Archive for April, 2019


Essential listening!

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58114951_351625428814044_3540246477286670336_n.jpgWell, that’s a practical idea, naming your e.p.to align with your given musical pigeon hole. Here it works, nicely odd, wonderfully non-conformist and slightly reminiscent of Cocteau Twins often grandiose song titles. I’m not sure that it will catch on, I’m not sure I would want it to, that would take all the fun out of such a lateral thinking approach but if the next Nickelback album is called “unimaginative, lumpy Zep-tallica rip offs” or Mumford and Sons release “Middle class thrashy crashy banjo songs” then you know where to point the finger for instigating such a titular trend.

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MFOR+flyer+BACK+BILLINGinddTickets for the first MFor Festival are selling faster than anticipated as the team behind this inaugural event confirm the full music and activity line up.

Kicking off at Lydiard Park on Saturday 27th July from 11am, the MFor Festival promises to be both a music festival and a family-friendly community event.

The Wiltshire-based Red Devils, the official parachute display team of the British Army will joining the fun, parachuting in, weather permitting, at around noon.

Graham Stobbs, co-organiser and founder of Synister Music, said: “We’re so thrilled with the support we’ve already seen in ticket sales from across Swindon, Wiltshire and the surrounding areas – and also from local businesses and organisations – who are queuing up to support this unique community music festival.”

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Soup of the day?

56764517_2792437994116036_4961749629990338560_nThat awfully nice Mr Dyer of Songs of Praise, lumberjack shirt and spectacular beard fame has pulled off a bit of a coup bringing this gem of a show to Swindon. Certainly one that will ping on the radar of all you dedicated  hip-hop fans, still a thriving but often uncatered for genre.

Founded in October 2018, The Fullee Love Collective is an exciting new live act fronted by gold selling Hip Hop artist and founder of Jurassic 5, Soup. This is his new vehicle into the music scene. The collective bring a blend of Funk Soul and Disco with a commercial Pop, Electronic and Hip Hop backbone. Not only can you hear Soup’s legendary hip hop verses, it also showcases Soup as a Soul singer.

“FLC” are made up of some of the UK’s best musicians which as a group execute a lively and infectious show incorporating crowd participation and dance moves throughout. Not a show to be missed!

Tickets £15 from seetickets.com or The Victoria. Doors 8pm.

https://www.facebook.com/events/427598954674638/
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57311697_10156480013124387_9210045779832471552_nThere is no shortage of bands who deserve the moniker “funky.” Equally, blues bands are in no short supply, slide players are still easy to find and infectious music is two-a-penny. And you can’t throw a mandolin these days without it hitting a band revelling in descriptions such as roots or Americana. What is harder to find these days is a band which is able to mix all those qualities into one hypnotic, happening and hip (‘scuse the pun)  tune. Hard, but not impossible, as the latest sonic slice from Hip Route deftly shows.

The band have made quite a name for themselves by cleverly blending these often mutually exclusive musical traits into wonderfully energetic, easily accessible, sassy and sultry tunes. It is also a testament to their treatment of the subject matter that when you break the music down it seems built up of pieces of long lost classic blues but the end result is something new, shiny and perfectly packaged for the modern pop picker, better still, it arrives without anything in the way of compromise or cash in, or any deference made to fad or fashion. 

Rather than try to repackage the past they just act to remind us that such fervently funky grooves, such deft delta vibes, gorgeously growled vocals, pulsing bass lines and sumptuous sonics have never gone away, they just need a bit of a polish from time to time. Sinking Down is the sound of those past sounds being polished to a point of perfection

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cdreviewsIt’s funny how, once again, I find myself having to defend something that shouldn’t really need defending. The fact that I write positive and constructive music reviews (mainly these days over on Dancing About Architecture) that champion rather than criticise, seems to be an issue for some and it seems a bit strange that people feel the need to gird their literary loins and vent their spleen in the form of comments to that end. Or occasionally shout across the bar that my writing is “a joke” whilst I’m having a quiet post-gig pint.

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37782747_1883184831702720_7235865247637045248_nIt seems only a few weeks ago that the heating was on full blast, we were eating our tea in the dark and there was still a few of the Christmas Quality Street rattling about in the bottom of the tin. And in the blink of the eye here we are the other side of the bi-annual chronological re-alignments, summer is girding its loins and there’s more music to be had than unexpectedly heightened but tenuous analogy. Let’s do this….

A frequent visitor to the parish returns to The Victoria on 2nd May. Lewis Clark and The Essentials lace together deft acoustic threads, bluesy grooves and jazz jauntiness to create accessible tunes that link timeless singer songwriter sounds with European folk traditions. 

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56157865_261311031482248_7217821986947334144_nBefore you even find yourself engaging with the song itself, what really grabs you about Brainshake is the over arching sound that the band cloak themselves in. There is something wonderfully ethereal and slightly hazy woven into the sonic DNA, something that you expect from explorers of a more dream-pop or cosmic Americana sound but which is wholly unexpected considering the confident strides and punchy attack at the core of the song are essentially a young, British, indie-pop sound.

But pop, rock, indie…call it what you will, genres are largely a thing of the past any way…has to evolve to stay relevant and this is the sound of that process in action. The clever thing is that Stay Lunar have remained true to all the essential pop ingredients, infectiousness and accessibility, as well as rocks groove and drive, all the while hopping generic demarcations to plunder from other genres to build this new take.

And it is that blend of the familiar and the forward-thinking, of short, sharp and to the point songwriting mixed with an expansion of what mainstream music can be that enables them to play both cultish and commercial cards. The underground tastemakers and scene setters will be all over this but so too will the massed ranks of pop-pickers and indie kids. The best of both worlds! How cool is that?

313683As every discerning music fan is acutely aware, the ultimate irony of musical biographies is that whilst you will find the relevant section of the chain bookstores bribing with bands following throw away pop templates and seeking to appeal to the mainstream’s creatively low benchmarks, those who actually leave a more profound mark on the course of musical history are less well represented. The fact that it wasn’t until Anthony Reynolds 2015 book A Foreign Place that the first serious book about iconic British new wave innovators Japan saw the light of day, underlines the point perfectly.

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