Reports of the death of punk in Bournemouth may have been greatly exaggerated it seems
It continues to be a mystery to me in these times of indiscriminate bombing of civilians, demonisation of entire religions and an almost pathological hatred of people who are different to a shiny Tory politician that there aren't more punk bands around, or at least some form of musical protest movement. Instead we give vent to our anger by appearing on the 'X-Factor' and describing how we're doing it for our nan and how it's been an emotional journey.
Thankfully all is not lost however and the candle flame of punk still flickers in the area.
The Anvil is the perfect setting for an evening of loud music with its newly refurbished upstairs (a great improvement) and good quality and not overpriced beer.
First on stage are Rotten Scoundrels and although Friday night was their first time out on the live music circuit they can be pleased with a very impressive debut.
Pretty tight with a line in catchy numbers they set the tone for the night to come. Rough edges to be sure, but that adds to the magic of punk gig. resisting the temptation to jst have a massive thrash they intertwine elements of ska/reggae into a traditional punk sound. It's a breath of fresh air to find another band that I am excited about seeing develop.
The guys gave away a bunch of free demo CDs and whilst I was too slow out of the blocks to get one it's testament to their reception with the enthusiastic audience that the discs were snapped up ultra quick.
It doesn't seem five minutes ago that I was saying similar things about The Crash Landings. I'm pleased to report that in the interlude they have been honing their craft to good effect.
Their set list for the evening shows that they haven't been idle and there are some strong songs on there. The band are much tighter and similarly seem to be much more at home on stage. Frontman Simon spends the evening in good natured banter with the crowd and it gives the evening a friendly feel. Here are some guys that just want to enjoy their music and spend time with like minded people.
That said, their lyrics develop themes of cynicism and annoyance, as all good punk bands should and targets such as the tabloid press (Hate Mail) as well as an affectionate plea for understanding of Tourettes (Billy's got fucking Tourettes) get an airing. Honourable mention here to Prozac Empire, their final song and up there as my favourite.
I'm struck by how much they appear to enjoy working together and this permeates the venue. The Anvil downstairs isn't big but even so the band has a fair few people packed in.
Again there are rough edges, but certainly not as many as the band think there are and the energy and enthusiasm more than makes up for it. Well worth the four quid entrance fee on their own.
Headliners Blatoidea (yes I've no idea [see what I did there] how to say it either) look like the real deal and from the moment they take to the stage you can see they have something about them. Full volume and angry they are kicking ass from point 1.
Within seconds a mosh pit erupts and doesn't stop to till the end of the set. In a small venue like the Anvil it makes shooting difficult but that is made up for in the sheer fun of the event.
The Blats, who hail from Sicily via London town are shortly to disappear on another European tour and they've been making quite a name for themselves over on the continent. They are also looking to put together a US tour and I'm suspecting that this will further develop what is already a strong sound.
Meanwhile back in Bournemouth the guys are pounding on and not even the arrival of a random person ejected from the pit onto the stage can put them off their stroke.
'Social collapse', from their latest Album 'Infected', was probably my favourite track but final song'Alive' gives us full on 1970s quality punk to go home singing.
Friday was an excellent example of how a good local gig should go. Three bands of varying experience, a suitable venue and beers with the bands in the intervals mean that you get a proper 'scene' experience rather than the sterile shite that some people would prefer we consumed. Big respect to Sully and The Anvil for a corker.
So the Anvil always provides a challenge for the itinerant photographer with its 'intimate' setting and low 'save the planet' lighting but on the plus side you can get a nostril hair away from the acts if you so wish.