Tag Archive: costellos (the)


Oxjam Swindon Takeover

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Library - 204I was amused to read today that in an effort to raise his profile, Robbie Williams has agreed to sell his soul for charity. Williams, whose soul will be sold at Sotheby’s next week said, “ I haven’t used it in a while, in fact I don’t think I have ever used it; I’ve always borrowed other peoples, mainly Guy Chambers.” Robbie is not the first musician to sell his soul; blues legend Robert Johnson did so in the 30’s, striking a Faustian pact with the Devil at a crossroads. Johnson’s soul is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in America and valued at over $40 million. William’s soul has been set at a reserve price of £850 although a spokesman for Sotheby’s said “We hope it may reach £1000 if Japanese bidders express an interest.”

No gimmicks required for the music I want to recommend to you this week though, just heaps of talent and originality and it goes a bit like this.

Out at Riffs Bar tonight a bit of a new, local, super group is making it’s presence known. Alice Offley, Tiff Townsend, Evie Em-Jay and Gemma Hill are The Lovers and they deliver quality indie pop bathed in sumptuous harmonies, definitely worth catching. Support is from All Ears Avow, a new band rising from the alt-metal ashes of Mortdelamer.

Also a bit special is Grant Starkey at The Victoria, a man who neatly combines upright bass skills, stand-up style interludes and improvised banter; if something along the folk-roots-blues is more your sort of thing then head down to The Rolleston for Sam Green and The Midnight Heist, an act that fuses bluesy Americana with more anglicised folk, think Duane Allman in a musical arm wrestle with John Martyn. And if none of those appeal then The Beehive features the harmonious atmospherics of Anglo-Swedish combo, We Ghosts.

After a well-attended launch show last month, The Secret Chord, a new gig night at Riffs Bar fires it’s opening salvo on Friday. As a bit of a calling card for the quality you can expect,  they have lined up White Knuckle Bride to headline the first proper show. Old school sleaze rock is on the cards, a beautiful collision of razor wire riffs, big choruses, aggression and attitude. Support comes from The Damned and The Dirty who splice similar vibes with via grunge and metal and Oscillator, now returned to the live fray as an originals band.

Back in town and The Costellos unleash themselves upon The Victoria. Last time I saw them they were a five piece but now they have expanded the brass section meaning that there are now seven of the little blighters on stage now. Their music still promises exotic blends of pop, ska, funk, reggae, gypsy jazz and even a waft of punked up mariachi. Sounds like a good night, especially with SN Dubstation and Sigma 12 kicking the night off. The Beehive opts for funked up blues courtesy of Hiproute.

After the hectic launch last weekend, Basement 73 gets down to the business of backing up the promises it made about moving the venues musical focus forward in fine style on Saturday with a great line up. A mixed bag of rock, indie and punk-pop is on offer from The Dead Famous, Hold The Fight, Sell Your Sky and Starlight City. Meanwhile upstairs in The Rolleston, Laurence Jones represents the sound of the new generation of electric blues.

Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe (pictured) are two great musicians in their own right, which is why when they collaborated on the album “ On Hire” the result was an amazing work that resonates with timeless grace, that connects various eras, styles, genres, cultures and even geographical locations without once sounding like a pastiche or parody of any one part of it’s sum. All that at The Beehive Sunday afternoon and afterward head up The Rolleston for another outing for Hiproute’s, Jim Blair, this time minus the rest of the band but with the same amount of groove.

Finally on Wednesday, a bone fide musical icon descends on The Beehive, probably via an alien craft. Ex-Soft Machine and Gong man, Daevid Allen, brings his weird world to town. Expect the unexpected…and probably goblins.

For a more straight forward serving suggestion catch the dulcet tones, introspective lyrics and wonderful harmonies of The Right Hooks at The Running Horse, a great band…..and probably no goblins.

It’s amazing what little bits of music trivia you stumble across when doing research for music articles. Like the fact that comedian Roland Rivron once drummed for Transvision Vamp or that Monaco’s National Orchestra is bigger than its army. Few of you may be aware that David Bowie invented Connect 4 and as well as coining the term Britpop, Stuart Maconie also originated the phrase Latvipop, which, to be fair,  never really caught on. Also I have personally listened to the Concrete Blonde album Bloodletting more times than anyone else on the planet. Not all of the above is true but I can assure you that everything that follows is absolute fact.

 

Tonight at The Victoria is a folk and roots extravaganza in the form of this years Oxjam. Hiproute will be on hand to deliver funked up, lap slide guitar blues, whilst Missin’ Rosie will be injecting folk music with rock adrenalin. Bateleurs provide a wonderful blend of new-country and traditional folk and the intriguingly named Stone Donkey Pilots seem immersed in a hill-billy busker vibe that evokes moonshine, dungarees and re-runs of Deliverance.

 

Further down the road, The Beehive continues it’s fascination with Canadian bands by playing host to Picture The Ocean, an alt-pop band who are both gently melodic and wistfully reflective or as someone put it “ like a therapeutic walk on the shore on a grey day.” Catch their last UK show before they head off to Europe, India and, if there is any justice in the world, fame and fortune.  At the Arts Centre, musical icons The Animals (and friends) pay a visit; for  the song We Gotta Get Out of This Place alone they deserve your endless adulation.

 

Something a bit special for you at The Victoria on Friday. Goldray (pictured) are what happens when the guitar sound of Reef and the beats of Faithless come together in a psychedelic explosion of textures and riffs. Think Jefferson Airplane sparring (or even spa-ing) with Warpaint whilst Tame Impala hold their coats. With support from Ulysses and The Baronesques it will be like The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test all over again. (Blimey, a Tom Wolfe reference two weeks running, it’s getting like the Times Literary Supplement!)

