Tag Archive: james warner prophecies (the)


swindon105_5logo-300x186The podcast of the Live and Local Show from Swindon 105.5. This week we have an interview with Stuart Maconie and in session with James Daubney. Music from: Emily Drake, Antonio Lulic, The SheBeats, Emi Mcdade, Tamsin Quin, The James Warner Prophecies and Seven Years On.

 

 

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1622127_840966529263202_504818935_nWhat have the following acts got in common. Empire, Oliver Wilde, She Makes War, Black Hats, The James Warner Prophecy, Vienna Ditto, Cursor Major, Bridie Jackson and the Arbour…. Give up? Well, they are all bands that you could have seen at Songs of Praise for free that have gone on to achieve national radio play, tour with name bands or receive decent coverage in the music media. If you feel like you have missed out on some great music..and you did then you have the chance to make up for it by catching this show.

On tour from Idaho, The Very Most play Camera Obscure/Beach Boys inspired indie and are in the country touring towards the end of July.

Listen to Wond’ring 

Joining them for the full tour are Glasgow dream-poppers The Yakuri Cable who sound like this…

Listen to Adventures in 1986

And joining them for the Swindon show are our own King in Mirrors who anyone with any discerning tatse on the local scene must be aware of.

Listen to Little Voices

So if Indie, post punk or underground pop is your sort of thing then this time you can get ahead of the curve and catch these bands at a free gig, something that you won’t be able to do for long.

More Information here

 

419506_10150699950192165_275869385_nI’ve been accused of being a bit negative towards the local music scene of late…a few off the cuff remarks were taken a bit too seriously by some people who should know my style better and resulted in a bit of a back lash. But in my defence I stand by my general thoughts that in the cyclical nature of these things we do seem to be at a low ebb, particularly in terms of emerging new and original talent and the amount of venues left to play in. That said one of the direct results in having more bands than venues, even if few of those bands are truly blazing new trails, is that a certain level of quality control should start to come into effect and the bookings at the remaining venues will potentially start to pay higher musical dividends. That’s the hope anyway.

 

 

 

Maybe a small step towards this was seen last week in the work of a couple of out of town bands, Barb Wire Dolls and Healthy Junkies who stormed the Victoria and really showed how to put a live show on. Also the Hip Route album launch also demonstrated how a band can really add value to a gig. Local bands take note of this.

 

 

 

One band that can also be found filed in the “really know how to own a stage” category are James Warner Prophecies  (pictured) who will be gracing The Victoria for Songs of Praise tonight, probably with about ten minutes to spare after getting caught up in the M1 evening traffic just outside Derby…no change there. They are a band that manages to mix up everything from heavy rock to ska to pop to old style music hall and come out with a wonderfully deranged yet utterly pleasing sound plus some lovely attention to beard design. Support comes from Cirencester’s Familiars and local band of the moment A Way With Words.

 

 

 

If something a bit more cultured is preferred then a visit to The Beehive means that you can catch the wonderful blends of blues, classical, folk and flamenco courtesy of continental troubadour, Claude Bourbon.  I can’t recommend this man highly enough especially to anyone who thinks they have mastered the acoustic guitar.

 

 

 

Sadly (or not depending on your point of view) original music is a bit hard to find for the next couple of days, but that’s not to say there isn’t some very talented bands to be had, it’s just that it will all be music that you are already familiar with. Not my thing but each to their own.

 

 

 

On Friday The Monkeys Dolls treat The Victoria to contemporary rock classics whilst at The Rolleston, Metal Gods fulfil a similar roll for the more metal and heavy rock minded.

 

 

 

Tributes come thick and fast of Saturday enabling you to catch the music of Madness at The Victoria, The Police at Riffs and Ozzy Osborne at The Rolleston. The one slice of original music can be found at The Sun Inn at Coate Water. Nick Tatham has been described “Dorset’s best kept secret”, plays music wonderfully reminiscent of the likes of Seth Lakeman or Newton Faulkner and was also recently to be found auditioning on The Voice, but don’t hold that against him.

 

 

 

Sunday sees a great event over at Riffs Bar to raise money for the Philippines Typhon Appeal and feature an all day spread of music from solo acoustic acts to blues, rock and indie bands and everything from covers, standards and originals. Truly something for everyone and the most worthy of causes as well.

 

 

 

At the Arts Centre on Monday members of The Albion Band, Edward II and Fairport Convention under the leadership of the godfather of British folk music, Ashley Hutchins, offer up a pageant of Christmas carols, seasonal music, dance, humour and poetry to start getting you in the seasonal frame of mind.

