Tag Archive: in the absence of light


lord_bishop_rocks_carlisle_01_313x470As Harold Wilson once said, “ A week is a long time in local music, ” well, something like that. Anyway, after a few weeks of being hard pushed to find much to talk about on the gigging front, this week is an embarrassment of riches and so without further….

 

So starting in our usual departure point on this rollercoaster of what’s-on-ness, The Victoria, tonight has it’s second show commemorating Tom Humber’s all too young passing a year ago, with the hard and heavy sounds of In The Absence of Light and Eye For An Eye. Those looking for a more rootsy fix would do well to head for The Beehive and this month’s Acoustic Buzz. Hosted and featuring a solo set from Blind River Scare’s Tim Manning, this month’s bill also sees the bluesy folk of Tamsin Quin plus Boss Caine, a man who looks like a Bowery street busker and has a sound and style reminiscent of Tom Waits. Nice!

 

Staying with roots, on Friday you can catch two of the best of that genre at The Rolleston as Hip Route bring their energetic and emotive acoustic-blues groove, slide guitars and beatific beats to bear on the audience. Support comes from Sam Green who even without his Midnight Heist cohorts is a musical force to be reckoned with. Riffs Bar Acoustic Session features a triptych of folk artists…for those that didn’t go to Sunday school that means three. The “Dude Where’s Your Car Tour” is a package of young singer-songwriters from the Midlands and comprises of David Young (no, not that one, a different one,) Dan Salt and the wonderfully named Brains For Breakfast.

 

The Automaniacs are at The Beehive; expect psychedelic instrumentals mixed with proggy structures, old school rock’n’roll, atmospherics and electronic washes or just imagine the sort of sounds that might come from a haunted music shop in the early hours.

 

For those who fancy crossing the parish boundaries and heading out into the sticks, as a teaser for The Big Gig later in the year, you can catch a bunch of bands at The Crown in Broad Hinton, namely The AK-Poets, (or catch them again at The Royal Oak on Saturday) Charlie Ann, Full On and Nick Felix.  Party band Interlight will be providing covers and humorous banter at The Victoria.

 

Saturday see’s one of the busiest nights musically around town I have seen for a while, nothing at all to do with venues booking bands merely as pre-football party acts whilst balding forty something’s in ill fitting sports regalia explain loudly to each other why their team selection would be much better. No, I’m sure the bands have been book purely on their own musical merits.

 

Original Brit-Punks, The Members bring “the sound of the suburbs” to The Victoria, mixing explosive first wave punk, pop melodies and reggae vibes. I’m sure the fact that their show is scheduled to finish at 10.30, just as the football starts is pure co-incidence. More heavy sounds can be had at Riffs Bar as Lord Bishop Rocks (pictured) swaggers into town. Beatle-esque melodies, Sabbath’s musical weight and the funk of James Brown are moulded into what the band themselves title Sex Rock. Superb Support comes in the form of Burnthru and Mascot.

 

Proving that it is not all about numbers, Level 3 have a show entitled Two Piece Suit: 2 acts each made up of two musicians. The Sea mix the sass of T-Rex with the swagger and industrial riffing of The MC5 whilst 2 Sick Monkeys play incendiary punk with humour and dexterity. Meanwhile in The Rolleston next-door The Imperial G-Men use rock and roll, jump and give to excite their crowd.

 

Something less raucous comes courtesy of The GW’s regular acoustic night, this time featuring sets from All Ears Avow, who’s normal modus operandi is trying to inflict structural damage via white hot metal onslaughts, Emi McDade whose delicate piano creations I have previously championed in these pages, as well as The Philly Wood Band, Tyler Harvey, Jack Summers and another outing for Hip Route. Covers are provided Peloton at The Royal Oak and The Hyperbolics at The Queens Tap.

 

If you need something that afternoon to get your music juices running then a perfect aperitif is watching David Marx play the café at The Old Town Gardens.

 

And briefly, The Academy of Music and Sound are running two nights of music at Level 3 on Tuesday and Wednesday to raise money for the Prospect Hospice.

