Tag Archive: cowboy and the corpse


newpromo_b 11.15.37For obvious reasons many of the gigs this week are touting a Halloween theme, though it seems odd that a Celtic occasion of remembrance should be marked largely by the playing 80’s classic rock covers but that is the world that we find ourselves in.

Tonight there is, as is Thursday’s role in things, a plethora of original music to be had. The Basement Club can be found at The Victoria doling out their weaves of infectious indie and deft pop and joining them is the much talked about China Bears a band who have already caught the ear of many radio movers and shakers with their anthemic indie sound. Kaleido Bay open the night.

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10712899_10152416753527406_7198576379845939303_nOh, it’s just a bit of fun for the kids, they say. But Halloween seems to have turned into a national holiday for people who thought that Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a documentary and who take quizzes on Facebook with titles like “How long would you survive a zombie invasion?” Also prepare yourself for a barrage of lazy journalism resorting to clichéd words such a boo-tiful and spooktacular. The tail end of the week is also an opportunity for on-line slacktavists to trot out their well-worn cliché about Guy Fawkes being the “only person to enter Parliament with honest intentions.” Yes, that’s what the world needs, more religiously motivated terrorists in the pay of shadowy organisations. That said the offshoot of all this warped celebration is that there is a lot of live music to go with it.

 

Starting at The Beehive for a change, tonight the regular Acoustic Buzz night features Lucky Strikes frontman Matthew Boulter, whose solo work has been described as ““Introspective, gentle, tinged with darkness and a sorrowful undertow.” Sounds good to me. Also on the bill are the equally brilliant Paul McClure and your regular host Tim Manning of Blind River Scare.

 

The Victoria opts for the harder rock of All Ears Avow, a band who manages to infuse alternative rock with a certain pop sensibility to produce a sound that both big and commercial. They are joined by With Ghosts, Elasea and Heriot.

 

The big Halloween show is at The Victoria on Friday with a “Bands and Burlesque” special. Not only music from suitably named, psychobilly genre benders Cowboy and The Corpse but also exotic and sensual dance routines. Jokes about pumpkins made at your own risk. If something more raucous is required for your festivities The Hamsters From Hell at Rolleston offer riotous rhythm and boozy blues for your delectation. Meanwhile downstairs at Level 3, Emily’s Pole Fitness has a very unique Halloween show for you.

 

The Acoustic Session out at Riffs Bar is taken by Rob Richings this week, with the maximum added value of it being a full band show (pictured) and at The Beehive, The Shocks of Mighty DJ’s will be spinning classic ska and reggae tunes.

 

Saturday gets a bit obsessed with the tried and tested but it’s all about supply and demand and what Swindon seems to demand looks a lot like this. In a clever play on words, The Four Fighters will be paying tribute to the band fronted by the universally accepted nicest man in rock music today, Dave Grohl, and they can be found at The Victoria. Riffs Bar holds its festive bash to the indie-party sounds of covers band Penfold with everything from “The Arctic Monkey’s to The Zutons” apparently.

 

Young and dynamic classic rock is on the menu at The Rolleston with Bad Obsession and tunes that run from “Aerosmith to Zeppelin”….and does anyone else see an alphabetized marketing theme developing here? More heavy rock covers can be found at The Ashford Road Club courtesy of Shepherds Pie who declare that they play “everything from AC/DC to ZZ Top”….see, there it is again. Finally Operation 77 will be at The Swiss Chalet with a range of covers covering punk, post-punk, ska and mod genres. They didn’t offer a neat alphabetized sound bite. Level 3 has a night that is 100% Drum and Bass for those that want to carry the party on into the night.

 

Music obsessives might wish to know that during the day at the Central Community Centre there will be a Record and CD Fair so all you audiophiles (that is a real word, I checked) start saving your money.

 

A second chance to see The Hamsters From Hell comes on Sunday at The White Hart in Wroughton. One of the reasons for mentioning this is that the pub has just changed hands and it would be in every live music fans interest to support the gig and prove to the new owners that live music is worth hosting and, more importantly from a business point of view, a lucrative income for the pub. Use it or lose it as they say.

