I’ll start this week with a bit of a heads up, as they say in the sort of circles where they say such things. We are so used to seeing articles about music venues closing, it will come as a wonderful shock to the live music aficionado to note that there is a new music venue arriving in town. The Locomotive in Fleet Street will be opening its doors on 3rd July and will cater for fans of original and cover bands of all styles. Without going into too much detail, upcoming events and news of the refurbishment can be found at their Facebook page but a new venue for live music has to be something we can all get behind.
One thing I love about the summer is the influx of international musicians who arrive on our shores to catch the festival circuit and to take advantage of those three weeks when the rain is slightly warmer, and many of them head for The Beehive. Statistics that I have just made up show that a high percentage come from Australia or Germany, so it makes sense for the venue to book a Berlin based artist originally from Western Australia. Prita blends acoustic soul and folk together, utilises looping pedals and then ices the musical cake with a captivating vocal. Do not miss this one.
The Victoria opts for something just as interesting with a wonderful indie line up spearheaded by The King in Mirrors and their post-punk referencing rough and ready guitar pop. Joining them are The Hi-Life Companion, currently touring their second album of chiming underground pop, Our Years In The Wilderness and opening proceedings will be the heroes of yelpcore (their words not mine) Oui Legionnaires, a bizarre collision of pop, punk and angular indie that has to be seen to be believed.
On Friday, with the exception of The Teddy White Band’s (pictured) swath of swing, beat and R’n’B at The Beehive, the rest of the town seems to be catering for the rock fraternity (come on guys didn’t we talk about avoiding diary clashes like this?) Metal Gods treat The Rolleston to 80’s and 90’s rock covers and at The Castle, The Lewis Creavan Band will be running through a set of electric blues from the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King and Pat Metheny.
The original end of the spectrum comes in the guise of All Ears Avow who launch their debut album Get In The Game at The Victoria. Blending pop-punk, alt-rock and progressive metal, they serve up killer riffs and sing along choruses and back it up with one of the most energetic stage shows around. Joining them are self-described “nerdy neo-rock” band Double Exposure who come all the way from Ottawa, Canada plus intelligent pop-punksters, With Ghosts.
Saturday seems to have all the bases covered generically speaking. Purveyors of virtuosic folk, Grubby Jack, put their spin on traditional tunes from the Old World and the New, via fiddle, banjo and guitar, but if you want to see what the young indie scene is up to then head to Level 3. Polar Front is a new band that effortlessly blends Indie atmospherics, R’n’B grooves and electro beats, and I have to say that they sound pretty damn good to me. Joining them on the bill is Coco Esq, Westways, Sahara Heights and Yves…if you want to see the future movers and shakers of the local (and not so local) scene, this is the place to be.
The Victoria will be grooving to the reggae and ska sounds of the Trench Town born Troy Ellis and his Hail Jamaica Band who are joined by local guardians of the rocksteady flame, The Erin Bardwell Collective. And the perfect way to round off a night of such glorious sounds can be found at The M.E.C.A. and their Northern Soul and Motown DJ’s playing into the early hours.
Covers come in all shapes and sizes….if music can have a shape or size, Alter Chaos and Broken Image play rock and metal at The Queens Tap and Swiss Chalet respectively and a more scattergun delivery of genres and eras can be found with Toxic at The Castle and Paradox at Riffs Bar.
The final mention is for Skins and Strings at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday, a wonderful collection of exotic tabla beats and acoustic guitar lines that can groove and soothe in equal measure.