The Anvil, Bournemouth


On a mild Thursday evening, a near-full Anvil sees the area’s young Indie scene in full flow. Making their debut are a three-piece with the uninspiring moniker Breaktime. An earlier pub meal amongst my Punk aficionados’ brought up the thorny issue of band names. One phrase kept coming up – ‘when all the best band names have been taken, you end up with Breaktime! Well that scenario can go out the window because for a debut gig they are really rather good. Nerves are fraying early on as “new to me” soundman Joe seems somewhat unsure about his role. Their set is delayed by some thirty minutes; a blessing in disguise as it happens because when they finally begin, the room is packed. So Break Time or Breaktime, or even BREAKTIME!! Dual female vocals with a precise male drummer. “Rehearse” seems somewhat apt as an opener, one imagines there’s been plenty in the run-up to this gig. It’s a decent start, followed by “OK”, which is ok! They start to let go somewhat on “That Kiss” where I detect a likeness to the softer elements of Breeders/Veruca Salt. The drums are snare-heavy and the bassist is great. Despite their years they are fairly confident and the vocals are clear enough. They need to work on stagecraft but that will come with future gigs. “Never on Time” is their set highlight and bounciest number, which gets a few punters dancing. They depart us on “Black Cat” which reminds me briefly of MGMT; it’s a great set closer and they receive long, loud applause.

BreakTime 12

Set in Stone are up next. They too have their own crowd and although less punters are initially in the room, the numbers soon swell. Again the soundman Joe is having issues but once they get started they hit their stride. They set out their stall early once again with the Oasis-ism’s and Jamie (guitar/vox) tonight sounds more like Liam Gallagher than ever with his gravelly tones. Nothing wrong with that of course, every band has influences. They open with “Nothing Lasts Forever” and their confidence shines through. Sid (bass) has that knowing smile of confidence throughout; I just wish he’d lower his bass a little but hey, he can play. They follow that with forthcoming single “Here, Now and Then” which is excellent. A recent gig further afield has clearly boosted their self-confidence and tonight they debut three new songs; starting with “Pleasures”, which is quite melodic. “My Star” follows which is their set highlight and keeps to the tradition and style of their overall sound. For those of us of a certain age this song allows us to reminisce the early 90’s as it has that whole ‘Baggy’ feel about it. Jamie allows himself a bit of ad-libbing in the middle which keeps it interesting before they follow that with “It Aint Easy”. Leon (lead) once again is in full 90’s regalia, hidden away to Jamie’s right playing those clangey chords. Again it’s the Shoegaze stance that compliments Charlie’s powerful hitting. They depart us with “Follows” and again I’m witnessing a Bournemouth band growing in confidence with every gig.

Set In Stone
Set In Stone 1234

And so our headliners take to the stage. I first encountered Cavern way down the bill recently in this very venue, supporting Scottish Punks “Rascalton”. I was blown away that evening but could they pull it off as headliners? In a word, yes! They begin with little fuss but mass adulation from their mates who have packed the room. They open with “Insufferable Nightmare” and already the punters are moving. “Garden House” comes next as this crowd starts to edge forward a little, literally right onto the stage. “Berry Milk” is new to me while “Mangled” is an early highlight, recalling that early Blur (baggy) sound. “New Excitement” should be their tagline moving forward – these guys are the real deal, despite their tender years. “Swamp King” sees Finn (vox/guitar) and Archie (lead) really connects as they move closer in the bridge. George’s (drums) powerhouse hitting keeps the beat in the engine room while Nathan (bass) is chief shapeshifter this evening. This crowd are really starting to react now and one or two mosh pits incur stage invasions, albeit accidental. They slowly but surely build the set toward the big hitters with “Analogue Dreamer” and “Burger” sounding great again this evening. I wonder if “Simmer Girl” is written with anyone in mind, but that matters not. They depart us on “Incapable Ego” and leave to huge applause. This youthful crowd is baying for an encore with the now-familiar cry of “one more song”! I gotta hand it to these boys, they’ve saved the best track ’til last. “Vacate” has Radio 1 Evening Session Playlist written all over it, it’s a classic Indie encore song and this crowd responds once again.

Cavern 12345678

I have to say for a band so young these guys seemingly have it all. What initially drew them to me was Finn’s (at times) monotone vocal, which occasionally sounded out of tune and detached from the music. But like Joy Division, for example, the vocal doesn’t always need to be a “perfect match”. Also, to my knowledge, they don’t do covers. With that in mind, I was thinking midway through the performance that the only thing missing was a cover of “Paralysed” by Ride! This band has (IMO) stumbled on a great formula and it will be interesting to see how they progress. But for now, I would recommend seeing them while you still can in a small venue, because in a year’s time I feel they will be playing too much larger crowds. We shall see…

Lastly I want to mention the soundman Joe. Despite an inauspicious start he weathered the storm and pitched the sound just perfect and no-one went home with tinnitus! In a basement club, packed to the rafters it didn’t need to be deafening, and wasn’t. Once again The Anvil puts itself on the map as “THE” main alternative music venue in Bournemouth, long may that continue.

Insufferable Nightmare
Garden House
Berry Milk
New Excitement
Swamp King
She Wants
Analogue Dreamer
Simmer Girl
Incapable Ego

Set in Stone
Nothing Lasts Forever
Here, Now and Then
Pleasures (Drop D)
My Star
It Aint Easy

That Kiss
Never On Time
Black Cat





Review, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.

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