The Mouse Outfit

Electric Palace
Saturday 17 December 8pm
Tickets £10 (18+)

Preview by Jonah Corren

The Mouse Outfit are consistently said to be destined for greatness. The unique brand of hip-hop they produce leaves no questions as to why.

Formed eight years ago by music teacher Paul Hooley (known in the band as ‘Chini’) and musician James Defty in Manchester, they subsequently recruited an impressive roster of musicians by hosting live jamming sessions to meet local talent.

These days, The Mouse Outfit is a nine-piece band held together by Chini on the keys, Defty on the bass and percussion maestro ‘Pitch’ on the drums and MPC. Their live shows are fronted by renowned rappers ‘Dr Syntax’ and ‘Sparkz’ who have featured on several of their album tracks among a plethora of talented artists.

To have these guys in Bridport is an absolute coup, and they would be recommendable to any fans of hip-hop or generally excellent music. Booking in advance is a must.

By |December 12th, 2016|Jonah Corren, Music|0 Comments

Willie and The Bandits

Bridport Arts Centre
6 February 2016
BR Rating *****
By Jonah Corren

Once again, Wille and The Bandits displayed why they have become such a highly regarded band. Their unique mix of bluesy, mellower beats and up-tempo rock music has sent them all across the continent, and it remains a privilege that time after time they light up the Bridport music scene.

As always, the sound the Bandits produced was fantastically powerful. Songs such as Chillout, Forgiveness and Virgin Eyes threw the crowd into the inescapable ambience, whilst inspiring some often frenzied dancing. One particularly notable tune was Angel, a long, varied instrumental that allowed each of the three band members to showcase their talents. These numbers were well balanced out with slower, more delicate songs such as I Want To Watch You Grow; an excellently written tribute to Wille’s daughter that sported some catchy and melodic percussion.

It was clear how much fun the band were having, breathing in the atmosphere and throwing it back out into their music. Front man Wille Edwards used his voice as an effective instrument, particularly on emotive songs such as Angel and Forgiveness. In Mammon, an exceptional number about the dangers of materialism, all three band members came to the front of the stage, and their passion and conviction shone through in their interaction with each other and their instruments.

After the show I caught up with Willie beside the band’s selection of merchandise, and asked about how he’d enjoyed the evening. ‘There’s been a great atmosphere and great energy,’ he said. ‘It’s always a pleasure to play in Bridport.’

Despite adverse weather, a sizable crowd turned up to witness the spectacle that Wille and the Bandits always deliver. Here is a band that only gets stronger every show they play and build up a bigger fan base everywhere they go. If they come around again they are truly a must see, and Bridport will be lucky to remain one of their favourite venues.

By |February 7th, 2016|Bridport Arts Centre, Jonah Corren|1 Comment

Dub Pistols

Electric Palace 21 November 2015
BR Rating ****

By Jonah Corren

Everyone who’s ever been to a festival knows who these guys are. Not all of them can remember what they sound like, or why they loved them so much, but they know they did, and that’s why the Dub Pistols’ gig saw people making their way to Bridport from all across the county. And they were not disappointed.

Most notable in the band’s set were Dub Pistols classics such as Mucky Weekend, which the audience reacted to fantastically, singing along to the catchy lyrics. Another clear-cut favourite was Alive which featured a thumping bass line making dancing easy and enjoyable, and yet another catchy chorus which the audience were invited to sing part of, in a routine exercise which really showcased the group’s vast experience and talent. One really impressive brass-coordinated number included a selection of fantastic trumpet solos showing the breadth of the band’s repertoire and genre span.

Dub Pistols brought an infectious energy to the Palace with upbeat music given a creative edge by impressively fast and lyrical rapping from key vocalist T.K. Lawrence. Front man Barry Ashworth contributed his ever-powerful vocals and possibly even more powerful stage presence. These two MCs showed fantastic chemistry, backed up by brass, guitar and percussion. At one point Ashworth wore a pair of pink sunglasses borrowed from one of the audience, and I even caught the trumpet player doubling up his instrument as an air guitar. For the encore, T.K. entered the stage wearing a huge sombrero, with fake ammunition strapped to his chest.

After the set, Barry Ashworth could be found behind an impressive array of merchandise. “It’s been a mucky weekend,” he said. “Last night sold out, and tonight was just off the scale. Everyone was just rocking with us.”

If you do spot these guys on the line-up of a festival or doing a show nearby, they’re really worth a watch. But make sure you throw yourself into the experience as much as they do.

By |November 23rd, 2015|Jonah Corren, Music, Review|0 Comments

Broadchurch

Finale

By Jonah Corren

The second series started off very promisingly but has received extremely mixed reviews during its eight-episode stretch.

It began with a clear indication as to where the plot was going when Joe Miller pleaded not guilty. Having heard about the Sandbrook case in series one, it was an obvious move to give that a more central role as well. This second narrative proved to outdo the first in almost all respects, presenting a far more open, interesting and complex case than the question of whether Joe Miller would be convicted. The answer made many viewers doubt the show’s credibility, especially as the court scenes leading up to the verdict were frequently laughable.

Sandbrook on the other hand had a satisfying conclusion, even if the flashback was a little more disturbing than it needed to be. All things considered, Chris Chibnall really had his work cut out when he sat down to write series two. For many viewers, though, series two was a mix of the good, the bad, and the laugh-out-loud ridiculous. Series three could be considerably worse, but that doesn’t mean people won’t still watch it to find out what might be Chibnall’s next plan. If he’s got one.

By |March 11th, 2015|Broadchurch, Jonah Corren, Review|0 Comments

Fairport Convention

Electric Palace
Saturday 28 February
BR rating: ***

By Jonah Corren
Fairport Convention
What audience members may have expected from 46-year-old Fairport Convention was largely a replaying of favourites and reminiscences of the years of former lead-vocalist Sandy Denny, and their acclaimed album Liege & Leif, which is still widely regarded as the finest folk/rock album. But the band’s set proved that old dogs certainly can be taught new tricks.

The majority of the songs the band performed were from their new album, Myths and Heroes. The best of these was an instrumental romp masterminded by Ric Sanders aptly named The Gallivant, which combined a very Spanish sounding guitar riff from Simon Nicol with a much more rocky sounding rhythm section than the previous songs. On vocal numbers, Chris Leslie’s voice shone through as the lead.

Between songs, Ric Sanders and Dave Pegg in particular enjoyed what was often childlike and cringe-worthy exchanges with the audience, riddled with shameless puns and anecdotes which made you realise just how much the band still love what they do.

The fan favourites the audience had been waiting for finally arrived at the very end, with the classic Fairport anthem, Matty Groves sounding almost as good as it did when it was first released, and the harmonies in the encore, Meet on the Ledge, creating a fantastic sound enhanced by the audience singing along to the ever memorable and poignant lyrics.

It’s clear that Fairport Convention aren’t the band they were in 1969, but considering only one member from that period remains, it’s hardly surprising. For long-time Fairport fans the tour is a great experience, but the amount of new material in the set leaves plenty for new listeners to enjoy, and the band which is famous for adapting to its circumstances goes into another year with as much enthusiasm as it has had in the last 46.

By |March 1st, 2015|Jonah Corren, Music, Review|0 Comments