Jurassic Fields

Music Festival – Askers Meadows

Saturday 11 July 10am – 11pm

Featuring some of the best music, comedy and food in the area, plus artists from around the country. Kids’ entertainment, fun fair and face-painting.

Bands include Shelby’s Elbows, The Leggomen, Hobo Jones & the Junkyard Dogs.
Tickets £25 on the gate, £22 at Tourist Information Centre (until Friday evening); Concessions £13; Children £4. Evening-only tickets £15, £8 concessions.


By |July 9th, 2015|Music|0 Comments

La Bohème

La BohemeRoyal Opera House live screening
Bridport Arts Centre 16 June 2015
BR Rating ****

By Caitlin Appleton-Scott

I’m not sure I’ve experienced true happiness, but I perhaps come closest as part of a fully involved audience, be it at live music or a rugby match. Now that I’ve seen La Bohème, thereby losing my opera virginity, it made it all the more obvious that being one of a group, all experiencing the same emotions, is hard to trump.

What made the experience all the more emotional was that the broadcast was global. Whether you were in Stockholm, Barcelona, Zurich or Bridport, you could experience Puccini’s masterpiece, live.

The story takes place in 1830s Paris, where a quartet of Bohemians are living together in an attic: Schaunard the musician (Simone Del Savio), Colline the philosopher (Marco Vinco), Marcello the painter (Lucas Meachem), and our hero, Rodolfo the poet (Joseph Calleja). Our Bohemians banter their way through their simple life. They avoid rent by making their landlord drunk enough to confess his infidelity to his skinny headache-inducing wife, upon which they throw him out of the attic. However, their lives change with the arrival of the lonely embroiderer Mimi (Anna Netrebko), who enchants Rodolfo with her beauty and purity. She likes things with a quiet magic, which tell of love and springtime, of dreams and imaginings, things which are poetic. No wonder our poet falls under her spell.

However, the character who stole my heart was the charmingly mischievous Musetta (Jennifer Rowley). Her preoccupations are less honourable and pure, but nonetheless endearing; she adores teasing her previous lover, the secretly-smitten Marcello. Her intelligence, desire to live life as she pleases and kindness, which she demonstrates in the final act, make her profoundly authentic and empathetic.

The performances were all exceptional, and the love that the singers feel for their characters, for the authenticity of the play, and the story itself was made obvious through interviews shown during the intervals.

For me, the curtain call was as tear-inducing and smile-provoking as the play itself. To see people who have spent months dedicating themselves to their role, and watch their faces as they receive such well-deserved praise, is one of the most poignant examples of happiness I have witnessed. Rowley consolidated my love for her character, and my admiration for her as an artist, when she faced the audience for her applause. Her tears and smile were so genuine, and it provided a perfect conclusion to an already unforgettable performance.

By |June 17th, 2015|Caitlin Appleton-Scott, Music, Review|0 Comments

The Proclaimers

The ProclaimersElectric Palace 13 June 2015
BR Rating ****

By Paul Bennett

From the start, The Proclaimers had the audience with them and in rapid succession one fantastic song followed another. Even the support, Will Varley, was superb.

This is the third time Craig and Charlie Reid have performed in Bridport, this time with a full band. The event was rightly a sell-out. The two brothers and their band had such energy and good timing that everyone watching seem to be clapping, singing and moving with the beat throughout.

As someone remarked, “none of the band were that young,” but the effort and pace they applied to the songs was marvellous. Old favourites such as Letter from America, Let’s Get Married, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and Sunshine on Leith were cleverly intermingled with some less well-known and newer numbers.

Best of all, they all seemed to be genuinely having a great time and enjoying the occasion, almost as much as the audience.

By |June 14th, 2015|Music|0 Comments

Stompin’ Dave and his Bluegrass Band

stompin-daveElectric Palace 15 May 2015
BR Rating ****

By Sean Geraghty

I first encountered Dave as Dr Stomp busking outside the Arts Centre in the late 1990s. He cut a memorable figure hair flailing in the wind, wrestling with his rattlesnake fiddle, feet flying, hopping about on the square stomping-board. He had something of a cartoon image for a while. It seemed he was exorcising some sort of demon, putting in lengthy stints long into the afternoon.

