The Gigantic Mirrorball Show(Mirrored Shower/Painting Kate)
Venue: Champions
Town: Bournemouth
Date: 16th September

It has to be said, the size of the mirrorball at the "The Gigantic MIrrorball Show" may have had the potential to invoke a description under the trade description act, but there was at least a mirrorball there, even if it was tucked away in the corner, it spun around and sent light around the room. It was also the only slightly disappointing thing about the evening.

The whole point of the evening, apart from having a great time, was to raise funds for MacMillan Local Care, a charity that provides palliative care for people with terminal illness and their families, it's a charity that has helped a lot of people during and after illness.

The tale of the support band was a little like an outtake from "Spinal Tap" Originally billed as being Scotland's Cross The Border, the band unfortunately had to withdraw. Painting Kate stepped into the breach.

On most occasions Painting Kate would be a duo, the support band curse struck again with Katie Jones being hit by the lurgi and unable to play. Painting, Gary that is kicked off the evening solo and a damned fine job he did of it.

He started off with solo versions of Painting Kate songs, which had the immediate effect of making want to hear what they would be like in full duo form. The songs, folky in nature had a real resonance to them. Traditional in construction, but very much in the modern style. You could hear the nervousness in Gary's voice in the first couple of numbers, he's not used to being the sole focus of a crowed venue, but his confidence picked up quickly and he was engaging with the audience more and more as the set progressed.

Towards the end of the set, he decided that it was time for the crowd to do their part. Swapping to covers, we got to sing-a-long to "King Of The Road" and "King Of The Swingers", a right royal way to sign off the first half.

Where Painting Kate halved in size, headliners Mirrored Shower quintupled during the course of their set, I think at one point they may have sextupled, but keeping count during the comings and goings was a little on the difficult side.

Mirrored Shower started their set in their usual duo configuration with tracks from their most recent album "Return Of The Moddey Dhoo" before being joined on stage by a brass section, string section and three backing singers, that occasionally went up to four as they were joined by vocalist Ian Uren's daughter for a number of songs.

You rarely get to see big bands performing these days, with the exception of Bellowhead, so it was a real treat to hear one in such an intimate venue, even if the size of the stage and the lighting meant you couldn't always see the musicians actually playing. The sound was superb, so a big thumbs up to the team behind the desk.

It was a real mixture of songs, ranging from blues to jazz, taking in rock and folk along the way. The band had barely had the opportunity to rehearse as a single unit in the run up to the gig, but if they hadn't told you, you would never have known.

Songs from Mirrored Shower's "Reflections" album in particular really seemed to warm to the big band arrangements and the band delivered a night's music that lingered in the mind well after the music had finished. It was a great evening's entertainment.

More than that, it was a great fund raiser for MacMillan Local Care. The night, with cash matching from LV (Liverpool Victoria) raised 1772.50 and it doesn't have to stop there. If you follow the link below, you can make a donation and MacMillan Local Care get to claim back the tax.

Neil King

Photos:Neil King