60 Million Postcards, Bournemouth

Oxjam 2019

Featuring: Set in Stone, Cherry Lotus, Empire Affair, Plastic Jeezus, Wave Chase, Deadwax Graffiti, Ragwormers, Beverley Moon, Plane Spotting, Moya Silk, Taya Minchington & Carley Varley

The local music scene in Bournemouth is full of various characters who work quietly and passionately to keep the scene alive. One such character is Tor Byrnes of We Broke Free, who with her small independent promotions team brings the best in new and upcoming music to the town on a regular basis. Today though is about charity and Tor and her team of willing volunteers are welcoming a stellar line-up of local bands to raise funds for Oxfam under the annual Oxjam Music Festival banner. Tor has pulled out all the stops and raided her many contacts to bring a really eclectic line up; which will cover 12 hours of solid entertainment featuring soloists, DJ and bands at town centre venue 60 Million Postcards. The event is raising money by donations from people coming in to see the acts with a suggested donation of just £5, with a view to raising a considerable sum by the end of the day.

Today’s event is opened by Hampshire musician Carley Varley who is no stranger to performing live, she recently turned professional and has performed in a host of venues all over the South. Her uplifting vocals accompanied by her skilful acoustic guitar is excellent backing for captivating original numbers, which include her singles “Won’t Say Sorry” and “Honest Conflict”. With just 25 minutes on stage she certainly makes a marked impression on the small crowd gathered. Next up is 15-year-old Taya Minchington, who herself; despite her tender age, already has plenty of gigging experience. It’s difficult not to be impressed by her fine voice which delivers in all areas with her own splendid self-written tunes, including her new single “Indigo” and retro-styled “Penny Games”.

Carley Varley
Carley Varley 

The next act Moya Silk has a real individual style all of her own and with just her telecaster guitar, which I’m sure intentionally matches her blouse. Her music delights with well put together tunes which include a reworked cover of the Elastica classic “Waking Up” and a tune called “Crush”; which has guitar parts that sound like a cross between U2 and The Cure, an enjoyable varied set.

Moya Silk
Moya Silk 1

Next up are a duo who have joined us all the way from Surrey, a band called Planespotting featuring Ted Riley on guitar/Vocals and Joey Dodd on drums. There are plenty of different vibes coming from their music as they fuse funky basslines with a Jazz, Pop and Reggae sound creating tunes like ‘Your Mum’ and a great tune called “Local Celebrity”. We are also treated to a tune called “Humiliation” featuring some infectious bongo work from Joey, which works well with Ted’s decent Rickenbacker stringswork.

Plane Spotting
Plane Spotting 12

Beverly Moon are a four-piece Dreampop/Shoegaze band featuring former members of local Dorset bands “Sad Love” and “Coosbay”. They arrive and deliver a lovely atmospheric guitar sound with a fairly simplistic set-up; giving us tunes like the idealistic “Oceans”, followed by the entrancing “Suspended Moon”. Though at this early stage much of their music is a work in progress, they show some flashes of what could be a positive future.

Beverly Moon
Beverly Moon 12

A brand new band on me are the wonderfully titled Ragwormers. Four guys who are most definitely sea fisherman and took their names from the little ocean living critter they put on their hooks as bait. They feature the aptly named Glen Salmon on Vocals/Guitar, Rob Walters on guitar, Dan Pudney on bass along with Luke Crossley on drums. These four good time guys certainly know how to play and while still wearing their fishing hats belt out some Rock-infused tunes that really whip up a small hurricane inside 60 Million Postcards.

Ragwormers 12

Deadwax Graffiti is a three-piece Garage-style Rock band who plays no-nonsense Rock ‘n Roll with a host of obvious influences worn proudly on their sleeves. They only played their first gig in September of this year and already look really competent giving a good account of themselves.

