off with “Our Lives” from the most recent release this got the crowd dancing from the off. The three guitars make for a very interesting live sound and with so much going on it quite a task for your ears to comprehend and digest all of that’s going on.

Mikey Ball
Mikey Ball & The Company 1234

Shannon White is welcomed back to the stage to share the lead vocals with Mikey on the very infectious “Runaway”. A few choice covers are despatched in the form of Tom Petty’s “Free Falling” and a great reworking of Bruce Springsteen “Dancing in the Dark”. If that was not enough the band pull out fantastic live versions of two perfectly crafted original songs “Castaway” and “Runaway”. The try to leave the stage but the crowd just won’t budge and demand more in a very vocal way. One last song is delivered and sadly it’s not “Rain” which I was hoping for but a Fleetwood Mac number “Go Your Own Way”. The whole evening demonstrated everything that is so great about the Bournemouth and surrounding area’s music scene. Everyone working together to achieve a positive goal and you cannot deny everyone is indeed a winner.

Set Lists
Mikey Ball & the Company
Our lives
Calling You Mine
I Got Mine
Wishing Well
Runaway (with Shannon White)
Free Falling (Tom Petty)
Home to You
Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen)
Common Ground
Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac)

Jack Grace
Remember Me (Reprised)
The Art of Taking The lot
The Jammy One
Self Destruction



Words, Pictures and Videos by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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