So, last weeks column raised a few eyebrows, it seems, with my comments on promoting originality and being part of a more creative bigger picture. I was aiming for poignancy but judging from the reaction from certain quarters many of you took it as some sort of swipe at certain genres and styles. The Gods of Music seem to have been listening to my plea though and this week’s gigs do seem to be collectively pushing the creative envelope a bit harder.
And right off the bat (what is it with me a clichés this week?) tonight The Victoria offers you something a bit special. After years for plying a trade as a solo acoustic troubadour, Billy Bingham has finally teamed up with some other well known faces on the live scene to create Ghost of Machines (pictured), a band that blend white hot riffs, industrial back beats and spiralling hooks to paint a dark, brutal and dystopian sound track. The middle slot features the welcome return of Armchair Committee, whose scattergun salvo of influences run from howling blues to stoner rock via rampant melodicism. Opening the night are Cathodes, a brooding and intense musical assault of Byzantine complexity.
Over at The Beehive you can catch a mixture of R’n’B, soul and rock covers and originals from The Dansette Tones, the current musical vehicle for our very own Bob Bowles.
Friday also has a great billing at The Victoria. As vocalist for The Inspiral Carpets, Tom Hingley was at the forefront of the influential Madchester Scene of the 90s. Since leaving the band in 2011 for a solo career he has released two crowd-funded albums that have taken him in totally new musical directions. Expect an eclectic mix of blues originals and Manchester era standards.
Support comes from Uxbridge quartet The Cornerstones who channel that same quintessential Englishness that you can hear in songs by The Beatles, The Kinks and The Stone Roses. Local stalwarts, British Harlem and The Racket will be warming the crowd up and vinyl junkie and DJ Bobby The Persuader will be spinning the coolest of tunes in between sets.
At the Art Centre Blue to Brown, featuring Duran Duran guitarist Dominic Brown, present a rock and blues extravaganza. Apparently they toyed with a band name based on other members of this all-star line up, but Spalding to Bramwell just sounded like a vintage car rally.
Folk is on the menu at The Beehive but don’t expect the twee, pastoral musical outing that the genre often conjures up. The Model Folk are a riot of East European sounds with wheezing harmoniums, shrieking clarinet and the humble washboard providing the platform for tales about everything from soviet farm machinery to 1930’s drag queens. Intriguing to say the least.
Rhythm and Blues fans are well catered for at The Rolleston by The Back Water R&B Band playing standards from Delta, Texas, Southern and Back Water sub-genres, whilst at The Castle Vice Versa play a range of indie tunes from the 70’s to the 90’s.
Saturdays big draw is out at Riffs Bar as A Way With Words bring their brash and assertive brand of rock to the stage. Channelling a host of contemporary influences from The Foo Fighters to Fall Out Boy, expect crunching guitars and spiralling lead lines, pulsing bass and thunderous back beats. Bristol alt-rock trio Stone Cold Fiction and the soulful acoustics of Cristian Perugino complete the bill.
Echo will be providing the party at The Swiss Chalet and at The Rolleston a legendary blues triptych of Mike Hoddinott, Innes Sibun and Jerry Soffe perform as Blues Transfusion.
Finally at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday, you will find folk-pop pixie, Tamsin Quin dishing out wonderfully accessible tunes presented with equal measures of charm and cheek. Starting the night off will be the atmospherics and hushed tones of Andrew Burke.