Sounds Around Town: 22nd – 28th February

26805351_1804865899523931_4455629295024373349_nBefore we get into the meat/quorn of the column this week, just a reminder that if you are not seeing your venues gigs here it probably isn’t because the author “only writes about his mates bands” but more likely that you need to keep your website up to date or better still ahead of the chronological curve. If you are updating your listing or events page whilst the band in question is setting up for the sound check, I think it is safe to say that it isn’t going to be that effective. If I, someone whose job it is to trawl the internet, can’t find your gig, it is likely that few other people are seeing it either. Maybe it isn’t that people aren’t consciously not supporting your gigs, maybe they just didn’t know that they were happening in the first place. These, however,  are the gigs I did manage to track down.

Something a bit special can be found at The Tuppenny tonight in the guise of Stereocilia. John Scott, the man behind the music, uses guitar, live looping techniques and analog synths to create dense and rich cinematic soundscapes and beguiling drone art attacks. Support comes from the always compelling Grasslands and his equally unusual musical blends.

The Teddy White Band can be found at The Beehive  for another round of their trademark selection of blues and boogy from a bygone age, long forgotten gems and underground classics. Germany’s Rooftop Sailors bring their classic infused slabs of alt-rock to The Victoria as the UK leg of their Dead Water tour hits town. Support comes from The Stolen Jam Band, who play a mix of alt-rock and pop-punk originals and covers.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Posted in sounds around town, Uncategorized, what's on | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sounds Around Town : 15th – 21st February

24130205_1950731681846354_9002837223731552477_oTo those who think that Swindon is one of those places always a bit behind the curve when it comes to embracing new, breaking music, what if it were to host an act which sounds like Jake Bugg’s angrier little brother fronting a super group made up of members of Catfish & The Bottlemen, Arctic Monkeys and Queens Of The Stone Age? Well, that is pretty much what you will get if you head to The Victoria tonight to catch Chay Snowdon. It’s only his second UK tour but much like the 14856 people who bang on about being at the Ed Sheeran gig at the same venue back in the day, you can also be one of those people with a smug “I remember when…” anecdote. Support comes from a couple of choice selections from the new wave of local indie, The Basement Club and The Substitutes.

If something of a more acoustic nature is required, two options raise their heads. At The Beehive you will find Barney Newman and his raw edged and rootsy, backwoods blends of folk and blues, whilst at The Tuppenny Lewis Clark returns for a solo show also pushing a folk and blues ticket but heading down a more Dylan, Van Morrison route. Lewis is joined by Nick Felix, one of the most popular solo players on the local circuit and purveyor of all things musically heartfelt, thoughtful and emotive.

Continue reading

Posted in sounds around town, Uncategorized, what's on | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heart of Gold – The Harlers (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

27858290_1987478481505007_4204404359649383129_nIt’s been great watching The Harlers evolve and grow, from a basic two-piece of drums and guitar, through various sound enhancing, multi-amp, sonic manoeuvring to finally settle on the classic three-piece line up that they have now become. And whilst the bands delivery may have been subject to a few changes, the music that they deliver has stayed very much on focus – in your face, incendiary, blues-infused, garage rock.

Like many bands in the broad alt-rock genre that is today’s rock’n’roll weapon of choice The Harlers reference some classic bands, everything from modern purveyors such as Royal Blood, through such obscurities as Burning Tree and iconic outfits such as Cream, and a whole host of scuzzy, outsider guitar slingers from the golden age. Heart of Gold sees them ploughing the same rock furrow, not every band has to break down barriers or explore new sonic playgrounds but neither is this merely re-inventing the wheel either. The Harlers are torch bearers, the sound of classic rock and roll being carried through to a modern audience, and it is safe to say that they do it better than most.

Posted in single review, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Veil – Richard Wileman (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

veil-coverOne of the restrictions of working with music that is so textured, intricate and dynamically fluid as Richard’s usual musical vehicle, Karda Estra, is that when it comes to live shows, the logistics surrounding the amount of players and gear that would be required to do the music justice is generally too prohibitive. Veil, therefore, feels like his pulling together a body of work, some new songs and instrumentals and some reworked pieces from the Karda Estra canon, that can form the basis of small, intimate live shows. Shows that can range from solo performances to slightly enhanced versions of the same as space and musician availability dictates.

