Sinful Maggie

As I arrive at the Cellar Bar on a rainy Friday night I head downstairs just in time to catch tonight’s support act Hollowhead sound-checking. John (lead vox/guitar) banters with soundman Conrad before launching into opening track “Only See Red”. Immediately I’m drawn to John’s unerring resemblance to Rob Dickinson (Catherine Wheel) in both look and mannerisms. His voice, however, lends more to James Walsh (Starsailor) in my humble opinion. Hollow Head describe themselves as genre-defying, and on tonight’s evidence, one cant argue. “Shoulda” is next and more influences come to mind while ‘Oceans’ is a wonderful acoustic-led track that brings the tempo down to a more mellow feel. Deep, heartfelt vocals; delivered in a concentrated manner. “Outsider” follows and once again their mix of styles come to the fore. Take your pick from Funk/Rock, Indie, Blues, Alt/Rock – it’s all on show here and probably why they keep your interest. Gary (drums) has an effortless style, hidden behind Ant (lead guitar) who is chief shapeshifter. James (bass) completes the line-up with an almost shoegaze stance but Hollow Head are the sum of their parts with a clutch of decent songs. I was hoping for one standout song, which they save ’til last. They depart us with a number interestingly titled “Shiny Halo” which is superb and rightly take the plaudits.

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And so to the headliners. Sinful Maggie first came to my attention at a recent Macmillan Fundraiser at this very venue. Their brand of “Punk/RnR” is quite a departure from the musical genre to which they could so easily be lumped in with. And with the added bonus of an accordion player in their ranks they are quite unique. Tonight they are promoting their self-titled debut LP to a decent sized Cellar crowd.

They open with little fuss beginning with ‘Take Out The Sun’ and ‘Rock n’ Roll Prowess’ back to back. A punter has requested ‘Operation Ivy’ – Charlie briefly obliges before remembering to stick to the job in hand! Their songs are well received early on and ‘Old Dog’ even invokes some early movement down the front while ‘Mr. Know It All’ is a song about pubs, and the one bloke in every pub who has seen it and done it all better than everyone else – we all know one of these ‘characters’. An early cover of Rancid’s ‘St Mary’ is immense – it may be an album launch but it’s always good to keep your audience onside with some choice covers. Set highlight is the wonderfully titled ‘Shitfaced’ which sees more movement. The banter between Russ (bass/vox) and Charlie (guitar/vox) is at times hilarious while Ollie (drums) is the powerhouse behind them with his bludgeoning power. Briony (accordion/b. vox) cuts a fine figure on this tiny stage; dwarfing her fellow bandmates, but is equally as important. A few reminders go out that this is an album launch as they get on with the rest of their set. Their overall output at times reminds me of the Dropkicks, but they are quite unique in their sound – certainly more Punk than Folk or Celtic. And this is their attraction. That accordion fits so well with their sound and they have the songs too. My only criticism would be that (at times) the vocal was lost in the mix. They do however have great stage presence and I for one would love to see them on a big festival stage where I feel they would be more energetic.

Sinful Maggie
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They end their set with “Bar Room Hero” and leave this audience baying for more. With their setlist complete they play “Shitfaced” again and leave us all happy. As album launches go this went pretty well. With the Bournemouth Punk scene on the rise, it’s good to see another act coming through and building some momentum. Sinful Maggie has all the elements required to take this to the next level, and with more local gigs and a few festival appearances under their belts, I see no reason why they won’t build on this.

Set Lists
Only See Red
We Used To Have Electric Minds
Good Vibrations
The Rising
This Great Plan
Shiny Halo

Sinful Maggie
Take Out The Sun
Rock n Roll Prowess
Old Dog
Mr. Know It All
St. Mary (Rancid cover)
Long Walk Home
Everyone I Need
Did You Have a Nice Life (Cocksparrer cover)
Lost and Long Forgotten
Zyklon B
Nature of Man
Bar Room Hero (Dropkick Murphy’s cover)




Review, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.

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