Tag Archive: gabrielle aplin


Library - 53So here we are, last column of the year and for obvious reasons not a lot of original music about as venues err on the side of the festive favourites, the cheesy music and the fun time bands to accompany their Christmas parties, and that’s as it should be. But I would like to use the extra space to say a few thanks and have a look back over the year.

 

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has been supportive of my efforts to try and bring worthy, interesting and breaking bands to your attention, I know it really comes down to my, often strange, personal taste but hopefully you have checked out some of them and hopefully discovered some great new music along the way.

 

Although it has been a difficult year, especially with the news that The Big Arts Day will be no more plus the loss of the brilliant BBC Wiltshire Introducing show, not to mention the 12 Bar closing, I still think there is a lot to be proud of regarding local music. This year musicians from this area could be found supporting The Levellers and Newton Faulkner and following in the footsteps of Josh Kumra, Gabrielle Aplin (pictured), made it to the top of the charts. The Shuffle came back bigger and better this year with more venues and bands being involved, Summer Breeze managed to attract artists of the calibre of K T Tunstall and in general there are more original bands of a higher quality than ever before just waiting to burst out of the area and start making a name for themselves.

 

All sounds pretty good to me but of course these successes can only happen if there is the support from the public, so remember to get out there, keep the venues in business and thereby keep the bands in work so they can entertain, develop their live skills, evolve and reach fruition. If between all the partying, boozing, food and general shennanighins there is time to catch a band, then maybe one of these will suffice.

 

Tonight at The Victoria is The Songs of Praise/Green Man Music Christmas show. For their 25th and final show of the year they bring together two bands synonymous with their brand name, Nudybronque and SkyBurnsRed, bands that have had a brilliant year, are hallmarked by super charged live shows and neither have any understanding of grammatical spacing in their names.

 

Friday’s options have a bit of a retro feel to them. If ska is your thing then head along to the Beehive for the Nomarks in all their two-tone glory, probably just the tonic(s) you are after (geddit?) to dance away all the food and drink you have consummed this week. Also with influences rooted back in an earlier time, The Corsairs play The Rolleston. Now in their twentieth year they mix up rockabilly, punk and ska to create a unique psychobilly sound.

 

Saturday is all about the contemporary sound of rock and roll. Having caught Natural Tendency last time they played The Rolleston, I can tell you that they are well worth turning off the TV and missing out on The Only Way is Runcorn or Jeremy Spake: The Missing Years or what ever z-list celebrity dross is being offered up in the name of mainstream entertainment. This is a band that runs emotionally charged rock headlong into ambient keyboard washes and waves of frenzied synth grooves. It’s the future sound of rock music.

 

Meanwhile downstairs in The Furnace, South West Hardcore present their Dolls and Gangsters party with hardcore/metal onslaughts from The Hotel Ambush and Beyond Hurt, but make sure you catch openers Firefalldown who mix compelling punk aggression with accessible skater melodies and grooves that funk up and rock out in equal measure. Whichever of those two gigs you go to stick around afterwards for the Nightshift club night – industrial, darkwave, electronica, goth and more from the usual suspects.

 

On Sunday, again at The Rolleston you can catch a stripped back session from retro-rockers Josie and The Outlaw and after that it is all about the mayhem and madness of New Years Eve. As my distant relative, Benjamin Franklin so wisely put it “ Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” – can’t say fairer than that.

 

So that’s another year done, have a great time over the festivities and I’ll see you at a gig somewhere soon, I’ll be the one leaning on the bar clutching a handful of Antwerp scene experimental rock demos and trying to argue that The Icicle Works were the greatest pop band ever to anyone who will listen. Have a blast out there.

Library - 36As De La Soul observed, three is a magic number. Sadly at the moment it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good thing. After reporting that the 12 Bar has closed and The Big Arts Day has been cancelled, I now have a third, and probably the most momentous, piece of bad news. As of next week the Thursday evening “Introducing” session on BBC Wiltshire radio will cease to exist. The show is to be replaced by a regional version that will cover new and original music across 5 counties from its Bristol studio, a move that can only mean that even if there is no bias, each county will have a fifth of the coverage under the new regime.

Will and Marie (plus Emily, Sam and probably a few people I never met) have done a brilliant job giving this county’s bands a foot in the door and the chance to have their music broadcast to a wider audience. It is exposure of this sort that has helped local acts, Josh Kumra and more recently Gabby Aplin make it all the way to the hallowed number one spot. So I’m sure everyone will join me in saying thank you for all your hard work, your wit and wisdom, your insight and enthusiasm and shame on the powers that be for yet another nail in the coffin of the current music scene. And, as if in mourning, original music is fairly hard to find this week. Hard but not impossible.

Tonight, psytrance tribe Zetan Spore descend on The Beehive in a riot of euphoric trance techno, strobe lights and hypnotic beats that comes across as some sort of religious devotion to the god of technology, or the last party before the end of the world. Which as we all know happens a couple of days later, so you might as well get your dancing trousers on and join in.

Friday’s big name is none other than punk survivors, Vice Squad at The Furnace. These days they walk a path that meanders between old school punk and a more metal approach but still deliver it with finesse and conviction and if you want to know the secret to staying young, well in the case of iconic front woman and one time poster girl of trash punk, Beki Bondage, it appears that the answer is to grab a guitar, a pair of sledgehammer boots and a free wheeling punk spirit and Bob is indeed your mothers brother! Support comes from Menace.

Similar nostalgic vibes can be found at The Victoria with the celebration of all things eighties that is Syntronix. Well, not all things, I bet they don’t play any New Model Army! But rest assured all the more obvious stuff will get a look in.

If you fancy a bit of fired up Celtic folk with all the whistles and bells…. well, whistles anyway, then Missin’ Rosie are at The Beehive. The Levellers on speed? A west country Flogging Molly? The Pogues rocking out? Take your pick but you get the idea. If it’s just something a bit more familiar that you are after then you might want to head over to The Swiss Chalet for some pop and rock covers from Audio Asylum.

The Furnace comes up trumps again on Saturday when Devil Sold His Soul headline. Mixing atmospheric washes, slabs of progressive metal and a singer who sounds like he has only moments left to live, it’s easy to see why this band have built up such a reputation as one to watch. TRC add some out and out hardcore into the night’s proceedings and Burials and The Argent Dawn kick it all off.

The hilariously named S-Hit 5 (see what they did there?) play everything “from The Stones to Steppenwolf” …not the widest of selections then, at Riffs Bar and if you have a hankering for some reggae then head for the Vic for the regular Reggae Club night and some early reggae, ska and rocksteady courtesy of the Queen of Music, DJ Amma.

Sunday is an all-together more chilled affair. Mr Love and Justice host their regular Lazy Sunday Afternoon show at The Arts Centre where they are joined by folk stalwarts, The Bateleurs, Swindon Scratch Choir and new young duo, The Illustrations. That evening the maestro of lap guitar playing, Jim Blair, will be treating The Rolleston to his trademark funky blues style.

And finally just to end right back where we started. If you wish to have a bit of a celebration with the BBC Introducing team and thank them for all their hard work, listen to Will’s jokes and generally get a bit squiffy, then the place and time is The Victoria on Wednesday and it will also include music from Dadaist-disco mavericks, Super Squarecloud, Middlenamekill and Henry Green.