 

 

 

If the words Metalcore and the label “Victory Records” conjure up a certain image that makes older type hide under the bed, don’t be too quick to judge Continents who play The Victoria on Monday. Whilst maintaining the ferocity of the genre, they manage to nail enough looseness, infectious riffing and melody to possibly make them the successors to Bring Me The Horizon. Support comes in a similar vein from Fathoms.

 

 

 

Finally Wednesday rounds off as usual at The Roaring Donkey with the talented and musically dexterous Nick Felix who plays a Christmas themed show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Library - 23After the doom and gloom of recent events surrounding venue closures, it’s good to see that the town can still put a full event diary in front of its discerning gig going public. Maybe it’s the fact that the rain has got slightly warmer and the Met Office is predicting another half our of sunshine sometime in late August, but what ever the reason there is plenty to choose from this week.

We start with a change in the previously advertised schedule. Songs of Praise at The Victoria tonight was to feature one of the most popular bands on their roster, The James Warner Prophecies, but sadly their travel plans for some European festival dates mean that they are no longer available. But fear not, their replacement comes in the shape of False Gods who alchemize elements of Muse and The Manics to make their music an intriguing proposition. Headliners Empire manage to blend pop melody into hard and angular rock deliveries and opening the night is Babies vs. Rabies, who are like nothing you have experienced before, unless you have come across music that is in turn hypnotic, oppressive, violent, atmospheric, brutal and car crash beautiful, sort of like a cross between an art-punk band and a napalm strike. Or a concerto for guitar and hand grenade!

The Hive has similarly original music on offer in the form of The Blue Trees, a stripped back, lo-fi, roots rock sound that will appeal to fans of The Black Keys, the Black Crows and even some bands with other colours in their title.

True legends can be found at The Wyvern Theatre when Colin Blunstone and virtuoso organist Rod Argent lead The Zombies through all the classics. Fifty years on and the band still sound amazing. Those with more of a jazz leaning might wish to head for the Arts Centre as The Bateman Brothers, aided by a host of famous friends, pay tribute to Louis Armstrong.

Staying at The Arts Centre for Friday and it’s the welcome return of Lotte Mullan; story telling, contemporary folk and famous for her “inside the music business blog.” Musically think Laura Marling meets Loretta Lynn, but her stories make her more like the Bridget Jones of the music industry. More folk can be found at The Beehive with Bateleurs, this time a sort of trans-Atlantic blend that makes you think that if Dylan had not been born alongside Highway 61 but had embraced the A1 in the same mythical fashion, these songs might have been the result.

Two big events happening on Saturday, firstly the Fieldview Festival Launch show at The Victoria. Fieldview is one of the success stories of the local festival scene and their launch show will give you a taste of the event to come, a host of acts to catch including the channeling of the spirits of long forgotten delta bluesmen by Sam Green and The Midnight Heist and the Cameron Brothers (the people who brought you Old School Tie) current brilliant musical vehicle, Weatherstorms.

Last year I was lucky enough to attend the Refuge gig at the Museum and Art Gallery where a combination of some stunning music, a very worthy cause and a wonderfully intimate setting made for an unforgettable night out. Following last years success, this years event, to raise money for Swindon Women’s Aid, will take place at Christ Church, Old Town and features the harmonious arrangements and velvet vocals of Emily Barker and Red Clay Halo (pictured), the mathy-acoustic intricacies of Jen Olive, the emotionally rich and beautifully economical songs of Colour The Atlas and the pin drop talents of Faye Rogers. I can’t recommend this show highly enough.

The place to be on Monday is in the garden of The Running Horse as their Acoustic Garden show is an all day celebration of the brilliant music they host their through out the year. This cast of thousands, okay, cast of many, includes Gilmore n’ Jaz, Louise Latham, Alice Offley, Benji Clements and Ethemia. And that’s not the half of it, so get down there for more music than you can shake a shaky thing at.

On Tuesday, drummer Dave Betts brings his Latin Jazz Quartet to Baker Street; so put your dancing shoes on and revel in this wonderful jazz, funk and Latin fusion driven by by Dave’s kit and congas, timbales and tablas. Very exotic!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThose that can, do. Those that can’t teach. And those that can’t teach, teach P.E, well according to Woody Allen anyway. Similarly, those who can’t make records for a living often sell them instead and some who aren’t very good at selling them end up working in second hand record shops. Okay, that’s a bit unfair but the sub-cultures found within the murky world of the vinyl record shop make it a fascinating place to hang out where old folkies, lo-fi elitists, sensitive world music fans, northern soul survivors and indie geeks all meet and mingle, lost in their own music fixations. And with the gradual closure of the major music chains (karma?) and the rise in vinyl sales, these weird emporiums may just be making a come back.

