Hangover Hill Presents, Live & Unheard, Lighthouse, Poole

Tonight we are back at the Lighthouse in Poole, not for the Take That Tribute act that is in the main hall; but for this month’s Hangover Hill Presents Live & Unheard. Sadly, our usual hosts Matt & Mel have an important prior engagement; so local luminary Mr. Si Genaro in in charge of proceedings. He is of course on his best behaviour, but I’m sure tonight will be in good hands with him at the helm. Once again, we have three more eclectic hand-picked acts to entertain us here in the Sherling Studio on the ground floor of the Lighthouse.

Up first is singer/songwriter David Gordon, originally from Manchester until 8 years ago; when he uprooted and moved to the seaside town of Weymouth. With over 20 years of experience in performing in front of audiences around the Uk, Europe and America; we are in trusted hands with tonight’s opener. With just his acoustic guitar and some clever lyrical prowess, Dave enchants the audience with a host of great songs that feature some well created lyrics and some skilful finger-picking guitar work.

Dave Gordon
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From the opening number the colourful “Waterloo Stardust”, along with the UK/American political observations of “Scapegoat” and “Victory Lane”; Dave is engaging and gives each track a fitting explanation with interesting background to the influences, giving the number’s further dimensions. Pandemic-influenced “Frozen in Time” takes us back to the long days at home with the optimistic “Snakes and Ladders” speaking out with a positive message. The audience clearly appreciate this guy and provide their own positivity at the end of his set.

After a rare Si Genaro faux-pas – missing the introduction for the next band due to chatting outside with fellow music types, (that’s unusual as Si is usually so shy and doesn’t talk much); Concrete Prairie with their Fok, Americana and Indie influences take to the stage and kick off with “Time to Kill”. The band are usually a 5-piece, but due to Dan Burows their bassist being ill they bravely carry on with just the four of them.

Their band feature Joe Faulkner on lead vocals guitar & harmonica, Adam Greeves on vocals, guitar & mandolin, Georgia Browne on fiddle with Tom Hartley at the back on the drum kit. The double denim attired frontman Joe has a few Elvis similarities about him with his quiff and his vocal style.

It’s hard not to be mesmerised by what they have to offer, there are lots of layers to their music and they certainly create a unique sound from their combined skills. From the infectious “Bury My Blues” to “I wish You Well” with its Country drawl, along with a well-executed cover “The Swimming Song” by Loudon Wainwright III; the band humbly and thoroughly entertain the crowd who take in all they have to offer.

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There is even a couple here tonight who have travelled all the way from South Wales having seen them perform at a festival in the Summer. They save their best tracks until last with the emotive and powerful “Bound for Heaven” sung beautifully and with plenty of emotion, along with the fiddle-driven “Day by Day” and the Blues-injected “Hard Times”. The band’s trip all the way from Bath along the tractor-filled backroads has been worthwhile and the Live and Unheard regulars give them a big thumbs up.

After a 15-minute interval, our host is back on time to bring to the stage “Grizzly and The Grasshoppers”. The four-piece have had a hectic Summer performing at a host of major festivals all over the UK and enjoying the spoils that each event has to offer. These ridiculously talented guys each have a set of unique skills and when brought together it makes for one mighty musical experience.

There is Rhys Morgan on Vocals/Guitar/Lap Slide, Simon Clarke on Harmonica (who has the biggest collection of harmonicas that this theatre has ever seen), Matt Pufhal on bass and Neil Shevell on drums. Starting with “Broken Hands” the band showcase their distinctive sound, with some mastery of the guitar and harmonica on display; along with some wondrous rhythms to back them up.

Grizzly And The Grasshoppers
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Further original numbers “Living the Dream” and “When the Cracks in Me Appear” show off their creative abilities, featuring some painfully honest lyrics. With a selection of covers including a brilliant version of Canned Heat’s “On the Road Again” and extended jammed-up version of “Ramblin Blues”, it’s hard not to get lost in the music. This band have the ability to take you to that sweet place; a place away from all your troubles and worries, where enjoyment and musical pleasure is the only thing on the agenda.

With time running out and a curfew of 10:20pm, much to the audiences delight the band ignore the clock and carry on playing. We are treated to “Running to the Sea”, a song that is inspired by surfing on the beaches in the West Country and their final number “Make a Name for Yourself”, which is an epic number that goes on for over ten minutes with yet more impressive musicianship on display – at one point Rhys put down his guitar, joining Neil with some additional drumming. A fantastic culmination of a great set from possibly one of my favourite artists to perform at the Live & Unheard event.

Set Lists
Grizzly and The Grasshoppers
Broken Hands
Cassanova (Vance Foy)
Living The Dream
When The Cracks in Me Appear
Dust The Baggie (Billy Strings)
On The Road Again (Canned Heat)
Ramblin’ Blues
Running To the Sea
Make a Name for Yourself

Concrete Prairie
Time To Kill
Bury My Blues
Bluer Skies
The Swimming Song (Loudon Wainwright III)
I Wish You Well
Bound For Heaven
Day By Day
Hard Times

David Gordon
Waterloo Stardust
Victory Lane
Dark Clouds
Frozen in Time
Glass Slippers
Snakes and Ladders



Next month Hangover Hill Presents are spoiling us as there are two “Live & Unheard” events:

The first is on Saturday 18th November featuring Danny McMahon. Helena Mace & The Shucks; purchase your tickets in advance here.

The Second is Thursday 23rd November featuring I’m No Chessman, Pylon Poets and Keanu Lenco; purchase your tickets here.

Words & Media by David Chinery (Chinners)

Grizzly And The Grasshoppers