Tag Archive: ian doeser


30762906_2098286093774535_3079476132299407360_oSo, we have spent weeks waiting for this news to become a reality. We’ve all deliberated, cogitated and digested, and finally we have arrived. Friday night sees the re-opening of The Rolleston. In the first of two nights of music to usher in the new era, Innes Sibun will be taking time out from the European summer festival circuit to bring his new incendiary, electric blues outfit, The Malone Sibun Band (pictured) to play this opening event.

Also putting a bluesy twist on a range of well known classics and pre-loved songs,  all genres from funk to rock to reggae and of course blues itself, The Blind Lemon Blues Band can be found at The Queen’s Tap. If you want something seriously funky then Felix and The Funk, the clue is in the name can be found at Swiss Chalet with a plethora of dance, soul, disco, pop and funk. It looks like serious groove is back on the menu.

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10349094_566351956803162_3626054594936056313_nAnd so the “Kanye at Glastonbury” debate trundles on with an army of armchair Foo Fighters fans getting outraged on our behalf and trying to find ever more convoluted reasons to justify the fact that they simply don’t like his music. So? Maybe they are forgetting what a festival, especially one the size of Glastonbury (no Glasto…never Glasto!) is all about. Take a road trip to the heart of the West Country, be part of a temporary city of music fans, meet some interesting people, have a drink, get a bit …err…merry (that’s code by the way but this is a family paper,) take in some Cuban Jazz, a 1940’s Swing Band or a Canadian comedian (aren’t they all these days?) head out to the fringe events and learn to juggle. The options are endless. With literally 1000’s of acts to choose from why worry about one act, on one day, on one stage! That said, I stopped going when people in designer wellies from Kent began putting picket fences around their camping area to demarcate their own suburban plot from their neighbours.

 

And our own music week kicks off in fairly eclectic style as well. Level 3 has a wonderful slice of alt-rock spearheaded by Maidenheads Hindsights, a melodic, riff driven, energetic young band and the more abrasive growl of Hereford’s Richa. Slightly at odds with the headline sound, the more wistful indie-folk of Bad News (no, not that one…a different one) play the middle slot and local bands Dreamcatcher and Sahara Heights add an element of moody indie and shimmering shoegaze to the night.

 

At The Victoria Talk In Code will be throwing stadium tunes, euphoric vibes, accessible dance-rock and a spade load of pop sensibility into the mix to deliver their trade mark cross genre fusions. They are joined by the similarly anthemic Echotape and the pop rock of The Fuse.

Meanwhile at The Beehive, The Sitting Tenants offer up English garage band psychedelia, power-pop and modish rock.

 

On Friday, again Level 3 provides the big draw of the night. The Green Gig is a fundraiser on behalf of the Swindon Green Party, but politics aside it’s a fantastic line up. The Headliners, Kid Calico and the Astral Ponies are a supergroup with ex-members from Belarus, Good Things Happen in Bad Towns and Sunday Dogs, to name a few and a neat line in Americana, music hall and raggle-taggle folk. Joining them, conjuring reflective dreamscapes and indie, pastoral sweetness is Colour the Atlas (pictured). Ian Doeser and Neil Mercer get the night underway.

 

After that original music gets a bit harder to find, though fans of classic rock and metal covers will find a lot that they like from either Kok Rok at The Rolleston and Shepherds Pie at The Victoria. All styles, eras and genres can be found at The Liden Arms courtesy of Penfold.

 

Similarly, Saturday continues to cater for the denim-jacketed brigade with more classic rock covers from Broken Image at The Swiss Chalet. If you are fans of rock and rolls most successful survivors, then The Victoria is the place to be for The Rollin’ Clones.

 

Barrelhouse will be playing vintage blues with a hard edge that takes in Chicago’s heritage and the sound of the early English blues-rock movement at The Rolleston and Riffs Bar is the place to be for something with more of a bucolic vibe to it. Rob Richings deals in vocal harmony driven folk that uses indie and pop borrowings to keep it fresh and contemporary. Joining him is Ethemia, a duo renowned for the timeless quality and sensitivity of their songs and the inspirational Leon Daye. Getting the night underway The Southern Harmony, a band featuring three ex-members of Bateleurs, will be playing their debut show.

 

Jim Reynolds takes the afternoon slot at The Beehive on Sunday, filling the room with music that taps into everything from blues to ragtime, music hall to folk.

 

If something a bit more energetic is your sort of thing then The Victoria that evening is the place to be. Stillbust give a new twist to the hardcore genre and Foxpunch blend gritty punk, ska and a thrashier edge into what they adequately describe as speed grunge. Opening that show are Strength In Blunders.

 

And finally, Wednesday at The Roaring Donkey you can catch the wonderfully upbeat and infectiously soulful acoustica of The Real Raj.

