There is so much to talk about this week that there is barely room for my usual tangential ramblings, so I guess that is the answer to folks who find my introductions a bit of a distraction. Put on loads of gigs (or at least let me know about the ones that are taking place) and I will be forced to forego the usual muddled musings and get straight on with the job at hand. Just like I haven’t done here. Oh well.
Tonight The Victoria plays host to an old favourite returning for a rare outing onto the live stage. SkyBurnsRed have forged an impressive reputation for mixing grunge-laden riffs and sweeping violin textures and they are joined by Salisbury alt-rockers middlenamekill, a late replacement for the advertised Black Elephant and opening the night is Over To You.
Something weird and wonderful is coming to The Beehive in the shape of antipodean multi-instrumentalist and beat boxer Mal Webb who deals in surreal and mindboggling songs and is joined by Kylie Morrigan who adds violin and also balances out his madness. Well, that’s the plan. Imagine Einstein, Dr Seuss and Paganini making pancakes…. apparently.
Friday brings plenty of options for rock fans with both The Rolleston and The Victoria playing the international card. The former plays host to Dobermann (pictured), an Italian rock outfit who seem to be channelling the spirit of Thin Lizzy (and why wouldn’t you?) whilst the latter features a band with roots in Bulgaria, Barcelona and…err…Birmingham. Stop Stop to be more precise, a swirling tornado of glam, sleaze and groove driven hard rock.
Riffs Bar is the place for old school punk as 50 Shades of Punk are joined by punk/rap crew Rats From A Sinking Ship and the morbidly infectious Strength in Blunders.
A more rootsy vibe can be had at The Locomotive with Billy In The Lowground, who may be a folk band on paper but live they sound like one that has been dragged through the hedge of rock backwards. Think of it this way, if the Levellers were moonshine swigging Appalachian mountain folk instead of Guinness-swilling Brighton crusties, they would probably have sounded a lot like this.
Kid Calico and the Astral Ponies begin the second leg of their “Prospect Hill Tour” by bringing their circus sideshow psychedelia and lilting warped Americana to The Beehive – a band I truly recommend you catch live.
And fans of Americana will be heading to The Rolleston on Saturday to catch Ragged Union, a twin guitar attack of country vibes and sleazy rock, a bit like if The Dogs D’Amour were from Kansas City or Steve Earle was from Dalston. Well, sort of…either way they sound great.
A bit of a birthday bash is happening at Riffs Bar, music from John Coghlan’s Quo, the authentic sound of Status Quo courtesy of the original drummers live vehicle and cake and drinkies for the man himself. And more rock is to be had at The Locomotive with Leader, anthemic rock with a ton of riffs and liberal dosing of pop sensibility. Support comes from The Harlers, a snarling 2-piece blues –rock outfit with a sound that could curdle Cream! (See what I did there?)
Psychobilly and retro-rock’n’roll can be found at The Woodlands Edge thanks to The Corsairs and if you are looking for tributes to some more established bands you have the option of Bootleg Floyd at Level 3 or The Manic Street Creatures honoring the finest bunch of agit-punk meets stadium rock miscreants to ever cross the Severn Bridge at The Victoria.
On Sunday a whole collection of bands line up to raise money at the Rock 4 Radio Therapy fundraiser at Swindon Rugby Club. Music from 1pm by Alter Chaos, Broken Image, Post 12, Echo, Metson and many more plus food, stalls and activities to keep the kidlings occupied.
Finally, on Wednesday at The Roaring Donkey, the mid week session features alt-folk acoustica, which takes in both minimalist atmospheres and percussive deliveries from Matt Midgley plus the folk-pop pixie herself Tamsin Quin.