426615_307388412659174_1530646521_nA bit of a Curates Egg for seekers of original music this week and those not familiar with Victorian satire should Google the phrase immediately. If, however, you are one of those people that are content to hear music with an already existing pedigree, then you will have a field day. But, tonight at least, there is something truly original on offer. Songs of Praise at The Victoria is always striving to bring in bands that tick boxes to do with boundary pushing attitudes, uniqueness and fresh sounds and tonight they have excelled themselves.

 

Nudybronque is a band that have built up quite a reputation over the last few years, evolving from a perfectly pleasant punk-pop four-piece to a truly mesmerising experimental indie band and the release of their latest e.p. Moondog merely confirmed them to be a band writing some of the best tunes in their field today. Tonight they are joined by Port Erin, another band who have striven to push the boundaries of their own musical development, these days plying a musical trade of space and atmospherics, subtle dynamics and an almost jazz inflected quality. Opening the show is Oui Legionnaires, a band that almost defies generic pigeonholing instead preferring to invent their own terms such as puzzle-pop and yelpcore. No idea what that means? No, me neither, may it’s best you check them out.

 

Something far more describable is at The Beehive in the guise of Robert Brown, a troubadour whose style falls on the less fey side of Nick Drake and the sweeter edge of Jimmy Page.

 

The big event for Friday is the Ocelot Magazines Eighth Birthday bash at The Victoria. Being a publication with strong connections to the local music scene, you can imagine that they are able to pull in the best bands around and this line-up is a bit of a corker. Headlining is the newly re-emerged Racket, now fully embracing their brit-pop leanings and elevated to a five piece but with all the live swagger and attitude that you associate with the band of old. Vienna Ditto offers a contrasting sheen of wild-eyed rockabilly riffs and sparse, atmospheric electronica whilst looking like collaboration between a mad scientist and a jazz chantress. Boss Cloth brings the noise, as it were, a heavy yet melodic wave of grunged rock riffs and drum dynamics. Opening the night will be Chip Daddy (pictured) a man as well known for his outrageous off stage stunts as he is for his onstage rap parody.

 

Rumbustious…that’s a good word isn’t it? Rumbustious music can be found at The Beehive courtesy of M.O.D. who play Balkan inspired folk using everything from washboards to double bass, harmoniums to clarinets and will be playing songs from last years wonderfully titled Travelling at The Speed of Cattle. If something smoother is called for, Benji Clements will be playing in full band mode at The Royal Oak and the ska and reggae creations of SN Dubstation can be found at The Liquor Lounge.

 

Other options are the rock, blues and swing standards of The Teddy White Band at The Rolleston and classic covers from Switch at The New Inn.

 

On Saturday, Level 3 features a night of music in memory of DJ, radio presenter and all round good egg, Tom Humber who sadly passed away a year ago. As a devoted rock and metal fan he would certainly have approved of the bands paying tribute; melodic trash metallers In The Absence of Light, heavy biker-rock with a dash of Southern charm from Eye For and Eye and Dodging the Bullet playing iconic rock covers. Meanwhile next door at The Rolleston Metal Gods cover similar musical ground and the music of Paul Rogers of Free and Bad Company fame, is being re-visited at The Victoria.

 

Reggae music is being celebrated by The Shocks of Mighty DJ’s at The Beehive and more pop and rock standards can be had from In It For The Money who re-launch the band at Riffs Bar and Echo at The Swiss Chalet.

Sunday sees the Lazy Sunday Afternoon Session re-locate to the bandstand in Old Town Gardens and from 5pm you can have fun in the sun (you never know) with acoustic music from Blake, Rob Beckinsale and as ever your hosts, Mr Love and Justice.

Final mention of the week goes to those dapper acoustic Latin-jazzmen, Gilmore’n’Jaz who play the Roaring Donkey on Wednesday and whom I can’t recommend highly enough.

