12241002_925969660832401_1586902360891585990_oA new made up report issued by The Performing Rights Society, Department That Monitors That Sort of Thing, has shown that last year Mr Brightside was performed live 432 times in the central Swindon area alone, narrowly beating Sex on Fire and Mustang Sally. But I guess comfort zones are there for a reason and no one wants to return to the seventies when the likes of Zappa, Hendrix, Mitchell, Bowie and The Clash’s originality and innovation virtually ruined music. But it hasn’t all been about casting a gaze back to past glories, the town gained a whole new music venue in the form of The Locomotive, which by now must be heaving under the strain of all those people who have been so vocal in their desire for a new venue in town.

One of the most eagerly watched developments for next year is SWiNE, a loose collective of film makers, musicians, artists and poets who have already hosted an event that seems like an updating of the hippy era happenings and proof indeed that the future of local music is in same hands.


But my biased thoughts aside, this is a tough time for music venues, bands and performers, so as always I urge you to get out there and support live events, just by having a couple of beers, watching a live band and buying a CD on the way out you are ensuring it’s future.



As the week ahead is obviously one of seasonal themes, karaoke, carol singing and social gatherings as friends and family head back into town, there isn’t a massive amount of live music to report on, which after all is the brief here.


The Rolleston seems to be the real torchbearer this week, starting tonight with Vice Versa. One of the most prolific cover bands on the local circuit they trade not just in rock and indie classics but delve into some really choice artists. The Waterboys, Echo and The Bunnymen, The Cure, The Cars and of course the geographically pertinent XTC. Blimey, have they been at my vinyl collection?


Taking a wider approach, Paradox at The Swiss Chalet cover nearly 70 years of music, everything from Elvis Presley to the appropriately named Robin Thicke and also all three of the songs mentioned in my opening rant. Still, if it keeps the Followill brothers in hair product who am I to argue?


So, you’ve ticked off all of the Christmas traditions, discussed how best to cook Turkey so that it doesn’t dry out, used the word “moist” seven times in conversation about the Christmas cake and watched Alan Rickman fall from the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Plaza. It’s Boxing Day and there is partying to be done. (Don’t ever let me use “party” as a verb again! )


At The Rolleston you can catch The Husky Tones (pictured), modern, vibrant blues and sartorially elegant to boot, this is just the band you need to get you back into the mood as your body is still trying to digest the onslaught of meat, chocolate, port and cake that you have assailed it with.


At The Swiss Chalet you can catch the spectacle that is Locomotion, a front line musical attack of female vocals and saxophone surrounded by one of the tightest bands on the circuit, you won’t have seen anything like this before, unless of course you have seen them before.


And in the sublime to ridiculous department I can tell you that The Hamsters From Hell will be at The Victoria on Sunday, all the blues and booze, laughs and lewdness that you have come to know and love…well, tolerate.


The Rolleston is the place to find The Corduroy Kings and a night of all your favourites from the 60’s to the present day, everything from The Beatles to The Clash and of course that good old Wilson Pickett song.


On Sunday at Baila you can catch Kinnoha, who work with  chilled, future R’n’B themes , part atmospheric electronica, part smokey soulful vocals; taking the best of what has gone before and reworking it for a new generation of listeners.


And finally, if you are a fan of American stadium rock then you can catch Bon Giovi paying tribute to New Jersey’s finest at The Victoria on Monday.


So there we have it, the year pretty much done, have a great time over the holidays, relax, go mad, hug friends, spend time with family and buy a CD on the way out. (I think that may have become my catch phrase.)