I feel a bit sad for the music consumer of today, click, click, double click and straight on to the PC, that’s the sound of you missing out and if you feel something is missing too, head down to your nearest second hand record shop and indulge in the age old rituals of pawing over obscure and slightly creased 12 inch albums in that search for the elusive Agincourt album, Trojan records back catalogues or just to buy back a few memories that you had to part with to make the rent one week.

Anyway back in the cold light of the modern age, three bands destined to be sought after and collectable in the future play Songs of Praise at The Victoria tonight. Ataraxis Vibration alchemize the classic sounds of seventies rock, from Cream to Hendrix (via Burning Tree, remember them?) and offer something fresh and new but with a foot firmly planted in very familiar territory. Songs of Praise favourites, The James Warner Prophecies, return with their wonderful brand of crazy generic scattergunning that blast between hard rock, punked out folk, ska and hooks strong enough that you could hang Ginger Wildheart’s beaten up leather jacket on. Opening the show are Even Nine.

The Rolleston offers something a little more sedate for its inaugural Blues Night fixture in the form of The Stone Donkey Pilots; earthy folk meets rootsy blues. More bluesy vibes can be found at The Beehive with guitar and saxophone of Keith Thompson and Patsy Gamble.

If you want to do something to help make a difference whilst catching some great music then head out to Riffs Bar on Friday for the Olive Tree Café fundraiser. Covers from  The Hyperbolics headline the show but the real coup comes in the form of Colour The Atlas, a band whose clash of cinematic folk, chilled trip beats and swathes of sensuous late night atmospherics is something to behold. The night opens with two young singer-songwriters, Theo Altieri and Charlie Anne.

The Beehive has an interesting proposition for you. Knock on Wood are a quite brilliant Latin fusion band blending latino, flamenco, blues, afro-celt, gypsy and much more to create their unique sound.

In the name of balance (and to avoid the usual “fanmail”) I must also mention Angels Fall will be playing classic rock covers in The Rolleston and a tribute to The Small Faces is at The Victoria courtesy of The Small Fakers.

More blues at The Rolleston on Saturday, this time with Gwyn Ashton (pictured) and Micky Barker (yes, pomp rock fans…That Mickey Barker!) Expect a raw and passionate set of standards and originals that could be the sound track to Harper Lee’s famous re-imagining of the South. Tequila Mockingbird perhaps? Perhaps not!

Elsewhere it’s all a bit tribute-y. Punk at The Victoria with the music of The Sex Pistols plus The Useless Eaters supporting and at Riffs Bar Syntronix tribute the whole of the eighties!

As would be expected, Sunday is a much more sedate affair. The Beehive have blues/roots duo Nobodies Business to accompany your post roast beverage and in the evening The Rolleston has Jess Morgan a real gem of a singer peddling some wonderful country folk sounds.

It is no exaggeration to say that real life legends will be at the Arts Centre on Monday when The Pretty Things, still led by Phil May and original Rolling Stones guitarist Dick Taylor bring their 50th anniversary tour to town.

The week rounds off at The Running Horse on Wednesday for more acoustic singer-songwriteryness with Nick Felix and The Dizzy Hush.

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By Ed Dyer

Wet and cold Thursdays in Swindon are a tough gig. Especially if you are a band playing original material, and even more so if you happen to be one from out of town.  However, not ones to shy away from a challenge and continuing our mission to inform the people of Swindon what they should really be listening to, Songs of Praise plunged head first into the dangerous waters marked “it shouldn’t work”. Presenting a bill with 2 bands from the Midlands and a headliner who is only classed as local-ish should have been a suicidal move, however two of the bands were SOP veterans and acknowledged class acts, so we viewed it more as an educated punt.

Openers Go Lazarus had trekked down from Nuneaton, got lost in the process and became completely baffled by The Magic Roundabout when they did finally get to Swindon. But they made it in time, and although breaking their SOP cherry, they were still an experienced and skilled trio with a set of well-crafted songs.  Stylistically occupying the same space as Green Man favourites Hello Lazarus, melodic yet heavy riffs and vocals that follow suit, like indie rock on steroids, they ripped into their set with gusto and poise. It was great stuff and they will be back I am sure.

