So with all of the Christmas cheer and New Year’s shenanigans finally behind us we can now concentrate on the job at hand, namely grooving your socks off and watching live music. Obviously by now you have probably have heard the terrible news that The Rolleston and Level III are to close before the month is out. Obviously we have been hear before and hopefully a solution will be worked out that keeps it as a music venue, but it does just under line what a tough time music venues and pubs in general are having, I know it is a cliche but the adage “use it or lose it” has never seemed more apt. No matter how arty and forward thinking the music might be, how cutting edge the promoters ethos, how trail blazing the venue, gigs only happen because the venue sells booze, its as simple as that. But buy a CD on the way out as well!

And talking of cutting edge, The Victoria has a something which can only be described as weird and wonderful, and I mean that in the best of ways. Now, I’ve been writing about avant-garde and original music for half a lifetime but even I don’t know what to expect from a band who describe themselves as sounding like “Mercury Rev fighting with Neil Young. Intrigued? Well check out the headliners High Climbers. Flour Babies use swirly synths and choppy guitars to reference glorious post-punkery and opening the night is the mercurial and fairly tale music of Indoor Goblin.

At the Beehive, the brilliantly named Chesterfield Supper Club will be playing choice covers and carefully selected gems and if they look familiar it is because this is actually those Swindon stalwarts Big Casino breaking out the standards.

Friday sees The Hepcat Trio bring some old school rock’n’roll, rockabilly and retro rock to the Queen’s Tap, for a night of grooving, boogying and bopping whilst around the corner at The Groves Company Inn, something a lot more weighty hoves into view. Motorboat are a tribute to one of the most iconic British bands to ever walk amongst us mere mortals, they are Motorboat and they play rock and roll! And do so at The Groves Company Inn. ’Nuff said.

When you can drop names such as Mike D’Abo and Steve Hackett regarding previous musical employment, it is safe to say that you are more than just another local cover outfit. The Connection play classic songs from the pop, rock, blues, soul and reggae canon but do so with a wealth of globe trotting experience to back things up. Find them at The Swiss Chalet.

Saturday brings the rescheduled Buswell album launch show at The Arts Centre back onto the diary and you can find out more about that in the accompanying article.

If punk had been invented in the late 50’s in a roadhouse just north of the Florida Everglades, it would have sounded a lot like The Terrorsaurs, dark, grove-laden, swamp-like, tribal, threatening and rather unique. Oh, and they wear masks. And play instrumentals. Apart from that it is business as usual at the Groves Company Inn. Support comes from  Charred Hearts (pictured), thirty six years in the punk game and still going strong, still belting out visceral and vibrant songs, still as exciting as ever live and still the best show in town. This is a pairing that you don’t want to miss.

Slightly less madness and mayhem can be found with Felix and The Funk, playing their wide ranging pop, soul, funk disco and dance classics at The Swiss Chalet, The Groove Radicals laying out a similar stall at The Queen’s Tap and its all about high energy rock through the ages with Emergency Banter at The Victoria and a more mixed and matched set of eras and genres from Paradox at The Castle.

Tony M is at The Castle on Sunday for his own unique solo show of songs you know and love.