Tag Archive: familiars


1472801_551493731605357_193622463_nWith the May Day bank holiday looming on the horizon it means that the coming long weekend packs even more live music options and so without further ado, let’s dive straight in.

Tonight, as is usual, tips the balance towards the original artist with stalwarts Hip Route to be found at The Tuppenny in Old Town. For those unaware of the band, and I can’t image I am talking to many people, this three-piece are purveyors of funky-blues delivered via a killer rhythm section, some deft and dexterous slide guitar-work and a whiskey soaked vocal straight out of an East Nashville juke joint. A hip operation if ever there was one.

At The Victoria you will find something a bit more weird but no less wonderful. All three acts, Dinner The Band, Ravetank and Spring-Heeled Lettuce, come from the musical fringes, one where wonky, lo-fi acoustica, punk’s DIY ethic and a complete disregard for following fashion are the order of the day.

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15823159_10153985879836876_7307184432675953030_nIt is always a treat when bands such as those to be found at The Victoria tonight come along, if for no other reason than even in something as straight-forward as this gig guide, I get to break out the box market “pretentious words, use sparingly.” For as much as it is fun to find new ways to describe the sonic muscle of a classic rock band or the commercial cool of the latest young indie outfit, I am most at home when using words such as dreamscaping, ethereal and sonorous to describe music. (See what I mean…pretentious.)

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968 White LilacThose who missed the excellent bill at The Castle last night can check out the evenings proceedings via the always excellent David Rose’s Gig Diary.

HERE

Split decisions

Songs of Praise has two shows in town tonight. Firstly up at The Castle we have a fantastic double-header with White Lilac and Familiars, two of our favourite local acts who will be delivering soundscaping indie, sonorous dream-pop, soaring crescendos and sonorous undertones.
 
 
Those of a more blues-rock persuasion will want to head down to The Locomotive to catch The Greasy Slicks and The Harlers for a night of incendiary blues-rock for the 21st century, traditional vibes in a forward looking wrapper.
 
 
I will be cloning myself and watching everything. Best you do the same.

12032792_889717027763398_6926717901493668994_oMaybe we have to get away from this idea that important and impressive musical events can only take place in more revered places – New England coffee shops or Camden venues, in large stadiums or within media defined scenes. Good music takes place in town every week; you just have to know where to look. In the last month I have witnessed blistering, national circuit alt-rock; underground, gothic pop and ranting music and poetry from a stalwart 35 years into his career. I have also watched and hung out with a charming satirical, agit-folk performer and the icing on the cake was watching two iconic songwriters who helped define the sound of the early days of indie, pair up and deliver music that was nothing short of gorgeous. All in Swindon and it was all free. Beer may be expensive but do you feel the desire to get out of your face on premium lager when you go to the cinema or theatre? No, so why is the price of beer used as an argument against live music. The music is already out there; all it needs is your support.

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Live and Local Podcast

SWINDON105_5Logo-300x186This week how features Shaun Barry chatting and playing some of his music from his various bands and some new solo music as well. Music from: Shaun Barry, Automaniacs, Echoic, Blake, Buswell, Last Box of Sparklers, Raze Rebuild, Anton Barbeau, Les Clochards, Port Erin, The Familiars, Bruce Street Bridges.

Listen to The Podcast  HERE

12185145_10154363415624251_8963479377626763271_oCheck out a great review from arch music fan and blogger Dave Rose here

Also a great set of photo’s from the night courtesy of Paul Jellings here

1607111_577491689022522_3860118839849066474_nI will apologize in advance for the Shuffle-centric nature of this weeks scribbling but when over 40 music acts line up to play across 3 major venues and a host of additional bars, cafes and public places, it is inevitable that it will take up most of the space. So, The Swindon Shuffle is back for it’s ninth year and it seems only a blink of an eye that I was sat in the Winners Lounge (before it’s Legendary upgrade) on a Thursday night waiting for The Unforeseen to play the first ever slot. Tempus does indeed fugit! So, the first fringe events took place last night but as of today Shuffling begins in earnest.

