Tag Archive: dark sinatra’s (the)


1011722_561639567220535_1865761047_n-1It’s been another one of those crystal ball sort of weeks compiling this article. Without going off on my usual rant, I do find it odd that people who run businesses that rely on getting numbers through the door  are becoming more and more reluctant to post information regarding what bands are playing in their venue, or if they do there is no description of the said band to entice people in. Last week I completely missed the biggest gig of the week because it wasn’t to be found on the internet and if I can’t find it, think of all the more casual information surfers who are going to miss it too. So armed with a crystal ball and a do it yourself shamanic starter kit, I have gleaned what information I can about this weeks gigs and I apologize for any events I have inadvertently missed out.

 

The weekend starts building up momentum tonight with a hard and heavy line up at The Victoria. Headlining are Reading’s finest, We Caught The Castle, not only a wonderful Paramore-esque slab of melodic rock but on a personal note one of the first bands I ever promoted in Swindon. Also on the bill are purveyors of post-hardcore Falling With Style and metal warriors From Dusk Until Dawn.

 

More big sounds will be emanating from Riffs Bar with the welcome return of The Dark Sinatra’s (pictured). Mixing the musical economy of a three piece line up with almost dance grooves, complex back beats and spiky guitar riffs, the result is a sort of groove laden, heavy progressive rock and none do it better.

 

At the other end of the musical spectrum, the first lady of folk, Kate Rusby leads an all star band through songs old and new, traditional and self penned at The Wyvern Theatre. Meanwhile, Two-Man Ting will be filling the Beehive with their very unique roots-pop music. Those who know their world music labels might throw around terms such Palm Wine, High Life or Afro Beat, but all the layman needs to know is that this band are like a dose of summer sunshine and joyous laughter all rolled into one.

 

Staying at The Beehive for Friday, good causes and great music go hand in hand in the form of Oxjam – part of the Oxfam fund raising campaign taking place nationally through out October. This session is all about the singer-songwriter and features the groove fueled blues of Jim Blair, the unique stylings of Tommaso Galati, Tamsin Quin who in my opinion will soon be giving the likes of K T Tunstall a run for her money and new duo Splat The Rat.

 

Th se into the nostalgia scene are also well catered for. Fans of the Stranglers should head for The Victoria and into Saturday, also at The Victoria, it’s all about one of my favourite bands, The Stone Roses. A more across the board range of punk, ska and new-wave can be found at The Rolleston with Going Underground.

 

Even though it does not appear on their website, I want to assure people that Saturdays Secret Chord gig at Riffs Bar is still taking place and what a great line up it is. Band of the moment, Dead Royalties, a scattergun mix of Seattle grunge and 70s Brit-punk, take the top spot with the raw, melodic, modish rock of The Last of The Light Brigade and the eclectic, musical light and shade of Kubris adding all the ingredients for the perfect bill.

 

After that, live music seems to be fairly hard to track down although there are a couple of more famous names in the bigger establishments, such as award winning saxophonist, Yolanda Brown and guitar and fiddle duo Kevin Dempsey and Rosie Carson at the Arts Centre on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.

 

At the Wyvern Theatre also on Tuesday is the legendary Charlie Lansborough who delivers his trademark ballad and blues, country and spiritual music all interspersed with a dash of anecdote and humour.

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And now the News. In light of recent events I now find my position as writer of Sounds Around Town no longer tenable and have therefore decided that the only proper course of action is to step aside and spend more time with my record collection and re-runs of Time Team. As a replacement I have appointed myself to the position of Acting Dave Franklin as an interim solution until the matter is resolved. So as to avoid any lengthy negotiations I have also asked the paper to consider me for a £450,000 golden handshake but have, as of yet, received no reply. Apparently questions have been raised in the House about the situation, not my house, you understand, someone else’s house, but the windows were shut and I couldn’t hear what they were saying.

 

So on with the show. It’s Songs of Praise at The Victoria tonight again the tables and subdued lighting is out to welcome the dulcet tones of Emily and The Dogs. Mixing jazz, folk and rock and coming off somewhere between Polly Harvey and Ani Di Franco, this trio of highly experienced musicians are something a bit special. A slight change to the plans sees historically aware, baroque-pop stalwarts Mr Love and Justice take the middle spot with Nick Felix opening up the evening. Meanwhile jazz is on the menu at The Beehive with the guitar and vocal combo Ruba Tempo.

 

Friday night is all about the Children in Need show out at Riffs Bar. Burnthru bring their rock hybrid – part metal, part sleaze, part grunge to the party and joining them are The Dark Sinatra’s, a band whose ability to mix groove driven bass lines, rocked out jazz junkie drum fills and Byzantine heavy guitar work into something dark, experimental yet accessible and danceable is unprecedented.  Scud Penguin and 5 Lives Left are also helping this most worthy cause.

 

Over at The Furnace it’s all about old school rock. Out of the flatlands of the windswept east, otherwise known as Lincolnshire, come Nightvision, blistering classic rock, razor wire riffs and thunderous rhythms will be the order of the day. Dead By Friday? and Wreckoning provide more of the same, but if you like your rock a bit more Sunset Strip, a bit more sleaze-boogie and street-smart, then make sure you catch Rough Cut.

 

In a week with an already heavy rock bias, then The Victoria will provide a roots music oasis on Saturday night. The funky grooves and lap guitar blues of Hip Route are the musical destination of the evening but first you will have to negotiate a wonderful journey through soulful acoustic jazz vibes of The Andy Grant Trio and the smorgasbord of southern sounds that tumble from Pignose (pictured).