It’s that time of year again, the time to eat, drink and be scary, yes, Halloween is upon us. It’s a confusing time really; we spend all year telling kids not to take sweets from strangers and then for one night a year actively encourage them to go out begging for treats. How odd. Sadly the age-old traditions of guising and party games have been replaced by the veiled threats of trick or treating. But if you want to avoid yet another corporate Americanisation of our heritage the solution is easy. Instead of being besieged in your own home as hordes of pre-teen terrors demand sweets with menaces, just head off out to the sanctuary of a gig, this week there is no shortage of them.

Tonight for instance we have a cornucopia of acoustic acts for you delectation, or otherwise put…. there are shed loads of acts to watch. The usual Songs of Praise night at The Victoria sees the welcome return of Charlie Bath, think Dallas Green meets Carole King, aided an abetted by her regular City Marshall collaborator, Simon Law. Up from Cardiff is minimalist troubadour Joshua Caole, who ploughs a furrow that runs from contemporaries like Ryan Adams past Gram Parsons and Hank Williams right back to the sounds of the Jim Crow South of post Civil War emancipation. Opening up the night is romantic balladeer Billyjon.

The Rolleston plays host to three acts that graced the stages of this years Swindon Shuffle Festival. Anyone who missed Antonio Lulic then should catch him tonight. Sounding like a solo Brian Fallon or even Bruce Springsteen, only from England’s fashionably impoverished North-East, this is an artist who has the songs, the stage presence, the banter and the charisma, it is only a matter of time before he is being hunted down by the industry bigwigs, trust me. Support comes from Racket front man Plummie and the musical ethereality of Faye Rogers.

For something completely different, Three Minute Tease rock back up at The Beehive. Backed by the rhythm section that made The Soft Boys and Robyn Hitchcock’s Egyptians the icons of underground music, psychedelic pop warrior Anton Barbeau’s brings the soundtrack to his crazy world back into town. Think Cope, Partridge and Barrett and you get the idea.

Apart from the macabre, carnivalesque, gypsy folk of Buffo’s Wake at The Beehive on Friday, everything else gets a bit loud and shouty, that’s a good thing right? At the Rolleston, Control The Storm (pictured) will be delivering atmospheric, dynamic, melodic metal where their concentration on song crafting doesn’t come at the expense of power and aggression. Support band, Endeavour go for the more frantic technicalities of progressive metal.

Over at Riffs Bar and there are more big and Byzantine sounds courtesy of Acts of Brutality, the oddly named A Fist Full of Foozy, Back Pocket Prophet and Harmony Disorder. What normally happens is the line up changes drastically by the time this goes to print and all the new bands on the bill moan at me for getting the facts wrong, so check the website every fifteen minutes for updates.

You can round your evening off with The Nightshift at The Furnace, where DJ Dust and Tom Himself will be spinning Industrial, Goth, Electronica, Darkwave and other strangeness, so it will probably look like the nightclub scene in Blade II!

On Saturday The Victoria has quite a line up. Headlining, Josie and The Outlaw are all about the 50’s rock and role vibes, whilst The Racket bring their usual blend of wonderfully punked out indie chaos to the stage. With the big sound of SkyBurnsRed and the strange quantum-glock and even stranger time changes of Super Squarecloud, it’s a brilliantly eclectic mix.

Elsewhere it is all about the Halloween party proper. The 12 Bar is being taken over by South West Hardcore with a Pirate vs. Ninja theme and music from Under Godless Skies, Kill The Conversation, Deliverance and Without Consequence. The Furnace, meanwhile, has gone for a Burlesque Metal night with music from In The Absence of Light and The Hotel Ambush.

I urge you all to be at The Beehive on Sunday afternoon for a band that I can’t recommend enough, Port Erin – imagine if Radiohead toyed with jazz and folk as well the usual rock dynamics – these guys are just great. Also falling into the highly recommended category is the show at The Victoria later that same day. Alice Offley launches her latest album spearheading a night of wonderful harmonies and delicate sounds from Jazz Morley and The Black Feathers.

As the week peters out there is still some great music to be had. On Tuesday it comes in the form of Canada’s blues icon Frank Cosentino with support from The Graveltones and The Peace Pirates at The 12 Bar and on Wednesday it’s Teenage Kicks Halloween Party at The Furnace with Roads to Nowhere and Days of Juno.