The Alibi – O’Neills 15th Feb 2014

With a line up of lead, rhythm and bass together with a powerful vocalist and banging drums you'd expect a covers band to serve up a full diet of guitar based standards. With The Alibi you won't be disappointed.

Turning up at Bournemouth's premier faux Irish pub O'Neills, The Alibi hit the deck at around mach 1 and then sped up a bit. A benefit of starting a set at 10.15 in central Bournemouth is that the crowd is pretty much already warmed up and they got straight into it.

The guys have been together for a while now and the professionalism shows. Not withstanding an errant mike and no vocals for half of the first song they launched into a set full of singable standards for the happy Saturday night crowd.

However for me there are two main criticisms of the band's set on Saturday.

Firstly they went off at too hard a pace and then got faster as the night wore on. Whilst this might be good for 100m sprinters I generally feel that if you are trying for a singing dancing crowd then it's best to start off simple and slow and build up to a rising climax. The middle aged groupies were showing their age by the middle of the second half to say the least!

I guess the second criticism has to be a kind of back handed compliment. These guys are all excellent musicians. Similarly they all provide vocals and lead singer Sean is superb but (and here's the rub) you don't have to use everything for every song. The problem is that it makes everything sound the same with The Buzzcocks 'ever fallen in love' having a similar colour to 'Buck Rogers' by Feeder.

Some early promise was shown with useful goes at The Buzzcocks and Jam numbers and I thought for a moment it was going to be a late punk early eighties fest.

An excellent rendition of 'Whisky in the jar' (the Thin Lizzie version and not The Dubliners) really set the scene for a stomping, high energy performance.

One of the benefits of being around for a while (and being a decent band) is that you bring with you an entourage of dancing singing reprobates and they helped liven up the atmosphere and give the place a real buzz.

This is a shame because as I say they are superb musicians in their own right. My overwhelming sense was of an opportunity missed.

That having been said they hit exactly the right tone for a crowd growing ever more tired and emotional and I'm not sure any of them would have complained.

If you see The Alibi on a playlist then go and see them. They really are very good. I'll be going to see them again. Maybe I was in a bad mood!

 The Alibi website



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