Tag Archive: groove radicals (the)


imgID153440369.jpg.galleryAcoustic music from both ends of the spectrum can be found in town tonight. Firstly Walker Broad returns to The Beehive for a full band show , trading in folk and jazz infused bluesy-rock; think Steeleye Span meets Steely Dan, slick, smooth and exceedingly clever. If something more raucous is required then True Strays at The Victoria are what you are looking for, if what you are looking for is the sound of a bunch of jobbing raggle-taggle folk-blues wranglers playing for the dime and delight of juke joints and cowboy bars in the dustbowl days of 1930s America.

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10697395_839039612784945_1481683335433694579_oNot the busiest of weeks for live music coming up but with the summer finally kicking in, I guess barbecues and pub gardens, days out in exotic places, festivals and nights camped under the stars are preferable to being shut in a loud, dark, beer sodden room with dozens of other sweaty people. Live music is okay with that. Live music understands. Live music is patient. Live music will be here waiting when you are ready to come back inside.

That said there is a triptych of great, original offerings to entice you in happening around Old Town tonight and at The Victoria you will find those perennial musical mind-benders, Sex Jazz and their insect fixated, bass heavy, Zappa-infused, psychedelic-punk. Joining them is Cracked Machine, purveyors of intense, droning, proggy soundscapes and RRS a one man band of glitchy, lo-hi weirdness.

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Ginger Wildheart albumMaybe not the best known band name in the music world, but to many The Wildhearts are simply rock and roll legends. Creating a sound which felt like The Beatles crashing head first into Metallica, they rocked harder and played harder than most and have often paid the price for their full throttle lifestyle. Front man Ginger (pictured)has led a varied musical life between and since the bands regular breaks, playing with the likes of Michael Monroe, guesting in place of Jason Ringenberg in The Scorchers and over a decades worth of albums under his own name.

Tonight he brings the musical fruits of his latest album, the country and folk inspired Ghost In The Tanglewood, to The Victoria. Today’s Ginger is more reflective than before and the songs deal with many of the challenges he has personally faced, though universally relatable ones, but you know that even with the foot off the pedal somewhat, Ginger is a brilliant and engaging live act.

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So with all of the Christmas cheer and New Year’s shenanigans finally behind us we can now concentrate on the job at hand, namely grooving your socks off and watching live music. Obviously by now you have probably have heard the terrible news that The Rolleston and Level III are to close before the month is out. Obviously we have been hear before and hopefully a solution will be worked out that keeps it as a music venue, but it does just under line what a tough time music venues and pubs in general are having, I know it is a cliche but the adage “use it or lose it” has never seemed more apt. No matter how arty and forward thinking the music might be, how cutting edge the promoters ethos, how trail blazing the venue, gigs only happen because the venue sells booze, its as simple as that. But buy a CD on the way out as well!

And talking of cutting edge, The Victoria has a something which can only be described as weird and wonderful, and I mean that in the best of ways. Now, I’ve been writing about avant-garde and original music for half a lifetime but even I don’t know what to expect from a band who describe themselves as sounding like “Mercury Rev fighting with Neil Young. Intrigued? Well check out the headliners High Climbers. Flour Babies use swirly synths and choppy guitars to reference glorious post-punkery and opening the night is the mercurial and fairly tale music of Indoor Goblin.

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14237531_1240827289282248_7951811395618466435_nI occasionally get people asking why I don’t mention gigs going on in this bar or that venue. Well, it isn’t through lack of trying. Obviously I can only collate what information is available on line (I can’t wander around every pub in town hunting for event posters or knowledgeable bar staff) and about a week ahead of the event (believe it or not this isn’t just thrown together at the last minute.)

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nick-harper-press-photo-08mOne of the biggest names to hit town in a while, especially if you have a penchant for the singer-songwriter format, can be found in one of the smallest local venues tonight. At Baila Coffee and Vinyl you will find Nick Harper,(pictured) a festival favourite with a string of fantastic albums under his belt and who is able to do things to his guitar that would have had Segovia weeping into his Rioja. Support comes from Burbank and I would suggest that you buy a ticket on-line rather than take your chances on being able to get in.

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