Making ends meet as a musician is tough enough at the best of times, especially when trying to keep a full band on the road, it is the reason that so many musicians opt for solo gigs either alongside or instead of band careers. But what if you want to really challenge yourself? Well, you could try organising a 10-day tour around the country with an orchestra made up of players who just turn up on the night. Every night the band will be different and comprised of an ever-changing set of instruments and players who are new to the songs. Seems a ridiculous idea? I agree but it is what Shaun Buswell and Erik Nyberg have set themselves to do and you can catch the Swindon leg of the tour at The Arts Centre tonight.
As well as the usual gentle chaos and the moments of sheer musical exquisiteness of these two guys leading an unrehearsed, one time only, scratch orchestra through some brilliant songs, you will find a number of familiar faces on the bill. Gaz Brookfield is back in town to add a slice of frenzied folk and punky acoustica, AJ brings the funky rap and wordplay and Bobby The Persuader will be spinning the vinyl. The one thing you can say about these shows is that each one is a truly unique experience so please support such a brave and bonkers creative experiment.
More conventional art attacks can be found at The Victoria with a night of punk. Useless Eaters are the perfect tribute to the raw creativity and subversive attitude which lay at the heart of punk on both sides of the Atlantic, from the street smart bubble-gum riffs of The Ramones to the earnest, political driven songs of The Clash. Original punk creations are added to the night courtesy of Fifteen Years and Rebel Station.
At The Beehive, dexterous acoustica and emotive lyrical deliveries are the order of the day as Thom Morecroft brings his current tour into town for the night.
Friday kicks off with a big slab of alt-rock as A Way With Words head an explosive bill at The Victoria. Constantly growing in popularity and playing ever more impressive gig slots around the country, this is definitely a band you need to catch live if you are partial to perfectly blended melody and majesty. The fact that Over To You and As The Sun Sleeps join them just sweetens the deal.
Fans of funk, soul, pop and all things that groove should get to The Rolleston to catch The Heist who’s selection and reworking of material to cover shows that they have keen tastes as well as unparalleled musical skills. And if you want a night dancing away to all the songs you know and love then try either Toxic at the Locomotive or Get Carter at The Swiss Chalet but do check the start times of the gig as apparently there is some sort of sport taking place and many venues will be trying to accommodate fans of both, usually with varying levels of success.
Tribute bands are on offer on Saturday, firstly with Straighten Out at The Victoria who aim to re-create the early era sound of The Stranglers and also Are You Experienced? who will bring a smile to the face of even the most hard to please Hendrix fan at Level 3.
Lewis Clark and The Essentials (pictured) are one of those bands, which play about with familiar strands but weave beautiful new musical tapestries out of them. Folk, soul and blues, melody, finesse and skill are all used in abundance to create wonderful patterns and you can gaze at their unique richness at The Locomotive.
The BeBops (formerly Ode and…) will be offering up a night of crazy skiffle and roll at The Rolleston. Banjo led roots and jazz get mixed up into sing-a-longs and foot tapping favourites and if it was good enough for The Quarrymen…I wonder what ever became of them?
And finally at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday you will find Leon Daye a performer who manages to combine emotion, passion and honesty with quality songmanship and confident delivery. Not bad for one guy and a guitar.