He gigged at the Hope and Anchor in the good old days and became a fixture in the square alongside Oz and the old fella.

It’s delightful to see Dave in his present set-up, leading the line on the banjo with a band that had perfected the not-really-from-London-in-disguise look. Fortunately, they totally nailed the musical content. There was plenty to enjoy with fiddle and banjo solos, great harmonies and solid shiny bass lines.

Working around one live mike, with the occasional tweak from out front they got the enthusiastic crowd tapping their feet and a good number up on the dance floor. The healthy turnout demonstrated how Dave’s popularity has continued to grow.

The second set got off to a gutsy start with Ain’t gonna be treated this way. After a corny wander into Goodnight Irene things kicked up through the gears via Midnight Special, I’ll Fly Away and onward we went until three encores including a smoking solo, Duelling Banjos, (however contradictory that sounds).

Dave has a hatful of tricks, dancing while singing or picking up and down the fret-board, strumming the banjo up over his shoulder and spinning around on the well-worn stomp-box; even on the acutely raked Palace stage he floated like a ballerina in his patched pants and steel-tipped shoes.

Dave is a great musician and his tour is universally well supported, deservedly so. It may be only 50 yards or so from Bucky Doo to the Palace, but Dave’s certainly come a long way in between.

By |May 16th, 2015|Music, Review, Sean Geraghty|0 Comments

Ferocious Dog

Ferocious dogElectric Palace 16 April 2015
BR Rating ****

By Sean Geraghty

“Blown away,” answered Ken Bonsall, when I asked the band’s frontman what he made of the experience at Bridport’s Electric Palace. I would have said the same thing, as any ‘Ferocious virgin’ would.

I approached the gig with scepticism. I’d seen the website with its striking photographic images of a mohawked singer, backed by a piratical crew playing to a moshing bare-chested tattooed crowd and thought… erm, OK what’s this all about? Smoke and mirrors, or is this the real deal?

Hailing from Warsop, a village in Nottinghamshire between Mansfield and Worksop, the band has hit a rich seam, appropriate for a former mining community.

Their second album was crowd-funded and a significant endorsement in a business landscape where faith is rarely demonstrated with such enthusiasm and easily misplaced in less-deserving causes. Their reputation grows by word of mouth.

Ferocious Dog offer a full-on six-piece sound that encompasses folk infused with rock, reggae and Celtic vibrations. The combination of instruments creates a palette of sound that offers infinite variations: going in hard to get people up and moving, or slipping into melodic passages and dub-like fusions without the gruesome pretentions of some bands they have been compared with, (mentioning no names… I’m on the level here.)

I was sold when I strolled into the 200-ish crowd on a Thursday night seeing a geezer in a Clash t-shirt singing about Gallows Justice, following with tunes titled Poor Angry, Young, Living On Thin Air… not an easy sell to the typical age-ambiguous West-Dorset-Thursday-Night-Willing crowd.

There was definitely something going on, with Scott Walters’ exceptional drumming – a boy who can seriously PLAY – it still took a few warm-up tunes and pointed persuasion from Dan Booth’s dazzling fiddlework to weld the unconverted audience to the more dedicated lyric-hollering fans who had turned up in force from all corners of the country.

The bridge was built with two songs titled The Glass and Lee’s Tune. Lee, a young soldier who came back from the war in Afghanistan, died at his own hand after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. This was no made-up pastiche but a story told direct from his father, Ken, mourning his son’s suicide and being delivered with such dignified passion, with no sentimentality, no nonsense.

Ferocious Dog have plenty to say and plenty to offer. They could be taken as a good stomping night out or as political messengers, but they should be taken seriously. They stand and deliver, reclaiming the credibility and tradition of the fiercely independent musicians that once roamed the music scene, setting their own agenda, supported by their own fans. It’s punk Jim, just as we knew it.

They should soon be seen on bigger stages. They deserve the opportunity to make a name for themselves without comparison, and I hope it comes their way soon.

By |April 17th, 2015|Music, Review, Sean Geraghty|0 Comments