Lighthouse, Poole – 9th March 2023

So I’m back in one of my favourite places to watch a gig, the Sheiling Studio at the Lighthouse in Poole. It has beautiful acoustics and at the “Live & Unheard” event has an audience who have come to attentively listen and take in all the musicians have to offer. If a musician could create ideal surroundings in which to play a gig, this would be it. I recently went to a gig at a Bournemouth venue to see a notable local singer/songwriter and left disappointed as virtually the whole audience was loudly chatting while they performed. Tonight’s event has, as always, been lovingly curated by the Hangover Hill dynamic duo Matt Black and Mel Berkhauer; remember, not all superheroes wear capes and masks. They live in a cottage in Blandford and work tirelessly for the local music scene, putting priority over helping and supporting new acts.

Kitty Stewart
Kitty Stewart 1234

This evening’s line-up is particularly eclectic and the first act is former local Kitty Stewart who bought her weapon of choice; a ukulele called “Talula” from “Mother Uker” Paul Tucker at the Southern Ukulele Store in Boscombe and in my eyes that makes her a Daughter Uker. It’s just like an ancient Jedi Master passing on a Lightsabre to a Palawan.

Kitty has an incredibly warm personality and passionately delivers her music with what can only be described as a wonderful voice with a huge ardent smile. With just four strings she has the ability to enchant the audience with her uncomplicated style and heartfelt compositions. With original tracks like the beautiful “Broken Pieces”, the lyrically brilliant “King of Dads” and the infectious melody of “Bloom”; her unique finger-picked style looks like she is playing the banjo rather than a ukulele, then thinking about it they both have four strings. One of the highlights is a track called “Rise” dedicated to yesterday’s “International Women’s Day” with some powerful lyrics describing many of the injustices of the past that have been inflicted on Women.

There is also a couple of cleverly put-together covers medleys that give the audience a chance to sing-a-long. Kitty is a magnificent all-round performer and tonight has put in one of the most memorable sets of these “Live & Unheard” gigs. (Even hours after the event the simplistic melody of “Bloom” is still chasing around inside my head, it began to remind me of The La’s “There she Goes” a bit).

Up next are Masau’u, a name that is fairly new to the local music scene, however, the musicians may be more familiar. The band are fronted by Dorchester troubadour Chris Kipper Roberts who has gigged extensively across the county. The band also features Jamie Parker (Guitar), Jack Ansell (Bass) & Rick Veall (Drums). They can be found in a number of acts (however they find time) Vanilla Radio, Ansell & Gretel and Cee Luna. The line-up is completed and for the first time tonight with Will Sear on keyboards.

Masauu 1234567

Kicking off with “Living a Lie” Kipper and Jamie’s acoustic and electric guitars sound loud and proud in this wonderful acoustic space. They say that they have not rehearsed for a night like this, but how can a band be so tight without practice, even Will on keys fits in just perfectly. It seems like a jam, but where everyone knows their part to play. It’s most definitely Rock n’ Roll with many sub-twists and turns, however, it is very difficult to liken them to any other acts in particular. Kipper takes a swift sip from his hip flask and passes it around to a few members of the audience in the front rows. He freely chats about his music with a passionate glint in his eye, however, he is soon told to shut up by the rest of the band and get on with the show!

“Peacock” is a track about one of those hangovers that won’t go away and how things (Shhhhh!! Kippers trouble n Strife) can make it worse. That hip flask better stays in his pocket or this tale may well come true yet again. The musicianship in this band is just superb; Jamie’s inventive guitar work, Jack’s amazingly tight basslines, Rick’s spot on drumming, Will’s imaginative keys and Kipper’s creative songwriting. There is nothing not to like, the set is sadly cut short as Kipper gassed on a bit too much; but who cares, there will always be another night. The set ends with a fine more serious song called “Borders” and the band jam it out for nearly ten minutes, adding to the audience’s enjoyment. They earn themselves plenty of positive noise from the crowd as they leave the stage after a great evening’s work.

Tonight’s headliners are “The Roughcuts”, a Dorset-based band that have been around since 2017 and after a few notable line-up changes, have brought together five musicians all with some real special capabilities and unique styles. The band features founder member Callum Ross (Guitar/Vocals), Tina Teigh (Lead Vocals), Luke Andrewson (Sax), Graham Colebeck (Double Bass) and IB on (Drums).

The Roughcuts
The Roughcuts 12345

There is a 50’s Surf/Rock vibe as they open with “Sex Wax” and the band show their incredibly upbeat vibe from the start. The band originally formed as a traditional Rockabilly outfit and in time the band evolved into something that is more universally palatable for their wide range of audiences. The band bring together a host of different influences and provides vibrant entertainment from their wide-ranging repertoire. Their set is mainly made up of self-cultivated originals that include some recent material that the band have been working on including “The Beat” and a great song called “Here Comes Johnny” about that person who always knows better.

The band also bring out a couple of crowd-pleasing covers including a version of the Britney Spears classic “Toxic” and a radically reworked version of the Motorhead classic “Ace of Spades”. There is some fantastic chemistry within the band and it is clear that they all really enjoy performing together and their infectious enthusiasm radiates out into the audience. They end on their popular theme tune “Roughcut Man”, where Tina provides some great lyrics that require some loud replies from the willing audience.

This ends what has been possibly one of the most well-attended and wonderfully supported “Live & Unheard” events ever and was certainly close to selling out. Make sure if you are planning on coming to next month’s event, be sure to get your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

Set Lists
The Roughcuts
Sex Wax
The Beat
Hard Headed Woman
What’s the Point
I Can’t Stand You
51st State
A’int No Good
The Sunnyside
Toxic (Britney Spears)
Here Comes Johnny
Life’s a Bitch
Ace of Spades (Motorhead)
Roughcut Man

Living Lie
Tear in His Eye
Lovin’ You Somehow

Kitty Stewart
70’s Rock N’ Roll Melody
Broken Pieces
King of Dads
Old School Garage Melody


April’s “Live & Unheard” is on Thursday 27th featuring three bands; Reddle, The Now and Hightown Parade. You can purchase your tickets here.


Words & Media by David Chinery