nick-harper-press-photo-08mOne of the biggest names to hit town in a while, especially if you have a penchant for the singer-songwriter format, can be found in one of the smallest local venues tonight. At Baila Coffee and Vinyl you will find Nick Harper,(pictured) a festival favourite with a string of fantastic albums under his belt and who is able to do things to his guitar that would have had Segovia weeping into his Rioja. Support comes from Burbank and I would suggest that you buy a ticket on-line rather than take your chances on being able to get in.

A few doors up at The Victoria there is a Lighterthief Collective show case night. In a chilled, intimate setting you can catch the blue-eyed street soul vocals, breezy pop and easy dance grooves, not to mention the force of personality that is Ruby Confue plus the lyrically eloquent and musically elegant songs of George Wilding.

At The Beehive you can find Canadian Ben Sures, a blend of delicate and confident musical deliveries forged out of varying amounts of folk, pop and blues.

Fans of social commentary, lyrical poignancy and thoughtful reflection should note that Kitchen Sink Dramas are back in action as a full band and can be found on Friday at The Beehive. Just up the road at The Castle The Nomarks will be laying out a stall of ska and reggae originals.

Rock is very much on the menu in town as well and you can get your fix by either catching Hi On Maiden, the longest running and the only officially endorsed tribute to Iron Maiden or alternately you could head to The Rolleston for some classic rock courtesy of Damn Good Reason.

The ultimate 90’s tribute can be found at Level 3 with Girl From Mars, a sort of Brit Pop Rocky Horror show which matches all the music of the era with a twisted storyline into a nostalgic piece of musical theatre. And if you have a hankering for the infamous aforementioned slice of camp horror theatre, Level 3 is again the place to be, on Saturday, as The Mocky Horror Tribute Show will be performing the songs from the original production there.

Even scarier still is what you may experience at The Globe. The Hamsters From Hell play punked out R’n’B, have a tendency to drink and swear and should be approached with caution. Unless of course you like that sort of thing, in which case you will probably have a great night.

Elsewhere all your favourite music can be found in one venue or another. If funk, soul and disco is your sort of thing then you should head to The Messenger for The Groove Radicals, rock and pop are in the hands of Fubar at The Rolleston and Toxic offer something of everything and can be found at The Castle. Fans of Status Quo will want to be at The Victoria for State of Quo, a tribute to the bands 70’s heyday with some of the newer songs thrown in for good measure.

Bit of a name breezes into Level 3 on Sunday. Having made his name with bands such as Far, Onelinedrawing and New End Original, Jonah Matranga is a legend of the alternative rock scene. His shows are known for their intimacy, humour and the brilliance of his songs. Joining him are Helen Chambers and Heartwork.

Doom laden and cavernous, Heriot make music that sounds like a clash of primordial forces or the death of planets. Not only can you find them playing their massive and epic music at The Victoria, as this gig is to launch their latest EP you can pick up something to take home with you too.

Baila Coffee and Vinyl have a second helping of quality music, this time in the guise of Nick Tann and Jamie R Hawkins. The former revels in late night jazz vibes and smoky, folky acoustica whilst the later delivers instantly accessible pop songs built around wonderful lyrical narratives.

And finally on Wednesday, the Songs of Praise unplugged session at The Rolleston hosts Tim Manning, a wonderful blend of Old World celtic folk and New World Americana.