Riviera Bar, Bournemouth

Homeless Benefit

It’s a freezing Saturday night in a relatively new venue, for another fundraiser involving the local Punk scene. Four of the town’s main players are appearing tonight for a donation only night of Punk Rock, raising funds for local homelessness. The Riviera is the venue for the event, the basement space being perfect for this kind of gig. All the usual faces are in attendance and a few newer ones mixed in. And not forgetting tonight’s compere, a well-known face around these parts – none other than The Sporadics Mr. “Westbourne Shaun”. Well, what about the bands you ask?

Opening up for us are rising stars of the scene Kickin’ Bambi. No strangers to the opening slot they at least have a decent early bird crowd to play to. Big “E” (vox) is in his regular attire and gets us underway with their Politico/Punk musings. With no set list to rely on, I can only really speak of their performance, which is frankly great. Ian has a humour to perfectly accompany their slightly political stance, and he wastes no time in reminding us what tonight’s fundraiser is all about with genuine passion. ‘Stalingrad’ is an early highlight while “Whiskey and Coke” is as popular as ever. “Am I Insane” is a Ska-infused classic which incurs the first bit of movement down the front. ‘Love and Paranoia’ sticks in the memory and after a whirlwind 45 minutes they depart.

Kickin' Bambi
Kickin’ Bambi 1

Next up are local favourites Gutter Rats. Their sound check seems to take forever and once they start the vocal is completely lost thru’ a faulty mic. After much engineering to their right, they are finally set to go again. On completing their 2nd song smoke is seen to be billowing out of one of the amps. You couldn’t make it up! “Frosty Jacks” is an early highlight and “Shadowplay” gets an early outing. Jase (vox) is energetic, considering the tiny space afforded him while Damian (drums) is powerful throughout. Jordan (guitar) however is the star and chief shapeshifter, adding backing vocals as well. They end a great set of covers and originals with a song new to me – “Nasty Ho” (Neurotic Outsiders) is simply perfect for their sound and I expect it to become a staple of their forthcoming shows.

Gutter Rats
Gutter Rats 12

With little fuss Trickster take to the stage with their 3rd wave “Pub/Punk”. This is the first time I have properly watched them at close quarters and I am reasonably impressed. Lyrically it’s pure social commentary which hints at the SubHumans in places. “Out of Control” is an early highlight whereas in places it’s a tad one dimensional, but that’s probably the point. Nick (drums) hitting is huge throughout while they employ a guest vocalist for their last song. “This Is Britain” has a Rotten-esque vocal delivery and perfectly ends their set.

Trickster 12

And so to the headliners. Fast-rising local stalwarts of the scene Meat Sweats take to the stage, and with the volume now much louder they demonstrate a much more industrial sound. Whether by luck or design it’s very loud. It’s the regular set of originals and covers and doesn’t disappoint. Early highlight “Braindead” is dedicated to stupid women, how very apt! There’s a rare cock-up on live fave “Social Media” with Jim (vox) totally forgetting the lyrics. However, they recover with a lung-busting rendition of Buzzcocks “Boredom”. This is followed by a brilliant version of the Department S classic “Is Vic There” which is truly great. With one eye on the time I make my exit to catch the last bus.

Meat Sweats
Meat Sweats 12

I don’t know the final total but a decent turnout might just mean more shows at this fine venue. A quick word also for “Geeza” for doing the sound while trying to replicate the Roxy days of the late 70’s, with some choice Reggae tunes between the bands from the decks. All in all a great night and this close to Christmas, not a bad turnout from the local Punk fraternity. With the next big fundraiser taking place at Chaplinís Cellar Bar in January there is much to look forward to in this town.



Review, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.

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