thumbnail.jpegThere have been some busy weeks when it comes to live music of late and this one has to be the busiest of the lot. I have covered as much as I can below but space being what it is, some gigs are not going to make the cut so please check out the website or page of your favourite band a and venues to fill in some of the gaps. You can’t say that nothing ever happens in this town.(You could but you’d be wrong.)

Tonight a bit of funky blues is on the cards at The Beehive. As great as frontman Jim Blair is as a solo act, and he is, it is always a treat when the full band graces the local circuit, the addition of such a fantastic and dexterous rhythms section turns great into awesome.

And in the “if you like that…” department, Friday sees another band of roots players at the same venue, this time looking east for inspiration as they wrap their own riotous brand of folk in Balkan beats and gypsy jives. If you are looking for a Christmas knees up, The Model Folk have everything you need.

Similarly upbeat roots music can be found at The Rolleston as Bristol’s rockabilly and old school rock’n’roll sensations The Crawlin’ Kingsnakes deliver something for you to break out the moves to and The Swiss Chalet has all things soul, from upbeat R’n’B to classic soul ,from ska to Motown courtesy of the suitably named Soulville Express. And talking of ska, if you want a full night of the Two Tone scene and the sound of Trojan Records that served as its inspiration then 2 Tone All Skas at Level III is where you need to be.

Rock can be found at The Windmill with Audio Asylum offering all manner of covers from the broad rock spectrum and Damn Good Reason play choice classic rock selections at The Queen’s Tap. For a set of a more indie but no less energetic nature than head up to The Victoria for Vice Versa.

The Castle plays host to Old Friends, an acoustic duo who revel in the songs of Simon and Garfunkel but who will often wander into wider musical realms and at The Cross Keys in Wootton Bassett Joli Soul breaks out the R’nB, pop, soul and the occasional rock number.

Some Christmas traditions are older than others. Getting unwanted presents goes right back to that time a Persian wizard  and his mates gave a baby some tree sap and kicked the whole process off. Arguing over whether you watch Die Hard or the Queen’s Speech is relatively recent and the newest of the lot is The 12 Bands at Christmas which occurs at The Victoria on Saturday. 12 original bands playing songs totally outside their idiom, genre and often capability or vocal range, delivered with tongues firmly in cheeks and lyrics taped to the monitor. What could possibly go wrong?

Elsewhere there is plenty to choose from. Sons of Liberty bring their original, low-slung, Southern Rock swagger to The Queen’s Tap, The Daybreakers take post-punk classics and drive a folky stake right through their dark heart at The Rolleston whilst at The High Street Club Rockabilly Rumble do what the name suggests.

People Like Us play stripped down versions of the songs you know and love at The Prince of Wales, Wootton Bassett, Bandantree play upbeat groovers from across the musical spectrum at The Tap & Barrell, Peloton fill The Castle with power-pop. New Wave and Northern Soul and Parabolics can be found at The Conservative Club for a bit of a sing-along.

Darren Hunt’s one man rock extravaganza is at Brookhouse Farm, Operation 77 blend ska and punk at The Swiss Chalet, Emergency Banter play “proper rock” at The Blunsdon Arms and Saga Louts stay old-school at The Haydon Wick Club.

Sunday witnesses the end of an era with the last ever gig by local punk two-piece 2 Sick Monkeys at Level III. Nearly twenty years of drum and bass derived punk, incendiary deliveries, wonderful rants, life affirming sentiments, laughter, lunacy and near legendary status. Why not help them go out with a bang?

Punk is also to be found at The Moonrakers with a tribute to the genre courtesy of Rotten Aces.