741242_664074006964975_1369003998_oOkay, it isn’t exactly local but Charlton Park does have an SN postcode so I guess it is okay to remind you that WOMAD kicks off today. You may not have heard of many of the acts or even be able to pronounce some of them but if ever there was a celebration of culturally diverse and globally reaching music then this is it. Whether you have a hankering for Kurdish folk or British hip-hop, New Orleans brass or Malian vocal groups, transcendental raga or gypsy jive, it is all here and more besides. In the grand scheme of things, it is right on your doorstep, which means you can just pop down for the day or do the full-on festival experience with the minimal of travelling.

Back within the parish boundaries and even nearer your doorstep, The Victoria has a nice little top-bar acoustic show lined up. Drew Bryant manages to blend accessible music with some lush elemental imagery; the result is infectious and joyful acoustic deliveries and the most interesting of narratives. Although not a resident Nick Tann has been playing the local circuit regularly for around 6 years (that I know of) so it is always a pleasure to see his unique brand of soaring folk and late night soulful jazz inflections back in town. Mary Jones is the one act not familiar to me but having been described as both delicate and seriously rock and roll, I reckon it is worth getting there early to see her kick off this show.


And if we’re talking about frequent returnees to our live scene, one of the most popular, cheesy and downright filthy (context – this is a town that has The Hamsters From Hell living in it…) acts returns to The Rolleston on Friday. As always even the name is too controversial for a paper that goes out before the water shed. If the idea of sordid imaginings and toilet humour delivered over 80’s arcade game style synth music is your thing then this is for you. Not for the faint hearted or easily offended. 2 Sick Monkeys or on hand to start the night in fine style.


At The Victoria a night of big sounds and grand dynamics is in order. Reveller describe themselves as melodic metal but there is so much more than that going on, soaring metalscaping, technical interludes and brutal breakdowns all vibrantly colour the music but it remains engaging and intriguing through out. Not a bad trick if you can do it. Ghosts of Machines add the epic, dystopian vibes; Edenfalls and Over To You provide the perfect driven and energetic support.


Last time I checked Los and The Deadlines (pictured) were back up from London to play The Locomotive on Saturday, but promotional communiqués coming from the venue have been intermittent to say the least so do check before travelling any distance. I do hope the gig is happening as they were one of the most original, genre hopping and charismatic bands I had the pleasure of seeing in the last 6 months. It’s like they take pop music and turn it inside out so although it has a smooth melody at it’s heart you get to see or the weird wobbly bits and broken angular stuff on the outside too. Odd but brilliant.


At Level 3 you can catch Johnny2Bad a tribute to one of the country’s most successful bands, UB40 and their unique blend of ska, reggae and lovers rock whilst upstairs at The Rolleston AngelHeart lean heavily on rock classics but throw in some more modern and more generically diverse selections too. As do Rorke’s Drift at The Victoria. At The Fox and Hounds in Hayden Wick you will find Station Road who play “all genres of rock” so it seems if you want hear a Bryan Adams or Bon Jovi cover, tonight is the night.


And finally on Wednesday at The Roaring Donkey, blues man Ian O’Regan is back and although he has a penchant for the genre his sets are also peppered with country rock, folk and rock, originals, standards and some wonderful rediscovered gems.