History buffs have a lot going on alongside their music this week. Due to it falling in the week, the whole Halloween thing is a bit spread out this year and so seems to still be in full swing this week, a now largely Americanized event but having it’s roots in the old celtic festival of Samhain which originally marked the new year of pre-Christian times. Also this week we English celebrate Guy Fawkes night. It always grates with me when people fire off the old adage that he was “ the last person to enter parliament with honest intentions.” He was a Catholic political terrorist, hired for money by english gentry to commit an act of terrorism on a government building!! I don’t think honesty comes into the picture much. So much for the political minds and rhetoric of the social media generation. right, off the soap box and into the mosh pit.
The big events for tonight are a couple of album launches taking place on the edge of town. There is more information in my other article about these but briefly the boys from Strength In Blunders have an album launch at Riffs Bar and at a secret location o the edge of town, Babies vs Rabies have an invite only album launch, so I guess if you don’t already know about it then you haven’t been invited.
Only slightly more conventional is Three Minute Tease who play at The Beehive. Formed around the songs of Sacramento oddball Anton Barbeau and featuring a couple of stalwarts of the post-punk/psych-pop scene in the shape of Andy Metcalfe and Morris Windsor, the band revel in trippy, acid soaked musical journeys using surrealism and downright strange lyricism as their guides. Think The Bonzo Dog Band meet XTC, but don’t think about it for too long, it’s not healthy.
Obviously this wouldn’t be Swindon if there wasn’t a night of Burlesque and rockabilly music, this can be found at The Victoria, it’s fancy dress, music is from Rockabilly Rumble and all proceeds go to Swindon Women’s Aid.
Staying at The Victoria for Friday and the long awaited return of Beans of Toast is finally upon us. Sounding like Billy Bragg on downers, he mixes satire and politics with street cultural references and apparently he fancies Laura Marling! Well, form a queue mate. Supporting him is local gangster rap parodist Chip Daddy and great though he music is I urge you all to track down his finest moment on You Tube when he attempted to drive a child’s pedal car around a professional go cart circuit and not get beaten up.
If you want eclecticism then head on to The Beehive. Bruise look like one half of The Patti Smith Band and sound like Polly harvey fronting Yes to play songs written by Dave Stewart during one of his less lucid moments. Well, that’s what it sounds like to me, but then I’m sure everyone hears something different…such is the bands uniqueness. At The Rolleston, The G Men play some big band era swing jazz and early rock and roll.
Saturday is the usual bastion of tributes with The Victoria getting all Fleetwood Mac on you and The Great Nothing at The Rolleston will be reviving the heady days of classic rock via covers of Pink Floyd, Queen, Blue Oyster Cult and all the other bands that punk promised to do something about. Damn you punk!!!
Talking of punk. Old punks never die they just re-unite with former band mates and clown around for the enjoyment of the paying punter…well John Otway does anyway. At The Victoria on Sunday he re-unites with his old sparring partner “Wild” Willy Barrett to amuse with banter and antics, sarcasm and storytelling and to play a selection of their hit….singular.
The week is rounded off on Wednesday with Dave Connor at The Roaring Donkey, a songwriter I recently was lucky enough to chat to on 105.5fm’s Roundabout Swindon Show. A life long song writer, Dave’s central body of work is a concept album or rock opera…call it what you will, that he hopes will one day make the transition to the stage as a piece of musical theatre. An ambitious goal or the logical next step? Go to his show and make your own mind up. For my money, you won’t be disappointed.