There is plenty going on within the parish boundaries again this week, but first a quick mention for Folly Fest which also takes place this weekend. For although it takes place in Farringdon, Swindon and Wiltshire bands are well represented, from the punked out Americana of Coasters to the cool grooves of The Tribe, from relatively new acts such as Kid Calico and The Astral Ponies to local stalwarts Aural Candy and Mr Love and Justice and from the shimmering shoegazey vibes of Sahara Heights to the multi-layered musical textures of The Southern Harmony. But obviously what most of you will be interested in is what is taking place in town and if you are looking for the definitive gig guide; you have come to the right place…though probably at the wrong time. Anyway, I’ll do my best.
One of the big draws of the Folly Fest line up is Dead Royalties but before that you can catch them tonight spearheading a great line up at The Victoria. Exhibiting wonderful art house-punk, grunge and math rock credentials, they have made a name for themselves through the most infectious and hook laden songs and incendiary live shows. Joining them are trash-pop aficionados The Starkers who unveil a whole new set of songs and opening the night is Drogo.
Something more temperate can be found at The Beehive in the guise of guitarist David Bristow as authentic old time picking and subtle song lines combine to create a wonderful “3 in the morning, porch blues.”
The Locomotive on Friday is the scene of the first hometown show for Outlaw and The Boogie Man. With musicians garnered from the same circle that make up Josie and The Outlaw and The Roughnecks, expect raw and electrifying vintage rhythm and blues. The Rolleston also offers something off the beaten track when compared to the usual Swindon fare as The Soul Strutters return to play powerful, groovy and fun funk and with a pedigree that stretches back through bands such as Laid Blak, Sickwax and The Commitments, you know these are musicians of the highest calibre.
Rock is on the menu with Darren Hunt at The Dolphin who pushes the boundaries of what a solo performance can be via high-energy rock favourites. As David Grohl seems to have now overtaken Buddhism as the 4th biggest religion in the world, devotees will be pleased to know that they can kneel before the altar at The Victoria as The Four Fighters recreate songs from right across the Foo Fighters musical canon.
The Big event for Saturday takes place at The Town Gardens as this year’s Pride event gets underway with its usual splash of colour and energy and music from a whole host of acts. Headliners, South London trio Stooshe, have a sound that combines 60’s soul, street reggae and electro-pop and are the perfect way to round the day off. Before that you can catch the gratuitous sax of Sister Sister, future alt-rock anthems from A Way With Words, the acoustic dexterity of Phil Cooper and so much more.
Rock fans should be heading to The Locomotive as Rewire The Time Machine (pictured) play a rare Swindon show with their mercurial blend of heavy blues, stoner rock, psychedelic vibes and sludgy grooves that combine into the hellish soundtrack to a Hunter S Thompson inspired road trip. Support comes from Zero Return and their personal mission to bring classic rock bang up to date.
Something a bit special can be found at The Rolleston as The Blox relives the heady days of Ian Dury and The Blockheads. Jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, funk, music hall, clever and unusual word play and so much more combine to recreate their unique sound and run through all those brilliant songs. Tributes are also on the cards at The Victoria as the Bowie Experience plays through the career of arguably one of the most influential artists of all time.
Finally, on Wednesday, The Roaring Donkey sees the welcome return of Sue Hart and her wonderful country-folk songs, joined by the mysterious bassist known only as The Mildly Disgruntled Man. Support for this show sees the return of Shedric and a set of well-crafted folk-blues creations.