Oh the irony! We have spent the last month mourning the loss of singular and creative musical types, lauded for ignoring the rules and forging ahead on their own terms, creating new and exciting music along the way. After my usual wander through the websites and listings of local venues, I have to report that I can find very little in the way of the new and the original being offered up in live form this week. I know I bang on about uniqueness more often than is good for my blood pressure and I know I may be in the minority and whilst comfort zones and nostalgia trips are fine you just need to take them to their logical conclusion to see a stunted and bleak future for music. Just my opinion, take it or leave.
I used the phrase “very little,” because the week is at least topped and tailed by a couple of days of trend bucking shows. Tonight at The Victoria, Songs of Praise bring you a night of British-Americana, roots and alt-country vibes. The Rosellys (pictured)have been leading lights of the UK roots music scene for a number of years now, having drawn close comparisons to American artists such as Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch and David Rawlins, such is their authenticity. Also on the bill and now functioning as a full band, The Incredible Disappearing Boy’s debut was one of last years high points, mixing the likes of Wilco with pre-punk quality British rock, a country vibe and a soulful heart and any bill that has local stalwarts Hiproute as openers obviously is a line up of some note.
Friday begins the smorgasbord of more familiar sounds, but still with a diverse range of styles and genres to be had. I’m sure The Beatles have more tribute bands dedicated to them than any other, and rightly so, but the unique selling point of The Pre-Fab Four is their concentration on the raw energy of the live band experience. As we know the original band quit the live circuit just as they were becoming the biggest thing in contemporary music so this is your chance to hear what some of those post-1966 hits might have sounded like in the flesh and you can do so at The Rolleston.
The Blackwater Rhythm and Blues Band do pretty much what it says on the tin, exploring early blues, British R’n’B, electric variants and modern keepers of the flame. Everything from Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters to Eric Bibb and the seemingly ubiquitous Joe Bonamassa can be found at The Beehive.
More varied and eclectic options come with the be-suited Interlight at The Victoria and Echo at The Locomotive and if rock and Indie from the 70’s to the 90’s is more to your tastes then Vice Versa at The Swiss Chalet is the place to be.
Saturday brings a few options for the rock fraternity, firstly Kok Rok at The Rolleston, a self-deprecating rock covers band who concentrate on bringing you a fun, slightly tongue in cheek wander through the world of glam, classic, street and stadium sub genres of rock. Those who wish to kneel at the altar of the Seattle scene heyday can do so by catching Earl Jam at The Victoria. The third option can be found at The Castle in the guise of The Monkey Dolls, indie, rock and punk standards from a group of seasoned players.
At The Locomotive, Catch 22 spread out their wares, pop and rock covers through the ages, guaranteed floor fillers so make sure you wear your dancing trousers and at The Swiss Chalet, Locomotion bring their saxophone led onslaught of music, melody and mayhem to bear for the ultimate party night.
And providing the other ethnically sourced slice of bread of this week’s musical sandwich are a couple of Wednesday options. Firstly you can catch the excellent George Wilding and his sweet lyrical gems plus a solo support from The Incredible Disappearing Boy at The Roaring Donkey and at The Marriot Hotel you will find Jamie R Hawkins. If the song writing styles of Crowded House, Squeeze and Del Amitri are your cup of tea, you will find a lot here to your tastes and pick up a copy of his just released EP Capacity to Change, it is fantastic.