 

John-PeelIt isn’t too much of an exaggeration to say that John Peel shaped contemporary music broadcasting in a way that few others ever did. Through radical programing, a truly eclectic musical taste and by championing bands that would otherwise have remained unknown, he single-handed created the template for music radio, as we know it today. The reason I mention this is that Saturday marks 10 years since his passing and I for one salute you sir. You were a lighthouse in an ocean of music mediocrity. More of that later in the article.

 

And having mentioned the great man, tonight has a suitable eclectic and musically left of centre feel to it. At Riffs Bar, Lifesigns will be reminding us that progressive rock isn’t the indulgent and retro minded genre that some would have us believe. Quintessentially English soundscapes are constructed from the usual prog. pallet but brought bang up to date with slices of melodic rock and pop and a very accessible nature.

 

Songs of Praise at The Victoria is by way of an album launch this time, as Port Erin unveil their latest release, Floating Above the City. Taking the experimental, space rock elements of their earlier days and mixing it with the ambient, jazz infused vibes of more recent days has produced an album that is both imaginative and exploratory yet tuneful and, dare I say it, commercially viable. Support comes from the sonorous and somnolent acoustic dreamscapes of Andrew Burke.

 

The Beehive is the place to be to catch the mercurial mix of underground pop, psychedelia, wit and wisdom of Anton Barbeau.

 

Acoustic music is high on the menu for Friday. Child of Imber is a duo that mixes delicate acoustica, soaring vocals and thoughtful lyrics and they can be found at Riffs Bar for the regular acoustic session. For a high-energy take on the genre then you should definitely catch Sam Green and The Midnight Heist at The Victoria. Theirs is a blend of blues from the Old South and the more pastoral sounds of an English folk dance and the result is the best freewheeling, roots-rock party you have ever been to. Support comes from psych-pop trio Emperor Yes and the twin guitar dexterity of Bren Haze.

 

Rock fans also have a lot to shout about. If original music is your preference then Level 3 is the place to be as A Way With Words, DIRTE, In Bloom and Over to You offer a heady mix of alt-rock, punk, metal and grunge, a theme that will be continued by the Reboot club night that follows it. Meanwhile upstairs at The Rolleston, Metalhead will be playing classic rock and metal covers through the ages.

 

As mentioned in the introduction, Saturday marks the 10 year passing of Our Lord John Peel and in his honour The Victoria have a night dedicated to the man himself with suitably challenging and offbeat acts. There will be fast, furious punk with sweary between song humour delivered in machine gun salvos from 2 Sick Monkeys. The (Legendary?) Chaos Brothers will provide abrasive punk and sleaze rock in the style in which it was originally intended. Coasters are all about the contemporary sound of acoustic music with a punk end drive and Ian Doeser does what he does best, abusing guitar and audience in equal measure. I think John would find it all rather amusing.

 

But there is another famous John in town as well. John Coghlan is best known as being the drummer with Status Quo and he brings his current band to Riffs Bar. But this is no tribute band but a set that mixes the bands big numbers, lost classics and songs never performed before played in the style of the 70’s heyday by the man who was the bands engine room. If anyone is entitled to reappraise those songs I reckon he is.

 

There is also a bit of a blast from the past at The Rolleston with The Wirebirds. Although predominantly a blues band they add in rock, west coast psychedelia and even more contemporary sounds and add to that the remarkable vocals of one time Babe Ruth vocalist, Jenny Haan, and you have something pretty special.

 

Final mentions go to Bob Bowles who plies his trademark blues at The Beehive on Sunday and a rare outing for The Chalice Folk Band who can be found at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday.

Library - 48So, it’s coming to that time again, the race for the coveted Christmas number one spot is upon us, or as it should be known, the inevitable public pedestal for Cowell’s latest crooning cash cow. You almost feel sorry for Joe McElderberry, being usurped by those nasty Rage Against The Machine fans and their shouty, sweary anarchist sentiments. You could argue that all these “let’s stick it to Simon” campaigns designed to overturn his god given right to be the Christmas number one puppet master, is just as orchestrated and convoluted as the thing it is protesting against. Maybe, but this year there is a really good alternative.

 

Gaz Brookfield has released a special version of his song Diet of Banality in an attempt to add a bit of spice to the race for the top spot. Imagine if this years Christmas number one was a rant against all those previous style over substance tunes and their dance routines, skimpy outfits, gimmicky rap-middle eights and the like. Oh the irony! Well if you all head over to Gaz’s website, Amazon or iTunes you could be part of the best piece of seasonal satire and festive japery the charts have witnessed in a long time. Do it!

 

Talking of japes, The Victoria has three less than serious acts for you tonight. Dole queue hero and anti-PC rapper Devvo headlines with the boy racer Chip Daddy and the best/worst cover band of them all, Kova Me Badd, also on the bill.

