rHangover Hill Presents Live & Unheard at Lighthouse Poole

Every month the Lighthouse in Poole has an original music night called “Live & Unheard” (you must have heard about it by now, I have been banging on about it for a long time!!) this is curated by the Hangover Hill pair of Matt Black and Mel Berkhauer. These two do a huge amount for the local music scene from their mission control at the Hangover Hill Studios in Wimborne. They themselves are huge fans of the Dorset local music scene and sometimes travel further afield to seek out new original music. Tonight’s three band line-up is unique in the fact you would never see a line-up like this put together anywhere else, it’s such an eclectic collection of acts and if variety is the spice of life, we are in for a treat tonight.

The first act to grace the stage of the Sheiling Studio this evening is power trio the Pylon Poets, who have travelled to be here from their home in Torquay. They feature brothers Dan Hughes (Guitar/Lead Vocals), Nathan Hughes (Bass/Backing Vocals) and with Samuel McIver (Drums). Kicking off with opening number “Have Mercy On Me” from their debut album ” Spirit, Love & Higher Meanings”, they show a commanding presence with plenty of musical prowess. The three have a confident manner showing plenty of creative chemistry between them, with a host of contrasting influences. “One Track Mind” features some funky/blues elements and “I Wonder” a heavier track with an Iron Maiden-style guitar sound.

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In stark contrast next tune “In The End “reminds me a little of pop duo Sparks. The band have imaginative guitar effects, synths, and electronic drum pads within their armoury to create their unique sounds even. Much of the audience have never seen let alone heard this band before, everyone enjoys all they have to offer. One of the highlights is a track called “Animal”, a no-nonsense guitar track with some pure rock rhythms and some excellent 6 string action, with a rip-roaring solo. The band once again show their fine creative veins with the final song “Spirit Of Ecstasy”, combining infectious synths with guitars and an uplifting chorus. Pretty impressive all round and the crowd give the band the appreciation they deserve, especially coming up here all the way from Torquay on a school night.

Next up is a youthful musician called Keanu Ienco, who over the last year has been performing with new local sensation “Archie Ray and the Flutterbies” (who is sure to be playing at this event soon and is in the front row watching tonight!!). With his Native American heritage he brings some unique material with him, the like that this stage has never seen before. With his long mane of jet-black hair, box fresh Converse trainers and denim shirt; Keanu takes to the stage with his four-piece band and picks up his starburst Gibson Les Paul guitar.

The opening number is a jam and gets the musicians all limbered up for the set ahead. The band feature Jacob Corbin on bass, Josh Thorn on drums, Saul Hughes on Keyboards and Louis Winter guitar. With wonderful mood lighting sprayed across a spinning glitterball, their instrumental only music creates many atmospheric expressions. To watch Keanu playing guitar is a pure joy, he effortlessly moves the strings with his nimble fingers creating a host of emotive patterns that ebbs and flows from meditational to exhilarating. He has surrounded himself with four very capable musicians who bring his compositions very animatedly to life in a big way. His style reminds me of the likes of other notable guitarists; Canadian instrumentalist Nick Johnson and American virtuoso Blues titan Joe Bonamassa.

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I am just in awe of Keanu and the skill of his band mates; they are certainly one of the best outfits to have played this event. I am not the only one, Keanu’s excited family are clearly proud providing their support, with the rest of the audience also enjoying the entertainment. A track called “Playful Love” is dedicated to beloved friend, brother and a pet dog that has been lost recently. Keanu changes his guitar to a Gibson SG and along with Louis’s red Fender Telecaster, supplies some intimate duelling backed by some exceptionally fine percussion. The set ends on quite a different note with a Jazz-styled piece called “Celestial Desire” , where once again the band excel. They take their bows and all of the crowd are stunned at what they have just seen, clearly this young man is destined to make a mark on the music industry.

The Final band “I’m No Chessman” from Bournemouth have a job on their hands having to follow the quality of the first two bands. As they start under darkened green and purple lighting the four-piece take on the challenge ahead of them. Opening with “Crocodile Tears”, the familiarity returns as I’ve seen these guys before about 10 years ago with a slightly different line-up. The founder members of Jason Wheeler on Keyboards and Mike Rockett on lead Vocals/Guitar are joined tonight by Tom Nicholson on drums and stand-in session bassist Steve. (It’s worth noting that Aaron Roberts of Plastic Jeesus & Alex Incani formerly of Capulus used to play bass in this band amongst others, also frontman Mike is in a Tenacious D tribute band called Tenacious G)

The band have quite a unique sound with Jason’s impressive keyboard work, along with Mike’s melodic guitar riffs. I am hearing a few influences from The Hoosiers, Panic at The Disco with echoes of Emo, punk pop, and classic rock songs like “Magpie” and the euphoric “Favourite Phrase” which show off the band’s creative streak. There are a couple of covers in the form of “Bad Guy” and the ear worm that has not left me since I first heard it; “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger featuring the lyrics “I’m not sick but I’m not well”.

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We are treated to a brand-new track entitled “Underground” and bassist Steve reads his notes to make sure he is playing the right cords at the right time. It must be said though that along with his backing vocals and solid drumming Tom does an excellent job, especially with his young son proudly watching on (clearly way past his bedtime, his son’s not Tom’s). They end with a track that has earned them 10k listens on Spotify called “Let It Burn”, one that sounds quite sinister and Mike shows off his impressive powerful vocal delivery. Our host Matt Black returns to the stage to thank the audience and the band for what has been a truly great night, one that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Set Lists
I’m No Chessman
Crocodile Tears
These Chemicals
Bad Guy
Somewhere in The End
Tidal Waves
Favourite Phrase
Flagpole Sitta (Harvey Danger)
In The Morning
Backwards I Go
Let It Burn

Keano Ienco
Intro- Lydian Jam
I Still Shine
Riverside Cake
Red Sun (Ahowohtiga Iny’a)
Wovoka’s Dance
Celestial Desire

Pylon Poets
Have Mercy On Me
Rise & Call
One Track Mind
I Wonder
I Wanna Be With You
In The End
Take Me
Spirit Of Ecstasy



Next Months “Live & Unheard” is on 14th of December and it’s going to be an absolute cracker featuring: The Two Man Travelling Medicine Show, Nick Capaldi and Roxanne Phillips. With this line up it’s sure to be a sell out, so please buy your tickets in advance here.

Words & Media by David Chinery (Chinners)

I'm No Chessman