Tag Archive: brawlers

11046864_1103279833031869_8996770204076538641_nI was reading yet another online article about how “Guitar Music is Dead” (again!) and whilst it made some interesting points, such as how the live music market is shored up with heritage acts and the rise of The Dark Lord Cowell is cited as being responsible for a large amount of the nails in its coffin, I think that they are missing a very big point. All these debates, along with the “rock is dead, “ dance is dead” ones are playing into the hands of those pigeon-holers, the label-ists, people who need to line up behind media defined genres.

We may be living in days when the charts are just a maths exercise for the music industry and radio 1 just caters for 9 year olds but why not just revel in the cacophony and musical gene-splicing of the post-genre world. Does it really matter if music is made on a guitar, synth, Jews-harp or banjolele? That it is Tibetan jazz, Icelandic dubstep or Tuareg blues? Enjoy the fractious, splintered nature of the modern musical landscape, support and explore the new and creative, and most of all, don’t be tribal or self-conscious in your quest. Here endeth the lesson!

And if you are looking for something to shake up any tired perceptions of what music is, then a trip to The Beehive tonight might be the answer. Zetan Spore creates music that warps full on psytrance, driving psychedelia, searing guitars and tribal beats into waves of euphoric energy and alien dance music. Try finding a label for that one. Some easier tags can be placed on the music at The Victoria with the brilliant power-pop-punk of Brawlers currently touring their debut album “ Romantic Errors of Our Youth,” they are joined by Max Raptor and Brazilian stoner-punks Water Rats.

On Friday, The Rolleston plays host to The Killertones who pay tribute to the songs of the ska two-tone revival years and at Riffs Bar a wider range of styles and time frames can be appreciated with Vice Versa but it is at The Victoria that something pretty unique takes place. On paper The Courtesans could seem to be just another rock band playing on the sexuality of the all female line up. What they actually are is a musical blend of trippy doom-pop, gothic overtones, anthemic rock deliveries and an image that lives up to their name; dark, sensual, enticing, dangerous and alluring, but never blatant. Not just your run of the mill rock band.

Shocks of Might has its regular night at The Victoria on Saturday and fans of ska and rocksteady will not want to miss this one. Intensified act as a bastion of authenticity for the Jamaican sounds they work with, not in an anti-progress sort of way but just so that the pure roots of the genre are available for fans to revel in. Joining them are local stalwarts The Erin Bardwell Collective who take a similar approach to the genre.

At The Castle, Coasters offer up a fantastic mix of punk, rock and Americana all blended into hi-octane yet perfectly formed songs, think of an M4 corridor Gaslight Anthem and you get the idea. Innes Sibun treats The Rolleston to some incendiary electric blues that rocks, boogies and soothes the audience in equal measure and at The Wheatsheaf in Old Town, Poplar Jake and The Electric Delta Revue take a more old-school slant on the genre, stripped back slide guitar that takes you right back to the banks of The Mississippi.

Rock fans are well catered for as the weekend comes to an end. On Sunday Patriot Rebel bring the alt-rock noise to The Victoria, but it is support Eva Plays Dead that I am most excited about. Having witnessed them when they were still called Bury The Ladybird I can assure you that fans of big, classic rock riffs, driving punk energy and an attitude fuelled stage swagger are in for a treat. 24 hours on at the same venue, Decade promise a no less impressive pop punk show aided by Scouts and All Ears Avow.

Something truly unique can be found at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday with Grant Sharkey (pictured). His act is a blend of humorous songs, surreal stand up interludes, up-right bass experimentation and leftfield social commentary. Try finding a genre to fit that into?

10462326_10152474301986463_7348495292948651899_nLast month I waxed lyrical about the up-swell of new bands that seem to be fashioning, not only a small but well proportioned new movement, but a post-punk, shoegaze referencing one to boot (shoe…boot?…worth a go!). But a healthy music scene needs the right mix of home cooked creations and also visits from bigger bands to sustain its momentum, so this time I want to cast my focus a bit wider and look some more established names coming your way.


Right off the bat, Laura Kidd aka She Makes War returns to The Victoria on 2nd April, this time with a full band set up and Forgery Lit as tour support. Stalwart of supports with The Levellers and New Model Army, hers is a pacifistic yet provocative mission, her weapons, breathtakingly honest music and a unique brand of doomy, melancholic, garage pop. Later that month (23rd) Brawlers rock into town (surely I’m too old to use a phrase like that…) a wonderful blend of pop-aware lo-fi punk that heavily references the 90’s heyday of college rock. The guy in the corner of the pub with the GBH t-shirt will still moan that this isn’t real punk and that he once lit Joe Strummers cigarette but this represents punks logical evolution and it rocks like a…well, you know.


In the same part of town, The Roaring Donkey’s Wednesdays acoustic night also promises some great out-of-area acts. Not only the dulcet, folky tones of Lucy Kitchen and the mercurial pop of George Wilding are on the cards, but also the inimitable Grant Sharkey is in the diary for 29th April. His act is a mix of humorous songs, surreal interludes that Milton Jones would be proud of, upright bass experimentation and leftfield social commentary. Imagine Jim Tavare (remember him?) if he had lost the dinner jacket, taken a few ‘shrooms and become an anarchist.


So all in all, the Swindon scene seems to be heading somewhere exciting, why not tag along and see where it takes you.


from The Ocelot April ’15