 

The Beehive hosts Sophie’s Xmas (as opposed to  + vent Sunday or E-ster, I suppose) Charity Bash which in the usual eclectic style of the venue will feature fire jugglers, street magic and music from Doeser, Missin’ Rosie, Erin Bardwell Collective to money for Swindon Sands.

 

Younger fans are being catered for at The Furnace in the form of Teenage Kicks Christmas Special (part 1), which has a wonderfully experimental undercurrent. Tides of Change deliver alt rock with a pop punk vibe, Sasquatch Walk does a neat line in jazzy punk disco and With Felix adds in some ambient electro-indie. Make sure you check out openers The Weekend Effect, I was really impressed with their rapped up indie groove. Interestingly enough there isn’t going to be a Teenage Kicks Christmas Special (part 2) but then I guess if the world is ending there really isn’t much point.

 

To celebrate our imminent doom on Friday (unless the Mayans got it wrong…my, won’t we look foolish?) There are a couple of Apocolyto-parties going on. At The Victoria, party band Breeze will be providing the soundtrack whereas The Furnace has one amazing line up for you. Briefly it goes like this, The Racket – elegantly wasted gutter anthems, Nudybronque – intelligent, intense and fired up pop, The Rhubarbs  – The Beatles on Speed, The Street Orphans – slick, sophisticated indie, SkyBurnsRed – searing and dark alt-rock with a classical sweep and The Fixed – exuberant indie.

 

Other parties come in the form of Slagerij’s very messy Christmas at TP’s; ska-punk mayhem from one of Swindon’s success stories and taking Hell Death Fury, Escape From ’98 and The Useless Eaters into oblivion with them.

 

The Beehive goes down a slightly more sedate path with the fiddlesome roots rockers State of Undress. If our are a fan of The Albion Band, Fairport Convention or even The Strawbs then this is for you.

 

Saturday brings along the annual musical curveball at The Victoria, The 12 Bands of Christmas. Each band gets to do two covers; the more out their usual comfort zone the better. Previous years have seen the Blowbacks turning Cliff Richard’s Devil Woman into a feedback-drenched tribute to Sonic Youth. Matt Kilford abandoning his usual restrained approach and screaming, “Lick my legs!” when covering PJ Harvey’s ‘Rid of Me’ and Si Hall somehow matching the stratospheric range of La Roux. Need I say more?

 

 

After the bizarre offerings of that you may want to find some nostalgic, late night comfort at The Furnace when DJ Dust will be hosting one of his irregular Level 3 reunion nights. Party like its 1993 all over again, Kurt is still alive and Strictly Come Dancing is still eleven years in the future.

 

Finally Sunday afternoon at The Beehive brings a wonderfully pairing of bands and not just because they share a drummer. Rumour Shed plays music that is wonderfully chilled, reflective, richly poetic and quietly majestic. Accompanying them are The Shudders, a band just beginning to get back into their stride after too long away and guaranteed to make you want to bop, boogie and booze in equal measure. And it’s all free.

Review by Joy Bells

Let the battle continue…

Day 2 of the shuffle! Saturday and Apollo’s polished up the chariot. The sun is officially out! Yesterday’s lesson learnt I slip on my Converse and cadge a lift on the Triumph Bonneville, courtesy of Mr Mick. Yesterday’s early evening soda drinking jamboree has left me hang over free and that’s good as I anticipate a busy day fitting in shedloads of talent at 4 different venues. My shuffle will see me doing more hopping than a cockney vacation to Kent!

The Rolleston is my first stop and Doeser, Swindon’s punk age prototype pits his raw vocals against Mike Nee’s sleaze blues harmonica. This is half of ‘Hamsters from Hell’ – with the staying power of Stonehenge they’re part of Swindon’s musical archaeology. Billy Jon follows; all rich vocals, unbuckled charm charting thoughts mined in moments of clarity and thrills spilt in bright guitar flashes of light. The benches outside begin to empty as Shufflers forego the sunshine for this acoustic set and shoppers gripping Sainsbury’s carrier bags pop their heads round the door to see what the fuss is about. Fresh faced Faye Rogers takes over, engaging and vulnerable her clean, lilting voice has a Bjork like ebb and flow wrapped up with pretty guitar melodies. Here’s a really promising talent…and what a cracking pair of red Doc Martens. But I need a pick me up and the thought of Starbucks and The Bateleurs playing at Rise Records in Swindon’s Brunel Plaza prompts us to head into town.

Caffeine quaffing we arrive at Rise as Buswell play their last few numbers. Reduced to 7 or 8 members there’s still a disparate musical dialogue delivering unyielding country/folk vibes less Mumford and Sons and more Buswell (as in Shaun) and friends. There are musicians from Anchor and the wolf, Missing Rosie, The Shudders and God knows how many other bands, which reminds me why the Swindon music scene is worth its weight in grand piano’s! Ego isn’t as important as creating music; from sound engineers to bass guitarists, roles overlap like tectonic plates holding this musical world together.

