Kings Park, Bournemouth

Boscombe Community Fair

9th-11th September 2017

When this year’s Boscombe Community Fair line-up was announced, I must say I for once was excited. Typical then that despite no Bournemouth game to get in the way I still had two unavoidable “prior engagements” that stopped me attending the whole weekend. A dinner date with Wifey put paid to Friday but I arrived mid-afternoon Saturday to mainly spend time in the “Shebang Tent”. The annual gathering of the area’s Punk fraternity and some assorted bands, curated by none other than the tireless Shev. She has been afforded an entire stage to keep the ‘Shebang’ going for one more year and hasn’t disappointed with the line-up.

I arrive suitably late and catch Trickster. This 3-piece are already onstage and I stay for most of their set. Old skool bass-heavy Punk and no frills! There’s no between-song banter and itís just heads down in concentration, but they deliver a decent set. Local “Dirty Rock ‘n Rollers” The Electric Shakes are up next. Their desire to play regularly and promote their latest LP has given them an edge over the competition. They are tight and confident throughout, playing songs from the past and present. Sadly today the weather is a factor and the numbers present are a reflection of this. C30s are up next with their mix of Grunge/Punk. They never disappoint and in singer Andy Nazer possess the hardest working band member of the festival. This is his first of three appearances on this very stage! Next up are straight-up Punk 4-piece Gutter Rats. Their mix of originals and choice covers keep this crowd happy. Unrehearsed yet never dull they play one or two songs even I don’t recognise, and I’m their biggest fan.

Boscombe Community Fair
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Following them is none other than local darlings of all things Riot/Grrrl The Lillettes, (this time with Andy Nazer depping on drums). I have to confess to never being a fan, but I am in the minority as the band virtually fill the tent as the rain starts to pour down outside. It’s brash and in yer face but clearly loved by all. With members of Bristol’s Disorder stuck somewhere on the motorway Self Abuse play early, meaning another instrument change for Mr. Nazer. They give us a great set of their brand of 2nd/3rd Wave Punk. Set highlight is “State of Mind” and before long we get “the hit” in the form of “Soldier”. Another great performance as I have to depart to a mate’s 50th Birthday Party. However, the musical entertainment doesn’t stop for me as they have an Oasis tribute playing. “Oasiss” are making a big name for themselves in the area, so watch this space!

Boscombe Community Fair
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Sunday: Once again I am late arriving so miss the first 3 acts of the day. Arriving around 4pm I catch Missile. Their driven ferocious brand of Punk is a wake-up call to anyone feeling the effects of the draught cider! Clearly, this is quite a feat for Paul (guitar/lead vox) whose Father passed away only the night before. Harv (bass) makes an emotional announcement before consoling his mate, and in time-honoured fashion they just get on with the show. They end with a rough cover of the Damned and make way for Bournemouth ‘Post/Punkers’ Meat Sweats. With a few more gigs being offered them they are starting to look the real deal. Kim (bass) barely moves leaving Jim (lead vox/guitar) to go a wandering. Their mix of covers and originals is another highlight and as promised, ‘Is Vic There?’ (Department S) is dedicated to yours truly! There’s even some movement down the front in the pit area! Kicking Bambi follow them with their brand of 3rd Wave/Anarcho-Punk and ‘Big E’ (vox) is in fine fettle with his harsh and direct vocal. They have been afforded an extended set due to Underclass UK also having ‘travel issues’. This gives E the chance to banter between songs and throw in the odd political rant – well it is a Punk stage after all!

Boscombe Community Fair
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An extended break allows me time for a curry whilst in the “Community Tent”, where I stick around for part of Clockwork Carousel’s set; which is rather good. Back in the Shebang tent the headliners need no introduction. The Sporadics made their name on the Bournemouth scene but have gradually established themselves through regular touring and some choice support slots over the years. They too are afforded an extended set and don’t disappoint. Their brand of Ska/Dub/Punk is perfect to finish the night off. ‘Westbourne’ Shaun (vox) sounds a little hoarse tonight, but this only adds to the performance. The set is largely culled from their two albums including live faves ‘Used To Be A Punk’ and ‘Propaganda’. The crowd responds energetically and they rightly take the plaudits at the end. On what is sadly going to be Shev’s last Shebang she also gets good applause from this crowd. And that folks, for me, was the Boscombe Community Fair. Maybe next year I will venture into all the tents, but for now, this has been an enjoyable end to the festival season.



Words by Ross A. Ferrone