There have been some really awful band names throughout history. After a local disaster left a band’s rehearsal space a watery mess, the inspired name change didn’t result in something eloquent, such as Missouri River Flood but instead the god awful Puddle of Mudd! The pretentiously named The The sounds like an up date on that classic Abbot and Costello routine and then we have The Sultans of Ping F.C. I mean, what sort of a name is that and who cares where their jumper is?
There have been some great names too, such as Camper Van Beethoven, Mary Tyler Morphine and the brilliantly named Kathleen Turner Overdrive. Aside from being clever, some are just wonderfully evocative… The Velvet Underground, Drive By Truckers, Throwing Muses and you can add to that list Troubadours of Divine Bliss pictured) who play at The Beehive tonight. This lusciously titled duo fall roughly into the Folk Americana genre, with all the camaraderie and vocal harmony of The Indigo Girls but with a neat sideline in weird Vaudeville and sultry narratives. A more English take on similar vibes can be found in the top bar of The Victoria in the shape of Elliot Hall and Rapunzel and their alt-country meets boho-folk.
If prog-rock is more your thing then a trip out to Riffs Bar is on the cards. Credo take the classic sounds of the eighties neo-progressive bands such as Marillion and IQ and blend it with the more peripheral sounds of the genre such as Magnum and Asia and drive the whole lot kicking and screaming into the modern age.
Friday sees the return of Anglo-Swedish wunderkinds We Ghosts to the Beehive, taking elements of pop, jazz, folk and blues and blending them up into eerie and atmospheric songs. The Victoria has it’s semi-regular gathering of roots bands, spearheaded by local funky, lap guitar bluesmen, HipRoute and the return of a band that last time really impressed me, The Sam Green Band. Opening the night are Grizzly and The Grasshopper who sound like a funky take on Del Amitri. Always a winner in my book.
The Rolleston takes the brave step of hosting a fairly controversial act who’s name is even too risqué for such a newspaper as this. Let me just say that this act has the perfect billing alongside 2 Sick Monkeys and Ian Doeser and you should get an idea as to the nature of the beast.
On Saturday, David Marx’s brings his current musical vehicle to Riffs Bar. Marx has a long history of making music in this town but has been away for a number of years, so the chance to catch him on his current tour is recommended. The songs neatly blend depth and delicacy with high octane rock and roll and explosive melodies. Support comes from acoustic balladeer, Billyjon and all the way from Toronto and normally found fronting indie-punks Dead Letter Dept. Rob Moir steers his first solo tour your way.
Something a bit different can be found at The Wootton Bassett Academy with a “Later with Jools Holland” style show featuring the best in roots genres with Ian O’ Regan, Blues Reviewed, Vapor, Alan Pettifer and Hilary Pavey Mills, all helping to raise money for worthy causes.
At the Victoria the Four Fighters pun and perform the music of The Foo Fighters, The Starkers will channel the music of Nirvana and at The Rolleston Bad Obsession play classic rock and metal covers.
The big show for Sunday can be found at The Victoria. Spectres are a wall of noise extravaganza, pneumatic guitars and pounding bass all put to relentless beats, if you like to see where rock music is going, this is one possible destination. Support comes from those mad scientists of pop, Super Squarecloud and band of the moment, Dead Royalties fire off an opening salvo of Seattle grunge meets post punk art school dynamics.
Over at The Sun inn, Crows Parliament pay a visit, an amazing sounding band a bit like The Pixies doing scuzzy Americana after spending to long listening to Doors albums. Do check these guys out.
The rest of the week still has some great music on offer, particularly the soulful, dream pop of Jazz Morley at The Victoria on Tuesday and Sebastian Craig at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, the Acoustic Session in it’s new home of The Rat Trap (formerly at the Running Horse) features the dulcet tones of Rumour Shed and the americana/folk blends of Bateleurs.