It’s going to be a good week in town for those who like their music…well, their rock music at least, as most days have a generous helping of the dulcet sounds of classic rock and metal both original and otherwise. So don your favourite band t-shirt, slip on the black stretch jeans and for that real old-school vibe see if the patched sleeveless denim jacket still fits. Hold on to your bullet belts…we’re going in.
The most extreme offering can be found at The Victoria, tonight with the latest heat of Metal 2 The Masses, the annual competition that sees the winners playing at next year’s Bloodstock Festival. Swindon has long been a town where metal is well supported so expect this to be a busy one. I would like to shed more light on the finer points of the line up but at time of writing the venue website is waiting for confirmation.
What I can tell you about is The Beehive’s monthly and long-establish Acoustic Buzz sessions. Tim Manning has been bringing quality folk, roots and Americana bands to town for longer than I can remember (probably an age thing) and as always you can catch him opening proceedings in the form of a Blind River Scare solo set which deftly blends Old World folk and New World country. Joining him are two York based artists working with similar generic weaves, Mark Wynn and Boss Cain.
On Friday, Riffs Bar has a show that mixes altruism and attitude as a collection of rock leaning acts come together to raise money to help tackle and raise awareness of Dementia issues. Fall From Ruin will be making their debut before Fist Full of Foozy and Broken Image lay out a stall of classic rock and metal covers. Also on the bill is Gavin Jones.
Similarly thunderous sounds will be emanating from The Castle with the return of The Legendary Chaos Brothers. These “ghosts of Christmas past their bedtimes” will be laying waste via the medium of punk and rock classics and they are joined by new kids on the block, The Dirty Outlaws, who bring a bag of Oi and street punk tunes to the party.
Wander down the hill to The Beehive and something a bit sweeter is on offer, Anglo-Swedish acoustica to be exact. Beehive favourites We Ghosts thread dexterous blues through wonderfully pop aware melodies and exquisite harmonies to fantastic effect.
If you are looking for something more familiar and wide ranging then both Echo at The Victoria and Penfold at The Swiss Chalet offer a smorgasbord of party tunes, dance floor favourites and classic hits covering all eras and genres.
Saturday has more rock available than the Mount Airy Quarry (a reference so obscure you might almost think that I’m on commission…I wish, I could do with the money.) At The Victoria Stop Stop can be found keeping the spirit of sleaze rock, glam grooves and gutter rhymes alive, this is a band that put on a hell of a show, not to mention a ton of make-up.
Joining them are Jolly Joker and Saints of Sin, the perfect supports mining the same 80’s Sunset Strip vibe. If you are a fan of the likes of Hanoi Rocks, Bang Tango and L.A. Guns, this is the show for you.
Level III’s rock offering comes from the alpha-numerically punning Foo 5ighters and I’m sure you can guess what their thing is, whilst over at The Swiss Chalet, One Chord Wonders Christmas Balls Up offers two hours of punk classics.
After a change of venue I can report that Sunday’s Rob Richings gig has relocated to The Tuppenny, so why not spend an afternoon there soaking up deft music and poignant lyrics in the town’s newest bar.
Monday sees something a bit special at The Victoria as The Franck Carducci Band hit town and the best way I can describe them is as a psychedelic-prog-folk odyssey…and even that is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine Yes, Pentangle and Colosseum all fighting for the last acid tab in the box.
Finally we jump to Wednesday and The Rolleston for the last regular Songs of Praise unplugged session before their end of year party, where the sweet and fluid songs of Leon Daye are balanced by the spiky, back street acoustica of Jake Martin (pictured).