A Night At The Opera
It’s a Thursday night and, rather than pour booze down my throat at home, I have the wonderful opportunity to do it in the Opera House instead - a mere stone's throw from my flat. After a few words with the doorman I’m let into the gobsmackingly beautiful, Boscombe venue. With its wide, carpeted stairs leading up to Benedicts, I feel a slight tingling as I walk into the massive, high-ceilinged room where people are mingling, beer in hand. It’s a Rubber Soul night and I spot one of the organisers, Conrad, at the bar. After a chat over a beer he floats over to his little booth and sits down. I then have a rather bizarre conversation with Paul, the other half of Rubber Soul. I comment on the psychedelic bubble projection on the wall which, he explains, are coming out of Conrad’s head. This, I feel, is the perfect place for music and beer. The bar staff stand and watch the bands, as well as pouring rather reasonably priced alcohol for me. It’s a great place to stand and watch a band or three. This particular night it was a pleasure to watch Blacksmith, fronted by a kilt-wearing, long-haired singing type. I remember wanting to Axel Rose it up, but knowing I wasn't nearly drunk enough. Empty Reflection and Lo-Fi-Dol followed in warm succession. Everybody paid attention and I saw both Conrad and Paul eagerly watching the bands. It made me realise how much involvement and enthusiasm they both have for what they do. When the music is over, the manager, J (ex Mister Smiths' manager), takes me on a guided tour of the OH. We go through some doors into the main area; a beautiful old theatre whose stage was once used for circus acts, operas and plays. Now it waits patiently for DJs, bands and anything else it can hold. I can feel, as soon as I walk into this room, the masses of potential it has. Intimate, atmospheric surroundings perfect to house big name acts and a hearty number of their followers. J tells me that Led Zeppelin and David Bowie performed here in the seventies. It’s exciting to be here. We go up to the balconies and look down and whilst I'm chatting to J, I know that the next time I'm here I’ll be looking down on a massive crowd. Not just appreciating seeing the band but knowing that Bournemouth has a secret treasure up its sleeve, waiting for music-loving folk to discover and show the world. To anyone who enjoys a venue as well as seeing live music, I recommend you get down to the Opera House soon; it’s going to be big! For forthcoming events click here.