the-quireboys-2016Well, we haven’t quite succumbed to the enforced jollification and festive template of the coming season quite yet so before the Christmas jumper brigade and the once a year drinkers from the office temporarily take over proceedings, here’s a few safe musical havens before the coming tinsel and singalong deluge.

Sadly, as is often the way, two really cool gigs will be vying for the same audience tonight as The Tuppenny and The Beehive go down a similarly roots route. At the former Mark Harrison delivers some perceptive and virtuosic country-blues whilst the latter plays host to the regular Acoustic Buzz session. Similar vibes can be found there via Ags Connolly’s authentic country sound and the folk/alt-country blends of Ian Lynn Palmer and your host Blind River Scare.

If you are looking for something a bit more anthemic then Jimmy Ate World plays tribute the almost identically titled Arizonian, emo-rockers at The Victoria and at The Steam Railway you can catch Total Eclipse, a covers duo 50% of which is Swindon’s Got Talent 2018 Winner, Nathanael Parker.

Local lads Yves are back for a hometown show at The Victoria on Friday in what has become their now traditional way of rounding off a national headline tour. Not only local boys making good but the perfect storm of indie cool, pop awareness and rock muscle. Perfect.

So last week we had Paul-Ronney Angel delivering his trademark sleazy, urban gypsy blues and if you want to catch something that comes from a similar place this week then the dandy punk prince himself, Tensheds, will be at The Rolleston. Imagine Rachmaninov joining The Jim Jones Revue to run through some early Nick Cave classics and you will get a feeling for his gritty punk-blues. Ali Finneran’s exquisite acoustica opens the night.

More familiar sounds can be found at The Tap and Barrell as Toxic Girls break out the two-piece party, Retro take some less than expected by-ways through the rock canon at Grange Leisure Centre and Blind Lemon put a bluesy-rock twist onto things from all points of the musical spectrum at The Queen’s Tap. Beat Routes plays everything from soul to rock to dance, punk, pop and beyond at The Beehive and at The Swiss Chalet tributes are the name of the game with Malt Loaf and The Glam Star Show delivering music that is big, boisterous and slightly tongue in cheek. Lads Lads Lads play all your favourites at Coleview Community Centre.
Tributes continue on Saturday in the guise of Oasish and Stereotonics at The Victoria covering whole swathes of Brit-pop era classics in one fell swoop and those who are given to more two tone and ska driven sounds should head to The Swiss Chalet for Train to Skaville for a whole bag of original ska and the subsequent sound that it inspired. Also looking back for inspiration you will find The Zodiacs driven by the 50’s rock’n’roll sound at The Rolleston and at The Waiting Room Saints of Sin, a band revelling in the 80s glam metal and classic rock zenith, so expect big beats, big riffs and big hair: rock and roll excess writ large across a live stage.

Hamsters From Hell bring their r’n’b madness to The Queen’s Tap, equal parts unexpectedly proficient musicianship and unabashed lyrical lewdness, Homer bring classic rock covers to The Messenger and Damm can be found raising the roof at The Brookhouse.

Over in Wootton Bassett Drew Bryant can be found at The Cross Keys with his trademark acoustic goodness and at The Prince of Wales Manhattan Nights bring the sophistication and uptown cool that their name suggests to a point just off the A3102.

On Sunday at Savernake Street Social Hall, Lazy Sunday Afternoon ends the year in style with the eclectic world/folk sounds of Lightgarden, the Dylan-esque troubadouring of Jol Rose and of course a set from your hosts, Mr Love and Justice.

And we end on a couple of really high notes. Also on Sunday none other than The Quireboys, (pictured) those purveyors of Faces infused, sleazy and accessible rock and roll can be found at Level III playing an unplugged set and on Tuesday at the same venue you will find Hed P.E. Rising from the Orange County punk scene they became famous for mixing rap, reggae and funk into a hardcore sound. Tour support comes from Davey Suicide and Hemlock and alt-rockers Scout Killers come up from Bath to open the night.