It is always a treat when bands such as those to be found at The Victoria tonight come along, if for no other reason than even in something as straight-forward as this gig guide, I get to break out the box market “pretentious words, use sparingly.” For as much as it is fun to find new ways to describe the sonic muscle of a classic rock band or the commercial cool of the latest young indie outfit, I am most at home when using words such as dreamscaping, ethereal and sonorous to describe music. (See what I mean…pretentious.)
Wasuremono are no strangers to Songs of Praise nights and have a wonderful way of mixing the high-concept and the commercial via a unique blend of otherworldly, melancholic shoegaze influenced, alternative pop and that isn’t just me who thinks so, Steve Lamacq is also a bit of a fan. Blimey! Joining their mercurial musical crusade are Familiars, widescreen, cinematic indie in all its piano-driven glory and Catgod a soulful trip-hop experiment with the sweetest harmonies you can imagine. If you are looking to re-ignite a love of new music, this is the place to start.
At The Beehive, meanwhile, you can catch a fantastic multi-media show. Video, story-telling and fine rootsy, acoustic music courtesy of the illustrious Moses Wiggins a musician of much renown and who bears more than a passing resemblance to Keith Thompson. Surely just a coincidence?
And if you really want something original try this for size. Steam-punk rap. Neo-Victorian chap-hop. Comedic, musical time-travel. None of which truly capture the essence of Friday night’s billing at The Victoria. Professor Elemental has created a world where the spirit of the Victoria adventure and industry is merged with hip-hop rhyming and beats. Bonzo Dog-esque tunes come courtesy of The Real Cheesemakers, plus Corky and Poetman play the roles of the perfect acts to get the night underway.
And as always-original music is like busses meaning that there is a second option of unique sounds to consider and it doesn’t get more unique than Port Erin (pictured). With their latest album, Ocean Grey, having just gone live for pre-orders, this mercurial three-piece are back at The Rolleston. To describe them as genre-hopping is an understatement and their set embraces everything from space-rock to funk, progressive structures to commercially viable pop, bluesy, Zappa like experimentation and everything in between. Where the new album takes them is for you to find out.
The Teddy White band will be supplying their beat, boogie and rhythm and blues to The Beehive for the usual majestic blend of heavenly and hellhound vocals, raw and raucous riffs and infectious and dirty grooves whilst The Dirt Preachers are the bringers of classic blues-rock tunes to The Queens Tap.
The Castle is getting into the spirit of St Patrick’s Day with a visit from Liam O’Leary for an early evening set of folk, roots and bluegrass which is followed by a tribute to Johnny Cash.
The big ticket for Saturday is found at Level III with an event that brings a worthy cause and great music together. Stand Up To Cancer features a host of younger bands including the pop-punk of Post 12, The Overload who do a neat line in commercially accessible pop rock, Getrz indie vibes and the heavy alt-rock onslaught of The Unguarded.
Bon Giovi bring their tribute to New Jersey’s second most famous sons (The E Street Band in case you are wondering) to The Victoria for a night of air punching, sing along stadium rock and at The Queens Tap Vice Versa bring the contemporary rock and indie covers.
As usual your hosts Mr Love and Justice have gathered a couple of quality acts to fill their monthly, eclectic bill (which reminds me I need to pay mine) of their always excellent sunday soirees. The Jupiter Owls do a neat line in meloncholic, country infused folk-pop, the kind which will appeal to fans of Nick Drake and James Taylor, mellow music that is a perfect fit for just such a laid back gathering.
New kids on the Berkshire block, Wolfnote, combine rich string and vocal harmonies to create a unique sound, a musical vehicle for songs and stories driven and shaped by their own experiences and beliefs. As always the afternoon gets underway with the aforementioned Mr Love and Justice and their elegant weaves of English folk and West Coast pop.
Sunday also sees LadsLadsLads bring all the songs you know and love plus the usual riotous behaviour to The Castle, boys will be boys, though a more restrained experience comes at The Beehive with some quality picks and selective spins from the soul, Motown and ska end of the record collection courtesy of The Soul Box DJ’s.
On Tuesday there is a fantastic event at The Tuppenny in Old Town. Ahead of Record Store Day, RPM Records, handily situated right next door to the venue will be announcing the list of the collectables, one offs and rare re-pressings that will be available on the day via their shop. It is a chance for collectors, fans and music buffs to get a first glance at the musical gems that will be available and pre-order those that they need in their life.
It will also be an evening of music, this time provided by the deft acoustic pop-tones of Phil Cooper and the more chilled and reserved lines of Oli Norman. Come for the music geekery, stay for the great music.