Tag Archive: canary club (the)


There are many ways to make an impact, musically speaking. In our younger days as musicians and music fans we were probably drawn to the power of certain types of music, the roar of metal, the chain saw guitars and attitude of punk, the dark majesty of goth or the primordial force that was grunge. But as the cliché says, less is more. However it is a cliché that most clichés are true, but then like most clichés that cliché is probably untrue. Hang on; I think I have lost the thread a bit. What I’m trying to say is that some times music is at it’s most potent when it is doing almost nothing at all, careful, we almost ended up in Ronan Keating territory. Damn, that was close.

 

Anyway, my point is that this week contains more than a few bands whose method of attack is not the “turn it up to eleven” approach but one of musical osmosis, being able to create songs that seek to envelop you, songs that are gently absorbed into your very soul.

 

Take Bridie Jackson and The Arbour, who not only take the prize for the furthest travelled band for a Songs of Praise show (Newcastle) but who manage to conjure soft, ethereal charms to create airs of melancholy and mystery that fall somewhere between ancient folk traditions and a hazy dreamlike state. The perfect support comes from Salisbury’s Gallant Tailors who again weave timeless folk threads and Rumour Shed’s sensuous baroque acoustica. All that happens at The Victoria tonight.

 

At The Beehive, meanwhile, The Letters will be blending a root Americana sound (think The Rainmakers rather than Dwight Yokam…thankfully) with occasional forays into British Invasion territory. It is both big and clever.

 

On Friday the Victoria remains in its chilled mind set with Weatherstorms. Two thirds of this band is half of what was Old School Tie, which sounds a bit like a question from Ask The Family but I’m sure you can work out the maths. The new vehicle for the Cameron Brothers is as exciting and dynamic as their previous band but here the sound is based in a slightly more mellow place which makes those occasional euphoric flights of sonic fancy all the more delicious.

 

The Beehive by comparision opts for the soulful southern blues of the young and energetic Liam Tarpy Band, not just another local rock band who have decided that the two genres are interchangeable and just play their old songs at half the speed: this is the real deal. The M.E.C.A. is offering The Switch It On Festival, a family orientated event featuring live music from the likes of Angel and DJ Rugrat plus street dance from The Twist and Pulse Dance Company, comedy and a hair cutting competition.

 

Band of the moment, The Jefferson Brick (formerly Wet William) will be playing the “Strokes for the next generation” card over at Riffs Bar on Saturday, all explosive energy and youthful bravado (damn them) and don’t think the Dickens reference passed me buy either, extra marks for that. Based on the reception they received at The Shuffle a couple of weeks ago, this is a band that is already picking up quite a following. Support comes from Pete Docherty’s go to guy when it comes to tour supports, Alan Wass and kicking the night off will be the Canary Club.

 

You know that you are going to get something good when an artist cites Carole King, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell and Amy McDonald as her influence, but the quality of Sam Holmes song-crafting easily shows this to be no mere boast, I would also add Suzanne Vega to that list and you can check out here wonderful sound at The Beehive on Sunday afternoon.

 

The week rounds off at The Running Horse on Wednesday with a bit of a gem. Irish charmer Polly Barrett (pictured) will be showing why her beautiful folk-pop creations are receiving such plaudits and Steve Leigh in the guise of Kitchen Sink Drama’s will be offering his acoustic insights that take in social observations, political rants, wit and wisdom.

If you thought last weeks column was hard pushed to fit everything in, then this week is playing journalistic sardines with the coming weeks gigs. With the Jubilee weekend upon us and so many events taking place, I will apologize in advance to the bands that don’t get a mention, but rest assured you are in the majority this week. It also means that with the forced exclusivity on this run down, anything that does get a mention is going to be well worth checking out.

Last week was the first big indoor festival of the season out at Riffs Bar, this week we move into town with the exotically named My Dad’s Bigger Than Your Dad Festival running over the whole, extended weekend at The Victoria. Tonight is a very special, ticket only affair, but the reason will become clear. Suffice it to say that some of the best chilled music is on offer, building up to a very special and intimate performance by Buswell. After that, drop in for free anytime over the weekend and you are guaranteed to catch something great, be it the driven, totally now, sounds of Young Blood, the eastern vibed, alt-rock strains of SkyBurnsRed, weird folky-pop-ska hybrids from The Costellos, punchy Manics-esque alt-rock from False Gods, jazz-junkiefied, quantum pop with Super Squarecloud or the beautiful cacophony that is The (aptly named) Racket.

The Rolleston will be celebrating in suitably disrespectful fashion with three days of punk music. Saturday sees a one off reunion of The Old Gits, or as they put it, four old punks for old punks (clever), and ska-pop-punk from The Richardson Maneuver. Sunday is also a reunion of local punk stalwarts, with local legends turned national treasures, 2 Sick Monkeys plua a band that take me right back to the days of The Monkey Club (now, that ages me somewhat) Nobody’s Heroes. Another legend, Doza will be kicking the night off or you can catch him again as part of The Dodgy Duo on Monday when they open up for The Useless Eaters.

Right, if you can’t find anything to watch in that small mountain of musical talent, then try some of this for size.

You may want to duck out of the heat tonight (Michael Fish told me there is going to be a heat wave, so it must be true) and cool down with the soulful, world-jazz sounds of vocal and guitar duo Ruba Tempo at The Beehive.

