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GIG REVIEW: Sean McGowan with support from Brand New Friend and Kitty Stewart at Anvil, Bournemouth 3.3.2019. Southampton’s Saint For More Than His Music Brought His Homecoming Show to Bournemouth.

Kitty Stewart

Anvil is named ‘Anvil Rockbar’ but it’s styling is much more metal/biker which isn’t quite suited to the musical output of Sean Mcgowan, but with Sean’s folk-rock with a tinge of punk and general man of the people personality the atmosphere was the perfect venue for the Southampton boy done good.

‘Kitty played a set full of fun, talent and smiles; what more do you want from a support act?’

Sean gave more than first act Kitty Stewart a ‘cheers’ in his set instead he told the crowd how courageous it is to get up alone playing acoustic when the other acts are full bands and commented how much he thoroughly enjoyed her set. We can assume you’re reading this review because you’re a Sean McGowan fan, well he loves Kitty what more reason do you need to check her out.

Kitty played acoustic ukulele anecdotal folk telling tales of her dad taking her and her brother to school on his tricycle, her first ukulele Tallulah with a song named after her and the true and fictional adventures, vegan anthem ‘You Can Still Eat Cake’, a Linkin Park cover with her own well received take on the nu-metal legends among others. Kitty played a set full of fun, talent and smiles; what more do you want from a support act?

Brand New Friend

‘Lead singer Taylor has got the act of being a crowd pleaser to an art for a man of his age.’

Brand New Friend play the exact type of music you expect when you hear their name; power-pop, pop-punk with charisma and energy. Lead singer Taylor has got the act of being a crowd pleaser to an art for a man of his age, we question whether he’s been taking lessons from hip-hop hypemen working the fine line between encouraging and annoying his audience perfectly.  It is with these skills as a live act they will go on to bigger things. It felt that their songs needed a bit of work but how many people can say they got signed in their teens, went on tour as main support and won over the main act as musicians and as friends; unless you can say you did this or more no judgement can be passed.

Brand New Friend

‘Sean is a man of the people and on a Sunday night with horrific weather the people came.’

Sean McGowan arrived on stage, the prodigal son coming home. Cheers came from an almost sold out crowd of multicultural music fans of punks, metal fans, indie fans and more; Sean is a man of the people and on a Sunday night with horrific weather the people came.

Sean McGowan

‘Sean McGovan, the Southampton saint for more than just his songs, a musician who will stay true his fans as they will stay true to him too.’

Honesty and mental health are a recurring theme in music right now, people want musicians they can believe in and in our social media generation you feel you can get to know your favourite star through their social accounts. Unfortunately, this can be manipulated for the celebrities gain but with Sean he is the same cheeky chappy living at his parents battling his own demons whether on stage or off.

Sean McGowan

For the most part of Sean’s set he bounced through his working-class anthems with the crowd bouncing back jubilant at the success of the tour, but Sean spoke honestly how previously he didn’t know if he could keep going due to his battles with anxiety, alcoholism traits and much more. Aside from the obvious fun of Sean’s singles the highlight of the was ‘Springhill’, Sean’s tribute to his best friend’s mum who mentored him and died the day after Sean’s 18th birthday; I (James Wadsworth) wasn’t the only one with a tear in their eye looking around the room as the drunken crowd respectfully subdued in silence to honour a lady who was clearly wonderful. As powerful as this moment was the moments with Brand New Friend’s Taylor playing on Sean’s track and Sean playing on Brand New Friend’s track. Both had smiles like excitable naughty children, a physical metaphor for the comradery Sean brings to his audiences, bands he tours with and everyone he meets. Sean McGovan; the Southampton saint for more than just his songs, a musician who will stay true his fans as they will stay true to him too.  

Taylor (Brand New Friend) with Sean McGowan and band
Brand New Friend with Sean McGowan

Words James Wadsworth, Photos Megan Smith

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