10644504_849034398474545_1266507282074302395_nIt might seem that the world has gone to hell in a hand basket this week, or worse…Hull, but at least you have a whole raft of great, original live music to console yourselves with. And as always Thursday does the perfect job of easing you into the weekend with more than its fair share of the gigs.



Josh Kumra @ The Victoria

It’s great to see Josh back with a hometown show. It’s been an interesting journey for him from accessible Americana-indie influenced local shows to managing to get a foot in the bigger leagues, releasing an album and even finding himself sat at the top of the charts with a co-written song. With all that behind him it is easy to see why his stock has risen so much since those early days when I used to see him playing in the back room of pubs to a handful of people. His songs are great and his voice is surprisingly mature so it is bound to be a great show.

Mr Love and Justice @ The Beehive

Steve Cox is usually found running around organising, promoting, hosting and playing the opening slot at the wonderful Lazy Sunday Afternoon sessions, so it must be quite nice to just turn up at a gig with the band and just play the songs. And for those not in the know they make music that you can unravel like the layers of a musical onion. One layer may seem to be built from Byrds-esque jangle, another from the very psychedelic tarmac of roads once travelled by The Beatles in their later, experimental modus operandi. Others seem to relate to the more bucolic acid folksiness of revivalists such as Devendra Banhart.

Grant Sharkey + Emily Jane Sheppard @ Baila Coffee and Vinyl

Sadly this venue has gone the way of many in these cash strapped times and decided to knock the music on the head for the time being so it is quite serendipitous that one of these final gigs features one of the first to play there, Grant Sharkey.

Having set himself the task of making 40 records over 20 years, armed only with his trusty upright bass, Grant Sharkey brings a bag of social commentary, wit, wisdom, his eighth album and his secret bread recipe to Swindon. It is very likely he will have an opinion or two about the presidential election too. Support comes from the always-excellent Emily Jane Sheppard.


Sham 69 @ MECA

That’s right, you heard! Sham 69 are coming to town. Unlike the art-school punk bands that dominated the first wave, Sham 69 had a voice and a sound that resonated of football terrace chants and street politics. As incendiary and energised as ever, the classic 1977 line up can be found in town with a bill enhanced by local punk legends Charred Hearts and Cambridge hooligans Subculture.

The Spills @ Level III

But stiff competition for original music comes from the other big venue in town. The Spills, for it is they, are a real treat for those who like their rock subversive, aggressive and offbeat. Anyone who remembers the likes of Dinosaur Jr. Pavement or Death Cab For Cutie will find a lot to like at Level III as The Spills lay out a stall of squalling solos, dissonant noise-rock, thick back beats and raw bass lines. It comes as no surprise to find this show being part of the Sheer Music canon; you know just how good their taste is.

The Missing Persians @ The Beehive

Away from all of that noise, something a bit more refined can be found at Swindon’s most wonderful bijou little back street hangout. The Missing Persians mix up blues, r’n’b and country-rock into what I guess we are calling British Americana….not sure if that is a term I can get onboard with.


Devil Sold His Soul, Belial + Roads To Nowhere

Saturday brings the heaviest musical package The Victoria has seen in a long time. Heading the onslaught is Devil Sold His Soul a weighty art-metal leviathan, by turns bleak, beautiful and brutal and proving that even when you take music to sonic extremes it doesn’t have to sacrifice creativity and intelligence. Support comes from Belial a dark blend of deathcore and progressive metal and still finding new places to go with such established genres and opening the night is Roads To Nowhere whose intense and textured music makes for the perfect way to kick things off.


Buswell and friends + Luke De-Sciscio @ Baila Coffee and Vinyl

Shaun Buswell is normally found in the eye of an orchestra storm as his experiment to push the idea of spontaneous, fluid and one-time only performances sees him leading, conducting, organizing and generally fretting over large ensembles. Here he strips things right back and armed only with a few trusty allies takes things back to simpler times and a chance to experience the quality of his songwriting pared back to basics.

He will be joined on the bill be Luke De-Sciscio, fresh from creating a new album and still reveling in delicate and dexterous picked guitars and soaring and emotive falsetto tones which paint vocal watercolours, opaque textures and breathy atmospherics.


The Shudders @ The Rolleston

One of the most popular bands on the local circuit their melodic mesh of indie and country-rock will appeal to fans of Wilco and particularly Neil Young.