Lighthouse, Poole

DD Allen

It’s that time of the month once again when Matt Black and his team bring us Live & Unheard, the monthly local music showcase for up and coming artists in the local area. Tonight is the first of these events that have completely sold out and the credit must go to the organisers for such a fantastic job in building up these monthly events to what it has grown into. Long may it continue!! One of the reasons that all of the tickets have shifted out so fast is the headliner DD Allen, an artist that since he started has earned himself a huge local following based on his great live performances. It’s been a while since his last local show which was at Grooves On The Green in July, so tonight the anticipation is high for another great performance.

Before that we have two hand-picked artists to keep us entertained until the headliners arrive on stage. The first of these is Tobias In Flight aka local singer-songwriter Toby Fitton, who has played in a few local bands previously including Nion Abeo and Saturday Sun. Recently he has got together with Hangover Hill Studios to record his debut album “Mourning Comes”. Toby has always had a very alternative side to his music choosing not to follow the crowd, pushing boundaries and creating totally original styles. He arrives on stage stating that he won’t talk too much as it’s always a little awkward in what he says, clearly letting the music do the talking. The music is moody as it comes from a dark place, with fleeting moments of euphoria in the form of Toby’s fantastic vocal range which easily fills this space. The tunes include “Sad Blues” that has some seriously heavy moments, “Bleeding Me” which features some beautifully atmospheric guitar and possibly his finest moment “Whisper In A Black Room”; an epic tune that has so much to give, it just builds and builds from it’s morose start and sullen spine-tingling vocal delivery. It’s a tune that would not be out of place on a film soundtrack. While his style is certainly not for everyone’s pallet, it is great to see him making music that he is clearly passionate about.

Tobias In Flight
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The next act could not be any more different from the first, Hengistbury is a Country duo made up of multi-instrumentalists Jessie Mary and Pete Briley. They arrive on stage with big smiles on their faces with a tune called “Tired Of Playing The Fiddle”. It combines Pete’s lovely Maple Glo Electric Rickenbacker guitar and Jessie on fiddle with their delightful vocal harmonies. I am sat alongside potentially the band’s biggest fans…Jessie’s parents drove up from Devon especially for the gig. Sadly they got the date wrong and came up last night too, but they dutifully drove back and returned for tonight’s show. It’s very difficult to find fault with anything they do as they deliver a host of great songs featuring a mix of different arrangements using keyboards, pedal steel and banjo. Highlights include their single “Shooter On The Mound” which has a great video filmed just a few hundred yards from here at Baiter Park. They end with their debut single “What Folks Don’t Know” which features the chuckle of the banjo and yet more jaw-dropping harmonies, where the duo combine so well. This earns them a huge round of positive applause as they leave the stage.

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Extra seating has been drafted in to cope with the demand for tickets and as headliners DD Allen take to the stage, they get a huge welcome from their adoring local following. Frontman Drew Allen had a very long journey to get to where he is now. After giving up a very desirable job working with Maclaren Motor Sport in Surrey; he started with the help of his ever-supportive Father (Phil), performing solo gigs at a host of venues around the South. From the start it was clear he had a talent and a passion for what he did; but from the first few gigs I saw, I remember him being so shy for a performer. Fast forward from there and you would not believe that the artist on stage tonight is the same chap, his confidence and talent has grown massively. He has surrounded himself with four great musicians who all compliment his style.

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Kicking off with “Mr. Nice” the whole band ooze infectious enthusiasm and they excitedly show everyone what a great unit they have become. After a string of singles, what the band is lacking is a debut album and tonight they are giving us a snapshot of some newer material that at some stage should feature on that record. The band’s sound is always evolving by bringing in a host of newer influences; with the keyboards being much more prominent and working together with the two guitars, giving a much bigger sound. The newer songs featured are a full band tune called “Double Up The Devil” and a great energetic solo effort called “Seattle Lights”, with just Drew on his Gibson SG electric guitar. These show a real development of musical creation, combined with some real honest song-writing. The classic Rock n’ Roll songwriters Dylan, Springsteen, Young and Jagger/Richards have all left their mark with their influences being very apparent. After an enthralling set, the band leaves the stage to a standing ovation from a well-entertained crowd.

Set Lists
DD Allen
Mr Nice
Just Like the Old Days
Double Up the Devil
Just a Little More
Rebecca’s Curse
Seattle Lights (Drew Solo)
My Blue Valentine (Drew Solo)
Blinded Love (Drew Solo)
Bad Love
American Dream
Show Me a Little Mercy

Tired of Playing the Fiddle
Bet my Green Eyes
Cigarettes and Bernadette
Anybody’s Fool
Run Like a Wild Horse
Three Chords
Shooter on the Mound
Headed Out
What Folks Don’t Know

Tobias in Flight
Heavy on the Inside
Killer Voices
Sad Blues
Weird G
Bleeding Me
Whispers in a Black Room
Drain the River




Novembers Live & Unheard at the Lighthouse, Poole features Krista Green and The Bees, Violet and Liam Wakefield. Tickets can be purchased here.


Words, Pictures & Video by David Chinery (Chinners).
Additional Pictures by Lyn Burt.

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