Chaplin’s Cellar Bar, Boscombe, Bournemouth

MacMillan Cancer Fundraiser

For the last ten years this town has seen an annual fundraiser for Macmillan, curated tirelessly by one Shiv Ferguson. This year her erstwhile friend and colleague Kim West, along with a few others decided to put on a similar event under the banner “Stomp It Out”. Usually scheduled around April this event is in January this year, to shake off those Winter/Christmas blues and raise some welcome funds for Macmillan. A stellar cast of eight bands have all agreed to play for free and with it being The Cellar (Chaplin’s) we enjoy a captive audience.

Early birds to the event are party to openers Sinful Maggie who take the graveyard slot and run with it. An unfeasibly long sound check is afforded them after certain items of kit don’t arrive ’til late, but they don’t let it affect them. Their Accordion/Punk is as anthemic as it is enjoyable. The vocals are nice and clear while the accordion doesn’t drown the sound, just adds to it. Those anthemic choruses are a large feature and need to be with the heavy bass and power drumming. One or two of the latter tracks see a more gravelly vocal delivery, reminiscent of Punks third wave while there’s more than a nod to the Dropkicks. But as a Sinful Maggie “virgin” I am more than impressed. I don’t feel it will be long before they are invited back.

Sinful Maggie
Sinful Maggie 1

Following the Maggies are no strangers to the local scene, none other than those Gutter Rats. They make a solid statement, opening with their usual departure cover “Fisticuffs in Frederick St.” (Toy Dolls). It’s a bold move but they absolutely nail it. A few minor issues with Jordan’s (guitar) amp don’t deter them as they put in a fine performance almost throughout. A good mix of covers and originals keeps us happy as more punters start to fill the room. Damien (drums), tucked away at the back is keeping a furious beat and there is frankly nothing to dislike about the Rats. Good honest, balls n’ all Punk at its finest. They duly end on a cover, a rip-roaring “California Uber Ales” (Dead Kennedys) and set the bar high for the next band on.

Gutter Rats
Gutter Rats 1

Few locals will know the next band on stage, but at the end, their brand of energetic Punk will have made an impression on some at least. Southampton’s Bitter Self Exploitment explode into action with their fun-packed, adrenaline-fuelled take on Punk and light up this room in under three minutes. A recent support at the Joiners (Southampton), 2nd on the bill with Wonk Unit was enough to convince me to suggest getting them on this line-up. And they take their chance giving us laugh a minute antics with songs about all manner of topics including Sprouts. Singer Jordan wouldn’t be out of place in Symposium, such is his energy – tonight’s tiny stage doesn’t deter his antics. And while the pit area was clear when they arrived onstage, they soon had the punters coming back. Nat (guitar) is hidden under a huge mass of hair while Ben (drums) keeps the beat with a laid-back, almost nonchalant style. They too end on a biggie with the affectionately titled “This Is My Life”. Don’t forget the name, these boys are here for the long haul and once again I would expect to see a return visit in the not too distant future.

Bitter Self Exploitment
Bitter Self Exploitment 123456

At this point as “MC” for the day I soon realise I have neglected to mention the collection bucket at the front of the stage and the need to fill it all day! That task done I introduce the final band of the afternoon session, Salisbury’s The Interceptors. Like the Maggies they are new to me, but they fill the stage and the pit area with their brass section and deliver some good honest original Ska. As I don’t recognise any of their songs I’ll afford them the rare distinction of being a truly original band, (I stand corrected if mistaken) but this is no 2Tone revival show. They are a band with a long history and back catalogue and while being a first for me, they entertain us throughout.

The Interceptors
The Interceptors 

A ninety-minute break is taken before the second half of the show commences. The first band to grace the stage for the evening session are local Anarcho/Punk(s) Kickin’ Bambi. They immediately get the crowd moving, with “BSE” busting some moves down the front having stuck around for the rest of the show. The now familiar tone of Political/Anarcho subject matter is there for all to see and hear. And with the current government funding issues centred on the nursing system, it seems somewhat poignant that a band should attempt to address these matters within their set. A wonderful reworking of Bauhaus’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is renamed “Thatcher/May is Dead”, (add or delete where necessary)! Big Ian’s vocals are loud and direct and complimented by the clangy guitars and driving beat. They too give another great performance as this Cellar crowd starts to swell.

Kickin' Bambi
Kickin’ Bambi 1234

Next up are PXR5 who describe themselves as an “aural and visual tribute to Hawkwind” – and who are we to argue?! They are regulars at these events and once again don’t disappoint. I won’t pretend I know their songs or music but they keep this crowd entertained and break up the monopoly of Punk-related music tonight. Sarge (vox) takes centre stage with his theatrical performance and costume alike. I watch from the rear and take a break from the bucket shaking. Although they are undoubtedly good it’s all a little lost on me!

Penultimate act of the night are local boys Meat Sweats. Jim (vox) corrects me early on proclaiming there’s no “The” in Meat Sweats! He is in fine voice and their mix of originals, sprinkled with the odd cover go down really well in this now packed room. “Selfie” and “Do It” are early highlights as Jim’s anger and bile comes through his delivery, while Kim (bass) nonchalantly looks on. Despite my presence there’s no “Vic” tonight, instead opting for their now trademark take on Buzzcocks “Boredom”. This crowd now really start to move and the coins are flooding into the bucket beneath them. They continue with their Post/Punk, Grunge/Punk mash-up and depart to great applause.

Meat Sweats
Meat Sweats 1234

Before the headliners take to the stage there’s the small matter of the raffle. Some kind donations, musical and otherwise have been made. And Kim has managed to secure a pair of tickets to this years Camp Bestival, hence the large number of tickets sold. The raffle is accompanied by some good natured heckling and we promptly return to the music.

MacMillan Cancer Fundraiser

Tonight’s headliners need no introduction. The Sporadics are local heroes and if ever a band were gonna close the evening’s event, it was these guys. Their brand of Dub/Punk/Ska is the perfect accompaniment for an energetic, alcohol-induced crowd who have responded generously with their donations and deserve the best to round off their evening. “Westbourne” Shaun is rabble-rousing early doors to get more money in the pot, in-between thanking all involved. This mere mortal having been on his feet all day with a diet of “liquid apple refreshment” decides to call it a day, to return home for my weekly sleep through Match of The Day!

By Monday evening the totals were totted up and the final figure raised was a staggering £2,000! If anyone needed any convincing, this is what can be achieved through a collective effort. Personally I would like to thank all the bands, the venue for their support, Connie on the decks, Kim for her sterling effort before and throughout and Shiv who despite her best efforts tried to step back a little, but got fully involved. And finally, you the punters because without your support we have no event. I sincerely hope this will become a regular event as today has proved that as a collective we can achieve so much.

Bands: (Afternoon)
Sinful Maggie
Gutter Rats
Bitter Self Exploitment
The Interceptors

Bands: (Evening)
Kickin’ Bambi
Meat Sweats
The Sporadics

Key Contributors
Kim West
Shiv Ferguson
Conrad Barr
Ross A. Ferrone
Chaplins/Cellar Bar

Review and Pictures by Ross A. Ferrone

Apologies to PXR5 and The Sporadics for lack of photo coverage!

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