Resurface Live at The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

mundane Days

On a mild night in sunny Bournemouth, a four-band showcase has been put together by Mundane Days lead singer Jack Smallpiece, under the banner of Resurface Live. Four bands of very differing styles get a thirty-minute slot to show off their wares (so to speak). Openers Wesley Bennett and the Peacekeepers are actually a duo. They delight in delivering some soft, gentle harmonies. Wes (guitar/vox) is in a happy place tonight, with a measured grin throughout – spreading the love and good vibes in the room.

From the first song to last he doesn’t keep still and his stage persona is infectious. They open with “Breathe”, set out their stall early and grow in confidence. “I Don’t Mind” is an early highlight and the only crumb of reference would be James Walsh (Starsailor), with the mannerisms of David Gray. His accomplice on electric guitar is more shoegazey in style with a high line in his instrumentation. He also occasionally looks up and smiles, but for the most part, looks deep in concentration. Lyrically it is passionate and heartfelt, everything one would expect in a performance of this nature. Just a shame then that all we can hear is the chatter of this large, mainly unappreciative audience. Give Wesley his due, he passionately addresses the crowd with a vibe of Peace. They end on “Honey” and receive decent applause.

Wesley Bennett
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Set In Stone are up next. There’s a mis-match in their attire and their stage presence is suffering the same fate, yet despite this, they bang out one or two great tunes. Whether deliberate or not Jamie (guitar/vox) has a vocal style right out of the Liam Gallagher textbook. The only thing missing is the hands behind the back stance and green parker. On opener “Echo Decay” I was waiting for the chorus from “Stop Cryin’ Your Heart Out” and similarly on “Nothing Lasts Forever” I detected a riff from “Columbia”. Ok so that’s quite a generalisation but Oasism’s aside these guys can play and make a decent noise.

The crowd has swelled somewhat and they play on this, upping the ante. “Here, Now and Then” precedes their self-titled “Set In Stone” which is decent, as they grow in confidence. My only real gripe is Leon (lead guitar) seems nervous, at times not knowing where to stand or what shapes to pull. Sid (bass) on the other hand looks confident throughout, head slightly slanted away to the right. Charlie (drums) keeps a steady beat in the engine room. They end with “Follows” and this crowd respond with wild applause. Set in Stone I feel will always garner the obvious comparisons, but with a few more gigs under their belt and one or two killer songs in their set they could definitely make people stand up and listen – we will see.

Set In Stone
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Second headliners Bird Shoes need no introduction around these parts. Cutting a dash in their cream suits these Post/Punkers are building up a good head of steam. Fresh from a breathtaking performance at Teddy Rocks last month, they arrive onstage all guns blazing. Their songs are reflections of life and their surroundings. “Rude Boiz” is an explosive opener as they set out their stall early doors. “Prey To The Pound” brilliantly follows – Robin (vox/guitar) curling his voice around every vowel to emphasize the subject matter as James (drums) pounds away, head down in concentration. “Getting On” takes the pace down somewhat; showing a more mature, mellower side to their output.

Parity is resumed on latest single “Coven” as Robin aims to cover every inch of the stage. The heat is rising as he dispenses with the jacket on “Door”, another great live staple. A rarity even by their standards tonight though is “a cheeky little cover” as Robin smiles away! The Kinks “All Day, and All of the Night” is given the Shoes treatment, replete with a mid-song cock-up – don’t worry Robin, no-one noticed!! They make it unique enough though as Robin twists his vocal at intervals, rather than just another bog standard cover. Unsurprisingly they end with their best song, the brilliant “Lads”. It contains the wonderful line “Danny Dyer’s got nothing on You” which you end up within your head. I am running out of superlatives to heap on this band, they just get better with every show.

Bird Shoes
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And so to the headliners. Mundane days are a three-piece Rap/Rock/Grunge outfit with a Funk fusion. They open with “Sink” and straight away we get the Rap/Rock elements with that funky bass nestled behind a powerhouse drum sound. Jack (guitar/l. vox has a wonderful confidence that allows him to smile almost uncontrollably throughout. “Lying” comes next before the Grunge comes to the fore on “Rose In The Bubble”. This Fire Station crowd are starting to get warmed up now. Jamesís (bass) brooding bass replaces those funky strings of earlier, while Piers’s drums become ever more powerful. The quasi-Yank drawl in the vocal simply adds to the mix. They too favour a song which name check’s themselves, as they continue their style clash throughout their set. I can’t admit to being a fan, the whole sound for me is somewhat confused.

I won’t make reference to any mainstream bands as they sound like no-one I have ever heard before. I guess if you’re going down the Grunge route the vocal needs to be harsher. There’s no lack of power, notably in the drums. But drop the Funk and dig the Punk and you may be on to something. However, I am in the minority as these guys are getting great applause. An early start for me hastens my exit as we beat a retreat for the doors. All in all a well-attended showcase for local talent. I hope this is the start of something as once more I am enthused about the current Bournemouth music scene.

Set Lists
Mundane Days
Rose in the Rubble
Glucose Man
Adult Minds
Falling in Falling Out
Mundane Days
What You Want
Kings Head and Courtyard

Bird Shoes
Rude Boiz
Prey to the Pound
Getting On
Sods Law
All day and All of the Night (The Kinks)

Set in Stone
Echo Decay
Nothing Lasts Forever
Here, Now and Then
Set in Stone
The Otherside

Wesley Bennett
I Donít Mind
Big Jet Plane






Words by Ross A Ferrone
Pictures & Videos by David Chinery (Chinners)

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