Sounds Around Town : 8th – 14th December

12794971_942957899158565_6151846002226574455_oIt’s going to be a good week in town for those who like their music…well, their rock music at least, as most days have a generous helping of the dulcet sounds of classic rock and metal both original and otherwise. So don your favourite band t-shirt, slip on the black stretch jeans and for that real old-school vibe see if the patched sleeveless denim jacket still fits. Hold on to your bullet belts…we’re going in.

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Sounds Around Town : 1st – 7th December

14714917_824267610943051_5388684584880545879_oIt’s all a bit quite out there this week. But then, as we step over the line into the last month of the year, I guess everyone is saving themselves for a sprint finish. Think of this as the deep breath before the plunge (spot the quote and win a…well, nothing actually) the calm before the storm, the storm that will bring enforced wackiness from work colleagues, amateur drinking on a wanton scale and endless covers of Merry Xmas Everybody. Still, all is not lost just yet and there are a few cool live bands to catch before we all sell our soul to Santa.

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Groovers on Manoeuvres: This week’s gigs that matter

166902_250056101706651_204372703_nOkay, we are over the line, there is no stopping now. Welcome to December. From here on in things will slowly descend into the dreaded realm of the enforced wackiness of office parties, of trying to look enthusiastic through karaoke dross, of consumerism and excess. But let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of someone whose work is an inspiration to millions and who we celebrate in song at this special time. Yes, 25th December is of course the birthday of Shane McGowan and we should remember this fact whenever we attempt the dual vocal part of Fairytale of New York.

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Johnny Foreigner, Misfires and Cup Cake Diaz and the Felt Tip Pens in town tonight

14939458_1559888457371002_5875406412455867816_oSongs of Praise has been involved in bringing some fairly high profile names into Swindon over the last few months, Tonight sees quite possibly the biggest of them all. Johnny Foreigner are many things.
Ferocious, intense, incendiary, energetic, passionate and powerful. Punk swagger might sit at the heart of what they do but their songs often seem made up of components of older emo and pop-punk songs, but remembered wrong, reversed and compressed into anxious nodes.
Support comes from local indie stalwarts Misfires and the wonderfully named Cupcake Diaz and The Felt Tip Pens, purveyors of bubble gum punk-pop and all round good eggs.

Groovers on Manoeuvres: This week’s gigs that matter

13246174_672093756262043_7295479845484515225_oI find it odd that people still can’t grasp the fact that just because I’m writing a gig guide it doesn’t mean that every single band playing in town that week is going to be included. I do write another, more extensive guide for one of the local papers, one with a wider brief and even that has the usual limitations of word count as well as the difficult task of extracting the factual blood from the apathetic promotional stone. But this is not that column.

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Fear of Flying – Oli Norman (e.p. review)

61t4rtdyil-_ss500In this generations rush for their own slice of the celebrity pie it does seem as if everyone is a singer-songwriter these days, at least for a while. Think of it as a sort of millennial national service as gap year wannabes undertake basic training at the Ed Sheeran School of Musical Manoeuvres. And whilst having more people involved in creativity and music is obviously a good thing, the side effects are obvious. It becomes hard to go into a venue without tripping over a heavy handed, clinical troubadour with nothing new to offer. So thank god for people like Oli Norman.

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