I’m happy to see that the autumn dance card of bigger, out of town acts is continuing with some pace. Tonight, Songs of Praise bring you the first of four gigs they have scheduled around town, beginning at The Victoria for some highly accessible alt-rock fusion.
Flight Brigade sit in the same place as the likes of Imagine Dragons or early Arcade Fire, blending lush indie soundscapes with radio friendly melody, elements of folk sit at its core but get wrapped in swathes of energy, passion and panache. Also on the bill is George Wilding who continues his journey from nostalgia tinged troubadour to forward thinking textured pop icon and TriAmi, a fantastic folktronic trio who have the ability to say more in the atmospheric spaces within their songs than most bands can with actual chords and words.
Zetan Spore is a regular visitor to The Beehive and it isn’t hard to see the attraction. Psytrance meets nu-rave with all the alien beats, tribal energy, primal screaming and futuristic grooves that implies.
Friday sees a celebration of 20 years in the business for one of the towns most popular old-school DJ’s. Before the world of mixing, beat matching and midi controllers, DJing came down to one crucial thing; select music that keeps the dance floor busy. And if that relies on impeccable taste in music, there is none better than Bobby The Persuader. Joining his celebration of 2 decades in the business are The Waterbirds and their psych-soul freak-outs, the beautiful punk-indie chaos of Plummie Racket and The Dicemen and the quintessentially English take on a psychedelic E Street Band that is Kid Calico and The Astral Ponies.
At The Castle you will find Misfires, a band mixing full on indie urges with more considered ambient sounds but with a commercially accessible core to everything that they do. Delivering rock music from the 60’s to the present day covering everything from Metallica to Bon Jovi, you can catch Rorke’s Drift at The Swiss Chalet.
Offering a new take on band categorisation are Vulcan Reign. They are not a covers band, not an originals band and not a tribute band…they are all of those things. On Saturday you will find them at The Rolleston delivering music by or influenced by the likes of Metallica, Motorhead and Iron Maiden. At The Locomotive, Down and Dirty also play a rock set but one with a brief that also takes them down beat, country-rock and prog. avenues. Last Call at The Swiss Chalet deliver rock covers by the likes of The Foo Fighters and Royal Blood but also opt for some interesting choices such as Muse.
At The Castle you can find Peloton a band very much keeping Northern Soul, mod, power-pop and 60’s beat alive. In my opinion you will be hard pushed to find a more intriguing and well thought out selection of songs and if you like the sort of music that is spun by the aforementioned Bobby The Persuader, you are sure to find a lot you will like here.
At The Victoria, Nuttyness, will be paying tribute to one of the leading bands of the ska/2-tone revival, Madness, so practice the moves, done the tonics and Harrington and prepare for a night of high octane hits and waves of nostalgia.
Sunday afternoon brings a real gem for those who keep an eye on the alternative acoustic circuit. Known for the howling maelstrom and caustic lyricism that is Oxygen Thief, Barry Dolan brings his new musical vehicle, Non Canon, to Baila Coffee and Vinyl. Here the aggression and drive is replaced with atmosphere and expectation but rather than being a mere return to basics the music is as exploratory and challenging as anything he has done. Support for this afternoon gig is none other than Sad Song Co. the side project of Nigel Powell when he isn’t drummer as part of Frank Turner’s band.
On Wednesday you can catch Songs of Praise returnee Anna Neale at The Rolleston, an exotic blend of dreamy acoustica and ancient narratives plus Tom Harris – better known as the front man of hard rockers Kinasis. It shouldn’t work as a bill but believe me it does.
Finally on Wednesday a bill that could easily be seen as a Songs of Praise favourite acts line up at The Victoria sees slick Americana which is both immediate and lasting from Case Hardin, (pictured) Black Sheep Apprentice’s darker, more driven roots music that merges the Old World with the New and the sensuous and subtle tones of Tamsin Quin.