I’ve been thinking, as I often do, about the support for local music and have realised that there is actually a very sound political argument for supporting live shows. Grassroots events are clearly on the wane as seen by the amount of venues closing or moving into more obvious incomes such as food, DJ’s and karaoke nights. Imagine if local level gigs dried up altogether? All you would be left with is a music monopoly made up of large festivals and over priced arena shows that would then be in a position to charge what they want due to total control of the game. As the prices are hiked up, the man in the street would be bumped out of the equation and music, like much art, would only be accessible to the moneyed minority. As I see it keeping local music operating is nothing less than a political act, part of a class struggle and to support this movement all you have to do is take in a show. Simple yet subversive… a bit like an old punk friend of mine.
And talking of subversive, The Vibrators were at the forefront of the first wave of British punk and you can catch their guitarist John Ellis at The Victoria tonight. Mixing drone acoustica, psychedelic meanderings and electronica; John’s current music path reminds us that he has had a very varied musical career before and after his well known punk days.
Friday and the blues comes to town. Poplar Jake has 2 critically acknowledged albums to his name and now fronting his Electric Delta Blues Review he delivers blues which takes the genre back to its roots at The Rolleston. Meanwhile down below at Level 3, you can catch The Rod Garfield Blues Band, the man no less than Alexis Korner described as “one of the best white blues harmonica players around,” and a brilliant band to boot.
Anton Barbeau and his mercurial, acid-laced pop and psychedelic meanderings are no stranger to The Beehive, this time he will be joined by fellow West Coasters, The Corner Laughers (pictured) who mine rich seams of 60’s girl band, sweet soul, sun-kissed folk, childhood memories and endless summers to deliver perfect pop songs.
Just up the road at The Castle, Kitchen Sink Dramas will be offering up poignant and political insights in song form and at The Locomotive All Ears Avow deliver crashing metal riffs and pop punk backbeats with the Paramore-esque Freefall opening the show.
There isn’t enough room here to explain Buswell’s 10-Day Orchestra Challenge, which is to be found at Museum and Art Gallery, on Saturday, but all the details can be found elsewhere in the music section.
Rock fans will find lots of music vying for their attention on Saturday firstly with Dirty Thrills at Level 3. Stoner Rock, dirty blues and industrial strength sleazy grooves all go into the mix and the result is a brilliant future-retro rock anomaly.
Down at The Locomotive the vibe is more punked up, rocked out, Americana as Raze*Rebuild (formerly Coasters) deliver dynamically vibrant, heartfelt, confessional songs built on Riffs big enough to take your head off, but sweet enough for you not to notice. Support comes from Doctor’s Pond, the original music alter ego of The Chaos Brothers who away from the cover set list reveal themselves to be a strange Cramps/Gun Club/godknowswhat hybrid. Definitely a band to check out.
And talking of covers, catch classic rock with Rorkes Drift at The Victoria or party covers from Mid-Life Crisis at The Jovial Monk.
Rod Garfield makes a solo appearance at The Rolleston for the lunchtime blues session so expect your Sunday Roast to be accompanied by some bottleneck blues, wicked harmonica breaks and whiskey-cracked vocals.
And finally at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday is Sergeant BuzFuz main man Joe Murphy. Whether he’s fronting that quirky, anti-folk-pop band or performing as a solo player you will find a set of songs packed with incisive wit and homespun wisdom reminiscent of fellow Yorkshire ex-pat Jarvis Cocker.