Derby’s The James Warner Prophecies are Green Man veterans, although this was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing them. And it was well worth the wait. They turned out to be one of the best live acts I have seen, with a commanding stage presence, a frontman with real character and song’s that were an amazing blend of influences. Rock, metal, indie, pop, punk, glam all gets bundled up into compositions that are melodic, motivating and muscular. And despite the variety of styles being input it all blends together perfectly to create a fairly unique and distinct sound. If I was told my life depended on making a comparison I think the best I could suggest would be Queens Of The Stone Age, with their heavy, melody driven diversity of tunes.

The night’s headliners were the reasonably local Street Orphans. A more straightforward act, they have been getting better and better over the last few years and are now a highly polished band with an armoury of pop-infused indie-rock tunes with contagious melodies. They occupy the stage with real authority, throwing themselves around and looking like they really enjoy being up there. Frontman Matt Jopling made a valiant stab at out “frontman-ing” James Warner Prophecies’ Joe but wisely settled on letting the songs carry most of the show.

A show like this being put on as the X Factor TV juggernaut hits cruising speed and becomes topic of choice around the office water cooler presents an opportunity to illustrate an inequality in the music business. Any one of these bands has the necessary ability and personality to “make it” and are a classic example of the quality that exists in the murky world of the local gig circuit. Bands that play week in and week out, earning their stripes playing in small venues to small and select crowds, doing things the hard way, learning and developing as they go along. All the acts you hear on the radio and read about in the gossip magazines had to start somewhere, had to learn their trade and hone their skills, had to suffer the ignominy of playing to no one, losing money on road trips to distant and empty venues. So get in early on their careers, come along to a show and check out music that may make you think, may challenge you. Music that isn’t repetitive, sterilised and safe. That ultimately may be the Glastonbury headliners of the future.

My ongoing quest for new music got me thinking the other day about just how original, original bands really are. I know I have a bit of a reputation for giving cover bands a difficult ride, so maybe it is time to look at the other side of the coin. Most of the previous decades have had their own iconic movements, the psychedelic sixties, the punk/post punk seventies, the hip-hop eighties and the rave nineties. Since then it’s been more difficult to identify any new defining movements. The last ten years or so seems to have been more about a nostalgic recycling of former glories. Ironically, retro seems to be the way forward, bands seem destined to be born of their parents record collections. Modern scenes worship at the temples to past movements, be it garage-punk, vintage soul, synth-pop or what ever, it still begs a few questions for the future of music. Where is the next musical frontier to be broken? Will pop eat itself? Does rock music end not with a bang but with a boxed set whose fourth disc you never get round to playing? Food for thought!

 

If you are going to mix up recognisable genres into interesting new musical shapes, then you should take note of James Warner Prophecies (pictured) who play The Victoria tonight.  Alchemising everything from hard rock to ska, music hall to grunge, punked up folk to out and out pop; familiar building blocks maybe but brilliant new interpretations nonetheless. They are supporting The Street Orphans who do similar sterling work re-treading the musical tires of the indie-rock vehicle. Also on the bill is Go Lazarus who fashion a neat line in atmospheric alternative rock.

 

Unapologetically playing that nostalgia card I mentioned earlier, Count Bobo and The Bullion tap into an authentic ska vibe reminiscent of The Skatelites or the legendary Prince Buster. They can be found at The Beehive.

 

Folk is on the cards over at Riffs Bar.  Albion host their monthly outing that aims to recreate the same vibe as the sixties revivalists who created the Greenwich Village scene in New York. If you are looking for somewhere to try out your songs, immerse yourself in the folk scene or just chill out and hear some good music then this is the place to be.

 

The stand out act for Friday is appearing at The Beehive and again create unique songs from recognisable building blocks. Bruise are a strange art house folk rock band with the shadow of The Eurythmics looming large over them and a hint of prog throwing wonderful spanners in the works. And that is only the half of it.

 

The Riffs Bar website announces a “ A new monthly metal night showcasing the best in original metal from around the country.” Sadly it fails to list any of the bands that are being showcased so I can’t really say too much more on that one.

 

After that originality is a bit thin on the ground though I must just mention that The Victoria is playing host to a Stone Roses tribute, not because I am necessarily enthralled with tribute acts but because even after all this time these particular Mancunian candidates remain high up in my estimation. If you don’t believe me just check out my “I am the Resurrection to replace the National Anthem” Facebook page.

 

I can’t seem to find one band for Saturday that pushes any envelopes, or even nips down the post office for a book of stamps for that matter. (Okay I know it’s not that sort of envelope…I’ve read Tom Wolfe thank you very much) So lets fast-forward to Sunday afternoon at The Beehive.

 

Peter Jagger mixes up finger picked folk, Americana and blues with some wonderfully poignant and political lyrics. His view on the whole originality thing can be summed up in his quote “ I can’t see the point of driving 200 miles to sing Losing My Religion to people who will only listen if you sing Losing my Religion.” I know what you mean sir.

