Hangover Hill Presents: Live & Unheard, Lighthouse Poole

Is it March already? With the daffodils beginning to spring up and the cold weather subsiding, it must mean the warmer weather and Spring is just around the corner. Though the weather of late has been somewhat stormy and depressing; “Live & Heard” music showcase is the shot of positivity that we music fans need to keep us going until it’s festival time. Tonight’s offering from Hangover Hill studios is a three-band line-up that has spiked the area’s curiosity, as ticket sales have been brisk. As the first act takes to the stage the Sheiling Studio here at the Lighthouse is packed out. Dorset’s answer to the Kardashians, Matt Black and Mel Berkhauer have been as ever working relentlessly behind the scenes to keep the events momentum high.

First on tonight is locally born musician Jack Spooner aka “Nory-J” and his band, who with his debut EP created a flurry of interest from the media with his uniquely created stylings. Kicking off with “Fish Like Me”; along with Keiron Bartlett on drums, Charlie Whitham on bass and Heidi Cole on keyboards the band show off their Jazz-influenced Indie/Pop. Jack’s smooth vocal delivery; coupled with some cleverly put together guitar work, along with some funky bass lines and some distinctive drumming impress the Lighthouse crowd from the off. The dreamily infectious “Fairy Dust” features a well delivered rapped section while the infectious “Rice” reminded me a little of 80’s/90’s New Wave band The Beloved. Jack’s most popular composition to date is a number called “Tough Cookie”, a delicate track featuring some satisfyingly positive lyrics.

The highlight of the set is the band’s closing number called “Future Days”, a more conventional Indie-styled track, much heavier than the rest of the material with driving rhythms and some impressive guitar work. At the conclusion of the set, this wonderfully acoustic room erupted with a cascade of positive noise from the celebratory audience.

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Next up are The Samurais; not the Japanese warriors with their heavy armour and swords, but a four-piece Dorset Rock band with an armoury of rudimental Rock stylings of their own. They feature Neil Sexton on Lead Vocals/Acoustic Rhythm Guitar, Tim Jones on Bass/Backing Vocals, Rob Russell on Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals and Paul Currah at the back on the Drums. From the off, you can tell these guys have a certain chemistry about them and each of them has a credible part to play. Despite a few initial technical issues the guys carry on professionally, impressing us with a string of original no-nonsense Rock songs. Rob’s hollow-bodied Gibson has a wonderfully rich sound and with his skilful strings work, it’s a real pleasure to see him play with lots of impressive guitar solos for us to savour. Neil has a fantastic vocal range and with each song he brings the audience something new to enjoy with songs like the beautifully melodic anthem “Rising Tide” and the excellent “Ever-changing Times”. The rhythm section should not be forgotten, as their steady work is clearly the backbone of this band. The final number is The Samurais debut single entitled “Do What You Feel”, which was released this month. The track features plenty to enjoy and the band keep the audience’s attention right until the last note – as with the first act they show plenty of appreciation for a great night’s work.

The Samurais
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Tonight’s final band are “Soulhole”, a local Bournemouth band that have been treading the boards for quite some time and have gained themselves plenty of kudos with some impressive performances at a host of festivals and notable gigs. They feature Father/Son team of Mathew Digby (Keyboards/Synths) & Jordan Digby (Guitar/Vocals), along with young Norman Roy-Watt look-a-like Billy Poore on Bass and the baby-faced Nathan Wallington on drums. They have a funky vein running through their music and it’s hard not to move along to their sound whenever they are on stage. Tonight the band are taking the brave step of showcasing some brand new tracks and after not having played a gig together for a couple of years, it will be interesting to see if they still have their mojo.

Soulhole 123456

After just the first number they show they’ve lost none of their appeal and frontman Jordan, wearing a jacket borrowed from the Joseph musical; shows his supreme talent with some excellent guitar work and imposing vocals. Mathew’s constant expertise on keys/synth coupled with Billy’s funky basslines and Nathan’s precise drumming effortlessly entertain. The new tracks come in the form of “My Mind”, the interestingly titled “Lostism” and “The Dirt” proclaiming that they have lost none of their creative skills. They typically end with their bouncing classic “Bag of Fun”, which turns into a medley with the Faithless classic “Insomnia” and The Prodigy track “No Good (Start the Dance)”. The band try and leave the stage as apparently, Mathew has a bus to catch, but the audience were having none of it and demand an encore. With nothing seemingly prepared the band produce a cover of Tom Misch’s “Disco Yes” to send us all away with massive smiles on our faces.

Set Lists
Fish Like Me
The Way That It is
Cigarettes in the Sunshine
Welcome To Europa
Fairy Dust
Internet Baby
Life Support Never Looked So Good
Tough Cookie
Future Days

The Samurais
Play it (One More Time)
Silence of the Day
New Days
Rising Tide
Everchanging Times
Worlds Away
Do What You Feel

Caught Up
My Mind
Pretty Mumma
Hairy Grin
Fool on Parade
Tangled Up
The Dirt
Bag of Fun featuring Insomnia & No Good (Start the Dance)
Disco Yes (Tom Misch)


April’s “Live & Unheard” is on Thursday 14th featuring Cee Luna, Simon Lane and Susie Kimber.

Tickets can be purchased here.


Words & Media by David Chinery (Chinners)