Ruby Confue + Wilding @ The Arts Centre Swindon – 25th Nov ’17

21761565_1619496801434833_4690403455488292990_n-2Stu Rowe has been evolving and adapting his Lighterthief project for years now. A fluid recording project spawning some truly unique music and some rare but memorable live shows, and also a recording studio which has coalesced into a record label. And indeed a record label in the old sense of the meaning, one with a set of house musicians, one that helps write, build and expand the ideas of those artists. And two of those artists were show cased in all their glory at The Arts Centre last night.

I have enjoyed watching George Wilding develop ever since Being Ragdollian dropped into the review pile three years ago and he seems to have since walked the perfect path at the perfect pace from quirky solo guy to the mercurial full band we now see before us. There has always been something vaguely Bowie-esque about his music, not the alien rock star era which made an icon of the man but more reminiscent of those first few albums where he was still threading pop commerciality through a strange fey folkiness, slightly odd, wonderfully other.

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Frank Turner comes to Swindon

Yes, I know that this is a fair way off yet but I know that you would want to be the first to know and it is a show that will, without any shadow of a doubt, sell out in no time at all. Those lovely guys at Sheermusic have been no small part of Frank Turner’s story right from day one. As the distant echoes of his previous band, Million Dead, faded into the night and Turner embarked on a solo career he always found a gig and a sofa to crash on in this part of the world thanks to Sheer’s musical helmsman Kieran Moore. And now as one of the biggest names in the alt-acoustic, folk-punk that friendship has delivered a cracker of a show at Level III on Saturday 20th January.

So what can you expect? Well, history tells us that it will be centred on an informed and informative lyrical core, one set to incendiary songs, rabble rousing choruses and fist in the air sing-alongs delivered with energy and eloquence. Throw in a dash of euphoria, fun and incendiary songs and you will leave thinking that you want to change the world or at least change yourself. Throw in the brilliant and Billy Bragg-esque Sean McGowan as support and you have one hell of a night.

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Sounds Around Town :16th – 22nd March

15823159_10153985879836876_7307184432675953030_nIt is always a treat when bands such as those to be found at The Victoria tonight come along, if for no other reason than even in something as straight-forward as this gig guide, I get to break out the box market “pretentious words, use sparingly.” For as much as it is fun to find new ways to describe the sonic muscle of a classic rock band or the commercial cool of the latest young indie outfit, I am most at home when using words such as dreamscaping, ethereal and sonorous to describe music. (See what I mean…pretentious.)

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Sounds Around Town : 23rd Feb – 1st March

1278861_573888912660792_1813647107_oNot many musicians deserve elevation to celebrity status. In fact celebrity is a word so devalued by its application to reality TV chancers and inflated pop dross egos that we need a new label for the likes of David Bowie. Maybe Icon is a better fit. 25 of the most influential albums of all time, film and theatre roles and untold creative innovations; he embodied art, androgyny, contradiction, mystery, elegance and eloquence and even his death and final musical statement seem like a work of art.

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Sounds Around Town : 16th – 22nd February

1935162_454261378032105_6602445270487649865_nThey say that nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. 35 years ago I was a thin, nerdy, bespectacled college kid unaware of the wealth of post-punk creativity which was about to wash over me during the next ten years but most importantly XTC’s seminal English Settlement had just hit the shops. Blimey, tempus does indeed fugit and creativity is indeed the watchword this week, as quantity and quality are both present in spades.

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Sounds Around Town : 9th – 15th February

16388253_10154974567949233_4158277289166669615_nContinuing this new all-inclusive approach to the town’s music events, this week we pretty much have it all covered. We have originals, tributes, covers, acts from afar, perennial local favourites, rare reunions, DJ’s, jams, slams and karaoke…running the musical gamut from A to…well at least L or M! Not bad for a town that’s usual claim to fame is as the butt of a joke on a re-run of Have I Got News For You. Anyway…to horse…

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Agnes Milewski comes to Swindon

16388253_10154974567949233_4158277289166669615_nI know I bang on about the fact that in my narrow minded and rose-tinted view, there doesn’t seem to be much new blood being injected into the local scene these days. So when an artist such as Agnes Milewski announces a run of dates within our parish boundaries, it is only natural that I use this space to wax lyrical about it.

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