 

The Art Centre on Monday has rock and roll survivors Wishbone Ash. Just to avoid confusion this is the Andy Powell fronted version of the band rather than the Martin Turner fronted band that are also currently touring. Blimey, it’s like Yes all over again.

 

And finally a mention for The Stripped Back Sessions at The Victoria on Tuesday, a mixture of music in its simplest and purest forms plus the artists themselves explaining the meanings behind and reasons for their songs. This time featuring War of Roses, Reg Meuross and Ali Finneran.

The first two big local festivals of the summer may have come and gone, both to great success I might add, but that doesn’t mean that things are going to quieten down just yet. Far from it as there is still a lot of brilliant music to check out over the next seven days.

 

Kicking off tonight in our usual starting point and it’s time for another intriguing line up from Songs of Praise at The Victoria. Continuing their theme of acquiring great out of town acts, tonight headliners I’m Designer are something pretty different. Mixing up semi-stoner riffs, swamp rock sleaze and a punky garage vibe, these guys make an amazing sound. If that wasn’t enough, down from Derbyshire to add to the onslaught are The James Warner Prophecies, a band whose blend of eclectic pop-metal with all the trimmings I cannot recommend enough. Local bands are represented by the raw, raucous, cranked up blues of Adepto Futui –  and it’s all free.

 

If you drew a Venn Diagram that included Nick Drake, Jimmy Page and Davy Graham, it would be hard to imagine many people who would form the group where all three intersect. Robert Brown is one such person and his exotic blend of chilled rock meets acoustic folk can be experienced at The Beehive tonight.

 

On Friday, the two biggest venues in town go head to head. The Oasis has pulled off a bit of a coup by securing Biffy Clyro who use this as a warm up gig for a string of summer festival appearances. This Scottish three piece blend slightly progy-alt-rock with post-hardcore drive, if you can get tickets for this, do so, I guarantee that it will be your gig of the year. “Mon The Biff” as their fans are given to chanting. The MECA are appealing to a totally different audience by hosting an 80’s themed roller disco, so truly something for everyone there.

 

Falling in between these two extreme parameters are a host of other great gigs. At Riffs Bar, for instance, the younger bands get their chance to shine, headed by the slightly angular, slightly staccato indie vibes of The Fixed as well as one of my favourite bands of recent times, The Street Orphans.

 

Something a bit more laid back comes in the form of a three-piece Kangaroo Moon at The Beehive.  Trancey, dancey, chilled, joyous and richly melodic, this is the perfect sound track for these gentle summer evenings. At The Victoria a brilliant line up has been assembled as a teaser for The Field View Festival, the local music event success story of recent times. It is headlined by ska-reggae-skank party band, The 360 and also featuring a welcome return to Swindon for the awesome Motherload, but I recommend that you get there early enough to catch the opening acts as well. Sam Green was last seen at The Victoria playing a tribute to Robert Johnson at The Dead at 27 show but is back playing his own set that ranges from heart on the sleeve folk to punk barn dance stomps. Weatherstorms is the brilliant new musical vehicle for ex-Old School Tie’s Cameron brothers and I can tell you from experience that this is a band that you need to experience.

 

The Furnace is playing host to a band being hailed as the start of a grunge revival, Fighting With Wire. Successors to the likes of Silverchair or Pearl Jam rather than Nirvana and occasional straying into the same territory as Mr Grohl’s current concern these guys put on an awesome live show both visually and sonically. Support comes from the self-proclaimed spearhead of post-music, Mr Hello and His Honesty Club plus The Starkers and Oxygen Thief. (You can tell something about a line up when someone as great as Oxygen Thief is merely the opening act!)

 

Also highlighting the coming SOLAM festival as well as raising money for a recent fire at the hosting Roves Farm site, The 12 Bar has an all-dayer including Bateleurs, new band Albion, SkyBurnsRed, Missin’ Rosie, The Vooz and Aural Candy.

 

Following in the footsteps of American bluegrass and country influenced bands such as The Lovell Sisters, Larkin Poe and even The Dixie Chicks, you may be surprised to learn that the Toy Hearts who play The Arts Centre are not from Austin, Nashville or somewhere in The Appalachians, but are actually from Birmingham, England such is the authenticity of their luscious sound.

 

Before I run out of space, a few quick mentions go to Gaz Brookfield who is the Sunday afternoon session at The Beehive and Swiss band November 7 at The Victoria. If a mix of old school metal riffs with dark gothic overtones is your cup of Darjeeling, then you know where to be.