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They say art imitates life, but watching the zombie apocalypse that was Black Friday it was easy to see the reverse happening as The Walking Dead Live Action, Role Playing Game came to our streets, albeit a consumer based one with a hankering for flat screen TVs rather than the blood of dystopian survivors. When are we going to fight back against this creeping Americanisation and have Tweed Tuesday when we all dress as characters from P.G. Wodehouse or Magnolia Monday when we all redecorate the sitting room in traditional colours? Still, with more bands to talk about than you can shake a recently purchased, selfie-stick at, (76% off at Mammon and Sons) let’s get on with it.

Songs of Praise at The Victoria, tonight, is another rousing charge of alt-rock goodness led by the swamp-rock and warped blues antics of Armchair Committee. Joining them are fellow Bristolians, Nasty Little Lonely, whose howling, reverb-drenched, squall is like little you have heard before and opening the night is local lads Well Dressed Thief.

 

The Beehive takes a more classy, after hours, approach with the return of Claude Bourbon and his truly unique blend of Spanish vibes, middle eastern sounds, Latin jazz and more, the perfect musical clash of orient and occident rendered via an acoustic guitar.

 

 

Friday is where things really kick into action. The Locomotive settles for another round of incendiary blues-rock with Pilgrim, a band featuring the one time guitarist with Ataraxis Vibration and The Beehive brings you The Model Folk a rumbustious blend of Balkan inspired folk and frenzied roots music. And if you are a fan of that sort of thing, stiff competition comes from The Rolleston playing a similar card with Flash Harry, a second helping of Cajun, bluegrass and folk driven acoustica.

 

Riffs Bar, meanwhile, is the first to deliver a Christmas Party offering (well, it is the 4th!) with an 80’s inspired extravaganza, with festive food, live band, DJ and other sensations from the era that taste forgot. And if you are a fan of the sounds of time gone by then you should head to The Moonrakers for The 58 Shakes and a brilliant salvo of retro-rock, 50’s style.

 

From there on in we go down a more general cover band route. The Hyperbolics bring you rock, indie, punk and pop covers at The Castle and rock from Green Day to Muse can be found at The Victoria courtesy of The Monkey Dolls. Fans of Motown classics will find everything they need courtesy of Locomotion’s themed night at The Swiss Chalet.

 

 

The momentum is maintained into Saturday, again with a heavy bias in favour of music already very much in the public domain. The exceptions are The Hamsters From Hell (a band who shouldn’t be allowed in the public domain) with their riotous rhythms and bolshie blues at The Queens Tap and music with a ska and reggae core from The Nomarks at The Castle.

 

At Level 3 you will find a tribute to the golden age of rock guitar with a plethora of six-stringers showcasing the brilliant creations of the likes of Page, Moore, May, Santana, King and Clapton and now that Dave Grohl has been declared the fourth largest religion in the world (he overtook Buddhism sometime in July) it is only fitting that you can catch The Four Fighters spreading the holy music at The Victoria.

 

At The Locomotive, the satirically named Hello Cleveland (and anyone naming their band after a Spinal Tap quote is okay in my book) play everything from 70’s punk, 80’s Indie, 90’s Brit-pop and modern classics whilst party legends Penfold can be found at The Swiss Chalet. Last…and possibly least, The Chaos Brothers will be bringing their punk and garage rock madness to The Rolleston, you have been warned.

 

The day of rest brings a great food and music option with Gary Hall at The Rolleston for the afternoon session, an evocative celtic –Americana blend reminiscent of Earle, Dylan and Parsons to help you work your way through the infamous Rolly Roast.

 

Monday offers an unexpected treat as Sam Duckworth, the man who used to perform under the name of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly can be found touring his second solo album at The Victoria and with the recent addition of the always awesome, gloom-pop queen herself, She Makes War, this is turning into a contender for gig of the year.

 

Wednesday at The Roaring Donkey you will find the classic rock of Bren Haze; Bon Jovi-esque balladry and stadium rock riffs, whilst at The Beehive, Luckless brings anti-folk, shimmering indie vibes, and dreamscaping post-punk all the way from New Zealand.