Even if the weather isn’t keeping to it’s part of the seasonal bargain, the Gods of Excellent Music are certainly concerting all their efforts upon our part of the world and the imminent arrival of this years Old Town Festival means another attempt to warp the time-space continuum to try and fit all the information into this weeks column.
Yes, Old Town Festival is upon us with a packed program of entertainment. On Saturday there will be music all day, first at the bandstand with Little Dylans, Dominic French, Talk in Code and Messer’s Gilmore ‘n’ Jaz, being just the tip of the terpsichorean iceberg. In the Bowl, meanwhile, various vocal groups, dance and performing arts schools under the guidance of the Commonweal Performing Arts Academy will be parading their artistic wares. This is followed by an evening of music with such diversity as False Gods to The Frazer Tilley Trio and from Nudy Bronque to The Useless Eaters.
As is only fitting, Sunday follows more sedate lines with a wonderful mix of world dance, classical, orchestral, brass, jazz and choral music. To be honest you could just spend your every waking hour taking in the sights and sounds of the festival, but there are still a host of other options this week.
Back into chronological order and tonight is the regular Bands and Burlesque show at The Victoria. Alongside the glamour and glitz spearheaded by Susie Sequin (and lets face it, with that on your birth certificate it is inevitable you end up on the stage) are the funky grooves and the effortlessly cool lap guitar of Hip Route. A short walk down the hill and you can experience the lush harmonies and smooth folky-jazz vibes of Anglo-Swedish trio, We Ghosts. They play The Beehive.
So, The Ocelot Magazine. You know, the one with all those jokes about Football and Politics that no-one really gets and that rather wonderful music column…ahem! Anyway, if you have been affected at all by the contents of the magazine they are prepared to make it up to you in the form of a party at The Victoria to celebrate their 6th birthday on Friday. Music comes in the form of the old school, rocksteady and ska beats of The Erin Bardwell Collective, the blistering and switched-on modish pop-punk with all the trimmings of Black Hats, another day out for Hip Route and the name on everybody’s lips, the warped Beck meets Brecht creations of Crash and The ‘Coots. You will notice that recently they have shortened their name to save on space (not to mention law suits) and their bassist has shortened his hair to save on product.
Zen Elephant at The Beehive will be mixing up the gypsy-jazz jive with a roots folk vibe to show just why they are held in such high regard on the underground folk circuit.
The Furnace will be proving that the only way is Essex, not by inviting some orange bimbo or bronzed buffoon to cash in on their fifteen minutes of fame but by inviting Rolleston regular booking Dave McPherson to bring his whole band into town. Melodic alt-metallers, InMe, have just finished supporting The Rasmus (remember them?) across Europe to promote their fifth album, The Pride and you can catch Brentwood’s finest at The Furnace with support from local icons Mortdelamer and the wonderful emo-rave hybrid that is Natural Tendancy.
Competition for the rock audience comes from Riffs Bar with a night of the hard and heavy led by ascending stars of the post hardcore genre, When Words Fail. Burthru, 5 Lives Left and Fist Full of Foozy add to the weight of the night.
Saturday brings another tsunami of metal this time crashing through the doors of the 12 Bar and depositing such bands as Austria’s Give ‘Em Blood, What the Night Brings, Moments Before Oblivion and Wreckoning. I think the band names are almost prophesising what sort of night it is going to be. Not for the faint hearted.
The Sunday afternoon session at The Beehive sees the welcome return of The Shudders. Pirate fixated buffoons or deft weavers of folk, lo-fi pop, country rock and various jiggery-punkery? Well, both actually but it’s still good to have you back chaps.
Stay out for more great music at The Rolleston that evening from The Blue Trees, purveyors of stripped back Americana flavoured rock and the flawless, soulful sounds of The Emsworth Duo.
Final shout of the week (before the editor shouts at me for taking up too much space…again!) goes to The Running Horse Sessions on Wednesday, this time showcasing a brace of acoustic duo’s, Ethemia and The Black Feathers.