What is great is that you get the best of both worlds, new, stripped back sonic journeys but ones which are built on the same creative pulse, musical references and progressive world view as Karda Estra. (Progressive here is used in the broader, genre hopping, rulebook ignoring sense, rather than any connotations of people dressed as wizards, singing about epic quests…possible performed on ice!)

Last Grains has a wonderful 60’s chamber pop feel, cascading vocals and jaunty guitar work really putting a Chelsea booted spring in the song’s step and at the other extreme Unmarked on Any Map is a haunting piece of pop noir. And alongside these more song based approaches, the more fluid form classical explorations are also given room. Andromeda Variations for Guitar being, as the name would suggest, a wonderfully dexterous, short acoustic guitar piece, hints of Iberia hanging between the darker passages and Amy Fry’s spotlight moment, Chaos Theme For Clarinet, hanging between the sound of a Midtown Manhattan jazz lounge and a slightly whimsical dystopian soundtrack.

It is a collection of songs that shows that even without the usual wide array of musical trappings, the heart of Karda Estra, and Richard Wileman’s music in general, is just as wonderfully mercurial and beguiling even when stripped down to its core. It shows too that the intricacies and originality are central to the way he writes and not merely the result of hanging strange textures and off kilter layers on more conventional structures. And more than anything, if this album marks Richard as a more regular fixture on the gigging circuit, for that alone it is an important step.

Posted in album review, music reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Christians come to Swindon

24959049_1999474383668295_3908306756608344817_o.jpg‘One of the best voices in pop’ (The Daily Mirror)

The Christians took the British pop charts by storm in the late 80s/early 90s with a multi platinum debut album (THE CHRISTIANS). Hits such as Ideal World and Born Again were followed by number one selling album COLOUR, which knocked Phil Collins off the top spot in 1990. Their version of ‘Harvest for the World’ raised millions for Unicef.

‘the best gig I’ve ever been to!’ (Chris Evans, BBC)

The Christians will be supported on the night by The Groove Radicals, ‘the band that Swindon has been waiting for – a full 9 piece band playing non-stop funk, soul and disco classics’

Early Bird Ticket Offer: £17.50 (plus booking fee) until 15 September 2017

Advance Tickets: £22.00 (plus boking fee).

Tickets from www.mecaswindon.co.uk, www.pighillpromotions.com, or from Swindon Central Library

https://www.facebook.com/events/1496126170426006/

Posted in Uncategorized, what's on | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sounds Around Town – 8th – 14th February

26166586_1681465711875033_8057004855056739838_nThere was an interesting debate on Facebook the other day regarding the balance between original and non-original bands in town. Between all of the threads full of ill informed political infighting and pictures of cats falling off things, the old battle lines were drawn again and it seems as if many people think that there is some sort of conspiracy designed to hold back the original scene, which of course is nonsense. It’s all about market forces, venues and pubs are businesses and they exist by selling drinks, the more the better, so it obviously makes more sense to book bands with a known draw than some unknown Tibetan infused dream-pop band from Newport Pagnall. It’s as simple as that.

If you want to see more original music, bigger names playing more convenient nights of the week then you first have to prove that it can compete, and you do this by supporting the smaller shows which are already happening. Do that, and apart from the two usual venues championing original music, other venues will see the profit in it and there will be more on offer. It’s as simple as that. And buy a CD on the way out too, even musicians need to eat.

Continue reading

Posted in sounds around town, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sounds Around Town : 1st – 7th February

26170782_914630398738455_5843566105616402098_o 2Sadly it is time to morn the passing of another musical great. Mark E. Smith, the glorious leader of The Fall may not have had the mainstream success that other recently departed icons were known for, but he was an icon nonetheless. An icon of otherness, of belligerence, of the anti and the other, of subversion, things which are by and large missing from todays music. He walked a line between the brilliant and the bizarre, shows were as likely to be terrible as transcendental, lyrics were confrontational and strangely poetic and gigs were your own little secret. He could have steered the band towards stadium success but instead preferred to play above pubs in Bethnal Green or decrepit ex-discotheques in Wythenshawe! Wether you got him or not, loved him or loathed him we can all guarantee that the world will be a less interesting and more conformist place without him. Anyway…to horse, well, musically speaking.

Continue reading

Posted in sounds around town, Uncategorized, what's on | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment