Tag Archive: anton barbeau


9280Sometimes in this column I get to talk about iconic artists. More usually I talk about local favourites. For once I get to talk about a band which is the perfect blend of both as Tin Spirits (pictured) can be found at The Victoria tonight. It’s a band of four experienced, highly talented and well-liked musicians, including a certain Mr Dave Gregory, the music errs on the side of prog, you will know and love the song selections and if you are lucky you may even get a song or two from “that” band.

Meanwhile, down at The Beehive, all the way from Sacramento …via Cambridge, Berlin, the astral plane and many points in between Anton Barbeau can be found plying his slightly wonk, paisley patterned, pre-apocalyptic psychedelic pop, music which fans of the likes of Julian Cope and Syd Barrett will appreciate. There is a new band in tow and a new record to be had so what are you waiting for.

Friday sees Over To You playing their farewell show at The Victoria, one last time to throw your self around to their punk-pop goodness. The show is free and there will be t-shirts and CD’s to be had. Joining them to make sure they go out with a bang are local post-hardcore posse Eden Falls and grunge infused trio Three Dead up from Bristol. 

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12993610_493191007545654_2989128209578684041_nIn ancient times people would look for favourable portents or past indications of success before making big decisions. Now I’m sure nothing as calculated as that took place in the Polar Front camp, no ancient scrolls invoked, no crystal balls employed but with advance copies of their debut e.p. available at tonight’s Victoria gig, it does seem like the perfect day for them to go public. For on this day in history, Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here first saw the light of day and Led Zeppelin’s In Trough The Out Door started a long stay at the number one spot. Most of all it should be noted for the day on which Dire Straits officially disbanded in 1988. It does seem as if the Gods of Music favour this date.

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Live and Local Podcast

SWINDON105_5Logo-300x186This week how features Shaun Barry chatting and playing some of his music from his various bands and some new solo music as well. Music from: Shaun Barry, Automaniacs, Echoic, Blake, Buswell, Last Box of Sparklers, Raze Rebuild, Anton Barbeau, Les Clochards, Port Erin, The Familiars, Bruce Street Bridges.

Listen to The Podcast  HERE

10443993_10154647244665037_4127167166014113507_nI’ve been thinking, as I often do, about the support for local music and have realised that there is actually a very sound political argument for supporting live shows. Grassroots events are clearly on the wane as seen by the amount of venues closing or moving into more obvious incomes such as food, DJ’s and karaoke nights. Imagine if local level gigs dried up altogether? All you would be left with is a music monopoly made up of large festivals and over priced arena shows that would then be in a position to charge what they want due to total control of the game. As the prices are hiked up, the man in the street would be bumped out of the equation and music, like much art, would only be accessible to the moneyed minority. As I see it keeping local music operating is nothing less than a political act, part of a class struggle and to support this movement all you have to do is take in a show. Simple yet subversive… a bit like an old punk friend of mine.

And talking of subversive, The Vibrators were at the forefront of the first wave of British punk and you can catch their guitarist John Ellis at The Victoria tonight. Mixing drone acoustica, psychedelic meanderings and electronica; John’s current music path reminds us that he has had a very varied musical career before and after his well known punk days.

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Live and Local

SWINDON105_5Logo-300x186This week we have an in depth interview with Jeremy Holt from the Museum of Computing talking about the ethical issues of robot development – can they fall in love? Ann Hinton from Highworth Choral Society. Music from Anton Barbeau, Welsh Chris & The Douchebags, The Shudders, The Nomarks, Antonio Lulic, Seven Years On, Aiden Moore, Henry Bateman. – and a gut wrenching Top Ten example.

http://seanhodgson.podomatic.com/entry/2014-03-12T11_18_55-07_00

 

1380243_520908807997447_1788925937_nI have been getting quite a lot of feedback on this column of late, which is only fair; people should have an opinion on my opinion, a right to respond. One person accused me of being a failed musician…the standard go to of the creative to the critic but as I pointed out, when all is added up, I have made far more money over the years playing music than scribbling about it, so that line of argument more likely makes me a failed journalist. I was also accused of having the audacity of expressing an opinion, even a positive one, but I guess if you stick your head above the parapet, people will take pot shots. I just want to point out that, yes, obviously this is just one persons opinion (so just assume that I have written “In My Humble Opinion” at the end of every paragraph) but remember it is only and opinion and it’s only music; this isn’t meant to be a solution for uniting the middle east, a Shakespearean sonnet or The Gettysburg Address…it’s just music journalism. Discuss…

 

Whilst you are mulling that over you might like to be aware that one of my favourite popular beat combo’s is to be found at The Beehive tonight, Three Minute Tease.  Anton Barbeau not only has made a career releasing albums that sound like the acid fuelled memories of Syd Barrett as interpreted by Julian Cope, he does so alongside a rhythm section who have long been at the forefront of underground pop music via bands such as The Soft Boys, Robyn Hitchcock’s Egyptians, Squeeze and more. So expect sweet psychedelics, trippy, retro pop, space rock or even spaced rock—all packaged with wit and humour in a rich, high gloss coating.

 

For something slightly less crazy, old time Chicago blues comes courtesy of Built For Comfort at The Victoria.

 

Friday has a mix of originals and standards (see, you have even got me bowing down to The Music Police’s Trading Standards Department and calling covers by a much more user friendly name.) The latter comes with good time swing, rhythm and blues from The Teddy White Band at The Beehive and Going Underground keeping the sounds of new wave, post-punk, mod and ska alive at The Victoria. With the former you have two ends of the roots spectrum on offer. For the delicate sound of the deep south mixed with Celtic and more pastoral folk sounds then The Black Feathers (pictured) at Riff’s Bar is the place to be but if you fancy the more raucous end of things then Missin’ Rosie will be hammering home punked up booze soaked folk at The Rolleston.

The tributes keep coming on Saturday as Wizards of Oz play the music of The Black Country’s Prince of Darkness at The Rolleston and over at Riff’s Bar Johnny Warman’s Magic Bus plays a Mods and Rockers showcase highlighting the music of the mid and late sixties such as The Beatles and The Stones, The Kinks, The Animals and as this year is the 50th anniversary of the formation of The Who, expect their music to feature heavily as well.

 

For original acoustic music then head to The GW Hotel for a night featuring Nick Felix, Matt Mordak, Josh Heather, Aiden Moore, Frankie Scott, Welsh Chris and the charmingly named Douche Bags.

 

 

Sunday’s show at The Victoria is by way of a fond farewell. For the last couple of years Old Colours have blazed a musical trail of cinematic soundscapes and shimmering folk-pop but have sadly decided to call it a day. This show will be your last chance to see them and with the dreamy folk-tronica of Henry Green and the sweeping resonance of Familiars building the night, it will definitely be one to remember.

 

If something more relaxed is your cup of chai tea then the ever-popular Lazy Sunday Afternoon earlier in the day at The Art Centre Café might be the answer. Alongside the usual hosts of Mr. Love and Justice, this session features the warm, loved up acoustica of Ethemia and the eclectic and compelling song crafting of Talis Kimberley.

 

As Monday is St Patrick’s Day, The Beehive have a night of celebration which will feature such diverse elements as Swindon Samba, Jim Blair, Les Bicyclettes, Craig Huchesson and even an Irish Disco…so, hands up for a few Frank and Walters classic tunes…just me then.

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In many ways today can be seen as the anniversary of the birth of the rock and roll era. It was sixty years ago today that a Tennessee truck driver payed $3.98 to go into a Memphis studio and record a two track disc as a present for his mother. This may have been a footnote in the annals of music history had that truck driver not been Elvis Presley. Five years later an even more significant event occurred in Manchester, England when Nigel Twist came kicking and screaming into the world, presumably already sporting aviator shades and back combed hair. Significant as he went on to drum for The Alarm and record Sixty Eight Guns! I guess it’s all relative but in my world a much more important event, I mean Elvis Presley…what ever happened to him?

Anyway back in the modern age we seem to have a week of quality over quantity when it comes to live music options. Tonight a quite bizarre selection is on offer at The Victoria as Three Minute Tease (pictured) pay a return visit to Songs of Praise. Formed around Sacramento musical oddball Anton Barbeau and featuring a rhythm section made up of post-punk royalty in the form of Morris Windsor and Andy Metcalfe (former Robyn Hitchcock bandmates in The Soft Boys and The Egyptians) this band are a must see for fans of Julian Cope, Syd Barrett, XTC and psychedelic, underground, power-pop in general. Add to that the equally left field Schnauser who sound like The Bonzo Dog Band re-writing Pet Sounds and the more accessible but no less brilliant 8 Minutes Later providing the filling in this strange musical sandwich and you have something a bit special.

Also a bit special is Kent DuChaine at the The Beehive, who delivers a taste of the Delta through his authentic slide blues sound drawn from his “beat up 1934 National Steel guitar.” You can almost taste the mint julep!

On Friday, again it is The Victoria that offers something a bit special. Anyone who caught The Lovers play their stripped down set their back in April will know how great this band is, this time they are back fully amped up, no holds barred. They are a band that prove that rock can have good melody or pop can have attitude and drive, depending on which angle you look at it from. And I also managed to get through that description without resorting to the lazy journalistic fall back of pointing out that they are an all girl band. Damn!

Also on the bill are the ever popular Shudders who seem to be moving from strength to strength with their ever evolving brand of folk meets alt-country meets lo-fi pop meets…anything they can think of really. Plummie Rackett in solo mode opens up the nights proceedings.

At The Beehive, masters of the cross-generic set, Kola Koca, make a welcome return. Freely mixing styles as diverse as folk and jazz, blues and pop to drive some great social observations, kitchen sink dramas, politics and humour, this is a band that you really need to see.

After this the weekend switches away from original music but that’s not to say that there isn’t some great music to be had. (I know I do have a bit of a reputation of not favouring cover and tribute bands so much but it’s probably time to come clean that my favourite song of all time is Kirsty McColl’s 12” version of A New England – not only a cover but an extended re-mix, there I said it.) Friday is all about a range of covers from The Great Nothing at The Rolleston and on Saturday a couple of tributes might take your interest, Green Day at The Victoria and Ian Dury and The Blockheads at The Rolleston.

Original music comes back on the radar on Wednesday with Louise Latham at The Running Horse. Dealing in heartfelt and painfully honest lyrics, driven by wonderfully understated piano, and for this gig accompanied by her sister on guitar, if you are fans of the likes of Sarah MacLachlan, Tori Amos or the more sweeping end of The Indigo Girls, then this is for you. The Beehive are at the other end of the musical scale with Loonaloop and their genre hopping, cosmic electronica.

Final mention is for the show at The Victoria which sees Old Colors bringing back their cinematic folk pop to brighten up your mid-week slump support comes in the form of the ambient pop of The Sea,The Sea and the gentle balladry of Billyjon.

Library - 151The local alternative music scene has been thrown into uproar over the news that a fledgling rock band completed an interview with not one member mentioning This Is Spinal Tap – a feat not achieved since 1987 when a member of The Unreal discussed at length their succession of drummers without once making reference to the films similar sub-plot. In this weeks incident, Charlie Made-Upname from the band Slim Whippet spoke to a local magazine about his Marshall amp saying, “I often wish that the amp would go a little bit louder, but sadly ten is the maximum” After pausing, he looked up and added “Anybody fancy a brew?” The Musicians Union is investigating the case, which could lead to his expulsion. A spokesman for the band told Sounds Around Town “It was a silly mistake, a bit like when Tap got the wrong size Stonehenge!”

 

Tonight’s offerings are of a calibre that ensures such rookie errors are nowhere to be seen, especially at The Beehive where the brilliant Three Minute Tease (pictured) will be holding court. Subversive and articulate pop songs are the order of the day courtesy of main man Anton Barbeau and bone fide musical legends complete the line up in the former of Soft Boys and Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians rhythm section, Morris Windsor and Andy Metcalfe. The result ,a musical landscapes peppered with the trippy vibes of an idealized hippy dreamtime, stoner pop fashioned with big harmonies, warped guitars, fantastical lyrical imagery, flower power ethics and eastern flavours. Groovy!

 

Head to The Victoria for a more chilled affair with Raurri Joseph, an integral part of the South West folk scene and a wonderful mix of traditional folk and the more pop-savvy sounds of the likes of Damien Rice and David Gray. Support comes from Jim Blair of Hiproute and Ben McDanielson. Alternatively it’s upbeat blues at The Rolleston with The Dan Sowerby Blues Band.

 

So Friday is Red Nose Day, but you don’t have to use that as an excuse to crash on the sofa and be forced to watch James Corden dancing in a tutu or suffer ditzy lower sixth prefect, Claudia Winkleman. Instead you could catch a rare outing by Broken Daylight a band blending most rock based genres but beholden to none. Also on the bill are False Gods, neatly described, as “a tasty mix of Muse and The Manics” now doesn’t that sound intriguing? That’s all at The Victoria.

 

The Furnace is providing us with something pretty special as Ashes to Angels descend from whichever plane they normally inhabit to deliver a blast of gothic meets alt-rock. Fans of Murder Dolls, Nine Inch Nails and Evanescence will find a lot to like here. Completing the line up are Dead! glam horror rockers In Dante’s Eclipse and I’m Designer. Fans of iconic local bands of the past can head up to The Beehive instead for The Big Casino and The Teddy White Band.

 

Saturday sees a new night launched at Riffs Bar. The people behind Songs of Praise are launching The Secret Chord nights, mixing local and out of town bands as they have done successfully for the seven years of their existing night. This kick off party features a collection of singer-songwriters, Plummie Racket, Si Hall, Faye Rogers and Nick Felix and all profits from these nights will be donated to Strummerville.

 

The so-called day of rest looks like the busiest of the week. Lazy Sunday Afternoon at the Arts Centre features the wonderful harmonies and myriad instrumentation: flutes, cellos, whistles, piano and guitars to name a few, of Homefires, plus the soulful voice and crafted tunes of Terry G Etherington. Pete Christie’s distinctive voice and finger style guitar graces The Beehive in the afternoon and that evening acoustic duo Dan and Adam play The Rolleston. Dan is the bassist with Britpop stalwarts Ocean Colour Scene and Adam is a founder member of CCR and Springsteen inspired, The Misers. High profile stuff indeed! Those getting their St Patrick’s vibe on might want to head along to The Sun Inn at Coate for the furious and formidable folk virtuosity of Grubby Jack.

 

Punks will have a field day at The Victoria as a newly re-launched 4ft Fingers make a triumphant return to the live scene with local ska-punksters Slagerij, Splash and Si Hall in tow.

 

And to be fair, this week I had to leave out as much as I put in so please check venue listings for other musical serving suggestions!

It’s that time of year again, the time to eat, drink and be scary, yes, Halloween is upon us. It’s a confusing time really; we spend all year telling kids not to take sweets from strangers and then for one night a year actively encourage them to go out begging for treats. How odd. Sadly the age-old traditions of guising and party games have been replaced by the veiled threats of trick or treating. But if you want to avoid yet another corporate Americanisation of our heritage the solution is easy. Instead of being besieged in your own home as hordes of pre-teen terrors demand sweets with menaces, just head off out to the sanctuary of a gig, this week there is no shortage of them.

Tonight for instance we have a cornucopia of acoustic acts for you delectation, or otherwise put…. there are shed loads of acts to watch. The usual Songs of Praise night at The Victoria sees the welcome return of Charlie Bath, think Dallas Green meets Carole King, aided an abetted by her regular City Marshall collaborator, Simon Law. Up from Cardiff is minimalist troubadour Joshua Caole, who ploughs a furrow that runs from contemporaries like Ryan Adams past Gram Parsons and Hank Williams right back to the sounds of the Jim Crow South of post Civil War emancipation. Opening up the night is romantic balladeer Billyjon.

The Rolleston plays host to three acts that graced the stages of this years Swindon Shuffle Festival. Anyone who missed Antonio Lulic then should catch him tonight. Sounding like a solo Brian Fallon or even Bruce Springsteen, only from England’s fashionably impoverished North-East, this is an artist who has the songs, the stage presence, the banter and the charisma, it is only a matter of time before he is being hunted down by the industry bigwigs, trust me. Support comes from Racket front man Plummie and the musical ethereality of Faye Rogers.

For something completely different, Three Minute Tease rock back up at The Beehive. Backed by the rhythm section that made The Soft Boys and Robyn Hitchcock’s Egyptians the icons of underground music, psychedelic pop warrior Anton Barbeau’s brings the soundtrack to his crazy world back into town. Think Cope, Partridge and Barrett and you get the idea.

Apart from the macabre, carnivalesque, gypsy folk of Buffo’s Wake at The Beehive on Friday, everything else gets a bit loud and shouty, that’s a good thing right? At the Rolleston, Control The Storm (pictured) will be delivering atmospheric, dynamic, melodic metal where their concentration on song crafting doesn’t come at the expense of power and aggression. Support band, Endeavour go for the more frantic technicalities of progressive metal.

Over at Riffs Bar and there are more big and Byzantine sounds courtesy of Acts of Brutality, the oddly named A Fist Full of Foozy, Back Pocket Prophet and Harmony Disorder. What normally happens is the line up changes drastically by the time this goes to print and all the new bands on the bill moan at me for getting the facts wrong, so check the website every fifteen minutes for updates.

You can round your evening off with The Nightshift at The Furnace, where DJ Dust and Tom Himself will be spinning Industrial, Goth, Electronica, Darkwave and other strangeness, so it will probably look like the nightclub scene in Blade II!

On Saturday The Victoria has quite a line up. Headlining, Josie and The Outlaw are all about the 50’s rock and role vibes, whilst The Racket bring their usual blend of wonderfully punked out indie chaos to the stage. With the big sound of SkyBurnsRed and the strange quantum-glock and even stranger time changes of Super Squarecloud, it’s a brilliantly eclectic mix.

Elsewhere it is all about the Halloween party proper. The 12 Bar is being taken over by South West Hardcore with a Pirate vs. Ninja theme and music from Under Godless Skies, Kill The Conversation, Deliverance and Without Consequence. The Furnace, meanwhile, has gone for a Burlesque Metal night with music from In The Absence of Light and The Hotel Ambush.

I urge you all to be at The Beehive on Sunday afternoon for a band that I can’t recommend enough, Port Erin – imagine if Radiohead toyed with jazz and folk as well the usual rock dynamics – these guys are just great. Also falling into the highly recommended category is the show at The Victoria later that same day. Alice Offley launches her latest album spearheading a night of wonderful harmonies and delicate sounds from Jazz Morley and The Black Feathers.

As the week peters out there is still some great music to be had. On Tuesday it comes in the form of Canada’s blues icon Frank Cosentino with support from The Graveltones and The Peace Pirates at The 12 Bar and on Wednesday it’s Teenage Kicks Halloween Party at The Furnace with Roads to Nowhere and Days of Juno.