 

Last mention of the week is for D’Bize at The Beehive also on Sunday, the best of the old Irish tradition with a young beating heart, sounds like a great way to enjoy a pint and let the roast dinner slowly digest.

Library - 124There has been a lot of concerned discussion recently over rumours that The Victoria, pretty much the constant in the ever-changing local musical landscape of the last eight years, is up for sale. Just to put you at your ease, here are the facts straight from the horses mouth – that’s just a turn of phrase and in no way implying that Mr Young is anything other that 100% prime beef. Yes, the business, i.e. the internal workings rather than the building itself, is on the market, but Dave and Anna want to stress that they intend to leave it in safe hands so that it continues very much in the same vein.

 

When you think about it The Victoria has grown to become part of the national music circuit (just look at their gig roster for proof) so any successful buyer is likely to come from a similar background rather than just being the ex-landlord of The Kebab and Calculator whose claim to fame is a once a week acoustic night and a quarterly under 18’s Battle of The Bands. Remember, Heraclitus told us “There is nothing permanent, except change” but then he did drink too much, though his first album was a real cracker.

 

So fittingly and inevitable we start tonight at The Victoria. It’s Bands and Burlesque again and this time it’s a chance for newcomers to the dance genre to get a bit of a showcase plus music from psychobilly crew, Cowboy and The Corpse. And if retro is your thing there is competition out at Riffs Bar in the shape of The Ludwig Beatles, who recreate the iconic band in all their, rock and roller, mop-topping, acid eating and genre defying glory.

 

The Beehive has music from John Blek and The Rats, a well travelled six piece who specialise in folk, country and Americana.

 

Another constant of our local scene is Holmes Music and to celebrate 50 years in the music business they are arranging a series of shows, tonight they take over The Victoria and offer us none other than Nick Harper (not pictured). Anyone spawned of the iconic Roy Harper and brought up in a house with a continual procession of Zeps, Floyds, Who’s and other heroes was always going to end up a musician and as such has been described as doing “things to his guitar that would have had Segovia weeping into his Rioja” in a good way I presume. If that wasn’t enough, Colour The Atlas is the support, a clash of cinematic folk, chilled trip beats and swaths of sensuous, late night atmospherics. Now that’s what you call a celebration.

 

More sweet music comes in the shape of Antoine Architeuthis and The Cotton Candy Rebellion, joyous acoustic folk tinged with classic rock and with a spiritual vibe running through the centre. He is at The Beehive.

 

The Furnace is the only place to be on Saturday as Peter and The Test Tube Babies roll into town. Originally part of the Punk Pathetique sub-genre that incorporated absurdist subject matters and humourous lyrics, don’t be fooled by such a seemingly silly approach as by contrast they are one of the most polished and professional bands on the punk circuit today. Support comes from the incorrigible local punk stalwarts and all round good eggs, Charred Hearts and Strength in Blunders, a new and infectious pop-punk trio but containing some very familiar faces.

 

Possibly as far removed from that gig, which is what I love about the versatility of music, is The Antonio Forcione Trio at The Arts Centre, a musical tapestry of African and Latin influences interwoven with flamenco, classical and Indian rhythms.

 

There is a lot to offer on Sunday, a brilliant tribute to Kate Bush, Never Forever, is an all seated affair at The Victoria; folk, skiffle and rockabilly are delivered acoustically by The Dylegans (Lonnie and Bob…gedit?) at The Rolleston and culture vultures have the choice of jazz guitarist Terry Hutchinson at Baker Street or recitals of Schubert and Shostakovich at the Arts Centre.

 

More jazz is on offer at Baker Street on Tuesday with Tantrum, a trio made up of Roger Beaujolais, Tommaso Starace and Paul Jefferies. And as always we find ourselves rounding off the week at The Running Horse for it’s regular Wednesday session, this time featuring Bateleurs. For the few of you not in the know, and if not why not? Bateleurs alchemize Americana, English folk and Celtic vibes into wonderfully accessible and joyously upbeat tunes. Support comes from Simon Allen.

