Sounds Around Town : 4th – 10th February

11059517_912352542140749_1506554975866745598_nWith the exception of Tibetan Jazz aficionados and fans of the burgeoning Polynesian trip-hop scene, most musical tastes will be catered for this week. Variety, as they say is the spice of life and this week’s musical offerings prove to be a particularly fine condiment of existence. There may not be too much that is venturing into uncharted waters but nostalgia trippers and comfort zoners are in for a blast of a week.

Having said that let’s start with an exception to the rule and tonight’s Songs of Praise show at The Victoria. Music trivia buffs of a certain age will probably be aware that Rain was the name of the band that eventually evolved into Oasis. It is also the name of a rather splendid Swindon band. Their trick is to bolt an obvious love of earlier post-punk and shoegaze sounds to a contemporary indie vehicle and thereby appeal to cult musos, the more discerning elements of generation x, contemporary scenesters and lovers of new music alike. IDestroy bring their Vanity Loves Me tour to town for more of their riot grrrl meets garage rock brilliance and fellow Bristolians Hollow Mask get the night going with some experimental scuzzy-pop.


Meanwhile at The Beehive, Bill Smarme – international comedy entertainer, builder, and tikka masala connoisseur – leads his band, The Bizness, through a whole bunch of songs, which may sound familiar but which do demand your undivided attention.


Friday is mainly about the songs you already know and love and rock and metal fans have a choice to make. Either you head to The Victoria to catch Powerslaves running through the Iron Maiden back catalogue or you head to The Locomotive to catch Shepherd’s Pie. “The Pie,” to get all familiar, are probably the best known band in the region covering this genre, have a set list so vast that no 2 gigs are ever the same and who recreate the intense, white knuckle ride that classic rock should be. Pull on a patched denim jacket and get down the front.


If you want to dial the rock down slightly to a more bluesy and soulful take on things, Ruzz’s Guitar Blues Revue offers a more retro rock ‘n’ roll vibe which can be found at The Rolleston. Meanwhile down below at Level 3, Felix and The Funk bring you the best in funk (the clue is in the name,) soul, dance, disco and pop. I suggest that you get your dancing trousers on for this one.


Also guaranteed to get you on the dance floor is Toxic who can be found playing all the hits across various genres and decades at The Swiss Chalet.


There are two reunion shows to add to the social diary this weekend; the first is to be found Friday night at The Beehive with a rare get together with Cartoon Heroes.


The second can be found at The Victoria on Saturday with a 25th anniversary show for The Skanxsters. With appearances from members of the band right across the years and DJ’s playing 60’s ska and reggae this is the perfect opportunity to relive your formative years and listen to some amazing tunes. Though you may have to sell a kidney to get a ticket.


The Rolleston will be resonating to the sound of rockabilly, 50’s rock ‘n’ roll, psychobilly and cow-punk blues courtesy of The Rhythm Bombers and raw rock and roll, with the volume on max and a foot on the monitor can be found at Level 3 as Dirty DC recreate AC/DC’s finest musical moments.


Sweary, riotous, boozy blues can be had at The Castle as The Hamsters From Hell drag iconic R’n’B deliveries through a hedge backwards before leading an undignified charge for the bar as the last song is still ringing out. Across the board dance floor favourites can be found at The Swiss Chalet with Echo and The Locomotive with No Middle Ground.


And finally, on Wednesday at The Roaring Donkey you will find stripped down, acoustic Britpop-ish tunes with the wonderfully named Discount Columbo. Support comes from alt-acoustic troubadour Daniel Eagle.


About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
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