A sizeable crowd have gathered outside the shop and Brunel ‘security’ informs management that they need the people watching to move inside. There’s a great atmosphere and when The Bateleurs start playing at the back of the shop, sure enough a few people decide they’ll throw their lot in with the devil and shuffle (see what I did there) uncertainly in.

Having missed the silky folk smoked rock of The Bateleurs last night I soon start tapping my feet and nodding my head. I love Sean Amor’s voice, like gravel in a thick milkshake and the fiddle, plaintive and restrained. What a wicked way to buy your books and CDs.At the end it was hard to drag ourselves away and in an attempt to maintain our stamina we force feed ourselves pasties from Greggs while discussing ‘endurance between venue’ tactics for the night ahead. But as Steve Martin says, ‘Talking about music is like dancing about architecture’ – so we made our way back to The Rolleston for the real thing.

Adepto Futui were just setting up and they did not disappoint. This is a 4 man funky, hunky package tied up with groovy, twangy strings, with keyboard notes flying like bullets through cymbals crashing like Atlantic waves in a storm. Believe me, that’s a very good thing. West Coast Americana bubbling under the grill of the Swindon Town shuffle. Don’t mind if I do…They’re quickly followed by the technically excellent Blowbacks. I’ve seen them before and will see them again. They’re melodic, articulate with a dash of Blur-ish Britpop rock and cool as cucumbers to boot. Eight or nine songs later and they’re making way for the next band.

The musical tapas continues in the form of Nudybronque. Mike Sheehan sounds like Morrissey (if Morrissey ate meat and liked people) and the rhythms and beats are bouncier than Jordan’s breasts, but they also entertain with on stage wrestling, drum kit demolition, infectious smiles and songs about real life…’she says she’s pregnant’. The drum kit is quickly reassembled for Super SquareCloud, all innovative melodica, percussion driven, keyboard frisson, guitar risen from the dead and octave changing vocals pared at times into ethereal bars of flighty lyrical fancy. Super SquareCloud need some absorption, but osmosis is my middle name!

A few songs from the end we stand outside wondering if we can get to 12 Bar in time for Plummie Racket’s acoustic set with Dan. Fortunately Alan Holmes of Holmes Music appears. He’s checking the equipment on a quick trip out from The SOLAM festival at Riffs and offers us a lift. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, or anywhere else come to think of it, we hop in his van and are at 12 Bar before you could say ‘The Black Hats Rock!’

There’s only a couple of people in the venue, so Frankie and I pull our chairs to the very front and treat it like our own personal show. Affably sweary and constantly updating his repertoire with songs he writes a few hours before going on stage, he and Dan perform like they’re engaging with a Glastonbury crowd. As the first song ends I’m surprised by the clapping and hooting behind me. The venue has filled up and the rest of his set is met with loud and good humoured appreciation.

Farewells done we leave and pop into the Chinese take away on Faringdon Road for a bag of chips. Shuffling is no good for your health; I’m going to have to run every day next week to combat one day’s pastry and potato combo. We hear a horn beep and look up to see Mr Holmes four-way flashing on the road side. He’s fast becoming our taxi service and whisks us up to The Beehive. The pub is heaving. People aren’t standing outside to enjoy the balmy evening they simply can’t get in. Melodious tendrils of delicate harmony filter through the cheery babble. Matilda are in full swing.  (with Becky called away Matilda actually became Emily Sykes and friends instead – Ed) By the time we actually push through to the back they’ve finished and Emily and the Dogs are setting up.

I’ve been meaning to check out this band for ages, everyone’s talking about them and from the moment they begin I know why. The guitars and drum fit like well-crafted jigsaw pieces around the most emotionally weighted voice, all Dion Washington washed with Winehouse; there’s depth and resonance, jagged edged pain and joyous melody. It’s all here, soul, jazz and folksy charm playing beautifully together and sharing musical jewels.

It’s been a long day and we nip out to Fratello’s on Victoria Road for a pick me up coffee. On the way we’re startled by a badger running hell for leather down a back ally. An animal contingent of music lovers must have heard that Emily and the Dogs are live at the Hive and want to play!  We bump into Plummie (again) on the way back and he’s still promising Racket badges. At the Beehive the 3 man acoustic collective Mr Love and Justice are filling the place with easy listening folksy nostalgia, all long served musicians highly respected on the Swindon music scene. What a great way to wrap up the night.

But it doesn’t end there. Talking politics with Steve Cox of Mr L and J, playing darts and winning – that combination of alcohol and live music again and making a detour on the way home to say ‘Happy Anniversary’ to Dave and Anna who were partying up at The Victoria all added to The Shuffle experience. One more day to go…can I do it? Is the Pope Catholic?