1 Word & Constellation – Review

Like delicate little flowers opening on a spring morning, 1 Word begin to blossom in this headline show

I bang on about this regularly but repetition doesn't make it any less true - Dorset is punching above its weight when it comes to live music.

A few months ago I began to despair a little for the local scene, it seemed that all of the stalwarts were packing up and there was little in the way of young bands coming up but in a busy show at Sound Circus 1 Word proved me wrong.

Friday is a tricky night. It's often difficult to get people out when they've had a hard week helping punters out with their PPI claims so it was with particular delight I found myself having to barge through a crowd at what I'll always know as the South Western to shoot a brace of bands.

I say a brace, sadly once again I was too late to catch what by all accounts was a storming set by Mikey Ball and band. I seem to be making a habit of missing one of the nicest guys around and I deserve to rot in hell for the sin, or at least spend a month in a Hull bedsit.

Second on stage was a bit of an old treat - a reformation of a former stalwart of the local scene, Constellation or as they appear to be latterly known Constellation online.

5 years disappeared in the flash of a Harvey Weinstein (too soon?) and despite only having 6 rehearsals they sounded tight and focused. They also looked like they quite enjoyed themselves and for live music lovers this should hopefully be a portent of a renaissance for the guys.

Rocky, committed and professional, Constellation proved to be a real crowd pleaser and as the punters jigged about a fair bit I stood back and enjoyed what was a set as short as Ronnie Corbett's smaller brother.

Oh yea, too soon it was over and I was left to buy over priced beer and cogitate upon how many Harrises you can fit in a bar. It was properly a friendly crowd and I couldn't walk three steps without someone greeting me with a jocular 'what the fuck are you doing here'. Oh how we laughed.

The night was set up as a way of launching 1 (one?) word's rather spiffing EP 'Alpha' and launched it was.

I've written before about the stage craft and musical talent of the guys and it was certainly in evidence in this set. It's an odd stage and bands can either become too cramped or get lost in a gloom darker than a Morrissey album. One word however managed to tread lightly between the two states although the lighting in Sound Circus that makes Jeremy Hunt look bright made photography an interesting and challenging pastime.

Kicking off with a homage to Eminem the boys certainly began in style and the set moved gracefully between cover and highly popular original and all played with aplomb (and aguitar). Should they perhaps made more of the original material and not mixed it with covers? I think maybe a clear delineation would have been helpful but no-one else seemed that bothered.

A word (what only 1 ) about a special guest star. Young Andy L Smooth joined the boys on stage for a soupcon of Foo Fighters and he proved what a talent he has for fronting a band. He also has a talent for avoiding annoying reviewers wanting to say hello.


The original material is certainly impressive as is the boys mastery of cover versions. There will come a time when the chaps have enough material to do a full length set of their own stuff and they'll need to make a choice at that point as to whether they go full original and maybe adopt an alter ego for the paying pub work. 

There was a pleasing juxtaposition between the older-than-their-years fearlessness on stage and the occasional slip into an almost naive lack of confidence reminding the viewer of their tender ages. Being born into a melting pot of musical talent meant an almost inevitable push/pull towards the stage but that belies the fact that they have, and continue to work extremely hard at perfecting their art.

Sure there's a way to go but by God they are on the right track and at least they didn't play a chuffin Monkees song for an encore (cough).

It's easy to forget how much work goes into recording and producing a disc and then putting on a gig and prising people out of their warm comfy hovels to listen to what you've got to say. When you have to drag your bassist down from t'North on a 148 hour coach journey then it makes it all the harder. Props then to the Harris boys Ed and Max, Jonathan Lindop and Dom Griffiths.

Props too to ma and pa Harris and all the helpers that weighed in to make it a great night.

There came a point where I believe I danced a short jig with the famous Ben of Potato pants. He couldn't get away.

Once again at the end of a 1 word gig I was left excited by the prospect of more new material in the future. I recommend catching the chaps at a venue near you soon.



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