Live and Unheard, Lighthouse, Poole

It’s that time of the month once again and we are on the trail of new music with the monthly local showcase “Live & Unheard”, hosted by two local musical superheroes Matt Black and Mel Berkhauer of Hangover Hill Studios. This week is a complete rarity for me as it is truly “Live & Unheard”, as I have not had the pleasure of seeing any of the acts before.

The first of these is 19-year-old singer/songwriter Sammy Milton, who was discovered by Hangover hill at a private event and they suggested that she record some of her original songs with them. Tonight is her debut gig in a theatre and though I’m sure she is nervous on the inside, she arrives on stage looking very calm. After taking in the warm welcome from her friends, family, and fans; Sammy sits down at the piano and kicks off with her first number “Temporary”, the song is about teen frustrations. Her unique-sounding voice has an urban feel to it, think along the lines of Kate Nash and Lily Allen with a bit of Rihanna’s style too. Her songwriting is honest, featuring a variety of relevant subjects like anxiety and relationships. As well as being an accomplished piano player, “Accountants & Criminals” – a song about making the right choices ends the set in some style and the audience make lots of positive noise as this potential future star leaves the stage.

Sammy Milton
Sammy Milton 1234

Next up is Lost At Sea fronted by established songwriter Alan Hunter, formerly of Heartland. Originally he has Geordie roots from his former home in Newcastle, before relocating to the South Coast to live in Poole. The rest of the band is made up of Alan’s son James on Lead Guitar, Chris Croft on Saxophone, Paul Clapham on drums, and Graham Newman on Bass. The band has a strong Americana influence; citing a host of eclectic influences including Blues, Folk, and Jazz. After some quick introductions they kick off with “Chequered Highway”; the band seems really laid back, almost like they are in a rehearsal studio. It’s hard not to warm to them; barefooted Alan and his son show off their guitar skills with some bluesy six-string work on “On The Long road Down”, this combined with some significant rhythms and some animated Saxophone work from Chris. Creatively these guys are on the money, with a set of songs mainly from their album “Songs From Greatcoat Days”. They save their best number until last; “The Price You Pay” is an upbeat infectious number packed full of highlights including a passionate vocal delivery, a track that both the band and audience enjoy in equal measures.

Lost At Sea
Lost At Sea 12345

A name that keeps coming up from over the border in Wilshire is Colin Holton, you may remember him playing Live & Unheard before with his band “Lump” featuring a memorable song about Gregg’s. He also popped up recently on stage with the mighty Pronghorn with an encore of “Ace Of Spades” at the Ukrainian Fundraiser in Salisbury. Tonight the larger-than-life Colin returns on Bass/Vocals with another band “The Passenger Club”, which features his brother Gary Holton on Drums. Neil Dalziel on Vocals/Electric Guitar, Steve Collinson on Vocals/Acoustic Guitar with apparently Benny from Crossroads also on Electric Guitar. These five singer-song writing multi-instrumentalist musicians all seem to have lots of fun performing together and kick off with big smiles on the faces for opening number “21:59” from their 2020 album “Stanley Jack”.

The Passenger Club
The Passenger Club 12345

The guys provide some amazingly delivered; multi-layered harmonies, along with some well-put-together creative instrumentation. With songs like the infectious “Moving To Mexico”, Colin’s moving song about his Mother “Betty Bull” and “Sick” with Gary taking over on lead vocals. There is a great nostalgic tune about a train I used to ride from Waterloo Station after missing the last official one after a late gig in London. “The Milk Train”, a train used to deliver early morning milk and newspapers to various stations along the way. It was not supposed to carry passengers, but quite often the British Rail staff let late night/early morning stragglers get on board. These middle-age guys are quite a force and the Lighthouse crowd seems to really warm to all they have to offer.

Set Lists
The Passenger Club
World War 4
Moving To Mexico
One By One By One
Betty Bull
Milk Train
Run the Body
Sweet Bird of Chains
World Wake Up
Nothing’s Changed
Right Before My Eyes

Lost At Sea
Chequered Highway
On The Long Road Down
Why Cant You see
The Price You Pay

Sammy Milton
Crazy Feelings
Everybody Knows
Money Minded
Bye Bye Barbie
Frank Dopendee
Accountants & Criminals



The next Live & Unheard event is on the 16th July, from 1pm and is entitled “The Bit On The Side” and will be situated outside on the grass bowl adjacent to the Lighthouse. It will feature Mary Lee Family Band, Outlandish, Trevor and the Whoever & Gypsy Jukebox. Purchase your tickets here.

Words & Media by David Chinery (Chinners).

Live & Unheard