Anvil, Bournemouth


As my working week came to an end I was still unsure whether to chance my arm on three bands I’d never heard of or just be a couch potato and stay in – thankfully I opted for the former! With the beauty of YouTube and Facebook, one can at least get a feel for what to expect from a band. Back in the day you simply went on reviews and write-ups and hoped you weren’t disappointed. After a good listen to Rascalton I had high hopes for these Glaswegian headliners. The other two were harder to find. So; almost last minute, I head to Bournemouth’s Premier Rock venue The Anvil just in time to miss opening act Belles.

Next up are local youngsters Cavern – great name, great band. These guys play simple Indie-inspired songs with a subtle simplicity that belies their tender years. Think “She’s So High-era” Blur with one or two riffs borrowed from John Squire (Stone Roses) and you’re still only halfway there. These guys have brought a sizeable fan base with them, who demonstrate their love through the power of moshing! They open with “Insufferable Nightmare” which initially seems somewhat apt. I don’t mean this to be unkind but Finn’s (lead vox/guitar) vocal is so off-kilter and off-key I’m initially worried for them. But by “Mangled” he has grown in confidence, and despite it not being perfect his vocal kind of sits well with the musicianship. At times tortured, and at times confident.

Considering their combined age these guys are the sum of their parts. George’s (drums) hitting is note-perfect while Nathan (bass) and Archie (guitar) respectively add subtle moves. “Burger” reminds me of floppy-fringed low-fi Indie circa “89-93”. “Swamp King” is both hard-edged and choppy while “Vacate” is simply the perfect song to end on. Never judge a band on their first song – so glad I employed my “three song rule” and stuck around. With a bit of fine tuning and some more live output under their belts, I feel these guys could go somewhere.

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And so to the headliners. All the way from Glasgow come Rascalton, a Punk band with some laddish Indie swagger. At first, there’s literally no-one downstairs to witness them. Then; all of a sudden, a glut of young bodies hurtle down the stairs on account of their opening song. It’s not often I make bold statements like this but Jack (vox/guitar) is the consummate frontman. With height and a footballer’s looks, he adds swagger and confidence from the outset. Equally well backed up by Steven (guitar) who also looks the part. Mark (bass) looks like a young “football casual” in his tracky jacket while Peg (drums) keeps a frenetic beat. Their sound is new Punk with Indie swagger and there’s no lack of energy. So much so when Jack says “you can keep up that dancing but move forward”. Cavern’s crowd are still full of energy as another furious pit erupts during “Police”.

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While certain bands have been cited as an influence, for me one could pick from many in the genre. Libertines, (early) Idlewild and The Hives at their absolute rawest to name three. This is Punk Rock as it should be played – in a basement club with sweat dripping from the ceiling. Jack is energetic throughout, at one point joining in the pit only to be pushed back towards the stage. He laps it up – it might be the penultimate night of the tour but there’s no lack of energy, despite me catching Mark having a yawn during “This Is It”. “My Name’s Not Eddy” is announced as a “made up song” but is pure comedic Punk at its best. They depart swiftly after a thirty minute set with no encore, leaving us begging for more. It’s not often I say this but watch out for both of these bands in future – their paths may go in opposite directions but they have left an indelible mark on me tonight. Watch this space. Another great booking from the team at “We Broke Free” and great to see decent numbers.

Set Lists
Insufferable Nightmare
Incapable Ego
Simmer Girl
Swamp King






Words, Pictures & Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.

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