Sound Circus, Bournemouth


Upon browsing through our gig guide I noticed a showcase evening of new talent, including 3 bands who I’ve written about recently. What better way to spend a Friday night then than down at one of my favourite venues.

First up are a Rock/Punk/Blues trio I recently witnessed at the Bournemouth Punx Picnic back in September. Minus their bassist who is otherwise engaged they rope in a stand in – a blow-up bassist who says nothing but takes centre stage, literally! As before they are very loud, and tonight very fast. At times it sounds muffled, particularly in the kick drum, but they soldier on. They open with “While You Were Sleeping” and set out their stall early – a set chock full of two-minute epics. No half measures here, their set is largely (and lyrically) personal I believe. Ryan (drums) introduces all tonight’s songs – looking at their setlist sheet I can understand why he’s struggling to read them, it’s written so small it might as well have been written in braille! That aside he tries to inject a little humour, aided and abetted by Dan (guitar/vox) who is equally averse to the humour. “I Never Said I’d Love You” is an early highlight while “Pretty Little Grin” is dedicated to Sam’s (bass) stand in. These guys end on a high with a brilliant song called “Ugliest Girl in the World”, which is epic. Just a shame there’s so few people watching them. The graveyard slot hasn’t deterred them though and they take the plaudits.

3 Fingers

3 Fingers 1234

Next up are a band new to me, and with so little info available I will just stick with what I saw tonight. Le Snags are a Hampshire-based quartet who play a brash and harsh brand of Punk, more recognisable from the third wave. One word sums them up for me – “different”. The vocals at times are almost spoken-word and largely indecipherable. The bassist decides he’s gonna spend the entire gig in the pit area, it’s pure theatre but a tad one dimensional. The vocalist delivers mainly harsh, angry vocals and between-song banter is non-existent. The posture of the guitarist is strange indeed – spending virtually the whole set facing the drummer! Few song introductions were made but thankfully the bassist gives me a setlist at the end. On another night with a better sound they might make more of an impression on me, but as a first I’m underwhelmed. However; I am given some cd’s for my trouble, so keeping with the spirit of Punk I will give them a good listen.

Le Snags
Le Snags 1

Next up are a band I recently reviewed and if I’m honest, wasn’t overly impressed by. However, after tonight’s performance, I might just change my mind. First of all, before they even start Stocks ‘n Skins beckon everyone forward. They have brought the bulk of tonight’s crowd with them and get a warm welcome. They open with “Boscombe By The Sea”, the subject matter self-explanatory. The sound seems much clearer now, matched to Adrian’s strong spoken word vocals and Richard’s bass/keys/samples. That vocal is clear and audible but on “15 Sliders” repetition is key. 80’s Dark/Pop basslines are a strong feature and I can see where their obvious influences may come from. However, the 80’s Beats make sure they stray from the path somewhat. “Pop Is Dead” is quite some statement, but on tonight’s evidence, it would appear not! As a confident pairing, these guys will always garner the most obvious of comparisons. I, however, praise them for their unashamed theft of 80’s rhythms and their very unique take on them. Stocks ‘n Skins are a marmite band but for me tonight they may have just changed my opinion. They depart to terrific applause and I will be interested to see where they go from here.

Stocks 'N Skins
Stocks ‘N Skins 1234

Due to bereavement Inferior Complex have had to pull out, making Skaema headliners. They also recently had the pleasure of my pen! They start confidently with “Go West” and set the mood early. Their loud brooding bass sets the early Post/Punk tone and carries on throughout. In fact I’m reminded of early Stranglers in the main which is no criticism. The next five songs are taken from their recent EP “The Happy Daze”, beginning with the title track. “Sidewinder” and “Take The Last Exit” are the standout cuts as they ramp up the volume. Neil (lead vox/guitar) is almost apologetic in his between-song banter, but it’s all about the music. Andy (drums) keeps a powerful beat while Duncan (bass) holds the whole thing together. It’s loud throughout and there are nods towards Joy Division in places, but they are unique enough to stay largely original. They end with “Little C” and take decent applause.

Skaema 123

Being a showcase gig this was always going be good value for a fiver. A good cross-section of bands in a great venue. Big shout out to Keith Grant (Sound Circus) for supporting the local scene. And to you the punters, for supporting it on a cold January evening.

Set Lists
3 Fingers
While You Were Sleeping
Be Your Friend
I Never Said I’d Love You
Pissed Again
Stand Together
Pretty Little Grin
New One
The Cutback
Your Love
Ugliest Girl in The World

Le Snags
Hard Stop
Last Refuge for A Scoundrel
Parliament Ltd.
Carpathian Warlord Part 2.
From The Cradle to the Grave
Nag Nag Nag
Big Money
Oi! What I Said
Nuclear Device
Wars for Gods

Stocks ‘N Skins
Boscombe by the Sea
Great Brit
15 Sliders
Them Today
New Gen
Stepped Off
White Knight
Pop Is Dead
Short Back

Go West
Happy Daze
Take the Last Exit
Pay Day
Fixed Grin
Perm-Anent Solution
Compass Kills
Little C



Words, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.