Tag Archive: kent duchaine


thSome weeks things just seem to fall into place and the local music diary features four…yes, four, amazing events as well as the usual selection of regular gigs. So without further ado…

 

Sheer Music is one of the leading lights of music promotion in Wiltshire. Under the leadership of that awfully nice chap Kieran Moore, they have brought acts such as Frank Turner, Foals, Ben Marwood, Gnarwolves and many more to a venue near you and tonight they celebrate 10 years in the game with a show at Level 3. Headliners are the aptly named Decade (I see what you did there) a band who show you what pop-punk can do once it stops sniggering at it’s own in-jokes and graduates from college. Their songs are infectious and bouncy and their stage show is one long adrenaline rush. Also on the bill are Light You Up, With Ghosts and Hey Vanity.

 

If that isn’t your musical cup of tea then why not try some chilled harmonies, dreamy acoustica and ambient folk. Heading an all female line up, The Cadbury Sisters bring their tour to Songs of Praise at The Victoria. Theirs is a half forgotten dream world that evokes childhood memory, otherworldly harmonies mixing the fragile and fey with darker themes, Swallows and Amazons meets The Wickerman perhaps. Adding to the nature of the night is the delicate songs of Faye Rogers and a rare outing for the sublime Emily Sykes.

 

If blues is more your thing then head to The Beehive for Georgia guitarist Kent DuChaine a player who authentically delivers the spirit of all those wonderful old bluesmen from Robert Johnson to Son House and all three Kings – BB, Albert and Freddie!

 

A real melding of artistic disciplines can be found at New College on Friday as Chicago poet, Don Share, is joined on stage by local live musicians as part of the Swindon Festival of Poetry. In this unique and improvised show, Don is joined by Barry Andrews, Jon Bucket, Brendan Hamley and Catherine Shrubshall. Barry sums it up best when he explains “(Don) gets off the plane, steps on stage and then what happens, happens. And it will never exist in that way again.”

 

More conventional but no less exciting shows also can be found around town. The Rolleston plays host to funky, lap steel, blues maestros HipRoute with support from Stone Donkey Pilots. Out at Riffs Bar the Acoustic Session features the dexterous acoustic guitar work and subtle lyrical touch of David Waddington but if you want something a bit more loud and shouty then head to The Victoria for Slam Cartel, a band who distil the essence of rock ‘n’roll in the same why that bands such as The Cult and The Four Horsemen did in their heyday. Joining them are local sleaze-metallers The Damned and The Dirty.

 

And if you like the sound of that gig, you are going to love this one. On Saturday Level 3 opens its doors for the Swindon Alternative Festival Volume 3, a celebration of the best of local rock, punk, grunge, hardcore and metal. It’s an all-dayer and there is too much going on to mention all the bands but a few that caught my eye are Sleep inertia, SkyBurnsRed and headliners Skreamer, but check out the event page on Facebook for the full details.

 

The last of the big events to get a mention this week and one that will have all you proggies champing at the bit is Pendragon’s Megadaze (pictured) event at Riffs Bar. This two-day event includes a first hearing of the new album, Men Who Climb Mountains, 2 unique Pendragon live shows, food, quizzes and a chance to hang out with band and fans alike. A crucial date for all prog-rock diary’s.

 

Elsewhere you can catch a Dire Straights tribute at The Victoria or Going Underground paying tribute to post-punk, ska and mod classics at The Rolleston.

 

The Moonrakers is the place to be on Sunday as The AK-Poets play a stripped down, early evening session. All the usual great song writing and live presence but presented in a manner more fitting for the Sabbath day.

1157735_552565938125804_813919255_nThis week I think the column should be dedicated to Roy Castle of Record Breakers fame as I have so many gig recommendations this will be the equivalent of trying to squeeze 50 people into a Mini. So without further ado….

Tonight at The Victoria sees the return of Sam Green and Midnight Heist, a band who inject wonderfully earthy melody into folk-blues stomps and pretty much show the likes of Mumford and the Whale where they have been going wrong all these years.  If you prefer something purer from the rootsy blues songbook then head down to The Beehive for Kent DuChaine, a steel guitar blues-playing journeyman in the traditional style.

Fans of a more folky sound will find much to like at The Arts Centre as acoustic duo Rita Payne (duo)promote their debut album, Stories From a Suitcase, and ably live up to the “new Simon and Garfunkel” tag that keeps being levelled at them.

More, delicate sounds are to be found on Friday both at Riffs Bar Acoustic Sessions with the sweet and innocent piano sounds of Lauren Castle (presumably no relation to the aforementioned bible bashing, tap dancing, muso) and the three piece version of Kangaroo Moon whose wonderfully global musical jamboree bag blends everything from delicate folk, washes of celtic sounds, elemental dance, psychedelia and more. Just turn up and see what’s on the menu this time.

More retro sounds come in the form of Teddy White and their fantastic r’n’ b revue at The Rolleston; The Jimmy Sixes provide the rock and roll back beat for the 3rd Anniversary Band And Burlesque show at The Victoria and if the idea of Hammond Organ driven, electric blues appeals to you, then the place to be is The Patriots Arms in Chiseldon for Shades of Blue.

The big gig for Saturday is to be found at Basement 73 when Eddie and the Hot Rods hit town.  Having their roots in the same Canvey Island scene as Dr Feelgood, they were one of the few bands that spanned the gap between pub rock and punk and it promises to be a great night of fierce, in your face, high-octane music. Support comes from Charred Hearts, local punk stalwarts still as fired up and entertaining as they were back in the day and The Hamsters From Hell, maximum r’n’b, with a chaotic and rowdy nature that belies the musical skills to be found within.

