It’s certainly a quieter week ahead, but I guess that the swings and roundabouts nature of things is just redressing the balance after a couple of weeks that spoilt us music goers. It’s also a week where most things on offer are going to be fairly familiar to you although today stands out as being a bit at odds with what is to follow.
Around the turn of the millennium a wonderfully mercurial band tore out of Brighton to deliver some intense, uncompromising and fantastic music. They eventually imploded leaving a legacy of three great albums and a string of much talked about live shows. That band was The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. Tonight two of the founder members bring their new musical vehicle to The Victoria. Piano Wire ((pictured))mix dark, smouldering rock with classic grooves to form a wonderfully menacing gothabilly vibe. The bill also sees Dead Royalties mathy grunge and Sea Mammal’s non-conformist art-noise lined up to complete one of the most interesting and musically seductive bills the town has seen in a while.
There are also a couple of chances to catch Lewis Clark and The Essentials today. The three piece are touring in support of their debut album and bring their soulful, dexterous, effortlessly cool and musically economical blend of folk, blues and world music vibes to Baila Coffee and Vinyl for a lunchtime busk, before heading to The Beehive that evening for a full on show.
On Friday stalwarts of the local scene celebrate the 90’s pop-punk sound and as well as playing their own songs, they will pay tribute to that scenes seminal bands. As the Sun Sleeps take on New Found Glory, Over To You tackle Green Day, A Place To Call Home delivers Jimmy Eat World and With Ghosts offer a smorgasbord of pop-punk classics.
After that things shift into a more revivalist and tributary manner. At Level III, These Smiths relive the pomp, majesty and defining post-punk jangle of The Smiths and also Morrissey’s solo career. The 80’s are cruelly miss-remembered for shoulder pads and Day-Glo pop dross but it should be remembered that The Smiths had 15 top 30 hits in that decade, outgunning the likes of Go West and other airbrushed pop-preeners 4 times over. If you want to know what the 80’s really sounded like, then this is the gig for you.
Upstairs at The Rolleston you can catch Manhattan Nights play hits from the 50’s to the present day though quite controversially they don’t seem to have Mr. Brightside in their repertoire. I believe that a steward’s enquiry maybe in order. Thankfully Get Carter who spread out a similar musical stall at The Castle do have it covered.
The big one for Saturday can be found at Level III as the premier tribute to UB40 head into town. Johnny 2 Bad have taken the ska, reggae, pop and dub sounds of one of Birmingham’s biggest bands all over the world and anyone remotely interested in the band or the genres they represent shouldn’t miss this.
Another slice of the 80’s can be found at The Locomotive with Binomial recreating all the synth-pop hits of the decade form Pet Shop Boys and Soft Cell to Yazoo and OMD. If you are more of a fan of the punk, mod and new wave sound then head to The Victoria for a slice of Going Underground for one of the most popular bands on the local circuit.
The Castle plays host to Mojo who cover a range of styles, era’s and genres to bring you all the classics as do Mid Life Crisis who can be found at The Dolphin.
The week rounds off on Sunday at The Castle with Macca and Tiff and being the day of rest please note the earlier start time of 6.30pm.
And why does this column not stretch to its usual Wednesday at The Roaring Donkey show? Because they have decided to pull the plug on live music there, another example of why as self-proclaimed supporters of live music we all need to get out there and support shows whilst it is still an option available to us.