Tonight we are back at the Lighthouse in Poole for the last Live and Unheard of 2021. Before tonight’s entertainment starts my thoughts return to the many events that the Hangover Hill team of Matt Black and Mel Berkhauer have put on here over this difficult year. Their persistence in keeping this event going; providing some fantastic evenings and even branching out with similar events taking place in London, commands my respect and thanks goes out to the couple who find the enthusiasm and strength to keep going when others fall by the wayside.

Once again tonight features a really diverse line-up and the openers are an Americana band from Salisbury called The Duskers.A five-piece with Tim Madden (Vocals/Guitar), Melinda Rozsahegyi (Pedal Steel), brothers Jon Williams (Keyboard & Backing Vocal) and Dave Williams (Drums) along with for tonight only Colin Holton (Gregg’s Fan & frontman of the band Lump) standing in for permanent bassist Chris Wyn. This Sheiling Studio on the ground floor of the Lighthouse offers fantastic acoustics and with this band’s fully bodied sound you can really appreciate perfectly all they have to offer. I’m hearing plenty of joyous influences within their songs, which encompass sounds from the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Hank Williams and The Waterboys. Tim’s appealing vocals lead the way on tracks including “Moment of Awakening” and the emotive “Destiny”. The emotive lap steel adds some wondrous angelic textures; coupled with the band’s significant rhythms, Jon’s keys and Colin does a fine job deputizing. The band leaves us with the uplifting “We’re Alright”; where the band draw the audience in with their combined skills, leaving the stage on a high and with plenty of applause.

The Duskers
The Duskers 123456

Polly Morris is a familiar face around the local Dorset/Hampshire music scene and can usually be found performing her unique style of musical comedy at a host of different events. Polly has been described as a cross between Billy Bailey and late great Victoria Wood, with her satirical take on everyday life. Along with her band of Brian Harries (Keyboards/Vocals/Iron) and Kate Hunter (Bass, Flute, Keyboards) the original songs are brought to life in a supremely entertaining way. The clever lyrics are hilariously put together and they all contain everyday subjects that we can relate to. These include “Autocorrect” about texting going wrong on a mobile phone and “Wifi” about the joys of modern-day technology played to the music of Don McLean’s “American Pie”. There is even a song called “Kids Had to Bury Her”; put to the music of Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America”, with the lyrics fitting the tune perfectly – I will remember these lyrics now every time that song comes on the radio.

Mid-set Polly gets a break and Hope Fm DJ Brian Harries gets up with his instantly recognisable Welsh tones to tell a humorous story called “inflation”. The audience listens intently as Brian twists lingual to tell an engaging and funny story. The band then returns to the stage and Polly sings a song about the most arduous of household chores, “Ironing”. Brian is back behind his keyboards and is using an Iron to drag across the keys to make some rather unusual sounds. There is then a hilarious track about spending the day in your pajamas and the funny things that happen. There is also a more serious side to Polly’s songwriting and the tone changes when she delivers two lovely emotive songs about her family. “Smile” is about spending time with someone you love and “Million Little Things” about watching your children grow up. The latter is made more significant when Polly mentions her son is in the audience tonight. The set has been more like a variety show than a gig, there are many clever elements here and during the last hour, the audience has been able to forget all their troubles and fully enjoy the entertainment this trio have offered.

Polly Morris Band
Polly Morris Band 123456

Steve Bonham is a storyteller that brings together the musical roots of the USA: with his extensive travels around the country he has absorbed all that it has to offer and returns with authentic flavours of his so-called “Moonshine Music”. Steve along with his keyboard/cajon player Christopher “The Bishop” Lydon kick off with a number called “No Particular Blues” and there are certainly no tumbleweeds in here tonight. Steve is a man who is full of interesting and engaging stories and takes you on a journey across America with all he has absorbed from his experiences. An affectionate track called “This Weird World” is dedicated to a great singer/songwriter friend Paul Bunting who passed away recently. “Dragons Tail” is a track that tells of an 11 mile stretch of road on the Tennessee/North Carolina state that is considered to be one of the most dangerous motorcycle touring roads, claiming around four deaths a year. Steve sets the scene perfectly, telling how the motorcycle parts of the crashed bikes are hung in a tree as a warning.

Steve with his guitar takes in a host of different styles: blues, folk, bluegrass and country, with The Bishop’s expert accompaniment. It’s great to watch the way he multi-tasks with his feet working the keyboard pedal and the Cajon pedal at the same time. While singing and also playing keyboards, who says men cannot multi-task? One of the standout tracks of the evening is a track called “Western Requiem”, where Steve brings into play his beautiful sounding twelve-string guitar and muses tales about the old Wild West, conjuring up images we have mostly only seen in films. The song is finished off with a sublime piano section, making one close their eyes and drift away to the land of cactus, ten gallon hats, horses and Indians. The evening ends with a Hillbilly style sing-a-long to a great number called “Moonshine Running”, an upbeat song inspired by the American prohibition period. The duo leave the stage to lots of enthusiastic appreciation from the crowd

Steve Bonham And The Long Road
Steve Bonham And The Long Road 123456

It’s been a great evening with some fantastic entertainment, all for the cost of a couple of beers. January’s Live & Unheard at the Lighthouse will feature: Sirpico, Cherry Morris’s Pharaohs and Vision. You can purchase your tickets here:

Set Lists
Steve Bonham and The Long Road
No Particular Blues
Wrapped Up In You
Sally In Blue Flames
This Weird World
Dragon’s Tail
Waiting On a Storm
Interstate 25
Freedoms on the Road To Growing Old
Western Requiem
London Midnight Talking
Moonshine Running

Polly Morris Band
Kids Had to Bury Her
New Boots
Inflation (Story Telling)
Million Little Things
Motorway Queue

The Duskers
Hilly Billyman
Moment of Awakening
We’re Alright



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

Live & Unheard