A quieter week all round following the embarrassment of musical riches which has been the norm for the last few weeks, but that isn’t to say that there aren’t a few treats in store along the way. And remember not every gig can be akin to the night Dylan went electric and presumably before that moment he was only on gas anyway. Make of that what you will.
Theo Altieri has been making music for far longer than his age suggests and he is unleashing his latest musical vehicle at The Victoria this very evening: a riot of party anthems forged from live drums, jagged guitar riffs, triggered samples and dance grooves. Support comes from the Mutant Kids whose chilled hip-hop and softly rapped deliveries sound more like an after party in South Central than a Thursday in Old Town…any one who moans about the same old, same old nature old Swindon’s music can cite this show as a definite sea change.
On to Friday and the welcome return of David Celia who kicks off his European tour with a gig at The Beehive. Swindon’s favourite Canadian (ever since Alanis Morisette cancelled her planned gig at The Town Gardens Bandstand at short notice) returns with his alt-folk meets Beatle-esque pop to spread wit, skewed wisdom and musical eclecticism. Highly recommended.
A whole swath of funky and soulful grooves are also heading your way, firstly with the Felix and The Funk who will be providing the perfect soul, funk and disco soundtrack at The Victoria, from the huge hits of Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to more recent floor fillers by the likes of Daft Punk.
Steve and The Achievers may sound like a lesser known first wave punk band from Solihull but they are actually a vintage dance band specialising in Motown, southern soul, boogie, jive and other dance floor genres from yesteryear, so dancing shoes at the ready and head for The Castle.
A third option comes in the guise of The Don Fox Scandal, a young band specialising in blending jazz, funk and blues into slick and cool deliveries with the ability to transport the listener to a late night, uptown Manhattan music bar.
If something of a mixed, cross-genre bag is more to your tastes then The Locomotive plays hosts to one of its most popular returning cover bands Catch 22. All the pop and rock classics played to perfection.
Saturday sees Shepherds Pie play their first headline show at Level 3. Classic rock cover bands may seem to be a fairly prevalent musical form these days but if you want to catch one of the best on the circuit, then this is the one. Everything you loved about the golden age of hard rock and NWOBHM, thundering backbeats, growling bass-lines, white-hot guitar riffs and a vocal delivery to match. Add to that one of the most energetic live performances, a sizeable room to play in, an elongated set that includes a built in Iron Maiden tribute section and this has to be the hottest gig in town this night.
Other offerings are Bon Giovi who will be at The Victoria to pay tribute to New Jersey’s 3rd favourite sons (….Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon that’s who….) all the hits from their 33 year career…it seems like only yesterday that debut single Runaway was on the radio, tempus does indeed fugit. Barrelhouse will be delivering some vintage tunes from the golden age of Chicago Blues to the pioneers of the British Blues scene at The Locomotive and Vice Versa play indie rock classics from across the eras at The Castle.
Something a bit spicy can be found at The Beehive with a night of all things Mexican including great food and Salsa music hopefully from acts with names such as Hispanic at The Disco or Juan Direction, okay, probably not but that is just the way my mind works (note to self, less coffee when writing this column.)
And finally we come to The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday where we find the brilliant Nick Parker back in town. This wonderful wordsmith and song crafter manages to wow audiences where ever he goes and opening the night this time will be the haunting and emotive alt-folk of Adam Scott Glasspool. Folk and acoustic fans should put this in their diary immediately.