The Anvil, Bournemouth


What better way to start the weekend than with some live music. Some local, and some not so local – but both in Bournemouth in the same place…

Opening this evening’s entertainment is Flapjack; or for those in the know, Jonny and George from Willowen. Expecting some form of folk I was curious as to how half of one of the areas most popular folk acts would measure up to a duo from Texas who describe themselves as Honky Tonk Heavy Metal with the name of Whiskeydick.

But those curious fears were soon dispelled. The energy and power coming out of the duo was something else. Jon’s guitar had a full rich sound, whilst George pumped out a solid rhythm from his Cajon. Often you feel that a three piece needs a fourth member to round out the sound. In this instance, the duo produced a sound that has no gaps and filled the room with depth as Jonny’s voice rang out and captivated the crowd.

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Playing tracks ranging from Death and destruction of the heart; through to those with a strong reggae influence, as well as sticking it to the man! They performed with ease and delivered the goods. If you ever wondered where the Willowen folk hide their energy this may well be their outlet.

With healthy background chatter each track was warmly received garnering movement from the crowd. As Willowen’s alter-ego this was a great support a great warm up to tonight’s headline.

It had gone ten when the headliners took to the stage with a casual manner that put everyone at ease from the get-go. It was obvious who the crowd had been waiting for. Fritz’s rich and husky vocals rang out over the twin guitars as he sang about life and redemption. The twin-acoustic guitars give a full sound with a great twang and become even more powerful when the effects kick in.

Things really crank up for “18 Wheels Of Hell”. The fuzzed-up guitars and the vocals get more grizzly, not to mention the speed of delivery. This song can only come from the U.S. of A, and I feel only from Texas…and possible only this duo…A couple of Fucking Bastards from Texas as they describe themselves, and they ain’t gonna change!

Things ease up for the Honky Tonk segment with a Honky Tonk zone as the guitars took on a more laid back vibe and subtler effects. Whether the songs were about love, death or drinking; at times a mixture of all three, you could not help but feel the passion and heart behind each one.

The variety of guitar styles from acoustic through to the effects-laden harder attacks, to the more Mexican sounding picking of the strings was something to behold. The Reverend shredded his poor guitar repeatedly throughout the evening. Yet each track was able to take you to darkest Texas, or as they call it style Tex-Mex.

There was humour throughout the evening, along with the passion – these boys just wanted to have fun, and it showed without compromising their skills on the guitar.

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Giving out the whiskey to the audience seemed a risky move; but the bottle was returned not empty, and the camaraderie was cemented. I do not know how many people knew Whiskeydick before this evening, but I am sure new fans left at the end of the night.

“Drunk As Hell” was delivered with emotion and force, with frantic guitar work the likes of which an acoustic guitar should not endure!

“Yeehaw!” is a song about being pissed off; as well as being their description for their niche of Country and Western, which is far from watered down and not the soulless state of music for which I was lucky enough to discuss with the guys earlier in the evening. And yes, the guitars in all their acoustic glory sounded possessed as Fritz delivered the lyrics with Venom.

“Fallen Heroes” was dedicated to the audience and Dimebag Darrell, and to anyone who has lost a hero. This brings a certain solemn vibe with heartfelt emotion to the proceedings, and is felt by the audience. This was soon followed by a fitting Pantera-inspired “Black Tooth Grin”, which was well received. They played for about another 10 minutes as an encore after bartering with the crowd for beer and a one legged hooker-it’s a long story…

The audience were soon in full swing as a fitting cover of “Purple Rain” was delivered, along with “Man In The Mirror” leaving the audience battered and panting for more.

My fears for this evening were foundless, with what on the surface was basically two acoustic duo’s; both able to get the most out of their instruments, both in different ways. Fuelled by passion and a desire to make music and perform their work, it was nothing short of a great evening.

…I will never look at Wookies in the same way.


Words by Jon.