Blueline Studios, Bournemouth


It’s no secret that Bournemouth often boasts shows where the ratio of venue capacity to the headliner’s reputation leaves you scratching your head. The latest instalment features Polar playing two nights in the beautifully intimate setting of Blue Line Studios, which primarily serves as a popular rehearsal room and recording facility. Adding to the incredible atmosphere was undoubtedly the cause behind the evening, as the entire night’s proceeds were donated to Crisis; a national charity for single homeless people dedicated to ending homelessness.

The sell-out crowd of around forty people squeeze into the infinitesimal space for the special guests, Nebraska, whose exciting brand of melodic fury orchestrates a noteworthy start to the evening. Ranging from soaring choruses to relentless breakdowns, the band channelled their enthusiasm to deliver a set which surpassed the usual expectations from a support. They occasionally let their desire to involve their friends isolate them from the unknowing spectators in the room, but nevertheless, they generally held everyone in the palm of their hands through their compelling display.


Following such an accomplished initiation, the atmosphere heightens as Polar make their way on stage. You can almost feel the collective rush of adrenaline among the crowd members, as the band showcase an array of past material with an emphatic preview of songs from their upcoming album, “No Cure No Saviour”, which immediately displays the band’s impeccable instrumental delivery and Adam Woodford’s impassioned vocals. Although the sheer intimacy of the venue leaves the crowd conscious of the extent of their response, a final performance of ferocious anthem “H.E.L.L.” offers a prime opportunity for the crowd to unleash utter pandemonium, stampeding like a hoard of buffalo in a room where you could hardly swing a cat. It’s hard to believe, even in the flesh.

Since seeing the band a few years ago, it is clear that they have evolved and tightened their sound to a level which further reiterates the unique qualities of this show; a band of this calibre should be playing arenas and festival main stages. Hence, this night will be long remembered. You can admire any heavy band on the circuit for their performance, but when the display carries such genuine emotion and purpose, you are left with the same burning anger for the injustice that so many people face as the band members themselves. Music is about bringing people together and Polar have managed this in a way which brings life into context. If donating to charity was this fun, the world would be a much better place. Long live Polar.

You can donate to Crisis here.


Words and photo by George Fullerton.