31562214_2064398750484126_1469105218103878079_nWith The Swindon Shuffle still visible in the rear view mirror, and both Fieldview Festival and Festival on The Farm (other alliterative festivals are available) looming large on the horizon, it is probably understandable that it is a bit of a quieter week. Throw in pub refurbishments and a general move on the part of the punter to beer garden drinking rather than suffering the hot weather in a cramped and sweaty gig environment and I’m surprised that there any gigs on at all. And whilst gigs may be small in number, there is a great offering of original and interesting acts to be had amongst the more familiar names. Quality not quantity is definitely the order of the day…or in this case, week.

Tonight you will find Pete Jagger back at The Beehive for a night of politically infused folk originals in a similar style to James Taylor and Ralph McTell, mixed in with standards from the genre such as Paul Simon, John Martyn and even a bit of Elvis Costello if you are lucky.

As you might expect from the man who was the powerhouse drummer for The Groundhogs throughout their golden age, Ken Pustelnik’s Snatch It Back play with the same heady and virtuosic mix of incendiary blues, overdriven rock and psychedelia that he made his name with. Electric blues may be done frequently, but rarely is it done this brilliantly. Standards, original and improvised jams, maximum energy and euphoric music from the masters of their trade at The Rolleston on Friday.

Also delivering a high energy musical offering, Rotten Aces lay out a stall of punk and new wave classics at The Victoria, a tribute to the spirit of ’76 and the music that followed in that years explosive wake. Songs you know and love delivered with the raw power and attitude of the originators.

Two big names stride across the parish border on Saturday. Firstly if you were at Friday’s Rotten Aces show, you are probably going to want to catch Discharge at Level 3. One of the originators of hardcore punk and later to incorporate elements of thrash metal into their sound, expect a night of distorted, grinding guitars, raw vocals, anarchy and social commentary.  Support comes from The Rantz, old school punk featuring ex-members of Sacrilege and local stalwarts Rebel Station.

If you are looking for the ultimate rock and roll spectacle then Franck Caducci at The Victoria is the place to be. Musically mixing glam, classic rock and prog with a show built around showmanship, circus vibes and surrealism, imagine a parallel universe where King Crimson are a carnival side show band who suddenly get elevated to the stadium rock circuit. No? Well, go to the show, it will explain everything. George Wilding’s ragged troubadour acoustica and Mary Reynaud’s gorgeous blends of folk and country music start the night off.

Classic rock and metal are to be found at The Rolleston in the guise of Shepherd’s Pie, a sonic sprint through 40 years of the genre, not just a tribute but a re-enactment of its glory days. The Waiting Room opts for a more rock’n’roll affair with Rockabilly Rumble, neo-rockabilly playing everything from the old-school sounds of Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran to more modern selections.

Finally something weird this way comes. At Artsite in Theatre Square can be found easily the most uniquely original and musically exploratory gig of the week.  Damn Teeth (pictured) are a no-wave, post-punk banshee howling synth-noise art attack whereas Shit Creek create pastoral sounds for urban environments, strange musical glossolalia that is a mix of music and deep space radio interference. Getting you from one extreme to the other are Sex Jazz, local purveyors of groovesome art punk, the only band I know of that have a section in their set dedicated to songs about insects. If that isn’t a selling point I don’t know what is!