The Anvil, Bournemouth

The Professionals

On a damp Thursday night in Bournemouth, we await a Punk legend and his band to the town’s Premier Rock Venue. Quite a coup for little old Bournemouth to be visited by a bona fide Sex Pistol no less – yes it’s The Professionals with Paul Cook on drums. The supporting cast ain’t half bad either – the new breed and the old.

Opening tonight are local legends Self Abuse, with an EP to flog still high on their agenda. They open with a newie, “Lies Lies Lies” from their current EP. It’s loud, brash and in yer face; setting the scene for the evening ahead. Andy (vox/bass) is energetic from the outset, briefly bantering with the crowd between songs. The room starts to fill as they follow it with “No Change”. Dom (drums) is keeping a frenetic beat while Jarvis (guitar) is head down in concentration. “Screenage” comes next as they continue from the back catalogue while “Nightmare” is anything but. “Teenage” precedes arguably the best song this band have penned in a while. “Dark” has overtones of Post/Punk, Dark/Pop, recalling a sound of a bygone era and creating a feeling of Dark (sic). Quite a departure from the remainder of the set but maybe a nod to future material. “Derelict” was omitted from their recent instore show, but is back in the set tonight. “Under Attack” is ferocious with an echoey vocal before they end on a high with “Blowing A Fuse”, also from the current EP. With three minutes left they squeeze in “Celebrity Death Squad” before departing to long, loud applause.

Self Abuse
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There was only one band who could possibly follow that. Poole’s hardest working band The Mistakes line up on stage and deliver a set high on energy and original songs. They open with their now-familiar Intro song, giving Ross (vox) a chance to open up his lungs. Once in the zone, they get down to business with the no longer apt “Underdogs”. Lewis (drums) tonight is hitting with a ferocity even Dom (Self Abuse) might struggle to match. His ferocity is constant and there’s no let-up. “Brainstorm” sees Ross in fine voice while “Together” gets the punters moving. “MDMA” seems new to me while “That’s What You Get” returns to more familiar territory. On “NBQ” Shane (guitar) makes a statement of intent about his band and their trajectory – it’s classic rabble-rousing and gets the crowd whipped up into a frenzy. “Walk Tall” is another anthem and they depart us on “Self Control”. Once again I find myself waxing lyrical about this band, who at the moment can do no wrong. Songs, lyrics, power, presence, and attitude – they have it all in spades.

The Mistakes
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The Professionals finally arrive on stage around 10pm and the volume appears to go up a notch, or five. They open with “Northern Slide”, followed by the excellent “Good Man Down”. I don’t know if it’s the mix but Tom’s vocal takes two or three songs to find its range. “Payola” is a popular early singalong while “Going Going Gone” sees them hit their stride. Tom (lead vox/guitar) invites us to go a little bit mental during “Silly Thing” – we don’t disappoint him! There’s a good mix of young and old in attendance and everyone seems happy. “Crescendo” and “Kingdom Come” precede the brilliant and anthemic “Just Another Dream”. Sadly the latter part of the show is beset by sound issues from one of the cabs. The tech does his best but his appearances on stage are anything but few. They soldier on with another classic singalong on “Rewind”. I’m personally not a fan of the re-working of Lonely Boy but I’m in the minority tonight as it’s a popular choice on the setlist. “Monkeys” is dedicated to those in power and ups the ante with its powerful delivery. “Hats Off” is the cue for one young punter to steal some poor chap’s hat in the pit and pass it round the room. Thankfully it’s all in jest and the headwear is duly returned! “Kick Down The Doors” is the penultimate track before the racy “Let Go” in which the band quite literally do. Cookie’s drumming is as powerful as ever while he adds some additional backing vocals. The addition of Danny (lead guitar/vox) I feel has firmed them up a bit and he looks every bit the part in this band. And not forgetting Toshi JC (bass) who is bass tech and full-time bassist now completing the line-up. Despite the cab issues they return for a one-song encore. Their most famous number ‘1,2,3’ is played with gusto and the crowd responds one last time.

The Professionals
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I know most people will be here for Cookie – after all, it’s not every day that a bona fide Sex Pistol turns up in in lil’ ol’ Bournemouth. After taking many handshakes and plaudits “Cookie” heads for the merchandise stand and is literally swamped with photo and autograph requests. He is both polite and engaging. For a venue the size of The Anvil this was a major (musical) coup bringing a band of this reputation down. Thankfully they are rewarded with a full house. And not forgetting two great supports from the locality. Dom Patience among others is putting himself on the map with some quality bookings and The Anvil itself continues to be the Premier ‘Alternative’ venue in this town – long may that continue.

Set Lists
Self Abuse
Lies Lies Lies
No Change
Under Attack
Blowing A Fuse
Celebrity Death Squad

The Mistakes
That’s What You Get
Never Be Quiet
Walk Tall
Self Control

The Professionals
Northern Slide
Good Man Down
Going Going Gone
Silly Thing (Sex Pistols cover)
Kingdom Come
Just Another Dream
Lonely Boy (Sex Pistols cover)
Hats Off
Kick Down The Doors
Let Go







Words and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.
Pictures by Matthew Rayner.
Additional Videos by Chris Sweet.

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