Tag Archive: fly on the wall

350_41504615309_2744_nI guess it had to happen one day. Although I see this column as a place to champion the originality and creativity to be found within our towns music community, this weeks offerings are fairly exclusively geared towards music that is having a second bite of the cherry, a re-invention of the wheel if you like.  I know some people feel more at home in the comfort zone of tributes and cover bands, no problem with that, you know what you are getting for your money at least and if you only have the available cash to go out once every few weeks, it is one way of guaranteeing you get value for your hard earned cash. Why sit through a bunch of bands that you have never heard of and probably leave feeling musically unfulfilled? Well, because without these original bands there will be no great bands in the future for tribute and cover bands to emulate. Here’s a question for you. What do the following bands have in common? Nirvana, Oasis, Iron Maiden, U2, Arctic Monkeys and The Clash. Well, they all played their first shows in local pubs and venues to a handful of punters being largely ignored by the rest of the country until the music press convinced enough people it was cool to like them. Still, to paraphrase our sainted Peter of Gabriel, “you know what you like and you like what you know”, far be it from me to tell you otherwise.

Okay, on with the show. Tonight The Victoria will be a sea of plaid shirts and ripped jeans with a show that pays homage to the Seattle grunge scene in the shape of Nirvana and Pearl Jam tributes. Meanwhile a mixture of acoustic and electric bluesy originals come courtesy of Bob Bowles at The Beehive.

Fridays has a mixture of genres on offer, firstly Metalhead at The Rolleston doing a neat line in classic metal standards delivered with a mixture of panache and force…sort of like being beaten unconscious by the complete works of Keats! Those of a more old school R’n’B persuasion will find their needs catered for at The Beehive as The Teddy White Band offer up classic blues, swing and rock’n’roll and at The Victoria, Penfold (pictured) will be playing indie covers from Kings of Leon to Katy Perry.

Riffs Bar are hosting their regular acoustic session but at the time of writing their website is offline so best to contact the venue for exact details.

There are a couple of original options on Saturday, especially if you like your music at the more raucous end of the spectrum. The Charred Hearts are going to be tearing things up (as the youth of today might say) at The Wheatsheaf in Stratton, with their brand of melodic punk – incendiary riffs, thunderous beats and driving bass lines are the order of the day. For a classic punk-folk sound then Mick O’Toole at The Rolleston have the answer, a six piece, cider swilling band who play drinking anthems and folk jigs as you have never heard them before…unless of course you have actually witnessed a fight between Flogging Molly and The Pogues. The Victoria has The FunkDementals playing disco and funk covers.

At The Royal Oak, Fly on The Wall will be entertaining the crowd with renditions of classic rock covers from The Rolling Stones to Chuck Berry.

The Sunday afternoon session at The Beehive is filled by Gentou, “a rocky band playing catch original pop songs” and that is about all I can find out about them!

When did advertising gigs become such a covert affair? It’s almost as if the gig listings have been taken over by MI5.

Final mention of the week is for Craig Huchisson who plays The Roaring Donkey, presumably a solo, acoustic player, but as usual there is no information to be had about the gig. When did advertising gigs become such a covert affair? It’s almost as if the gig listings have been taken over by MI5.

So, in keeping with the theme of this weeks column, if you know of any gigs taking place, please don’t tell anyone about it and certainly don’t advertise it on your website, you don’t want people turning up and spoiling the ambience! Still it might explain why it’s getting hard work pulling punters in. Right, I’m off to bang my head against a brick wall; preferably one not fly-postered with gig info…shouldn’t be too hard to find!

mrcatandthejackal_arno-krugerSo, another year, another Swindon Shuffle done and dusted. I hope everybody had a great time, discovered some new bands, took in some of the new cultural diversities that were included and maybe made a new friend or two along the way. (Due to the nature of deadlines, at the time of writing this I am currently only mid festival, which feels a bit like being in some bizarre, Terry Gilliam time travel movie, but we will have to assume all went well and the space time continuum, not to mention the reputation of local music is still in tact.)


If you still haven’t had your fix of music, the place to be this weekend is SN1Fest Summer Ball at The Old Town Bowl for a celebration of all things dance music. Saturday is spearheaded by the twisted minimalist disco sounds of Simian Mobile Disco and just added to the line up, Dismantle, the pioneering young DJ who effortlessly blurs the lines between house, dubstep and Dutch techno. Add to that over a dozen dance acts and DJ’s and you have the perfect day of contemporary and cutting edge music. If Saturday celebrates dance as a genre, Sunday is more about dance as a concept with an eclectic mix of live bands designed to get you in the party mood, from Old Colours, 2 Sick Monkeys, British Harlem, The London Underground Orchestra and all topped off with a set from Radio 1 DJ and Indie guru, Huw Stevens.


Back in the regular haunts there is still a multitude of great music to be deliberated, cogitated and digested, sorry went a bit Loyd Grossman then, and it doesn’t come better than Mr Cat and The Jackal (pictured) at The Victoria tonight. An experimental acoustic folk band reveling in blues, gypsy, tango, balkan and celtic themes via the medium of handmade instruments and an amazing live show…sounds worth checking out if you ask me. Support coming from punked up celtic folksters, Missin’ Rosie just adds to your reasons for going.


Also on the menu tonight, at The Beehive, Andre and The J-Tones mix up original and retro classics with an R ‘n’ B and soul flavour.


The big show for Friday is to be found out at Riffs Bar where great music and a worthy cause go hand in hand as a host of younger acts, including The Fixed, The Eberdeens, Abbie Sims and Lucy Gray will be raising money for The Stroke Association. The Rolleston is offering up The Sitting Tenants, a brilliant power-pop, psych and soul band from the 208 Records stable and The Beehive has a young touring German rock three piece that goes under the name of Patrick McCrank.


The Victoria start the first of two days of elated sun-clasped dance grooves tonight with the wonderful funky dub sounds of Backbeat Sound System and support from the multi-genre mash up kings, SN Dubstation. The following night the regular Reggae Club Night is visited by the legendary DJ Amma who has virtually played for every band, radio session and live event that matters.


Also on Saturday, fans of rock classics should head to The Rolleston for Fly on The Wall who do a neat line in covers by the likes of The Stones, Thin Lizzy, T-Rex and Blink 182.


The Sunday afternoon session at The Beehive is filled by The Senile Delinquents, a brilliant little cowgirl jazz, country outfit, imagine The Dixie Chicks with a european bias and you will be halfway there. The Sun Inn has one of it’s al fresco sessions (posh for outside) which this time will feature The Costellos, a band with a ska-reggae heart but musical arms enough to embrace a whole range of other styles and genres.



As is often the case we have to fast forward to Wednesday for our final slabs of music which come in the guise of Billyjon, a romantic balladeer who seems to be these days slipping into slightly darker and edgier musical waters, at The Running Horse and Sumita Majundar’s fresh and honest piano stories at The Roaring Donkey.