I often worry that the town ‘s music options are becoming more and more constrained, that the powers that be will soon be passing local by-laws that any public performance must include a cover of Mr Brightside. Then suddenly, and then doing their best bus analogy, three great, and indeed very original, gigs come along at once.
Up from their Cornish lair, arch-druids of psy-trance, Zetan Spore return to The Beehive tonight for more of their strange musical fusions. For those not in the know (and if not why not?) this hard dance duo mix pulsing trance and clinical techno-beats with more organic tribal breaks and psychedelic sounds. The overall effect is one of intensity and euphoria aided by the energy of the performers and enhanced by the hypnotic lighting they throw in. Now imagine it taking place in the compact and bijou setting of The Beehive Got it? This is an experience that you need to check out.
Also tonight, Adam Barnes will be bringing his impressive beard and equally impressive music to The Victoria to head a night of chilled acoustica. He trades in the same folky ethereality that has made the likes of Bon Iver and City and Colour such cult and occasionally commercial hits and with folk-pop pixie Tamsin Quin, alt-folk soundscaper Dreuw and new kid on the acoustic block Oli Norman also on the bill, this gig with tick a lot of boxes.
The third in this holy trinity of gigs is to be found on Friday, again at the Victoria, in the shape of Sam Green and The Midnight Heist. Progressive roots music is what it says on the tin and in this case that means high octane folk blues jams that wander somewhere between the blue peaks of the Appalachian Mountains and the rolling downs of the West Country. Utterly infectious and totally unmissable. Darren Eedens provides the perfect support.
Things then get a bit more familiar for those who prefer to stick with what they know. If it is punk you are after then One Chord Wonders at The Locomotive will be revelling in its glory days, The Naughties, as their name implies, perform rock and alternative covers from that decade at The Rolleston and at The Castle you can catch Toxic covering something of everything in their own, inimitable style.
Saturday finds Songs of Praise at Level 3 and a local line up to test the water for possible bigger bookings in the future. The vibe is very much alt-rock and who better to headline such a night than A Way With Words, currently on a steep trajectory towards breaking into a bigger circuit. Their incendiary riffs and energy are matched by the punk driven Americana of Raze*Rebuild and the infectious pop-punk of As The Sun Sleeps. Opening the night are newcomers Break Glass To Open. Get behind this gig and you never know what will follow it.
Haxan (formerly The Kix) can be found upstairs at The Rolleston mixing tough street rock with more classic, melodic drives. The lazy comparison, being an all girl band, is Joan Jett, but it does work as a very apt reference point, throw in a bit of AC/DC and you get a fuller picture.
The Hamsters From Hell revisit the scene of their crimes, though there are probably so many to choose from but find them at The Locomotive for a slab of good old rhythm and blues, ridicule and booze, cheers and boos in no particular order. Bring your beer money and heckles in large quantities.
The Swiss Chalet is offering classic rock in the form of Broken Image, heavy, high voltage music delivered with just the right amount of style, control, damage and aggression…no hang on, that’s Robot Wars, well, you get the picture.
And talking of the ubiquitous nature of Mr Brightside at the top of the column, one band that you have to forgive for playing it can be found at The Victoria as The Killerz pay tribute to Las Vegas’ most famous musical export. Although you will probably get to hear the song at The Castle too as Get Carter play all the rock and indie hits.
Sunday sees something altogether gentler at The Central Library as Lazy Sunday Afternoon welcomes the chilled, harmony driven, dream-folk of sister duo Honeyfire, who are a bit like listening to Suzanne Vega in a warm bath whilst a bit drunk. Also on the bill is multi-instrumentalist Brian Madigan, a man whose musical journey has taken him from orchestra pits to punk bands and your hosts, as ever, are the fantastic Mr love and Justice.
The week also goes out with a bit of a bang as “saviours of guitar music” Trampolene (pictured)drive grunge riffs headlong into pop melody like a modern day Nirvana at The Victoria on Wednesday.
And finally at The Roaring Donkey also on Wednesday , acoustic troubadour George Wilding returns this time with the enigmatic Grasslands in tow.