The Victoria has long been one of the cornerstones of The Shuffle and so it is apt that we begin there. This session is one for those with a penchant for heavier music and is headlined by a band that have had a meteoric rise over the last year or so, A Way With Words. Other alt-rock acts on the bill include All Ears Avow and the dystopian vibes of Ghost of Machines. Between these you can catch the punk onslaught that is 2 Sick Monkeys and something with more of a blues spin from The Harlers.

Baila Coffee and Vinyl has always been a cool place to hang out during the day (where do you think I am writing this?) but now with the addition of a evening drinks license they have become part of Old Town nightlife with craft ales, a well selected wine cellar and quality spirits available and they join in the festival with sets from Matilda (minus drummer Emily who is probably doing headstands on a mountain in Outer Mongolia,) young, groove driven Indie from Polar Front and the captivating and heartfelt songs of Charlie Bath.

The Victoria second contribution comes on Friday, this time with a more eclectic and intriguing bill headed by the drifting ambience and trippy grooves of Colour The Atlas (pictured). Theo Altieri provides some effortlessly cool indie-pop and Super Squarecloud will be doing what ever it is they do – I’ve been writing about their mercurial, genre-hopping music and flagrant disregard for convention for 4 years now and I still haven’t found the adequate words! The early part of the night sees the welcome return of a couple of out-of-towners, Cursor Major who prove once and for all that kookiness is next to godliness and that blend of delicacy and dynamics that is Familiars.

Within easy shuffling distance of that (hence the name) is The Castle and their first session has a bit of a blues edge to it. Although main man Ian Doeser has long been a fixture of the Shuffle as a solo player this is, I believe, the first time that the full Hamsters From Hell have graced the event, so expect the usual sweary, tongue-in-cheek, bawdy humour set to an R’n’B backdrop. And if The Hamsters are a nod to the ghost of blues past, then The Greasy Slicks are very much about the ghost of blues future; slick, incendiary deliveries and killer riffs and acting as a sign post for where the genre is going. Also on the bill are Coasters, a punk vibe injected into Americana but whose songs trade Route 66 for the M4.

Elsewhere, The Locomotive, part of the Shuffle Fringe due to it’s outlying location in relation to the main focus of events, nevertheless plays a blinder by hosting Yves, one of the front runners of the new Indie crop of local bands and at The Rolleston you can catch Beatles tribute The Pre Fab Four.

On Saturday the music starts at midday at The Central Library where various acoustic acts including Neil Mercer and Stuart Marsh can be found playing throughout the afternoon.

Saturday also sees The Beehive, the only venue to have been involved in all nine years, get involved with a folk slant to their bill. Southern Harmony bring their wonderful blend of Celtic, English and Appalachian folk to the party and Ells and The Southern Wild throw in some darker folk vibes. Plummie Racket and Nick Felix will be adding a more singer-songwriter feeling to the evening.

Up the hill at The Castle, the younger set have their moment with Balloon Ascent’s accessible indie-folk creations, the shoegaze and post-punk referencing Sahara Heights building to a night of ska, reggae and infectious dance grooves from SN Dubstation, not a band that you want to miss, believe me. At The Locomotive, The Roughnecks will be blasting out their incendiary R’n”B and old-school rock and roll to entice and astound the Fleet Street crowd.

Non-Shuffle related gigs can also be found at The Victoria with Going Underground, Strictly Dan a tribute to Steely Dan at Riffs Bar, classic rock covers at The Rolleston from Bad Obsession and all your favourite songs from a new line-up Echo at The Swiss Chalet.

Sunday sees The Shuffle round off at its now traditional last day party at The Beehive. A string of solo players, Mel Hughes, Tamsin Quin and Steve Leigh get things underway before Bruce St. Bridges, the socially aware, psychedelic folk-pop of Mr Love and Justice and the sonic pick’n’mix of auralcandy move things up a gear. Last year The Shudders almost destroyed the venue with their final set of the festival and they have been given the task of attempting to do the same this year with another headline slot.

If you want something to help easy you out of the festival, the perfect gentle step back into normality comes at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday with those dapper jazz aficionados Gilmore ‘n’ Jaz.

937 FamiliarsA wonderful review of the recent Songs of Praise show by musical archivist and gig-goer extraordinairre David Rose can be found at the link below.

David Rose Gig Diaries