Staying at The Beehive, Friday promises something unique in the form of CCTV Tapstars a duo who offer up Latin influenced guitar playing, percussion and, wait for it …tap-dancing. Oddly though there is 5 of them pictured on the venues website so probably best you just head in with an open mind and just see what you get. Always the best way to approach music. Also on Friday at The 12 Bar, Lighthouse Promotions are hosting a night to raise money for Fatboys Cancer Charity featuring, The Avenue, The Canary Club, Max Curtis and Korim Miah.

Two big names hit town on Saturday. At Riffs Bar the legendary 4 Skins will be the main draw at a Help For Heroes fundraiser. Once more fronted by long serving vocalist Gary Hodges, The 4 Skins were right at the heart of the Oi! movement that paralleled the punk scene. Tickets are limited for this show and must be purchased in advance only.

Also in town, all the way from New York’s lower east side (which is not only where Harry Met Sally, but was totally devastated by a giant monster, as recorded in the documentary, Cloverfield) are the original Teenage Dirtbags themselves, Wheatus. You can catch them at The M.E.C.A.

And after you have done all of that, it’s time for another Level 3 reunion night at The Furnace and this time they had better play some Diesel Park West! (Whaddayamean who?)

Another great little event this weekend can be found on Sunday in the form of the small but perfectly formed Goddard Avenue Street Party. There will be acoustic tunes from Craig Hutchinson and Bob Heath, performances from Commonweal School and mellow jazz vibes from Andre and Helen Pyzanchin. Nudy Bronque hit the stage around 5.00 with their infectious indie pop, though the bar will have been open for 30 minutes by then so expect carnage (only joking lads but you are getting a bit of a reputation!) This is followed by the glorious pop sounds of The Jess Hall Band and wrapping it all up is The Innes Sibun Band; incendiary blues rock and one of the best of it’s genre.

There is so much more I want to tell you about but the shadow of the editors red pencil looms large already. Have a great weekend what ever you do.

Looking back into the annals of history it turns out that today is a landmark anniversary. In 1954 a young man called Bill Haley went into Pythian Temple Studios in New York and recorded a song that was the jumping off point for all other contemporary music genres. Rock Around The Clock is where it all began, as radical in its day as psychedelic, punk, rave, baggy, post rock, grime and every musical development since. It is also interesting to note that 26 years later, to the day, Bryan McFadden of Westlife was born. Coincidence… or the Gods of Music playing their games? It’s probably just coincidence.

 

It would be interesting though to get Mr Haley’s take on tonight’s gig at The Victoria featuring two bands who blend rock with the latest technology. Talk in Code have been through an interesting evolution, leaving the more predictable territory of drive time rock behind them they now inject their music with dance beats and keyboard washes, something support band Atari Pilot are equally adept at.

 

Down at The Beehive, the jaunty tones of Bateleurs will be filling the air, but more than that if you get there early enough, you may find yourself an extra in their video shoot. Another acoustic option comes in the shape of Gaz Brookfield, who will be dishing out the charm, humour and infectious tunes at Baker Street.

 

Friday is one for those with youth on their side (damn them) as The Furnace opens it’s doors to the under 18 crowd. The main drawer is the mathy-electro-pop sounds of With Felix and the post punk/contemporary indie clash  of The Debuts, but add to that The Canary Club and dubstep/drum ‘n’ bass DJing from Miasmix and you have a great night.

 

The Sharpees at The Beehive will be in the more tried and tested blues field, but with their punk attitude towards the genre and rock influences, they are flying an altogether different blues flag for the 21st century.

 

Staying roughly in the genre, further up the hill, Hiproute will be laying out their funky, acoustic blues wares before The Victoria at The UK Roots Night. If scintillating slide guitar and groove driven backbeats are your cup of Darjeeling, then this is the place to be. Alex Roberts will be adding his quite brilliant observational acoustic songs and Stone Donkey Pilots open with a set of rootsy, country blues inflected tunes. If you prefer something more in the pop-punk vein then head up to The Royal Oak for Disclosure.

 

Saturday is a mix of the big names or tributes to big names.  The former comes in the shape of Cher Lloyd at The Oasis touring in support of her album Sticks and Stones, an album that went to number 31 in the New Zealand album charts, no less! The younger fans are catered for again; this time at The MECA with Captured, a night featuring the best in new R’n’B, hip-hop and grime with Fugative, Encore and former Nu-Brand front man, Saskilla. (“Flick, flick, pose” and all that sort of thing.)

 

Bristol’s Metalhead will be paying tribute to all things classic rock in what seems like their weekly visit to Swindon; catch them at Riffs Bar. Alternately Led Zeppelin fans need to be at The Victoria for The Black Dogz.

 

The one bastion of original music is to be found at The Royal Oak. The Jess Hall Band mix up sublime pop vibes with an acoustic alt-folk sensibility to make songs that reek of charm, infectiousness and that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. If it doesn’t then you have no soul and might as well be at The Oasis after all.

 

And in the “if you like that you’ll like this department” more sublime soulful, folk-pop comes courtesy of The Sound of the Sirens (pictured) at The Rolleston on Sunday, support is a solo outing for Hiproute main man Jim Blair. And if you want to make it a day of brilliant music, head up to this gig after first catching the afternoon session by Good Things Happen in Bad Towns at The Beehive.

 

Baker Streets Tuesday Jazz offering is a bit special this week, as rising star, jazz history aficionado and award winning tenor saxophonist Simon Spillett pops in to entertain and entrance in equal measure.

 

And finally Ester (spot the catch phrase) on Wednesday you can catch the world vibes and soulful pop-rock sounds of Coach at The Running Horse with support from The Racket front man, Plummie.

This week’s Sounds Around Town link