Thomas Tripp, Christchurch

The Vanndors

Every 1st Wednesday of the month at the Thomas Tripp in Christchurch there is a “Friends of The Lighthouse” young artistís night. This gives young aspiring musicians a chance to play in front of an audience and gain the vital experience needed to progress. At the heart of this is Russ Ganicott, who knows a thing or two about the local music scene. He has been helping young bands achieve their goals for more years than he can remember. The government has sadly due to cut-backs, removed funding for such projects so Russ and his team of volunteers aim to keep things going with generous donations from the public. The charity boxes are out in force tonight and everyone is urged to put in their loose change to help towards running costs. Tonight we have three hand-picked artists, all who are out to impress the Wednesday evening crowd.

The first of these is local Christchurch boy Chris Franklin, who takes to the stage with just his acoustic guitar to warm things up. Chris plays through a confident set of well-chosen covers which include a crowd favourite “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. He shows a good vocal range and some promising guitar work which gives him some well-rewarded applause from the appreciative crowd.

Chris Franklin
Chris Franklin 

Next up we have the appropriately named “Almost Ready” who start with promise but soon fall apart with their first number “I Bet you Look Good On The DanceFloor”. They soon start again and things continue with much better pace and coordination. The bass player Greg is really suffering after gaining all sorts of painful injuries from playing rugby. He, despite a dislocated shoulder (amongst other Injuries) manages well as the pain relief seems to be working. Frontman Aidan shows great potential with some very skilled guitar playing and nice vocal work on a fantastic reworked version of Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees”.

Almost Ready
Almost Ready 12

After despatching a tight version of “Sympathy for The Devil” things get a bit silly. The band end their thoroughly enjoyable set with The Proclaimers “I Would Walk (500 Miles)”. Greg hands over his bass to Matt of local band’s Infinite Jest/Eyre, to take over the microphone to sing the popular tune with the help of the willing audience. It is hard to believe that all these guys are all under 18 and show such good potential at this early age. They put many of the other local bands to shame, let’s hope some original tunes are forthcoming from them soon.

The Vanndors must have bribed their parents to be out so late on a school night, but here they are away from their home in Swanage for their debut gig here in Christchurch. This four-piece bravely start with an original song called “Uncomfortable Girl” where the guitars sound a little like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to start with. These super confident lads play their way through a host of popular modern tunes by The Vaccines, Franz Ferdinand and The Libertines, with a bit of “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix thrown in to really show what they are made of.

TheVanndors 12

The band are all really comfortable with their own skills and seem to play effortlessly while their proud music teacher looks on. It was particularly great to see the guitarist Mickey Golicher who at times was in his own little bubble playing some extraordinary riffs. The rhythm section are really solid with frontman Leo Sibley-Hale holding things together with ease. It is fair to say that these guys are big fans or The Artic Monkeys and we get treated to a few of their well-executed tunes just before they leave the stage. It is clear that by the noise they make at the end of the set the audience especially enjoyed this young band’s inspiring performance tonight.

Set List
The Vanndors
Uncomfortable Girl (Original)
Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix)
Teenage Icon (The Vaccines)
Take Me Out (Franz Ferdinand)
Someday (The Strokes)
Control (Original)
Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
Last Night (The Strokes)
Don’t Look Back into the Sun (The Libertines)
Are You Gonna Be My Girl (Jet)
Gotta Change (Original)
A Certain Romance (The Artic Monkeys)
When the Sun Goes Down (The Artic Monkeys)


Words, Pictures & Videos by David Chinery (Chinners)

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace