Madding Crowd, Bournemouth

Tonight we return to one of Bournemouth’s premier music venues, the Madding Crowd; who are hosting hard melodic Rock act Gin Annie from Wolverhampton, along with a full supporting line-up. Gin Annie return here after the triumphant show back on Halloween 2020 and despite having to work with an audience who all had to remain seated because of the post-pandemic rules, they pulled out all the stops and fully entertained. Tonight there are no such rules as live music has made a welcome return and Gin Annie return to Bournemouth as part of their UK Tour.

First up to ease us all in gently on this damp Saturday evening is Bournemouth singer/songwriter James Haynes, who charms the audience with just his acoustic guitar and a batch of individual songs. James has his set-list written in black sharpie pen upon his forearm, just in case he forgets what he is playing. It’s difficult not to be taken in by his happy demeanor with his honestly created songs about things that effect his life including “Proud”; a newer song called “Natural”, “Tired” (all about the daily grind), and an uplifter called “Believe”. James leaves the stage to plenty of applause from the well-entertained audience.

James Haynes
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Next up is Bournemouth Rock band Solcura, an act that outwardly shows their 1990’s Grunge influences in much of the music that they create. They released their debut album “Serotonin” last year and have since recruited an additional guitarist Zoot Hill-Valler (formerly the drummer of another local band the Deltorers). The band also recently performed a set at the prestigious Bloodstock Festival in August of this year. They all seem really fired up to be performing their debut gig on the Madding Crowd stage and liven things up, opening with one of the standout album tracks “Honour Amongst Thieves”. The two guitarists in the band could not be more different with them both having completely different styles of playing, reminding me of the first time I saw Radiohead at the Hothouse in Bournemouth with the stark contrasts between Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien. The band’s bassist Sam Taylor also makes some notable contributions with a lovely sound coming from his five-string bass, working well with drummer Jacob. Vocalist Harry brings it all together with some powerful vocal delivery. We are treated to mainly tracks from the debut album; as well as a cover of Pearl Jam’s “Porch”, along with new numbers “Keep It Close” and an epic track called “Imposter Syndrome”.

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Out of all the Rock bands in our local vicinity “Western Sand” are probably one of the most covered bands on our Rock Regeneration website. They are a hard-working band who create great honest music and put on a great live show too. Tonight though is a special occasion as the band is promising to unveil their first new material for a few years. Kicking off with “Dark Horse”, guitarists Tyler and Jimmy light up the place with the unmistakable Classic Rock sound. Nathan (possibly one of the best drummers Dorset has ever seen and he has three cowbells!!) is absolutely animated as he journeys effortlessly around his kit; ably accompanied by the band’s new bassist the dreadlocked Dan De Vires, who seems to have fitted in perfectly. Alongside their classics are slotted the two brand new tracks “The Angel Shared The Devils Cut” and “Tombstones & Deadwood”; which considering this is their debut live outing, sound so good and the band play them as if they are much older numbers. They both feature the band’s signature Southern-influenced Rock sound with some really creative guitar work, they are sure to become live favourites like the final two numbers “Welcome to the Badlands” and traditional closing number “Nothing Left To Lose”. The band leaves the stage triumphant with plenty of positive applause and cheering from the excited crowd.

Tonight’s headliners take to the stage in a playful mood and seem to be fully back into the swing of touring again. Opening with “Love Ain’t Here”, the two guitarists try and outdo each other with plenty of shape pulling and blistering guitar solos. It’s clear that the band appreciates their audience and the front couple of rows are full of serial fans who add to the fun banter on stage. Frontman David Foster says that he is disappointed that he turned up in a seaside town and that it has rained all day, most of us locals chuckled quietly as it’s probably the first wet day we have had for a while.

Gin Annie
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The majority of the band’s set is taken from their 2019 album “100% Proof” with numbers like “New Bad Habit” and “Next 2 Me” getting the audience moving. The five guys are a really solid unit of musicians who have developed an infectious onstage chemistry that radiates enthusiastically through their music out into the audience. They don’t take themselves too seriously and have an enormous sense of fun, which clearly audiences love. We get newer songs; the epic “Devil in Me”, however those waiting for a live outing of the band’s new single “Jealousy” are left disappointed as seemingly the band run out of time. It was on the set-list and it was sadly skipped so they could play their huge anthem “Born to Rock N’ Roll”, ending their set in the usual raucous style.

Keep an eye out in the coming months as the Madding Crowd are hosting a great number of Rock acts including Diamond Head, Hawklords, Tygers of Pan Tang, Ricky Warwick and The Fighting Hearts and much more. Go to the venue website here to secure your tickets:

Set Lists
Gin Annie
Love Ain’t Here
New Bad Habit
Dyin’ to Live Again
Next 2 Me
Save Me
All I Want
Devil in Me
Born to Rock N’ Roll

Western Sand
Dark Horse
Black Water Resolution
The Angel Shared The Devils Cut
Mississippi Queen (Mountain)
Tombstones & Deadwood
Going Down
Welcome to the Badlands
Nothing Left to Lose

Honour Amongst Thieves
Keep it Close
Porch (Pearl Jam)
Imposter Syndrome
House of Sin
Through the Night
Are You In Here With Me?

James Haynes
Here I Am
Kryptonite (3 Doors Down)
City Lights



Words & Video by David Chinery (Chinners)
Pictures by Mrs Bert

Gin Annie