In some respects this week is the calm before the storm, the deep breath before the plunge, the prawn cocktail before the chicken in a basket…okay, that one is a bit dated, a quieter week before next weekend’s annual Swindon Shuffle hoves into view. But there is still enough to whet your musical appetites and it isn’t every week that a music venues gets given a new lease of life and a major league act rolls into town.
The current wave of younger, local indie bands shows no sign of losing momentum with three of the finest bands of the moment taking the stage at The Victoria tonight. Basement Club make accessible, textured and fluid music based around funky grooves and nuanced guitar work, Xadium take a harder-edged route into the indie-rock sound and Kaleido Bay juggle some sumptuous and psychedelic sonics to make their sound.
A real slice of old school Americana and outlaw country comes to The Beehive in the form of Christopher Rees who delivers tales of optimism and consolation with a dash of whiskey wisdom via a passionate and memorable voice and deft rootsy songs.
The major league act I was referring to above is none other than Danny and The Champions of The World (pictured) who can be found at The Victoria on Friday for a rare Songs of Praise hosted gig. Best described as a blend of ragged street soul, rootsy juke box r’n’b, old time music hall, blissed out blues, country, heartland rock and a host of other rootsy flavours, they are musically fluid and wonderfully engaging live. Support comes from SoP favourites Case Hardin’ brilliant purveyors of British-Americana and local guitar slingers of spaghetti western infused visceral country, Black Sheep Apprentice.
Rock, country and blues music can also be found driving Jimmy Lee’s Ragged Company at The Queens Tap. Expect a night of classic old-school rock and blues such as The Stones and The Doors with a few of their own self-penned treats thrown into the mix as well.
Classic rock is on the cards at The Rolleston with Down and Dirty who will be playing all the best of the genre from its golden age and a few hidden gems amongst the more expected musical fayre.
And after last weeks successful re-launch at The Rolleston, Saturday sees Level 3 re-join the gigging circuit. Level 3 has been the site of some amazing gigs over the years, personal highlights being Therapy!, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, The Wildhearts, Fassine, and surprisingly, Ozric Tentacles and a wealth of great bands have trodden those boards. And it’s back and kicks off with Last Call providing the focal point. They are a high energy covers band specialising in all the iconic songs from the hard rock, nu metal, pop punk, indie, alternative, drum ‘n’ bass and hip hop oeuvres. Support comes from Punishment Due, hard rock meets intricate metal, old school familiarity meets contemporary edge.
One of the most interesting bands to be found creeping into the Swindon circuit with increasing regularity is festival favourite The Sweetchunks Band. Anyone who describes themselves as “shambolic purveyors of miscellaneous drinking accompaniments” has got to be worth checking out, right? They offer a night of wonky folk music, comedy lyrics, non-conformity, songs about bees and drunken, musical avant-gardening. Who’s in?
The Daybreakers can be found at The Rolleston, a band who I’m pretty sure have gone through my record collection at some point and used that information to compile their set list. There are not many bands wandering the same circuit firing off musical salvos of The Waterboys, Echo and The Bunny Men, The Pogues and The Violent Femmes. Even the more expected songs of the set are infused with wonderful folk charm due to some inspired fiddle interplay.
The Queen’s Tap is the scene for the first of two tributes, Dirty JACkDC paying, as the titular word play would suggest, homage to AC/DC, whilst in a similar”does what it says on the tin” move The Laurence Bowie Band at The Victoria recreate the sheer splendour and musical genius of David Bowie.