Andy Grant Band 8.7.21 at the Four Horsemen, Bournemouth
With England 🏴 having secured a place in the Euros final last night, it’s off to Bournemouth to a gig venue I’ve not been to before: The Four Horsemen in the Triangle area of central Bournemouth.
Tonight it’s a chance to catch up with another Lockdown livestream regular for me – Andy Grant, tonight in the Andy Grant Band format as opposed to solo. This fantastic blues – rock guitarist is the voice as well, with the smiling drummer Jack Revy and Simon Rashbrook on bass guitar, band based up the road in Dorchester.
Andy Grant Band site link gives a more comprehensive and self- descriptive overview.
Pre-Lockdown I’d not heard any of Andy Grant’s music but earlier this year we became regulars on the Facebook sessions Andy put on and with the more ocassional full band sessions. As part of our appreciation for these streams, that relieved the live music silence, we started aquiring CDs mailed from Dorchester HQ, in lieu of the virtual tip bucket – ‘Champagne on a Beer Budget’, the instrumental ‘Spirals’ and the most recent and very much the best for me ‘Dig the Darkness’.
So here we are at a new to me venue. Arrived a bit early and the ground floor pub bit was full, easy done in these controlled and spaced out times. The gig room wasn’t ready to open up yet so we had a wander around the closed café, tattoo parlour and barber shop filled block to find the pleasant and empty Tipsy Cow for a beer – one worth remembering – small café bar, with cocktails and mocktails.
Back to The Four Horsemen then and after some email rummaging and attachment downloading we’re in.
Big range of beer taps, fridge bulging with craft ales and food available. Huge front windows allow the place to be opened right up – Professor Chris Whitty would approve of the ventilation.😷
I was intrigued as to what the 90s reference on the pub sign was. A trip upstairs to the gents and I get the idea: lots of film references like posters and photos; a large Keith Flint mural; video casings and outer cases used to decorate and a large music cassette mural on one wall downstairs.
It would be such a shame to miss out on the trip up to the toilets. Some ‘of the moment’ Covid humour and a gig calendar to browse – I see Poole punk band The Mistakes are here in August. I’m busy but I’ve put it on ‘the subs bench’ just in case.
Yeah..I know….a bit of caution taking photos in a public toilet eh…watch the door and watch your aim when checking out that gig calendar.😎
And on down to the basement for the gig with a pint of Tiny Rebel Electric Boogaloo from the tap.
Cosy. I guess it would normally hold about 75 at a push so good place for small bands, in fact the stage area at one end would have trouble accomodating more than literally a small band. Tonight we are seated in small rows in the sell out crowd of 22! 😷😯
This place is conducive to the music though – the dark basement. I could almost imagine being in an early Rolling Stones gig.
Great sound level – just enough to drown out the three cackling women at the back (I just dispair at some people) and with just three instruments you can listen to the component parts so clearly – hard to take my eyes off the drumming at times with a top draw, yet casual, solo when Jack is introduced, in classic meet the band style later in the set.
A two part set. In the first bit was ‘Thursday’s Child’, the obvious pick of the most recent release ‘Dig the Darkness’. If you’re curious then pile in with this one and you’ll know pretty quickly if it’s your thing or not. YouTube link: Thursday’s Child.
Two of note from the ‘Champagne on a Beer Budget’ album in the first part of the set were ‘Miss Particular’ and, just before half-time, ‘Need’. Great stuff.
A chance for a peanut butter stout at the break – from the well stocked fridge – and see if the mention of a dog called Maggie…I think.. in the audience was true….it was. A black Spaniel with dashing eye lashes (extraordinarily large lashes – maybe glammed up for tonight) was down the front with mini-merch stand mum. This is quite normal apparently.
In the second section were two belters from ‘Dig the Darkness’: ‘Driving West’ and ‘The Healer’. There’s a pretty special video of ‘Driving West’ that you can find here.
A good night out, with real live sounds and great guitar as we venture gingerly out. One of those local bands I can’t believe are not more popular.
Before we left, another CD purchased, an older one: ‘Hope in the Sky’ from 2008.
So good to see artists who have kept us going in the nonsense. Keep it live. Rock on. 😎
They think it’s all over… it’s not yet.
I really thought we were within touching distance of the Covid curtain going up. As I tapped away with this, my latest grey haired gig goer excursion was axed as a message came through that our trip to London to see Sleeper on Saturday night was cancelled. Six hours notice. One of the band had tested Covid positive with symptoms. What can you do?
As long as the social distancing is required and cases rise, without being a threat to life, there is a growing risk of more postponements and cancellation stuff. I’ll still be dodging the advanced rail tickets and non-cancellable hotel options for now.
Bring on the 17 July.