Pokesdown & Southbourne Ex Servicemen’s Club

Charlie Hole

“Tracks from the Shack” is a brand new venture with a passionate aim to provide a top quality environment to promote and encourage original, exciting; up and coming musical artists through social media, using video and recorded audio. With such boasts and a positive step to promote new artists, how can anyone refuse an invitation to their launch event at an untested venue on the outskirts of Bournemouth and Christchurch? The bill features previously based local boy Charlie Hole who has re-camped to London to find his fortune, Rupert Stroud an upcoming singer/songwriter from Leeds and YoungHammond which features Dan Hammond Smith who previously played in much loved local band The Frequency.

At 8:15pm sharp, event organiser and reluctant compere, Tony Williams welcomes everyone and enthusiastically introduces “YoungHammond”. Tonight is their first ever gig as a duo after lifelong friends Neil Young (No not that Neil Young) and Dan Hammond Smith started writing music together. The duo show no sign of nerves and immediately show the audience what their fingers and voices are capable of. Imagine if you will a modern version of the “Everly Brothers” with beautiful harmonies and a clear on-stage chemistry that delivers with each number played. The guys perform a deeply personal tune called “The Avenue” which includes some delightful acoustic guitar melodies, coupled with perfectly matched vocals. There is also a well-crafted tune called “Say” which has a deeply infectious chorus and some nicely arranged guitars, that are a just a sheer joy to listen to. These guys have really used patience and have extensively rehearsed well before playing their first gig, and after 25 minutes on-stage they leave to really positive applause from the impressed audience. Letís hope that this gives them the confidence they need to continue with this project that shows so much potential.

YoungHammond 12

Next to the stage all the way from Leeds is troubadour Rupert Stroud whose quality original music is gaining positive support from a variety of national radio stations and the music press. He arrives on the stage to a warm welcome from the clubs growing audience. His voice is powerful and passionate with a strong delivery that makes the majority of the folks sit back and listen contently. This guy can certainly write and perform a song with ease: take “Never Back Down” which has all the perfect ingredients needed and well worthy of all the accolades already gifted upon it. “It All Comes Back” and “Trouble” are two bookends showing the positive and negative side of relationships, written from a close and personal viewpoint. The audience are then treated to a radical reworking of Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” which takes a couple of verses to be recognised, as it is so different from the original. Despite being such a long way from home Rupert looked comfortable and enjoyed performing to a new audience that warmed to him a little more each track he played. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave it too long before he is playing in our neck of the woods again.

Rupert Stroud
Rupert Stroud 1

The final act of the evening is 23-year-old Charlie Hole, who when he was just 18 secured a publishing deal with Rondor/Universal. He has been writing music since the age of 11 and has performed at a host of music venues all over the UK. Charlie has a very dominating stage presence and as he arrives onstage he just picks up his guitar and starts playing a beautiful version of Prince’s “When Doves Cry”, with everyone in the room just stopping what they are doing to listen intently. We are next treated to the opening track of Charlieís debut album “Stone on a Sandy Beach”, this really shows off his considerable vocal range and delicate guitar playing skills. Another Prince cover “Kiss” is added to the set; much to the audience’s delight. This time, it is mashed together with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” to great effect. The highlight of the set is an alluring song called “The Chapel of Unrest” where Charlie moved away from the microphone and stopped playing his guitar. He just sung a verse totally unaccompanied without any amplification, the room fell silent and the audience held their breath-taking in this very special moment. As the song came to its conclusion the place erupted with passionate applause for this performer who totally impressed this whole room tonight.

Charlie Hole
Charlie Hole 1

I certainly take my hat off to anybody who is prepared to take a risk on putting on original music events. Tonight has been as it should always be, all about the artists and the event has brought them to a brand new audience who would not normally get to sample this style of music in a venue such as this. This is the first event of its kind, I wish the organisers well and sincerely hope there will be another “Tracks from the Shack” event like this again very soon.



Tracks from the Shack

Words, Pictures & Videos by Dave Chinery (Chinners).

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