It’s safe to say that it is officially cold out there now. Only this morning I saw a politician with his hands in his own pockets and a couple of brass monkey’s lagging themselves, that’s how much the temperature has dropped of late. But that doesn’t mean that the fun has to end. Actually the best way to save on heating bills this winter is to turn off the boiler, wrap up warm and head out to a gig where the collective body warmth and a few pints of Rawlinson’s Old Stoat Wobbler can actually be seen as an economic saving…. sort of. And the more gigs you go to, the more money you save. A no brainer, as the youth of today might say.
Tonight at The Victoria a bill of energised and heavier sounds is surely the perfect way to keep the cold out. Cold Harbour mix emotive hardcore with highly charged vocals whilst Solace in Nightmares lace their brutal yet melodic sounds with some wonderfully gothic overtones. The doom-laden Heriot opens the show.
On Friday, The Victoria stay with the heavy vibe and the return of Absolva, old school metal at it’s finest, references worn proudly on their sleeves and a sound like Klaus Meine fronting early Dio, so break out the patched denim jackets and devils horn gestures.
Rock of a more melodic and progressive nature can be found out at Riffs Bar courtesy of The Room. Slick and accessible yet with unexpected complexities and virtuoso musicianship, this is a band who can match musical elegance with lyrical eloquence without breaking a sweat. And talking of progressive rock, those who know their Yes from their Neu, their Tull from their Tool will have heard of Mark Colton. Normally found making music so wonderfully complex that it can only be purchased from Ikea and requiring self-assembly, with his band Credo, well, tonight he can be found at the other end of the spectrum playing punk and new-wave covers with One Chord Wonders at The Locomotive.
The Rolleston plays host to Rockabilly Rumble, a classic neo-rockabilly trio covering the likes of Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran through to more contemporary artists.
For those younger gig goers who only entertain the big shows, the cool kids and “the scene” then the perfect band are playing at The Oasis. Looking like underfed guttersnipes and sounding wilfully over-processed and digitised, The 1975 are the perfect band for the young and impressionable and with a singer whose mother won Celebrity Big Brother and a go to Geordie actor as a father, they are the perfect band for the modern, celeb/selfie/scenester indie music fan.
A few years ago a band called The Supernovas sold out Riffs Bar, this Saturday they are back, under a new name, Bless and sporting a brilliantly modish, energy packed indie sound. Support comes from local indie stalwarts Yves, Well Dressed Thief and Coco Esq.
Pitching somewhere in the heavy-indie/alt-rock genre, The Locomotive’s Saturday line up features a band being courted by Kerrang! Radio X and BBC Introducing. Echoic (pictured) blend euphoric, stadium ready anthemic sounds with incisive and insightful deliveries, truly a band who sum up the sound of “ the here and now” better than most on the circuit today. Support comes from Middlenamekill: big rock swagger, tempered by mathy moments and some wonderfully experimental, prog like interludes, indie elements and choruses built from pure ear-wormery. (Do the one about the shark!)
Level 3 brings you The 80’s Hair Rock Experience, a massive tribute to the “era that taste forgot” which kicks arse and set’s its tongue firmly in its cheek (that sounds wrong but you know what I mean) Rock of Ages hasn’t got a thing on this.
Punk is back on the menu as well with local heroes Charred Hearts at The Wheatsheaf, Ermin Street and Chicago blues is on offer at The Rolleston with Built For Comfort.
The big one for Sunday is SWiNe’s first event at The Victoria. Briefly speaking it is a multi-discipline, artistic event, featuring live music from artists including Josh Wolfsohn, Kid Calico and the Astral Ponies and Diagonal People and also poetry, film and more besides. Think of it as a modern day “happening” and check out their site for the full details.
Tuesday at The Victoria and crazy-ska maestro’s Bad manners bring their Christmas party to town with Max “two pints of lager and a packet of crisps please” Splodge in support.
And finally on Wednesday at The Roaring Donkey you can find the wit and wisdom, honesty and humour of Kitchen Sink Dramas.