With the Bank Holiday Weekend ahead of us there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some family events around town, events that go way beyond just being about the music. At the time of writing though I am looking out of the window at torrents of rain lashing down so lets just pray to the powers that be for a break in the precipitations and a flood of sunshine and blue skies as the back drop to these gatherings.
The regular gigging circuit is going to pay dividends for fans of rock and metal this week starting tonight at The Victoria where Roads To Nowhere drag metal kicking and screaming into a bright and rowdy future with it’s brutal blend of riotous riffs and brutal backbeats, extreme vocals and a periphery of electronic trimmings. Not for the fainthearted. The windswept ambience that can be heard behind Homeland’s music make them the perfect support and opening up the night is Solace in Nightmares who are fronted by ex-The Dead Lay Waiting vocalist Luke Lucas.
A complete contrast can be found at The Beehive as Lionel Lodge brings his Americana Gypsy-folk outfit into town and blends music that sounds by turns like a roots version of Springsteen or Petty, like The Rainmakers or The Hooters (Remember them? No? Really? Just me then) in their more mercurial moments or long forgotten songs from The Band.
Friday sees the first of the family fun I mentioned earlier with the start of the Brunel Centre Streetfest, three days of street creativity from music, dancing and pavement art, workshops and story telling, loads to do for kids and adults alike.
Also on Friday The Locomotive has the first of two mellower shows, mellower that is compared to the recent run of noisier acts it has hosted, with a stripped back performance of Brother From Another. Funk and Soul standards from the 60’s to the present day – effortlessly cool and eminently listenable, what more could you ask for?
Retro rock comes to The Rolleston in the form of Ruzz Guitar’s Blues Revue who cover old school rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, r’n’b all with a powerful drive, swinging groove and a soulful edge, think Wilko Johnson meets Brian Setzer if you need any more persuading. If you would rather have something more familiar as the sound track to the start of the weekend then head up to The Victoria for Toxic, a ten-legged party machine who play all your favourite songs from all eras and all genres.
And talking of familiarity, fans of rock tributes will have to decide between The Doors Alive at The Victoria and the glory days of Ozzy Osbourne with Wizards of Oz at The Rolleston. Something very original is on the cards down at The Locomotive as Keegan McInroe (pictured) is back in town. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, but just as likely to be found wandering the length and breadth of Europe peddling music built from strands of country, old blues and folk, his last appearance, a stripped back set at The Roaring Donkey, proved to be something a bit special so catch him with a local pick up band whilst he is in town. If anyone is not totally satisfied I will personally give them back the cost of their entrance fee.*
Outfall play rock covers at The Rolleston on Sunday but elsewhere the focus is on broader events. The Swiss Chalet is hosting one of it’s already established Family Days with a hog roast, karaoke, kids entertainment and music from Peleton, Echo and Operation 77, whilst at The Victoria their Sausage Fest focuses on putting the humble sausage back on the map plus a selection of quality ales and ciders and live music from skiffle maestro’s Ode and the Be-Bops.
Ending as we always do at The Roaring Donkey and you can catch a selection of covers and originals courtesy of Leon Daye and his acoustic guitar.
*Please note that all shows at The Locomotive are free entry, but that’s not the point.