If you look through the history books you will see that the pages are littered with high profile failures. Franz Berliner, Captain of the Hindenburg, the man who flew the worlds biggest balloon into the worlds biggest needle; The Decca Records executive who in 1962 auditioned and rejected the Beatles saying that “guitar bands have had their day;” Russell Crowe’s voice coach for the film Robin Hood or any number of post-Spice Girl solo careers! Well, one person who has made a successful career out of being a failure (and thus creating a paradox in the process) is playing at The Victoria tonight.
Having almost two hits in over forty years as a musician may back up this idea of being a failure, but that is to overlook one important fact. John Otway, the artist in question, is a musical legend, a comedy genius and a live performer second to none. Tonight he appears with his (not so) Big Band line up, which the more discerning of you will know contains Murray and Adam from that sublime bloke rock outfit, The Sweeney. So if you like the idea of silly singalongs, forward rolls, stylophone solos, head butting microphones, self-deprecation, Bob Dylan singing Gloria Gaynor classics and a whole slab of surreal madness, then get on up there.
If you want something a bit closer to sanity then maybe The Beehive is the place to be for Sons of The Delta. This duo of awesomely talented bluesmen will be mixing up all the usual blues sub genres as well as throwing in some gospel, hillbilly, bluegrass Cajun and texmex influences along the way.
Friday sees punk well and truly back on the menu as Nobody’s Heroes and Useless Eaters descend on The Rolleston and if that isn’t enough for you then afterwards at The Furnace the Kaos Klub DJ’s will be weighting their playlists heavily toward the genre as well.
On a slightly lighter note, up at The Victoria you can revel in the joyously retro musical plunderings of The Teddy White Band, stalwarts of the local scene breathing new life into rock and roll, r’n’b and swinging blues standards. They are joined by The Blue Trees, now with a new singer but still the same dedication to raw, stripped back, roots rock.
For a change, Saturday happens to be a veritable cornucopia of great music, so plan your night carefully. Starting at the most cultured end of things, the Arts Centre features pianist Adriana Beaumont-Thomas who will be paying tribute to the romanticism of Chopin’s music, including the Raindrop Prelude, which I’m sure many of you will know from…Halo 3. Heathens! Pretty much at the other extreme at Wroughton Bowls Club, not a venue that features in this column much, you can be part of The Wroughton Wassail, food and drink, fun and games, stories and songs, the latter being provided by Talis Kimberley a folk singer with suitably medieval and pagan undercurrents who deftly mixes the magical with the mundane and the poignant with the whimsical. Sounds like it’s going to be a great party.
Talking of parties, Riffs Bar is throwing a birthday bash for Brian Keen, well known around town as a sound engineer, promoter and the man behind the very successful acoustic sessions at the Running Horse. You can join in the revelry and enjoy music from The Rolling Zones (some sort of Beatles tribute I think,) rock covers from A Fist Full of Foozy and original music from two enchanting folk dues, The Black Feathers and Ethemia.
Blues fans can find everything they need at The Rolleston in the form of The Worried Men, righteous, fired up blues-rock for fans of Moore, Thorogood and (Wilko) Johnson. That might sound like a firm of solicitors but believe me it’s all you need to know about quality guitar work and bandleader Jamie Thyer deserves to be mentioned in the same breath.
More cool vibes on Sunday as Frazer Tilley blend jazz-funk guitars with grinding blues grooves and a sweet splash of soul to top it off. That’s at The Rolleston.
And as is becoming tradition we end at the aforementioned Running Horse for the Wednesday session which this time features the “far too young to be that talented” sound of Charlie-Anne Bradfield and Paul Farrar.