Hangover Hill’s “Live & Unheard” at Lighthouse, Poole

It’s the fourth Thursday of the month and we are back at the Lighthouse’s wonderful Sherling Studio and that can only mean one thing…….Live & Unheard. The wonderful monthly original showcase, giving musicians a unique platform to perform their music in front of a discerning musically-motivated audience. Organisers Hangover Hill’s Matt and Mel; despite putting this all together are absent tonight as they have submitted an exception note (from their Parents), giving them permission to attend a wedding in Scotland. Tonight the reigns have been handed over to the more than capable Si Genaro, who is brimming with excitement for the night’s entertainment ahead with the three very individual acts.

The first of these is a singer/songwriter, an act that I have nagged the Hangover Hill team to get on this stage for a long time. This place is a perfect platform for his brand of music and to fully appreciate what he has to offer, the silence that audiences provide here is a must. Phil “Jinder” Dewhurst is an artist of the highest calibre, tonight he kicks off with his brand new single “A Simple Song” from the forthcoming album “Codetta”. He has an authoritative voice that provides a euphonic backdrop to his songs, this effectively draws you in and emotively involves his audiences.

One of the stand out singles from the 2020 album The Silver Age, “Overthinkers Annoyomous” is next and we are told that the songs title is derived from a headline in The Guardian newspaper, pointed out by a procrastinating friend John Butler. The song’s catchy nature is further bolstered by some self-created loop pedal percussion and some magical technical wizardry that turns this six-string Gibson acoustic into sounding like an electric with a beautiful middle eight that I wished could go on longer.

Jinder brings to the stage his long-time friend and musical collaborator Peter James-Millson; who joins to add some vocal harmonies and his own Fender Telecaster to the performance. Each track in true folk fashion is given a detailed back story and the audience sit enthralled as the man delivers quality song after song that shows just what a gifted singer/songwriter this performer is. His inspirations sometimes come from within and the deeply personal “Diving Board” shows that one moment in life can inspire you.

Jinder 123

We are treated to a collection of tracks from Codetta including the brilliant “Arrows (Lets Lightning)”, the emotive “Isabel” and two takes of “Watching It Come True”; as the two friends laugh comfortably together after starting the track off, initially in the wrong key. “Keep Me In Your Heart”, a heart-warming track from the “Fisherman’s Friends” movie soundtrack that got to Number One in the i-tunes chart in several countries around the world without this artist even knowing about it is a firm favourite and set highlight.

The last song is also from the new album “The Body Burned Away (Last Moon)” and the track gets its live debut here tonight. The track is dedicated to the late American musician Jason Molina, who died in relative obscurity. The composition features some atmospherically powerful lyrics some with a melancholy tinged voice and some exhilarating musicianship from both artists. The duo take their bow and are given an enthusiastic ovation from the appreciative crowd.

Next we have the bright colourful nine-piece ensemble The Midnight Alliance and those eagle eyed local music fans may recognise many of the players from a host of local bands from across the South Coast, along with a few who have already graced this very stage. The band features Sarah Wilson (Lead Vocalist), Arthur Rathbone Pullen (Keyboards/Synths), Will Sharpe (Electric Guitar), Magnus Manson Chubb (Electric Guitar), Lee Hammond (Bass), Sarah Kinsella (Trumpet), Roland Horton (Saxophone/Flute), Nick Scott (Drums) and James Goff (Percussion/Vocals). They bring a circus-like atmosphere to this theatre with sounds coming from a variety of far flung places. Imagine vivacious sounds of Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba blended with a fusion of infectious grooves of Latin, Funk, Jazz, Soul, & Disco.

Midnight Alliance
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The band’s set kicks off with “Best Friends, Worst of Enemies” that features some well executed Mariachi trumpet, coupled with some delicious rhythms and flute. It is a really pleasant, full-on attack of your senses. These guys clearly love what they do and there is a real harmony amongst them all when they are together on stage.

This nine-piece band would usually be a soundman’s worst nightmare with all the demands for the different instruments and microphones. The Lighthouse crew as usual take this all in their stride and everything from my seat sounds perfect, with the great mix of instruments being clearly heard. Tracks like “Mango Chutney” with it’s ethereal flute solo, to the more laid back “Red Road Baby” and the more experimental “At the Bus Stop” really show the band’s eclectic and creative abilities. They are certainly one of the largest bands that we have had on this stage at “Live & Unheard” and certainly one of the most entertaining, one that I’m sure you will be able to see much more of at many summer festivals throughout the season.

The final act of the evening is the powerhouse that is pianist Marky Dawson and regulars may remember his last performance back on his birthday in June 2019. He performed solo then, however now he has recruited a rhythm section in the form of formidable double bass player Simon Rushbrook (who you might recognise as bassist with the Andy Grant Trio) and top class drummer Chris Chambers. Marky in the next few months is about to release a brand new album and tonight we have the privilege of having some of these new songs showcased for us. There is a distinct theatrical vein running through a lot of his material with new track “Wings of the Phoenix” being a prime example. His vocals soar and he delivers the lyrics in a really entertaining way. All the songs have their own back story and Marky in his own effervescent way describes the contents of the songs.

The Marky Dawson Trio
The Marky Dawson Trio 1234

“Coastal Calling” is a locally influenced number describing the atmosphere of being on Poole Quay at 2am in the morning, it’s a really emotive number that features some powerfully descriptive lyrics and some fine music creation to match. One of the highlights of the evening is a song that has the longest title of any of his songs “From the Kitchen to the Bus Stop to the Sea”, an infectious ditty that is influenced by an open top bus ride across the Isle of Purbeck on the double decker “Breezer”. During the penultimate number “I Hear You Knocking” we are treated to an impromptu jam, where Simon and Chris get to show off their considerable individual skills. For the final number the duo leave the stage to Marky and he completes his set solo with his final track “Perfect World”. With a smile over to his Mother in the front row who nods her parental approval, Marky takes a bow and enjoys the applause bestowed upon him for an excellent set.

Set Lists
A Simple Song
Overthinkers Anonymous
Diving Board
Arrows Lets Lightning)
Watching It Come True
Keep Me In Your Heart
The Body Burned Away (Last Moon)

The Midnight Alliance
Best Friends, Worst of Enemies
We Are Animals
Mango Chutney
My Gelatin Lover
Red Road Baby
Strip Me Soul
At The Bus Stop

Marky Dawson
Bad Idea
Wings Of The Phoenix
Oh Baby
Get Away
Coastline Calling
From The Kitchen To The Bus Stop To The Sea
Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right
I Hear You Knocking
Perfect World


Next month’s Hangover Hill presents “Live & Unheard” is on Thursday 29th June at the Lighthouse Poole featuring Kirky & the Sunflower, Mad Simple & Lizze King. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased here: https://www.lighthousepoole.co.uk/event/live-unheard-jun-2023/


Words & Media BY David Chinery (Chinners)

The Marky Dawson Trio