On paper at least it looks like a quiet sort of week in the local music world. The reason I qualify that statement in such a way is because looks can be deceiving and it is this that I am going to use as the basis of a bit of an appeal before getting down to the business of the day. When you pick up any listing or gig guide you have to bear in mind that it is only as good as the research that has gone into it and that research is only as good as the information available to the writer in question.
As a band or venue, surely it is in your best interests to let as many people know about your gig as possible and let’s be honest, in these days of social networking, e-mails and on-line messages, it’s not the hardest thing in the world to achieve. If you have time to post pictures of cats with questionable grammar and shots of the breakfast you just made, well…you know the rest. There is a perception that people don’t turn out in large numbers for local music these days, especially original music. Whilst this is possibly true, it stands to reason that people who are unaware of your gig, are definitely not going to turn up. So do yourself a favour, make sure your gigs are easily found by the people who compile such things, the extra publicity could make all the difference to your show. It’s no use moaning that no one supports your band when your promotional campaign for your gig at Hook Village Hall consisted of a poster in the window of your local chip shop and a Facebook event page that targeted eleven people, five of whom are in your band! Rant over.
Of course some gigs carry so much potential they just advertise themselves. Like migrating birds Black Hats are regular visitors to Swindon venues and who wouldn’t be please to see their return. Channelling the same tense, modish punkery that The Jam would be proud of, yet still perfectly contemporary, this is a band that you really should see. But add to that The King In Mirrors underground post-punk-pop delights and the angular, synth fueled indie quirk of Oui Legionnaires and you have a great way to ease into the weekend. All that happens at The Victoria tonight.
If something a bit more celebratory and backward glancing is your thing then you might like to check out Roy Orbison and friends at The Wyvern Theatre, a tribute to a host of sixties greats including Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and even a G.I. era Elvis.
The most interesting band for my money on Friday can be found at Riffs Bar. The Doctors play an intriguing blend of lush West Coast Americana and English progressive folk-rock and a couple of faces familiar to Riffs Bar stalwarts crop up in the form of Tom Andrews and Steve Harrison formally the rhythm section of folk icons The Fold and an amazing Jethro Tull tribute band that went by the name of The Day-Glo Pirates. Good to see you chaps back with us.
Other options are the skiffle, plantation blues and hobo rock and roll of Ode and the Bebops who play The Victoria and 1000 Planets at The Rolleston who do a neat line in punk, alternative and goth covers. For something really original try The Castle where the new head boy of blues, Laurence Jones will be following in the fiery footsteps of legendary players, McPhee, Gallagher, Moore, Trower, to name but a few (co-incidentally also the defensive line up of the famous 1937 Acrington Stanley squad!)
Saturday sees the return of Natural Tendency to The Rolleston a band who mix synth onslaughts with punk-pop drives to create a soaring, energetic and electric live show, highly recommended. More keyboard driven sounds emanate from The Victoria in the form of Syntronix eighties covers and fans of swinging r’n’b, stripped down rock and roll and rockabilly grooves should head for Riffs Bar for Josie and The Outlaw.
I’m sure there is plenty happening on Sunday but I can’t find mention of it anywhere so we’ll gloss right over that and head on to Wednesday where a couple of options open up for you.
A newly launched unplugged session now takes place at The Roaring Donkey every week and this time features masters of banjo and pun…Ban-Jovi. Which reminds me. How many Banjo players does it take to change a light bulb? Five. One to screw it in and four to complain that it’s electric. I thank you!
At The Running Horse the usual chilled acoustic vibe is replaced by a full on party as two of the top local bands currently ploughing a folk furrow take over. Fresh from playing Glastonbury and pushing their second full length album, A Traveling Band (also reviewed in this section today) Bateleurs (pictured) offer up roots americana and well-honed old world folk and Missin’ Rosie will be rocking the night out with their fired up Celtic folk rock. Now that’s what I call a party.