SO here we are, on the cusp of another December, the season of joy and goodwill to all.

But in the 2,000 or so years since Mary and Joseph were turned away from the inn, what have we done to ease the plight of the homeless and vulnerable?

Well, if current figures are anything to go by, not a flippin’ lot, with numbers spiralling upwards particularly over recent years as the gap between haves and have nots widens.

Locally, the fact the Weymouth and Portland’s food bank is one of the busiest in the country is quite frankly obscene but there are those among us who are determined to do something about it, rather than just tut and look the other way.

The Gimme Shelter festival has raised around £20,000 over the past couple of years to help the homeless and vulnerable in south Dorset in conjunction with the Lantern Trust, with a number of all-day live music events, held in Weymouth, Bournemouth and West Dorset.

And the next Gimme Shelter, which takes place at the Wyke Smugglers pub in Weymouth, next Saturday, December 7, promises to be the biggest yet.

As Paul Sharod, co-founder and co-trustee of the GS organisation along with Martin Saint, tells me, they’re really proud of next Saturday’s line-up, as well as all the good work they’ve been able to do.

“We really wanted a name band to top the bill so we’re thrilled that the amazing Pronghorn have agreed to headline,” says Paul.

The Cowpunk legends have been tearing it up for almost 20 years now, playing at festivals across Europe including Glastonbury and Boomtown, since starting as buskers outside Debenhams in Bournemouth.

“They’re all great guys,” adds Paul, “and they’ve really helped my band the Surfing Birds over the years.”

“So many bands wanted to get involved this year we’ve had to shift the start time forward,” says Paul.

He’s not wrong. Have a look at this lot for a line-up: Cuba Libre, Meat Sweats, Komakino, Vanilla Radio, Tequila Mockingbird, Andy Grant Trio, Bring Me the Pistols and that’s just on the main stage.

There’s an acoustic stage too, with acts including Amy Brown, Slick Grief, Pretty Lustful and a one-off reunion after almost a decade of rather fabulous Bebe and Paolo.

The money raised has been distributed by the Lantern Trust to help fund deposits on flats, cover housing costs, obtaining passports and give donations to food banks and the homeless bus shelter.

“We’re fighting against the ‘me, me, me, want, want, want’ society,” says Paul.

“It’s just £6 on the door from 1pm next Saturday and donations to the food bank and the clothing bank will be more than welcome,” he adds.

You heard the man, so get on it, okay?

Next up, a word of warning for those of you of a sensitive nature: Jumpin’ Jimmy Thunder will be starring in his annual Christmas party next Friday, December 6 at Wyke Working Mens Club in Weymouth.

As always, there was huge competition to be his backing band and this time round it was The Originals who lost, so they landed the gig.

Get there early next Friday as it’s bound to be rammed.

And finally, I’ll be hosting another Hijacked show on Air 107.2FM next Wednesday, December 4, from 8-10pm, with two hours of wall-to-wall bangers. That’s vintage soul and funk, not sausages, okay?

Till next time…


Hexagon, Ken Watkins as Just John, The Originals (Centenary Club, Weymouth)

Lee Memphis King as Elvis (Weymouth Pavilion)

Complete Madness (Electric Palace, Bridport)

Surfing Birds (Finns, Weymouth)

Hamish Maxwell’s Blues (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Skint Imperials (Waterloo, Weymouth)

Heidi (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Kelly Lorraine (Gloucester, Weymouth)

The Bomo Swing (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Rob Davis (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Dakota (Club Bambooza, Weymouth)

Ricky Solo  (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Revolution (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Zoe Schwarz and Rob Koral (Y&Ys, Brewery Sq, Dorchester)

Identikit (John Gregory, Weymouth)

Sanunique (King’s Arms, Weymouth)

Sixteen String Jack (Hardy’s, Dorchester)

Martin Freed (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Suited and Booted (Royal Exchange, Portland)

The Secrets (Belvedere, Weymouth)

Ollie Coe (1652, Weymouth)



Dub Pistols (Corn Exchange, Dorchester) SOLD OUT

Glass Spiders (Finns, Weymouth)

Nite Lite (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Tripod (Sailors Return, Weymouth)

Georgie Broad (Little Ship, Portland)

Studio 55 (Gloucester, Weymouth)

The Persuaders (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Toxic Fish (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Tequila Mockingbird (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Steve Nicholas (Weymouth Conservative Club)

Compass (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Komakino (Belvedere, Weymouth)

Leggomen, Milk and Two (Maiden Newton village hall) Fundraiser for village youth club. Tickets £5 from Spar and service station.

Helena Mace  (Hardy’s, Dorchester) 4pm.

Mutiny at the Beach  (Hardy’s, Dorchester) 9pm.

Mark Davis (Three Compasses, Charminster) 6-8pm.

Stomping Boondocks (Convivial Rabbit, Dorchester)

Retro (Centenary Club, Weymouth)

The Ferals (Wyke Regis Social Club, Weymouth)

George Hall & Tom BIll (1652, Weymouth)

Guitarmadillo (George, Portland)



Simon Campbell (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Ricky Solo (Sailor’s Return, Weymouth)  From 3pm.

Sheryl Lee’s Sunday Club (King’s Arms, Weymouth) 4pm.

Roger’s Singalong (Gloucester, Weymouth)

NUMB (Three Compasses, Charminster)

Dan O’Farrell (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Folk Session (Convivial Rabbit, Dorchester) 7.30pm.

Alexis (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Sunday Blues Jam (Belvedere, Weymouth) 4-7pm.




Acoustic session (Belvedere, Weymouth)

Americana Jam (Drax Arms, Bere Regis)



Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Lee Beardmore’s Open Mic Night (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)



Dave Bowen and Jazz Friends (Three Compasses, Charminster)

Wessex Folk Night (Sailors Return,  Weymouth) Acoustic folk, here every Wednesday.



The Shakespearos (Hardy’s, Dorchester) Christmas Cracker special

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Traditional Tune Session (Cove House Inn, ChiswelI, Portland

Ukulele Sessions (Sailors Return,  Weymouth) Strum on down from 8pm.

Open Mic with Rob Davis (Belvedere, Weymouth)



BEN: Michael Jackson show (Weymouth Pavilion)

Annie and the Midnight Shift swing ball (Weymouth Pavilion Ocean Rooms)

Wille and the Bandits (Dorchester Arts Centre

Roy Wood (Exchange, Sturminster Newton)

Komakino (Finn’s, Weymouth)

TBA (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

4 Go Mad (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Total Madness (John Gregory, Weymouth)

Mojo (King’s Arms, Weymouth)

Jumpin’ Jimmy Thunder’s Christmas Party (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Open Mic Showcase (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Louise Day (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Muddy Summers and the DFWs (Ropemakers, Bridport)

George Hall Trio (Belvedere, Weymouth)