12654486_10153972441136757_7705425637639042490_nAnother busy week ahead for our music venues so I will get straight on with things, stopping only to mention that this is my 300th gig guide for the paper. Ballpark figures make that about 250, 000 words (if you include the extra reviews I throw in) a high percentage of them the likes of “ethereal,” “effervescent,” “fruition” and “plethora,” …blimey, no wonder I get called pretentious!

Moving on. A new venue comes onto the scene tonight in the shape of Baila Coffee and Vinyl, which has been hosting a few events in the main room for a while now but which now offer an intimate and interesting soiree in The Loft room courtesy of Songs of Praise. It’s a challenge to know how best to describe an artist like headliner Grant Sharkey in just a few words. Musician who incorporates humour? Stand up comic who writes songs? Environmentalist cabaret? Mirthsome agitator? Arch-Liberalist? Poignant and insightful buffoon? It’s all in there somewhere. Support comes from Canute’s Plastic Army and Mr. Love and Justice main man Steve Cox. Places are limited so get there early.


And from chilled and restrained to loud and shouty. The Victoria hosts heat 3 out of 4 to find a band to go forward to this years Bloodstock Festival. Fighting it out this time are the dynamic and dystopian Ghost of Machines, the progressive metal of Spiral Key and heavy stoner vibes of Mouri.


On Friday, Anglo-Swedish duo, We Ghosts, return to The Beehive for more of their infectious and lush acoustica whilst up at The Victoria The Roughnecks will be laying out a musical stall of hooligan grooves; timeless songs that exist where blues and old school rock ‘n’ roll meet.


The Shudders take their lo-fi, Americana laced indie-folk to The Locomotive and I have to say that the new album is brilliant in a Neil Young revering sort of way…and why not? So here’s a chance to catch new songs and old played live. Support comes from Fake Walnut Dash, a bunch of familiar faces but in a new blues led musical vehicle. Snatch It Back will be showing that psychedelic blues-rock is still on the menu at The Rolleston and at The Castle The Bright Eyes (not the one with Conor Oberst in) will be getting the party started with something for everyone.


Right, lets pack Saturdays options in pretty concisely. Tributes to iconic British rock can be found at Level 3 with Hi-On Maiden and Sabbotage (Black Sabbath) at The Victoria. Incendiary electric blues standards and rarities alike comes courtesy of Barrelhouse at The Rolleston and at The Wroughton Club, Peloton pay tribute to the sound of the Northern Soul scene plus a few other interesting musical meanderings.


Just when you thought that it was safe to go out, Kova Me Badd resurface. Basically the sound of Now…album favourites thrashed to within an inch of their lives and played for amusement and bemusement in equal measures.


The only original music I could find is at The Locomotive as Borrowed Time, 50 Shades of Punk and Jim Gee and The Revolution line up for a night of old school punk, powerful and energetic delivery plus a neat line in self-deprecating humour.


The second installment of the Baila Coffee and Vinyl music offering comes with a free show in the main room on Sunday afternoon. Vienna Ditto play a strange blend of voodoo blues, mutant dance and warped gospel and support comes from the equally eclectic Grasslands aided and abetted by Indoor Goblin. It’s going to be as odd as it is brilliant.



At The Victoria Plummie Racket unveils his new band, The Dicemen and support comes from Theo Altieri’s sample driven funk and dance two-piece Chaney, rockers A Way With Words and the welcome return of Matthew Bryant. Bobby The Persuader will be spinning the after show vinyl.


At The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday you can catch a great little songwriter circle. Three Swindon stalwarts, Steve Leigh, Rob Beckinsale and Steve Cox, songing and singing and chatting about their musical selections.