Thomas Tripp, Christchurch


On a cold Thursday evening in Christchurch, The Thomas Tripp plays host to three artists from along the Coast. First up with little fuss & no introduction is Tom Bryan. He has an interesting style – veering from ramshackle to ad-lib! His looping and noise-making through the medium of loops, pedals and various other keyboard wizardry is a little lost on me, as is the pre-recorded human beat-boxing which is a first for this reviewer. This Pompey-based one-man-band almost wins me over once actually picks up his guitar and starts to play. His songs aren’t unpleasant, again peppered with various quirks and edits he offers a decent vocal. I record his set highlight, a song musing on the trouble with ageing in your mid-twenties – a certain Mr. Bragg needn’t retire just yet although the song was brutally honest and mildly amusing. He drops the beat next on a dubby little number, fair play to Tom; fifty miles along the Coast playing to a half-full pub in sleepy Christchurch. He ends on a high and garners good applause.

Tom Bryan
Tom Bryan 12

Next up, also from Portsmouth are three-piece Blues/Rock outfit Hooli. Information is in short supply but from the outset, Lee (guitar/vox) is confident vocally and has the technical skills to match. His guitar intricacies compliment his confident, layered vocals – at times really reaching to the depth of his lungs. Sadly for them on their Christchurch debut, all I can hear is the chatter from punters at the bar – anyone would think they can’t hear the band? Imogen (bass) to plays confidently throughout, despite an almost Shoegaze pose through most of the set. “Prisoner Of Money” is their set highlight and despite an amp glitch towards the end, we get a decent Hendrix cover. Hannah (drums) has an almost effortless style, tucked away at the back. As a three-piece, they all compliment each other very well. Their brand of Blues/Rock is unlike anything I’ve heard in a while and the ten minute brooding solo from Lee to conclude is a fitting end to the set. They too receive good applause, notably from Neverman amongst others.

Hooli 123

And so to the headliners. Neverman is a confident young Rock band, also from Portsmouth who I’m pleased to say perform a set of entirely original (to my knowledge) material. Matt (guitar/vox) is a confident frontman, owning the front of the stage. For fans of this genre one could be forgiven for thinking they’d stumbled into a gig by local lads Xander and the Keys, their sound is so similar. But Neverman has a clutch of really good songs and the stagecraft to match. It’s Indie/Rock to the core with one or two Pop sensibilities. One could make the obvious KOL references but the similarities end there. Matt has a clear, audible vocal with harmonies too – I just wish he’d lose that bandana! Craig (lead) and Aaron (bass) are no less important while Liam (drums) keeps the beat in the engine room. Fair play to these four chaps, there are no half measures. They play for a good hour and with the pub filling, they no doubt garner one or two new fans. And lastly well done The Thomas Tripp for giving ‘new’ (out of town) music a chance, three decent artists and all for free.

Neverman 1



Review, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.

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