24130205_1950731681846354_9002837223731552477_oTo those who think that Swindon is one of those places always a bit behind the curve when it comes to embracing new, breaking music, what if it were to host an act which sounds like Jake Bugg’s angrier little brother fronting a super group made up of members of Catfish & The Bottlemen, Arctic Monkeys and Queens Of The Stone Age? Well, that is pretty much what you will get if you head to The Victoria tonight to catch Chay Snowdon. It’s only his second UK tour but much like the 14856 people who bang on about being at the Ed Sheeran gig at the same venue back in the day, you can also be one of those people with a smug “I remember when…” anecdote. Support comes from a couple of choice selections from the new wave of local indie, The Basement Club and The Substitutes.

If something of a more acoustic nature is required, two options raise their heads. At The Beehive you will find Barney Newman and his raw edged and rootsy, backwoods blends of folk and blues, whilst at The Tuppenny Lewis Clark returns for a solo show also pushing a folk and blues ticket but heading down a more Dylan, Van Morrison route. Lewis is joined by Nick Felix, one of the most popular solo players on the local circuit and purveyor of all things musically heartfelt, thoughtful and emotive.

A couple of groovesome gigs with a retro feel are on offer on Friday. Firstly The Achievers return to The Castle, a brilliant weave of funky rhythms and boogie blues with a dash of old school country-rock and gospel thrown in for good measure. At The Groves Company Inn, you can board the Train To Skaville, a musical journey that joins Kingston, Jamaica 1963 with Coventry, England 1979 linking Two Tone with its ska and rocksteady roots.

Rock is very much on the cards too, Vulcan Reign bring their bag of big, brash rock and metal covers to The Victoria, and Down and Dirty also venture down a rock road but one that wanders between classic and prog, heartland and punk and everything in between. Catch them at The Swiss Chalet.

To coincide with their latest single, Heart of Gold, The Harlers (pictured) are taking to The Victoria stage on Saturday for a set of raucous, riotous, incendiary rock. They draw a line back through bands such as Royal Blood, Burning Tree and Cream and any number of blues infused underground garage rock bands. They are joined by the perfect sonic accompaniment that is Bloody English, a pulsing, visceral and jagged edged blend of punk attitude and glorious noise rock oblivion.

Blues of a more conventional stripe can be found at The Bakers Arms as Built For Comfort lay out a smoother stall of vintage American blues styles whilst The Dirt Preachers build a set out of soulful blues and iconic rock numbers, everyone from Whitesnake to Joplin at The Queen’s Tap.

Classic rock covers can be found at The Merlin thanks to The Bluefinz and The Rock Mockers bring 50’s and 60’s rock and pop to The Haydon Wick Club. The Daybreakers, offer an intriguing take on the usual cover band menu at The Swiss Chalet. Yes, you will hear some of the usual musical fayre but also a heady mix of punky folk and Celtic soul, plus they may be the only band I have covered in my years of writing this column who has a Violent Femmes song on their musical CV and for that I thank them.

Continuum brings a mixed bag of party tunes and long forgotten gems to The Castle and if you have a hankering to relive the days of New York, New Wave, then Absolute Blondie at The Victoria do pretty much what the name suggests.

Lazy Sunday Afternoon is back at Savernake Street Hall and this first instalment sees Bashema, a jazz infused, soulful songstress and superb pianist plus acoustic duo Out of the Woods join your regular host Mr Love and Justice for a brilliant session of new, original and beguiling music.

And if you don’t want the weekend to end there, you can finish off your musical fix with either Marc Hopkins solo pop performance at The Castle, Stripped playing deftly rendered acoustic covers at The Carters Rest, Wroughton or just head to The Beehive and take in the soul, ska and reggae being spun by the Soul Box DJ’s.

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