We seem to have witnessed a steady trickle of bigger names and more intriguing live bookings heading in to town over the last few weeks and there are plenty more to come in the shape of various blasts from the past, happening acts, festival favourites and other unexpected additions to the circuit regulars. And this week offers three more acts that fall squarely into that exclusive bracket. One of which can be found tonight at The Victoria.
Chuck Mosley (pictured) will be known to many as the original singer for Faith No More (if you don’t count an early, brief stint by Courtney Love) or perhaps fronting revered hardcore band Bad Brains or maybe even for his funk-metal outfit Cement. Tonight his acoustic show pulls into town and a chance to catch songs delivered in a much more considered and intimate fashion. Support comes in the shape of the infectious acoustic pop of Phil Cooper and the more raw and edgy sounds of Elea Calvet.
The Beehive plays host to one of its regular and most popular bookings, Built For Comfort. Specialising in the urban blues to which all modern rock and blues is indebted, their music will take you to a 50’s Chicago juke joint without the need for passport or time machine. Sadly the bar will be sporting present day prices.
On Friday, two big names go head to head though thankfully they are radically different in sound and so hopefully will not be fighting much over the potential audience. It has been many years since Pama International played Swindon but with a new line up, new album and absence making the heart (and ears) grow fonder, they bring their smooth blend of rocksteady, dub and reggae to The Victoria. The Shocks of Mighty and Destination Anywhere DJ’s will also be fighting it out to see who can spin the most fab and groovy sounds.
Those with more of a penchant for rock, and bluesy, psychedelic rock at that, will wish to make a note that The Groundhogs will be at Level III. This new line up powered by original drummer Ken Pustelnik play the classic material with all the same verve and excitement as the original band did back in the day. Support comes from blues powered rock duo The Harlers and Kikamora bring some gritty hard rock to open the show.
At The Swiss Chalet Jukebox Cannonball head down from London to deliver an explosion of jump blues, rockabilly and old school rock ‘n’ roll.
Saturday is for the fans of tribute acts with Whole Lotta DC celebrating the four to the floor boogie rock (…just listen to that swing in their backbeat) of AC/DC whilst at Level III, Duran UK explore the line of musical evolution that took Birmingham’s fab five from a new wave synth band to one of the biggest sensations of the modern era.
The Swiss Chalet pays tribute to, arguably, one of the most influential rock bands of all time, The Who. Who Are You? capture all the classic tunes of this mercurial band taking in their ever shifting mod, power-pop and operatic rock sound.
Something more chilled can be found at The Castle as Stripped undertakes an acoustic set of all your favourite pop and rock covers.
If you have ever wondered what East German Psychobilly sounds like then you are in luck. Leipzig trio Retarded Rats (charmin’) can be found at The Rolleston on Sunday, slapping double bass, cracking the snare and riffing at the moon complete with vocals, howls and screams. Show opener Dead Cat Stimpy tries to capture all of that as a solo act with what he terms one-man garage rock and roll. This is something that you need to see to believe.
Finally, staying at The Rolleston, Wednesday sees the first of the newly re-located Songs of Praise unplugged sessions kick off with a bit of a wonderfully strange start. Indoor Goblin is a mixture of dreamy-piano-scapes, hushed spoken word and fairy-tale narratives whilst Grasslands is a conceptual oddity taking in acoustic folk, progressive structures and softly spun lyrics. The two artists will then collaborate as GrassGoblin and what that will sound like is anyone’s guess. Better just go along and check it out.