Allendale Centre, Wimborne

We are less than a week away from the beginning of the Wimborne Minster Folk Festival and the hub of the event is here at the Allendale Centre. Tonight, the venue is hosting three bands as a warm-up event for the festival itself. Matt and Mel from Hangover Hill Studios, which is situated in the Allendale car park, have brought a great eclectic three act line-up together for tonight’s entertainment.

The first of these is Bridport’s own unique multi-instrumental performer Stompin’ Dave, who sounds more like he’s from a timber shack up in the Appalachian Mountains. Why is he called Stompin’ Dave, I hear you all cry…. well… On stage he is positioned on top of a specially designed wooden box and on his boots he has metal taps, these are used to provide the rhythm as a backdrop to his music and shows off his clogging style dances. I’ve personally never seen anyone like him and as his set goes on, he displays his many unique talents.

Kicking off with a fine instrumental piece on the banjo and then something with an Irish flavour on the fiddle, Dave displays his different skills. His main influences for his original music feature a host of different styles including blues, bluegrass, classical, country, folk, jazz, rock n’ roll and old time. He is a joy to watch and the Allendale Centre audience are beguiled as they watch him perform, returning with plenty of applause after each number. We are treated to a selection of songs on a six-string acoustic guitar including “I Want You Still”, “Anyway” and a new song called “Matching”. He shows us his delightful finger-picking guitar style, along with some clever work with the slide. He ends after 45 minutes of pure entertainment with a plethora of great skills that thoroughly thrilled the audience.

Stompin' Dave
Stompin’ Dave 12345

Next up are New Forest band the Ragwormers, who are a band of five friends who got together through their combined love of partying and music. After playing a host of successful local gigs things escalated and the band now run their own Festival as a limited company, Ragwormers Intense Events with the tagline “We Throw Big Parties”. Tonight, the five guys arrive on stage after a big party last night and are claiming to be suffering with hangovers, which may explain them being a little disorganised.

They open with a song about the morning after the night before called “Sunny Sunday Morning”. The band features Glen Salmon on guitar/keyboard/lead vocal, the big haired George Payne on bass, Stuart Walker on sax, Robin Walters on guitar with Maxwell Durling on drums. The band bring a melting pot of influences from funk, soul, rock, pop, blues and beyond. On stage they are possibly the most laid-back local band of all time, chilled and mostly unshakable.

Ragwormers 123456

They treat the audience to their own original numbers including “No One Needs to Know” and a great song about the era they were all born called “1990’s”. They combine electric guitars with sax and keyboards coupled with some smooth rhythms. There is also a cover which is quite fitting in the form of “Get Down Saturday Night” by Oliver Cheatham and a jazzy version of Prince Buster’s song made famous by Madness called “One Step Beyond”. The band step down off the stage to plenty of applause from their large collection of fans in the audience. They no doubt head to the bar for a bit of ‘hair of the dog’ and so the party starts once again. If you want to join them at their Rag City Festival it is from 14th-17th June and tickets can be purchased here:

Tonight’s headline band are Hangover Hill favourites and the best band ever to come out of Hinton Martell; “The Two Man Travelling Medicine Show”. Tonight, the usual 8 players are sadly cut down to 7 as banjo player Brad Watt has recently become a father and is at home on parenting duties. The show indeed must go on and frontman Mark Lyons and his band of troubadours are no strangers to this stage and know how to entertain any audience even with a man down.

Starting off with a track called “Same Everyday” which is a new tune, after three albums and a host of singles it shows that the band have no shortage of creativity with plenty more fresh ideas. Up until now the gig has been an all-seated affair with people comfortably sat at tables spread around the room. The infectious nature of the band’s tunes gets people on their feet and up onto the dancefloor. Tunes like “Float Your Boat” and “Snake’s a Snake”, even if you have not heard them before they get into your head quite quickly. Mark is a clever lyricist and has surrounded himself with some excellent musicians who all bring his creations so vividly to life.

The Two Man Travelling Medcine Show
The Two Man Travelling Medcine Show 12345

The tunes come in many shapes and sizes and their influences come from a multitude of places, providing a colour spectrum of original sounds. The highlights are the harmonies, the individual skills and the wonderful family chemistry that the whole band have. A cover of the Beastie Boys “Fight for Your Right to Party” done in the style of The Wonder stuff is a rare venture for the band into other people’s songs. We are treated to another impressive new composition “I Am Invisible” before the band play some more familiar numbers including “Snapping Bones” and my current favourite from the latest album “Folkadelia”, “2nd Law of Thermodynamics”. You will be able to catch Mark performing solo, busking at Wimborne Minster Folk Festival next week.

Set Lists
The Two Man Travelling Medicine Show
Same Everyday
Float Your Boat
Snake’s a Snake
I Am Invisible
Rat In the Palace
Starting Again
Lose Your Step
Done Lying Down
Fight For Your Right to Party (Beastie Boys)
Snapping Bones
2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Sunny Sunday Morning
Let You Go
Casing The Stars
Step Away
Blues Song
One Step Beyond (Prince Buster)
Get Down Saturday Night (Oliver Chetham)
Take Me Away
Get High
Don’t Wanna Be Low

Stompin’ Dave
Bonaparte Retreat (Traditional)
Farewell To Ireland (Traditional)
I Want You Still
Matching Your Dreams
Supposed To Do
Sensual Reaction
Say What You Mean



Article & Media by David Chinery (Chinners).

The Two Man Travelling Medicine Show