maxresdefault.jpgT. S. Eliot wanted us to believe that April is the cruelest month but then he was never spotted down the front of a gig, lost in the rapture that only comes from experiencing a good live band. Had he done so he might have cheered up a bit and written naughty limericks rather than long, epic poems about cultural depression. Anyway, enough about him and on with the recommendations…

On 4th April a true rock and roll legend heads to The Victoria. Blaze Bayley made his name singing with Wolfsbane, was elevated to global heights fronting Iron Maiden for half a decade and now with metal stalwarts Absolva as his musical vehicle, tours the world spreading incendiary, classic rock vibes to the metal massive.

Those faithful to a more punk ethic will be heading to Level III on the 6th for Dirt Box Disco (pictured). Mixing core punk values – attitude, rebellion, outsiderness – with infectious hooks and sing-along choruses, they stand with one foot in the punk creation myth and the other striding confidently into a bright new future.

For a real change of pace you should check out Richard Wileman at The Tuppenny on 14th at their new Sunday Session. Best known for making masterful albums that mix prog, film score, 60’s vibes and space rock as Karda Estra, his solo shows boil such songs down to their very essence and delivers them deftly through just guitar, clarinet and vocals.

Between 18th-21st The Victoria hosts its annual Vic Fest, this year geared towards a celebration of all things rock and indie and featuring not only local favourites such as Getrz, Harlers, Ghost of Machines and All Ears Avow but bringing in some cool bands from out of the area such as the mathy delights of Let’s Swim, Get Swimming, the genre-hopping contagion of The Compact Pussycat and the short, sharp punk shot of Brightlight City.

The 18th also sees  a couple of great gigs go head to head elsewhere. Those who favour reggae, ska and rocksteady sounds will find The Erin Bardwell Collective at The Beehive delivering everything that they need, whilst those looking for something with a more Americana twang should head to The Tuppenny for Larkham and Hall.

Finally proving old Mr Eliot wrong yet again and seeing the month end with a bang not a whimper, Levellers front man Mark Chadwick at Level III on 28th round things off perfectly.

First published in The Swindonian Magazine