 

 

 

 

Sounds Around Town

After a couple of weeks experimenting with different stylistic approaches to this column, an attempt to appease various critics, I have come to rather a startling conclusion. Irrespective of whichever criteria I use to determine its content, the old adage about pleasing all the people all of the time still holds true, so I might as well just write as I see fit, forget democracy and take whatever flak comes my way. So with that in mind here are my undemocratic musical musings and biased nominations for this week.

 

Those of a certain age, my sort of age in fact, will probably remember a group of spiky haired, Celtic rockers called The Alarm who exploded in a blaze of glory (see what I did there?) from North Wales in the early eighties. Well believe it or not guitarist Dave Sharp plays a free top bar gig at The Victoria tonight, having swapped fist in the air, charged anthems for a smoother blend of bluesy-folk rock. Support comes from the incomparable Rob Beckinsale.

 

The Rolleston continue to hit high standards with their original band bookings and tonight play host to Wires who excel in lusciously harmonious indie creations; make sure you pick up a copy of their latest e.p. Shadows whilst you are there.

 

Tonight also heralds the return of Minneapolis muse Courtney Yasmineh (pictured) who manages to squeeze in a visit to The Beehive between gigs in London and Amsterdam to dish out feisty rock that lies somewhere between Blondie and Sheryl Crowe  and  guitar brilliance comes courtesy of Gilmore ‘n’ Jaz at The Wheatsheaf. Big name options come in the shape of McFly at The Oasis and Chas (but no Dave) Hodges and His Band at the Wyvern.

 

Friday night sees a host of young bands at Riffs Bar headed by pop-punksters Beyond The Break, The John Does and the currently ubiquitous Sasquatch Walk (who seem to be on a short tour of Swindon postcodes over the next month). The Rolleston goes psychobilly as The Graveyard Johnnys and Cowboy and The Corpse go quiff to quiff.

 

The shoegazing, dream pop of Reading’s Tripwires, will be the highlight of the night at The Victoria; imagine Warpaint teaching Sonic Youth to play lullabies, The Jess Hall Band take on the role of the perfect support band and I’ll say it again, Play Shy is nothing short of a perfect pop song. A DJ set from the Young Blood guys is also on the cards.

 

The big noise of Saturday night is The Hoosiers at The MECA; originally describing themselves as “odd pop” they have since re-invented themselves as a more conventional electro-tinged pop band. The Furnace will be revelling in what it does best, a swift, brutal sensory overload courtesy of metal bands Romeo Must Die, My City Burning and Karrion.

 

Elsewhere it’s tributes to Pink Floyd at the Victoria, Ozzy at The Rolleston and punk and new wave covers at Riffs Bar with Operation 77.

 

If you like the idea of a Lazy Sunday afternoon with some chilled music, then head up to The Art Centre to take in the intelligent folk-pop of Mr Love and Justice. The evening may bring one more tribute experience, this time Bon Jovi at The MECA, but it also brings some great original music. Hotly tipped to be one of the next big things Billy Lockett is at Riffs Bar along with a support act so exciting, it can’t even be named on the website.

 

One of the most exciting gigs of the week takes place at The Victoria with the first time out for Old Colours who rise out of the ashes of Anchor and The Wolf to keep the “cinematic” banner flying. Any band described as “a bit like Laura Marling playing a house party with My Bloody Valentine rocking in the next room” has got to be worth checking out. Charlie Bath and The City Marshals will be show casing songs from the soon to be released The Good Fall e.p. and opening the night is a rare outing for chilled, folky lounge-jazz darlings, Matilda.

 

Tuesdays dose of jazz at Baker Street is courtesy of keyboard virtuoso Alex Steele and Wednesdays Running Horse Sessions features the wonderfully named John Shillibeer and a welcome return for Sumita Majumdar.