Chaplin’s Cellar Bar, Boscombe, Bournemouth


Tonight at Chaplin’s the resident promoter Conrad Barr has put together a line-up of two quite different bands. The first is Cherry Lotus who tonight play their debut gig only forming recently after the parting of ways of another band Greyside. Joe Grange (Vocals/Guitar) along with Aidan O’Hara (Guitar) recruited their all-new rhythm section in the form of Harry Swaffield (Bass) and Paul Nicola-Miller (Drums). Their live debut was arranged for Thursday night at The Railway in Winchester, but this was brought forward when original support band Sad Love could not make it due to the bassist departing and thankfully Cherry Lotus offered to stand in with very short notice.

Cherry Lotus
Cherry Lotus 123

They kick off strongly with a tune called “Manhattan” and it’s Joe who provides the lead and only vocals. “See You Smile” starts with a nice intricate bass section before the bold atmospheric guitars fill the air with a beautiful noise. The band are still new to these songs and have yet to fully get to know each one yet. Certainly during the first run through they show plenty of positive promise. The last song “Fake Leather Attitude” saw the band considerably upping the pace with some fast and furious energy with some tremendous drum work, and it’s pleasure so see Joe and Aidan let rip with some lovely creative guitar work. It is always hard to judge a band on their first gig, but so far so good. I felt the only thing that was lacking was some vocal harmonies to back up Joe’s vocal. A young band with lots of positive attitude and some great varied influences leading to them creating their own indigenous sound.

The second band are Flashfires who have made the trip down via the M3 and M27 from Basingstoke. The band who have been friends since their school days have begun to make a name on the British music scene with a number of notable support slots with top bands including The Hoosiers, The Rifles, Ash and The Subways. The five-piece band fit snugly on the Cellar Bar stage and kick off with the infectious “Fool Out Of Me”. From the start it is clear that they are well rehearsed and quite polished, they seem really relaxed in this their debut at Chaplin’s.

Flashfires 12345

Frontman Alex Gonzato delivers some nicely executed vocals backed with some skilful guitar work from the pairing of Fraser Roskilly and Jon Cullis. Their sound is along the lines of many of the recent radio friendly pop/rock/indie bands out there today, with some really infectious choruses on tunes like “Manshark” (where for some reason I hear a similarity to Lady Ga Ga’s “Poker Face”) and the marvellous “Circus Boy” with it’s nice acoustic guitar intro. These guys have yet to my knowledge release any studio material, which certainly for a band of this quality is a shame. They have a real chemistry about them and really know how to write a good tune. Let’s hope they return back to Dorset very soon presenting their debut album.

Set Lists
Fool out of me
Quicker than the eye
Life’s cruel line
Only you
The Bug
Circus Boy
I Wanna Fly

Cherry Lotus
Top Shelf
See You Smile
Get What You Want
Spinning on an Axis
Fake Leather Attitude



Words, Videos & Pictures by David Chinery (Chinners).

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