Sounds Around Town : 9th – 15th February

16388253_10154974567949233_4158277289166669615_nContinuing this new all-inclusive approach to the town’s music events, this week we pretty much have it all covered. We have originals, tributes, covers, acts from afar, perennial local favourites, rare reunions, DJ’s, jams, slams and karaoke…running the musical gamut from A to…well at least L or M! Not bad for a town that’s usual claim to fame is as the butt of a joke on a re-run of Have I Got News For You. Anyway…to horse…

As mentioned last week, Vienna based artist Agnes Milewski has a run of gigs in Swindon at the moment and you can catch her tonight at The Beehive. She is happier hopping generic boundaries than nailing her colours to any one stylistic mast and as such wanders through the same plaintive piano soundscapes as Tori Amos and the more commercially friendly end of the Kate Bush heyday as easily as she delivers an alt-folk vibe or a haunted pop atmosphere.

If you are looking for something more inclusive and fancy treading the boards yourself, then The Castle open mic. night may be more to your taste.

Friday brings an eclectic range of musical offerings. At The Victoria stalwart rhythm and booze crew, The Hamsters From Hell, will be laying down some more melodies of mayhems and chords of chaos for a night of foot tapping, beer swilling, riotous sing-alongs whilst at The Locomotive, No Motive (geddit?) are back with their regular Drum and Bass night.

The idea of a Led Zeppelin tribute band is not exactly original (double pun intended) but when that band is Light Zeppelin then it is time to take notice. Rather than playing on the high musical drama that defined the band, they instead deliver the songs as deft and folk-esque acoustic numbers, which showcases the intricacies and subtleties of the music perfectly. Catch them at The Queen’s Tap.

If a 60’s pop vibe is more to your tastes then your best option is Locarno Beat, at The Rolleston, a tribute to the likes of The Animals, The Stones and of course The Beatles but much more besides.

For a Valentines night that ticks all the boxes, then The Regent on Saturday is the place to be. Country and Western Theme Night? Tick. Dj’s and Karaoke? Tick. Prizes for best fancy dress? Tick. Children welcome? Tick. What more could you want for the perfect Valentines celebration come early?

If you haven’t already got a ticket for The Skanxters at The Victoria then it may be too late, they don’t do many shows these days so demand will be high for this. Not only the cool ska vibes and energy rush from part of Swindon’s musical lore but they are joined by their old gigging buddies, Dubwiser, once aptly described as The Harlem Globetrotters of the Oxford scene. There will be DJ’s playing ska, reggae, rocksteady and the like after the bands finish.

The Jovial Monk is the host venue for the second chance to see Agnes Milewski but those with a hankering for more of a bluesy-rock vibe have a choice to make between two great bands. The Wirebirds are a truly cosmopolitan band, its members having roots in the remote St Helena, the rugged mountains of Montana, the silent forests of Finland and rural West Oxfordshire. Musically they present a much more united front peddling a timeless and fantastic blend of psychedelic blues-rock. Catch them at The Rolleston.

Fans of Rory Gallagher will should note that The Pistol Slapper Blues Band will be paying tribute to the great man’s music at The Queen’s Tap via the classics but also the more selective picks. Given the proximity of the two venues you could always catch a bit of both bands. Go on, live a little and the walk will do you no harm.

The early part of next week is all about The Beehive as they have their regular folk-jam circle on Monday and on Tuesday Ooh Beehive, a poetry slam featuring National Slam finalist Sven Stears, Womad slam winner Chloe Jacquet and Dray Zera of the Poets in Motion Collective. Would-be live poets should note that there is an open mic. session as well.

Midweek as usual is all about the karaoke at The Victoria with the innovative, exciting and massively popular Wacky Wednesday.

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