Bournemouth Old Fire Station
Bournemouth The Anvil
18th October 2013
Louder Than War’s Nick Holmes checks out a couple of contrasting shows, both on the same evening. All photos on this page © Tess Donohoe.
It was a busy night in the seaside resort where supposedly folk move to retire. On one side of town Australian ska / jazz collective The Cat Empire were getting their groove on while on the other the Rocky Horror Show was celebrating its 40th anniversary. Somewhere between the two a time-warp of a different kind was happening with balding bearded blokes in weathered and well-loved denims rather than basques and stockings. There were girls too, of all ages. A decent crowd turned out to see British blues rockers The Quireboys plug their latest album, “Beautiful Curse”.
The Old Fire Station was warmed up by an energetic set by Sweden’s Bonafide, who, like the headliners, are signed to independent label Off Yer Rocka. They are fronted by the fantastically named Pontus Snibb, which surely sounds like a Harry Potter character. Perhaps he would be Professor of Imbibing and Hangovers, as he raised a beer and saluted everyone with the traditional Swedish greeting, “Skal!” Like their Down Under contemporaries Airbourne, Bonafide play fist-pumping, head-banging traditional heavy rock. Anthems with titles such as “Doing the Pretty”, “Hard Living Man” and final song “Fill Your Head With Rock” won’t win any prizes for profundity but by goodness they are fun. The punters were jumping and singing along all the way to the finish. 7/10.
I first saw The Quireboys (see pic right) play almost exactly 20 years ago in neighbouring Poole. Not much has changed. Waistline bigger, hair a bit thinner. Same attitude though. Enough about me. The two remaining original members, singer Spike and guitarist Guy Griffin, don’t look very different. The former still dresses like a pirate at a wedding and sounds like he gargles with a razor when he sings. Back in the late 1980s / early ’90s the band opened for Guns N’ Roses on both the “Appetite For Destruction” and “Use Your Illusion” tours, had several top 30 hits and their debut album “A Bit of What You Fancy” peaked at number 2 in the charts. That is impressive as it was back in the days when most people paid for albums. £7.99 on vinyl from Our Price, if I remember rightly.
Almost a quarter of a century later the current incarnation of the band have lost none of their zest. As well as rasping like a son of Rod Stewart, Spike still acts like he’s performing to a stadium, strutting, shuffling and pointing skyward. Songs from the latest album sit well alongside older material. A number of fans join in on “Too Much of a Good Thing”, title track “Beautiful Curse” and the cheeky snipe at an ex-girlfriend, “Chain Smoking”. Perhaps inevitably the early tunes get the biggest and loudest response. “There She Goes Again” (nothing to do with The La’s song), “Hey You” and ballad “I Don’t Love You Anymore” go down a storm. After that Spike quipped, “Yes, she broke my heart. But I’m fine now!” Good job too after more than a decade. Another thing that has not changed is the show climaxing with… “Sex Party”. Despite a dubious title it’s actually a great closer with band and crowd looking thoroughly satisfied at the end. 8/10.
That show finished early to make way for a club night but it was not bedtime yet. Across the road at The Anvil something entirely different was about to make its public debut. Outpatients comprises duo Mikee Goodman (ex-Sikth, Primal Rock Rebellion) and co-vocalist Yuuri. Their live posse includes former The Prodigy touring member Kieron Pepper, which may be a clue to their sound. It is an often bizarre and occasionally brilliant sonic assault that includes thrash metal, speed metal, hardcore, “Oi”-style punk, MC-ing and atmospheric industrial flourishes. It’s thoroughly unsettling but utterly compelling.
While Goodman ranted and roared Yuuri sang beautifully at times, sounded child-like at others and also screeched like a hellcat. The set was short, as expected for a new act, confusing and exciting the sold out audience in equal measure. The acerbic frontman railed against the stagnancy and shallowness he believes festers in the current music scene, then quickly made a point of exempting support bands Metaprism and Outcast The Plague and praising them.
Some of the songs end rather suddenly but that works in the context of the fury emitted during them. It will be fascinating to hear a properly produced record when the time comes. Expect Outpatients to discharge their bile and rage at festivals next summer. They play London in the coming week and Plymouth with Skindred on Halloween. Don’t miss them. 9/10.
As the sweat-soaked punters escaped the venue’s basement for air, two worlds collided. The Quireboys and friends rolled in to sink a few nightcaps before a long trek to Cornwall for their tour’s final show. A night of contrast but as the cliche goes variety is the spice. Oh yes.
Check out “Hard Living Man” by the band on Youtube here.
Check out “Diamonds and Dirty Stones” by the band on Youtube here.
Check out “Throw Rocks” by the band on Vimeo here.
All words by Nick Holmes & all photos © Tess Donohoe. More of Nick’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.