 

The Royal Oak plays host to The Erin Bardwell Collective, old school ska, reggae and rocksteady all go into the mix and whilst you are there make sure you pick up a copy of their cracking new album, Bringing The Hope.

 

Back into the maelstrom of the heavy sounds that are dominating this week and a perfect pairing washes up at The Furnace. Both Godsized and Eye For An Eye revel in thunderous riffs and colossal beats without losing their ear for melody. The result is a biker metal mix of the best of old school British such as Sabbath and the southern swagger and groove of ZZ Top turned up to eleven. From Ruin play the role of the perfect opening act.

 

The 12 Bar also get in on the act as Newquay hardcore outfit, Envy The Fallen play a tribute set to Australian metalcore band, Parkway Drive. More metal is also forthcoming from Make No Mistake and the modest Dissolute who’s website states that they are “way ahead of their time in terms of talent.”

 

Sunday afternoon is a bit more chilled out. When they cried Go West! one native of Tulsa, Oklahoma came east, and you can hear the anglicised, alt-country and Costello-esque delivery of Bob Collum at The Beehive for the  afternoon session. Alternately you can head for the Arts Centre and another outing for the west-coast jangle meets West Country lore of Mr Love and Justice. They are joined by Albion, a folk duo in the Greenwich Village coffee shop style.

 

Wednesday evening has it’s usual musical barrier against mid week boredom. Missin’ Rosie deliver rocked out Celtic folk at The Running Horse, a wonderfully charismatic and joyously upbeat support comes courtesy of The Real Raj. There is a Bluegrass jam over at Riffs Bar or you can catch the new line up of The Blue Trees at The Victoria.

One of the things I love about the more serious and creative side of music (as opposed to the famous for fifteen seconds, in it for the quick buck, types) is that it’s interesting to chart the family trees and watch the complex career paths of musicians who inspire you, if you are some sort of music geek that is. Well, around nineteen eighty, this particular music geek would have been listening to a certain bunch of psychedelic punks called The Soft Boys and wouldn’t you know it, in the blink of an eye, a mere 32 years later, two of them surface to play a gig in Swindon.

Tonight at The Victoria, Three Minute Tease, featuring cult rhythm section Morris Windsor and Andy Metcalfe and led by Sacramento loon Anton Barbeau, will be spearheading an assault of warped space rock, trippy psychedelic pop, wit, wisdom and sheer strangeness. Jon Ouin from Stornoway is also rumoured to be amongst their ranks. Bristol’s Schnauser joins them, a band recently described to me with brilliant succinctness as “like the Wombles on Acid” and quantum rockers Super Squarecloud fire off the opening salvo…probably in 7/8 time if they get their way.

Riffs Bar meanwhile bow down to the gods of cacophony and raucousness as Twisted State of Mind, Eleros and Aethara go head to head for a place in the semi-final of Bloodstocks Battle of the Bands.

If you are looking for something a bit less loud or mind-boggling then head for The Beehive where The Acoustic Buzz session will be able to soothe you with the dulcet tones of Southern Folk, Jim Evans and Blind River Scare. If you prefer your acoustic music laced with a bit of punk vigour then The Rolleston is the place to be as ex-Tiryth guitarist Daniel James heads off down new musical paths.

On Friday, at Riffs Bar it’s a question of “who let the progs out” as The Dark Sinatra’s make a triumphant return. Summing up their music in a sound bite isn’t easy, prog it may be, but this is a groove driven, heavy prog more akin to Muse or even Rush. And when they say that sometimes Nigel Kennedy appears with them, don’t get your hopes up, although last time they did have the awesome Tallulah Rendall in rock chick mode helping out, which is much the better option in my book.

Teenage Kicks at The Furnace continues to deliver the best of the younger crop, this time The Fixed headline, with Bratpop madmen (yes I’m trying out a new generic moniker, just indulge me) Nudy Bronque, The Debuts and The John Does all filling the night with indie goodness and complicated waxed hair styles, no doubt.

Upstairs in The Rolleston is The Floydian Doors. As brilliant as they are, I have never quite got my head around being a tribute to two fairly diverse bands. I’m worried that it might be the thin end of the wedge and the next thing you know there will be posters up for The Yes Pistols or worse….The Collinsian Clash! Still at least the by-line is obvious … “From Genesis to Revolution.” Oh, come on you must have seen that one coming?

The Beehive is opting for a melting pot of blues with The Mestizo Blues Collective; all styles from the Delta to Chicago’s urban backstreets are succinctly alchemized into intelligent, quintessentially English song writing styles plus a touch of self-deprecating humour.

Saturday is the night for rock fans to indulge their various sub-generic passions. Younger fans will be heading for The Furnace as globetrotting local lads made good, The Dead Lay Waiting (pictured) return to their home patch to dish out some furious alt-metal to eager ears. They are joined by Scarred by Beauty, Frozen Affliction and Roads to Nowhere.

The Rolleston is being visited by powerhouse blues guitarist, Innes Sibun and at the Victoria, Snaggletooth and Earl Jam play tribute to Motorhead and Pearl Jam respectively.

The Sunday afternoon session at The Beehive is filled by Pete Jagger, so expect the usual deft mix of folk, blues and ragtime. That evening at The Rolleston is a real cosmopolitan mix. Terhi is a native Finn, living in Chippenham and playing rock flavoured with country and calypso and the odd ballad thrown in for good measure. You almost feel like you need an up to date passport to watch that show. Support is from the Ghoulies an exotic blend of folk, rock and Hammer horror. They describe themselves thus “Jim has Delta blues roots and Daniel is a green creative soul” so expect something….turquoise?