Those that can, do. Those that can’t teach. And those that can’t teach, teach P.E, well according to Woody Allen anyway. Similarly, those who can’t make records for a living often sell them instead and some who aren’t very good at selling them end up working in second hand record shops. Okay, that’s a bit unfair but the sub-cultures found within the murky world of the vinyl record shop make it a fascinating place to hang out where old folkies, lo-fi elitists, sensitive world music fans, northern soul survivors and indie geeks all meet and mingle, lost in their own music fixations. And with the gradual closure of the major music chains (karma?) and the rise in vinyl sales, these weird emporiums may just be making a come back.
I feel a bit sad for the music consumer of today, click, click, double click and straight on to the PC, that’s the sound of you missing out and if you feel something is missing too, head down to your nearest second hand record shop and indulge in the age old rituals of pawing over obscure and slightly creased 12 inch albums in that search for the elusive Agincourt album, Trojan records back catalogues or just to buy back a few memories that you had to part with to make the rent one week.
Anyway back in the cold light of the modern age, three bands destined to be sought after and collectable in the future play Songs of Praise at The Victoria tonight. Ataraxis Vibration alchemize the classic sounds of seventies rock, from Cream to Hendrix (via Burning Tree, remember them?) and offer something fresh and new but with a foot firmly planted in very familiar territory. Songs of Praise favourites, The James Warner Prophecies, return with their wonderful brand of crazy generic scattergunning that blast between hard rock, punked out folk, ska and hooks strong enough that you could hang Ginger Wildheart’s beaten up leather jacket on. Opening the show are Even Nine.
The Rolleston offers something a little more sedate for its inaugural Blues Night fixture in the form of The Stone Donkey Pilots; earthy folk meets rootsy blues. More bluesy vibes can be found at The Beehive with guitar and saxophone of Keith Thompson and Patsy Gamble.
If you want to do something to help make a difference whilst catching some great music then head out to Riffs Bar on Friday for the Olive Tree Café fundraiser. Covers from The Hyperbolics headline the show but the real coup comes in the form of Colour The Atlas, a band whose clash of cinematic folk, chilled trip beats and swathes of sensuous late night atmospherics is something to behold. The night opens with two young singer-songwriters, Theo Altieri and Charlie Anne.
The Beehive has an interesting proposition for you. Knock on Wood are a quite brilliant Latin fusion band blending latino, flamenco, blues, afro-celt, gypsy and much more to create their unique sound.
In the name of balance (and to avoid the usual “fanmail”) I must also mention Angels Fall will be playing classic rock covers in The Rolleston and a tribute to The Small Faces is at The Victoria courtesy of The Small Fakers.
More blues at The Rolleston on Saturday, this time with Gwyn Ashton (pictured) and Micky Barker (yes, pomp rock fans…That Mickey Barker!) Expect a raw and passionate set of standards and originals that could be the sound track to Harper Lee’s famous re-imagining of the South. Tequila Mockingbird perhaps? Perhaps not!
Elsewhere it’s all a bit tribute-y. Punk at The Victoria with the music of The Sex Pistols plus The Useless Eaters supporting and at Riffs Bar Syntronix tribute the whole of the eighties!
As would be expected, Sunday is a much more sedate affair. The Beehive have blues/roots duo Nobodies Business to accompany your post roast beverage and in the evening The Rolleston has Jess Morgan a real gem of a singer peddling some wonderful country folk sounds.
It is no exaggeration to say that real life legends will be at the Arts Centre on Monday when The Pretty Things, still led by Phil May and original Rolling Stones guitarist Dick Taylor bring their 50th anniversary tour to town.
The week rounds off at The Running Horse on Wednesday for more acoustic singer-songwriteryness with Nick Felix and The Dizzy Hush.