Gig Review

Micheal Ricketts Band, The Other Half
Bournemouth - Ibar
7th May2009
Vegabond                    The Michael Ricketts Band     The Other Half
I wasn't sure to expect from tonight. Bournemouth's iBar is a tiny venue in a town with virtually no music scene, and it could have gone either way. However Vagabond's appearances supporting James Morrison seemed to be on everyone's lips, and no doubt had a lot to do with the impressive turn out – although the room's population did consist mainly of little girls.

First on were The Other Half, a local Bournemouth four-piece who provide reasonably generic indie rock music, but it's not bad at all. The drumming did seem to have a significantly punkier sound than the rest of the band, and the vocals didn't seem to quite work – although on closer inspection I think that would be down to the room's acoustics. But alas these are minor drawbacks, and overall they played well. The little girls seemed to be enjoying themselves too, “woo”-ing aimlessly at every opportunity possible. Larger drawbacks for a band, might be that they have an awful rapor with an audience, far from funny and arrogant to match. Had they been playing to a room full of guys in their early twenties like myself, I doubt there'd have been much “woo”-ing, to say the least. Fair enough this is your hometown but we've never heard of you so don't assume everyone loves you. But that's the key gripe, musically I liked what was going on, even if it was a little generic. Many of the songs seemed to vary in style, from your regular indie numbers right through to those with a far more punky edge – a repetoire that should be refined and focussed in one clear direction, I feel. But no, in all seriousness, rants aside, they weren't bad at all.

Next up was another local act, the Michael Ricketts Band. Although the opening track started promisingly, it wasn't long before an outrageously out-of-place classic eighties rock solo burst out of nowhere, and really seemed to grate with the melodic alternative indie beneath it. And amazingly, that's the only criticism I have. Aside from a couple of questionable solos, the music was of a high standard, and was blessed with the consistency of style and attitude that the previous act lacked. On his website, influcnes such as Kings of Convenience and Radiohead were mentioned, both of which really came through in the sound. With well-written songs like this, I'd be extremely interested to catch Ricketts at a solo acoustic show – very promising indeed.

The main act Vagabond took to stage as the little room reached near full capacity, and the “woo”-ing commenced yet again. Opening with “Don't Wanna Run No More,” a song that shows the poppier cheesier side of Vagabond, popular with the young crowd and no doubt what wooed them on the Morrison tour. However aside from that, Vagabond are about much more than cheesey pop. It's all about the easy-listening funky tunes, oozing groove from the bass, wah-wah-ing guitars galore and an awesome vocal line too. This is where Vagabond shine, such as in “I Know A Girl” a personal favourite. Vagabond are a great band who have the potential to make the charts listenable again. Really impressive, and that vocal, oof! It's almost Toploader-esque but with the slightly harsh edge removed. Deep and sensual – meant in the straightest way possible, of course. As far as stage-shows go, it would be unreasonable to expect anything from a band playing in a blacked out shoebox, so we'll let that one pass – but they played everything perfectly. In the upstairs bar there was a live audio feed from downstairs being streamed and it only emphasised my thoughts about the skill of these guys, and the vocals in particular. Vagabond are one to watch – without a doubt.

Vagabond 4/5
Michael Ricketts Band 4/5
The Other Half 2.5/5

Review By Thom


Alex (Vocals)
Luke (Guitar)
Sam (Bass)
Stephen (Guitar)
Karl (Drums)

 Michael Ricketts Band

Michael Ricketts (Guitar, Vocals)
Chris Mort (Guitar)
Jamie Palmer (Bass)
Harry Mosley (Drums)

 The Other Half

(Guitar, Vocals)
Mike (Guitar)
Sean (Bass, Vocals)
Phil (Drums)

 Band Related Links
Vegabond Myspace
Michael Ricketts Band Myspace
The Other Half Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?