 

The 12 Bar opts for the punkier route with Useless Eaters and stalwarts of the scene Nobodies Heroes plus the return of Lydia Twenty whilst The Rolleston has neo rock and rollers, Red Hot Trio, not just your usual bowling shirt rockabilly! Other options are rocked out blues with The Stevie J Rivers Band at The Beehive and ska from The Nomarks at The Liden Arms.

 

Saturday, normally the bastion of the cover and tribute set really raises it’s game to deliver three top gigs. If you haven’t seen Flipron before then you need to be at The Victoria. If you have seen them then you will know that it is difficult to pin down exactly what they do in such a small amount of space. They have been described variously as “ Barrelhouse Britpop,” “Psychedelic Honkytonk” and, my favourite “ Stephen Fry wrestling with Ian Dury on a Mississippi Riverboat” not much I can add to that except The Costellos and Coach add equally exotic vibes into the nights mix.

 

Fans of Hardcore should head to The 12 Bar for Vera Cruz, What The Night Brings and Rising From Death, whilst The Furnace plays host to Fearless Vampire Killers a band whose “Death Pop” will appeal to anyone who watches the Twilight Films and/or grew up on My Chemical Romance. Support is from local lads making good The Dead Lay Waiting.

 

Pete Christie is at The Beehive for the Sunday afternoon slot, finger picked acoustic that mixes rock, folk and country into a sort of anglicana roots music now there’s a term we need to catch on.

 

 

As usual our jump off point is The Running Horse acoustic sessions on Wednesday, this time featuring the welcome return of the newly resurrected Shudders and their clean limbed, melodic and totally infectious country-pop-folk masterpieces. Support comes from The Cadbury Sisters, a duo whose delicate harmonies will leave you transfixed, charmed and in total awe.

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.

You know things are going well when over the course of one long weekend  you have the options of watching feisty female rock from Minneapolis, a Celtic rock guitar legend, sublime shoe gazers from along the M4 corridor, chilled out, cinematic folk or harmonious indie soundscapers. Well, I only managed to catch two of those shows but which ever you look at it, if the music scene were going for a medical, you would have to declare it in the rudest of health. And this week is set to continue along the same lines.

There is trouble brewing at The Rolleston tonight as Rumour Shed goes musically head to head with Dave Corrigan in the acoustic grudge match of the year. Weapons will include deep and meaningful lyrics, luscious vocals, joyous and lilting songs, tweed and possibly sandals. Beards are preferred but not essential.

Stiff competition for the folk/roots audience comes from itinerant troubadour Jez Hellard who brings his Djukella Orchestra to the Beehive for a night of folk and funk, rumba, reels and reggae, jigs and gypsy jazz. Rock fans will find their spiritual home for the night at The Victoria with Simon Townsend (baby brother of the legendary Pete) but make sure you get there early enough to catch sublime support act Kola, a wonderful blend of Heartbreaker era Ryan Adams and The Waterboys chilling out.

Staying at The Victoria, Friday sees genres and creative boundaries thrown aside as the madness that is Flipron grace the stage. This bohemian pop collective manage to fall somewhere between The Bad Seeds playing Disney tunes and Charles Dickens CD collection (the fact that this is obviously an impossible scenario says a lot about the band.) Swindon’s own folk-pop-ska mavericks, the Costello’s, will be kicking the night off.

Thanks to a flying visit by their errant and trans-continental drummer, The Dacoits, have a few gigs lined up and you can catch their dark, poetic garage rock at The Beehive. Support comes in the shape of an equally rare outing for alt-country punks, Black Sheep Apprentice.

The Furnace also fires up for the first of three gigs this weekend. Red Seas Fire is a brilliantly executed weave of melodic metal, progressive structures, power and passion. They are joined by Burials, Chronographs and the symphonic-laced hardcore sounds of The Cold Harbour.

Saturday sees The 12 Bar get in on the act with a host of young indie bands spearheaded by the aptly named Young Blood. Having formed from the remains of Napoleon In Rags, they seem to have adopted a less modish, more fired up and contemporary fuel for their indie vehicle; you will not be disappointed. Add to that support slots from The Fixed, Retrospecs, Last Nights Victory and Luna Machine and you have the makings of a fine night.

If ska-punk floats your boat, one of the finest exponents of it, Slagerij, will be creating musical havoc at The Victoria. They are joined by West Coast (Clevedon, North Somerset to be exact) skate punks Mr Zippy and Bristol’s The Richardson Maneuver. In terms of energy, stage presence and song crafting, this gig, to quote the infamous Nigel Tufnell, goes up to eleven.

It’s all a bit full on down at The Furnace as post-hardcore crew When Words Fail headline their last UK gig for a while in aid of Louise Hunt and her Paralympic bid. They are joined (after more chopping and changing than a choppy changey thing!) by the euphoric sounds of This Fall; Eastbourne’s post-punks, Hold the Fight and the pop punk of Days on Juno.

All the way from Italy to The Rolleston, The Beatholes cleverly re-invent The Beatles for a punk and rock audience. If you have ever imagined what Eleanor Rigby would sound like given the Iron Maiden treatment or mused over Motorhead’s take on Get Back, then this is the place to be.

Sunday’s big noise comes in the shape of Carridale leading a slew of great pop-punk bands at The Furnace. Hot Damn, Sell Your Sky and Tides of Change also feature.

Final mention of the week goes to my favourite new band of the moment, SkyBurnsRed (pictured top)who play The Victoria on Wednesday. Kicking alt-rock underpinned by intricate grooves and sweeping eastern violin vibes…what’s not to like? They are joined by the funked and punked creations of The Me!Me!Me’s? and in a last minute change to the line up, the effervescent and ubiquitous Nudy Bronque.