Bournemouth Folk Club, Trouville Hotel, Bournemouth,


Tonight the Bournemouth Folk Club are starting their first night at their new venue, the Trouville Hotel in Bournemouth. It is situated just across from the Bournemouth International Centre and has easy access with plenty of parking. The line-up includes Folk Club favourites “Willowen” who are starting the first night of their spring tour here. The place is full to capacity in anticipation of tonightís quality line-up.

First up we have local singer/songwriter Philip John, who confesses before he starts that he is no folk artist. His powerful voice is more in a rock style, like that of Myles Kennedy or Chris Cornell. The encouraged silence in the room is a great place to just sit and listen without the usual distractions. Philip’s skilful guitar work and passionately delivered tunes really hit the mark and the crowd are no genre snobs as plenty of applause is forthcoming after each number. As well as his solo work he can be found playing bass is Rock band TKO and also with tonight’s next artist the Jack Grace band.

Philip John
Philip John 

After a short break Jack Grace and his band take to the stage. This four-piece create an acoustic and electric, atmospheric sound that resonances around this big old room. The band perform a handful of Jack’s well-crafted original songs including the opener “Weeks, Months Years” and the beautifully melodic “Pictures”, featuring some amazing lap steel work from Joe Smith. A new song called “Clocksî is dutifully dedicated to Jack’s Father as today is his 60th Birthday. Though only a short set the audience are given just a small taster of what these musicians can deliver. There is a really special musical chemistry developing here between these guys, and I cannot wait to hear what happens when they finally deliver their next studio recording – it’s going to be epic.

Jack Grace
Jack Grace 12

Willowen are a band that make music that just injects happiness into anyone that listens. Their sense of fun and enthusiasm when playing is so infectious that any audience can be won over within the first few numbers. Tonight is no different. After a few unfamiliar newer tunes including “Nag Champa” and a little gem called “Remedy” the party really starts. The band have recently added bass player Kris Venzi-James to their line-up, which really enhances their sound.

They released their self-titled debut album just over two years ago, which includes many of their songs on their setlist tonight. These have all become firm fan favourites and as each one is played, a ripple of excitement rolls off the audience. Songs such as “Hush” and the utterly uplifting “Blue Car” show off the band’s skilful delivery at its best. Willowen are no strangers to hard work and with many high-profile gigs to look forward to this summer, you can be certain things are all moving in the right direction for them.

Willowen 12

Set Lists
Nag Champa
My Life’s Mine
Mind Maps
Stop Crying Wolf
So Many Tracks
Black Holes
Blue Car
Black Horse and the Cherry Tree (KT Tunstall)

Jack Grace
Weeks Month’s Years
Tremble and Pause

Philip John
For All My Sins
Only Follow
Russian Dolls



Words, Pictures & Video by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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