Fearne & Tinderbox


Review Date: 13 December, 2015
Reviewed By: John Roffey
Location: Sugar & Spice Club, Boscombe
What a bonus to have two of Bournemouth’s top attractions under one roof to whet the pre-Christmas musical appetite. The town responded by packing the Sugar & Spice Club to the rafters and the SRO audience were rewarded with stellar performances from both trios. It’s some years since I last saw Fearne but clearly, they’ve come on in leaps and bounds with three fine albums and another in the offing. Alex Bedrijczuk (acoustic guitar, ukulele), Adam Pulfer (electric guitar) and Nick Bryson (bass) delivered an eclectic mix of folk, country, blues and Americana in their ten strong set before encoring with Dote On You from their latest release SONGS ON POSTCARDS. The set was brimming with highlights but I particularly liked the new song Hear Ye, written to celebrate Alex’s marriage, the bluesy What it Does to Me and their take on I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow; check this one out on their website. Adam had the stage to himself for Lie to Me Baby, a great ballad whilst Alex followed up with his solo Yosemite; no explanation needed. Fearne is equally adept at slowing things right down with Fire in My Belly and another new song Five Weeks at Sea both going down a treat.
No strangers to regular Maverick readers, Tinderbox are always guaranteed to provide top class entertainment. Diminutive Dublin born Monique Houraghan is blessed with amazing vocal and song writing talents which are complemented by Dan Tucker’s intricate finger picking guitar style, with latest addition Bob Burke adding that little extra rhythmic ‘oomph’ on acoustic guitar as well as chipping in with some great backing vocals. Pretty well all of their set was instantly recognisable to the Bournemouth Folk Club faithful;  the political commentary The State of Play, Homeward Bound, written after their successful tour of the US and Consequences, Monique’s reflections on the impact of global warming were all enthusiastically received by an audience who by now were spellbound. Monique’s prolific song writing enables Tinderbox to draw on a vast back catalogue and I loved the gorgeous ballad Leave Your Light On and Waiting for the Summer as she mused over life in the city ‘dragging me down’. There was just one new song, Grown Up, written to celebrate daughter Orla’s first day at school, before they closed with Valentino on which Monique simply oozed emotion as she displayed something of a flirtatious streak.
For the finale, Fearne joined Tinderbox on the cramped stage for Travelling, from their 2008 offering GOLDEN, a song that has become something of a signature. Fearne then took over with their own Journey of a Man to round off a wonderful evening. Although both bands thought that was it, the audience had other ideas and clamoured for more. After a quick consultation Monique launched into Jolene with the two bands throwing everything into the Dolly classic. Ms. Parton would surely have been impressed. I certainly was!

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