Deadwax Graffiti
Deadwax Graffiti 123

Bournemouth’s very own Wave Chase is up next and seems to have brought a small army of fanatical fans along with them. The four guys have steadily worked hard despite educational obstacles to improve, to bring an engaging live set. The four are all young musicians bursting with raw unforced enthusiasm, with plenty of steadily improving talent. They perform mostly upbeat 3-minute firecrackers which are infectious and really get the crowd singing along. They also throw in a new cover in the form of “Crash” by The Primitives; before ending on possibly their best tune, the crowd-pleaser “Fangs”.

Wave Chase
Wave Chase 12

Next to the stage is Cherry Morris, a young lady who won last year’s Bournemouth Unplugged competition. Today she is here with her band, who combine infectious rhythms with acoustic and electric guitars to great effect. They are a perfect backdrop for this redhead’s considerable voice who despite confessing having a chest infection sounded great in here today. With tunes like new single “Through The Night” and the touching ‘Miles Apart’ Cherry and the band totally impress.

Cherry Morris
Cherry Morris 1234

Plastic Jeezus is a band who have been around for quite a while now with their special brand of dry satirical wit. The three-piece are fronted by lyricist, ukulele player and vocalist Simon Fernand. They always raise a smile with their cleverly written lyrics and their contagious tunes. Combining comedy with music is not easy and to get heard across a crowded venue is not either, but these guys have a trick or two up their sleeves providing entertainment aplenty to the audience.

Plastic Jeezus
Plastic Jeezus 1

Returning after a short hiatus Empire Affair is an Indie band who have a unique sound who have created a countless number of classic tunes. Tonight they have just 30 minutes to grab everybody’s attention and they do this as though they have never been away. Frontman Neil provides us with soaring vocals and a huge amount of energy, while the band’s snyths and guitar melodies get into the audiences head with tunes like “DNA Code” and the epically infectious “Tornadoes”. Empire Affair are back and in a big way, watch out for them in 2020.

Empire Affair
Empire Affair 123

Cherry Lotus follow and keep up the high momentum that Empire Affair have set, with their atmospheric effect-fed twin guitar sound that radiates around the ears of the attentive audience in their favourite local venue. This four-piece are one of the many great bands to have formed just in the last 18 months in Bournemouth. They have found a welcome home amongst the local music scene where they have played many great shows and have high ambitions to take things further. Tonight we are treated to familiar numbers including “Fake Leather Attitude”, “Jetlag” and a song called “60 Million Postcards”, that they have written about this very venue. They end on a new tune called “Act Natural” which shows the band really get their creative juices flowing with some great guitar work, coupled with some decent rhythms.

Cherry Lotus
Cherry Lotus 12345

Tonight’s headliners need no introduction, having played this stage a few times now. Set in Stone echo memories of Indie past, notably Manchester’s favourite sons. These guys tune-up with little fuss then launch into self-titled opener Set in Stone. Two over-exuberant females who insist on ruining any chance of band filming by fans, feel the wrath of Jamie (vox/guitar) as he aims an angry chorus their way with real venom in his voice and anger in his eyes. Friends of the band dispatch this pairing quickly so we can all enjoy the show. Jamie’s vocal is as strong as ever, most evident on recent single “Here, Now and Then” – there’s a measured extra five per cent he’s reaching for tonight as this Postcards crowd grows ever larger. “My Star” is another highlight before they get this large young gathering right onside with a cover. From the opening bars of “Live Forever” you just knew these guys were going to nail it. For this reviewer they are too good to be doing covers – by all means go for the big finish, but with your best original composition. That said, this crowd are in good voice and they end on a high. If you like early 90’s Indie and you slant towards Oasis, keep an ear out for Set in Stone who I feel there is more to come from.

Set In Stone
Set In Stone 123

That ends Oxjam 2019 and the news from Tor and her volunteers that they have raised a fantastic £1382 for Oxfam, an undoubtedly fantastic effort. You cannot deny there are no losers here tonight, the local music scene, the bar, the acts and the charity are all winners……..so many congratulations to all involved and we will see you all back here next year.

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Words, Pictures & Video by David Chinery (Chinners)
Additional Content by Ross A Ferrone