Review: The Sea Slugs, Chaplin’s Cellar Bar

On Friday February 19, Boscombe’s award-winning independent bar and live music venue, Chaplin’s (or more accurately, Chaplin’s Cellar Bar), played host to Southampton based afrobeat band, The Sea Slugs.

Chaplin’s is a real venue for the people – it couldn’t be pretentious if it tried. And it’s most definitely quirky with a capital ‘Q’. Downstairs is where you get the live music – they have a great little setup for intimate performances, but still maintain enough room for a mini mosh and have seating areas for those less inclined to dance. Outside is an impressive space – several little pockets of garden area where you can escape and have a smoke or a chat. It’s definitely best seen in all its glory during the summer months, and is no wonder it won a Gold award at Bournemouth in Bloom. Finally, upstairs is like a home from home – a really relaxed environment where you’ll find people chewing the fat, playing board games or grabbing a bite from Chaplin’s impressive food menu.

So, back to the night in question and the band were 2 short of their usual 11 strong line up. However, that didn’t stop them from delivering a knockout performance. Easily recognisable by their brightly coloured outfits and the odd spattering of dreadlocks, resident sound technician, Conrad Barr, had them do their final sound checks and the group were ready to go.

The gripping pulse of their driving rhythms were hard to resist, and soon I was up the front giving my best head nod and foot stamp. Combined with their hypnotic melodies, gripping solos and sudden bursts of harmonising voices, it was easy to get lost in the music and forget that upstairs was a dark and drizzly Boscombe waiting to greet us.

It was clear there was a lot of passion on stage, but I’m not sure how much of The Sea Slug’s political and humanitarian motivations were translated to the crowd. That being said, it was definitely a great way to end the week – The Sea Slugs were a perfect fit for venue, and Chaplin’s retain the title of my favourite drinking venue in Boscombe.



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Dominic Brancaleone

Dominic Brancaleone

Dom completed a BA (Hons) degree in Arts & Media and gained a number of professional credits working on film and TV productions before heading to Bournemouth to complete a screenwriting Masters degree. Now he spends most of his time rowing and producing video content for national and international brands.

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