Anvil Rock Bar, Bournemouth

Well, I don’t know about “Spring Fever”? As I left the house for this gig it started to rain! Anyway, I digress. A sizeable crowd have turned out for this gig to support three burgeoning young bands in the recently refurbished Electric Boulevard/Anvil. (For those not in the know, Electric boulevard is the upstairs bar area with Anvil being the downstairs stage area). Salisbury quartet Signature Vision are making their Bournemouth debut. I caught them a couple of years ago at Salisbury Live, and was impressed. Swelled to a quartet with the addition of Cam (Lead Guitar) they make their entrance at 8.15pm prompt. Two years ago, as a trio and with more than a nod to The Jam I had them down as the next Mod Revival band, but on tonight’s evidence they are wearing their Indie/Rock influences firmly on their sleeves. They announce themselves with set opener “Keep Keepin’ On”.

“Better Off at Home” sees the band loosen up somewhat, gently feeling their way in. “Worlds Apart” seems to ramp up the power somewhat as they start to pull one or two shapes on the limited space afforded them. Dan (bass) moves very little, despite having the most space! James (drums) has an effortless style where he just builds and builds the power in the engine room. Carefully slotted in at song five in the setlist is a cover of The Jam’s “A Town Called Malice” – it’s a decent offering but at this stage in their development I would suggest a B-side or album track but hey, what do I know?! “Summer 21” I’m guessing is a song of reminiscence while “Out to Sea” is easily their early set highlight.

Signature Vision
Signature Vision 1

Staying with their single releases “September Friends” is a song about Salisbury’s Chapel Night Club while one can only guess at what “Bottles, Cans and Dirty Tans” is about. They depart us on fine form with “C’est La Vie” with its wonderfully chiming guitars and exit the stage to decent applause, doing the big sell then making way for act two.

Next up are a band totally new to me. Brighton sextet NuSoul Union are unashamedly a Harmonies sextet with a style I doubt will have been seen in what a Rock venue is ostensibly such as The Anvil ever before and not witnessed by me. The combined voices of Milly, Keira and Maisie (vocals/harmonies) are a sound to behold. I won’t pretend to be a fan of this genre, but give them my technical ear for their entire set. They open with “You Had Me” and set out their stall early. “Bad Vibes” continues with what (one assumes) are personal themes. “Feeling Too Good” evokes memories of many a girl/harmonies band I could mention, but they seem to be carving out their own style.

NuSoul Union 123

The only real criticisms I have are that nearly every song carries the same rhythm sound throughout and song length maybe needs a little work. They like their choruses and one can’t help but admire the dual vocals of these three who have youth on their side. There’s no shortage of passion through their vocal delivery, I just feel the rhythm section could expand their offering somewhat. The keys player hidden at the back is head down in concentration, but these girls take all the plaudits, most notably on the number “I Love You” – spreading the love vibe in the room. They depart us on another highlight “Crazy”, leaving to decent applause as we await the local headliners.

Tonight’s headliners are no strangers around these parts, building up a head of steam in local venues and beyond. On my first live experience of Chimphouse I described them as Bournemouth’s answer to Weezer – tonight they prove they’ve shaken off that tag! Opening track “Chupacabra” evokes memories of ‘Kings-era’ Adam and the Ants with their howls and screams, but the comparison ends there. Their driving rhythm section and clearly defined stage presence has more in common with Fugazi on tonight’s evidence – a cover of “Waiting Room” being the only thing missing. They wear their “ape appreciation” firmly on their sleeves with a few of their titles including “Mad Ape”, “King of The Pole” and latterly “Monkey Paw”.

Chimphouse 1

Their take on Oasis’ “Married with Children” is an interesting one, it’s so far removed from the original I could barely make it out! Crowd favourite “Tesco in a Church.” sees some hilarious dancefloor lunacy while “Stoneage Slummin’ ” is a set highlight. The latter part of the set then disintegrates into a huge wall of sound, but I guess that’s the point?! On final song “Monkey Paw” one punter decides it’s time for a little air guitar next to rhythm guitarist – he must be playing the smallest guitar in the world!! A great end to a great night. Chimphouse continue to monkey around while their pals go ape on the dancefloor. At the end they reward them with simian kindness!

Set Lists
Mad Ape Disease
King of The Pole
Men’s Menu
Bedroom Blues
Married With Children (Oasis cover)
Tesco in a Church
The Gimp of Winton
Stone Age Slummin’
Keeley Sized Pool Table
Get Me Out of This Place
Bid in Fryer
Monkey Paw

NuSoul Union
You Had Me
Bad Vibes
Feeling Too Good
Open Spaces
I Love You

Signature Vision
Keep Keepin’ On
Better Off at Home
Intentions to Undermine
Worlds Apart
A Town Called Malice (The Jam cover)
Summer 21
Out to Sea
Everlasting Romance
September Friends
Bottles, Cans and Dirty Holiday Tans
C’est La Vie



Review and media by Ross A. Ferrone.