Elsewhere, as is the nature of the day, covers and tributes rule the roost. The Victoria has a tribute to pop-punksters Blink 182 and the Rolleston goes all classic metal with a night recreating the glory days of Judas Priest. Sons of Cream are a bit more than a tribute to the 60’s super group as the band feature both Ginger Baker’s and Jack Bruce’s sons, Kofi and Malcolm and can be found at The Arts Centre.

Riffs Bar offer up a fancy dress night with party covers band Penfold and support comes from brilliant folk troubadour Ben Maggs.

Culture Vultures will be circling around the Arts Centre on Sunday for the Swindon Recital Series which features cellist Caroline Dale and pianist Paul Turner playing all the b’s …Bach, Beethoven and Bach.  Alternatively you could take in a slice of folky Americana at the Beehive afternoon sessions as Gary Hall delivers music with touches reminiscent of Bob Dylan and Gram Parsons.

Monday is not the normal night for stand out gigs but Ben Marwood at The Victoria is going to be a cracker. The up and coming folk troubadour is playing with a full band and is also joined by label mates The Retrospective Soundtrack Players a literary influenced concept band who used to go under the more manageable moniker of The Dawn Chorus.  Shaun Buswell and friends get the night rolling.

Normally known as a big band leader, tenor saxophonist Kelvin Christiane brings his bepop quartet to Baker Street on Tuesday, a musical vehicle that no less than Humphrey Lyttleton described as “ a band of astonishing virtuosity” and he knew a thing or two about the genre.

Finally, still at The Victoria on Wednesday you can catch a punk orientated showcase featuring 2 Sick monkeys, Brassick and Larynxed.

Phew! If you can’t find something to watch this week, there is no hope for you.

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In many ways today can be seen as the anniversary of the birth of the rock and roll era. It was sixty years ago today that a Tennessee truck driver payed $3.98 to go into a Memphis studio and record a two track disc as a present for his mother. This may have been a footnote in the annals of music history had that truck driver not been Elvis Presley. Five years later an even more significant event occurred in Manchester, England when Nigel Twist came kicking and screaming into the world, presumably already sporting aviator shades and back combed hair. Significant as he went on to drum for The Alarm and record Sixty Eight Guns! I guess it’s all relative but in my world a much more important event, I mean Elvis Presley…what ever happened to him?

Anyway back in the modern age we seem to have a week of quality over quantity when it comes to live music options. Tonight a quite bizarre selection is on offer at The Victoria as Three Minute Tease (pictured) pay a return visit to Songs of Praise. Formed around Sacramento musical oddball Anton Barbeau and featuring a rhythm section made up of post-punk royalty in the form of Morris Windsor and Andy Metcalfe (former Robyn Hitchcock bandmates in The Soft Boys and The Egyptians) this band are a must see for fans of Julian Cope, Syd Barrett, XTC and psychedelic, underground, power-pop in general. Add to that the equally left field Schnauser who sound like The Bonzo Dog Band re-writing Pet Sounds and the more accessible but no less brilliant 8 Minutes Later providing the filling in this strange musical sandwich and you have something a bit special.

Also a bit special is Kent DuChaine at the The Beehive, who delivers a taste of the Delta through his authentic slide blues sound drawn from his “beat up 1934 National Steel guitar.” You can almost taste the mint julep!

On Friday, again it is The Victoria that offers something a bit special. Anyone who caught The Lovers play their stripped down set their back in April will know how great this band is, this time they are back fully amped up, no holds barred. They are a band that prove that rock can have good melody or pop can have attitude and drive, depending on which angle you look at it from. And I also managed to get through that description without resorting to the lazy journalistic fall back of pointing out that they are an all girl band. Damn!

Also on the bill are the ever popular Shudders who seem to be moving from strength to strength with their ever evolving brand of folk meets alt-country meets lo-fi pop meets…anything they can think of really. Plummie Rackett in solo mode opens up the nights proceedings.

At The Beehive, masters of the cross-generic set, Kola Koca, make a welcome return. Freely mixing styles as diverse as folk and jazz, blues and pop to drive some great social observations, kitchen sink dramas, politics and humour, this is a band that you really need to see.

After this the weekend switches away from original music but that’s not to say that there isn’t some great music to be had. (I know I do have a bit of a reputation of not favouring cover and tribute bands so much but it’s probably time to come clean that my favourite song of all time is Kirsty McColl’s 12” version of A New England – not only a cover but an extended re-mix, there I said it.) Friday is all about a range of covers from The Great Nothing at The Rolleston and on Saturday a couple of tributes might take your interest, Green Day at The Victoria and Ian Dury and The Blockheads at The Rolleston.

Original music comes back on the radar on Wednesday with Louise Latham at The Running Horse. Dealing in heartfelt and painfully honest lyrics, driven by wonderfully understated piano, and for this gig accompanied by her sister on guitar, if you are fans of the likes of Sarah MacLachlan, Tori Amos or the more sweeping end of The Indigo Girls, then this is for you. The Beehive are at the other end of the musical scale with Loonaloop and their genre hopping, cosmic electronica.

Final mention is for the show at The Victoria which sees Old Colors bringing back their cinematic folk pop to brighten up your mid-week slump support comes in the form of the ambient pop of The Sea,The Sea and the gentle balladry of Billyjon.

Library - 117I was amused to read today that the entire life and career of Phil Collins has been revealed to be an elaborate hoax. The man we believed to be Collins is in fact satirist  Murgatroyd Trole, who hatched the plan in the mid sixties. An anonymous acquaintance, worried that he was never going to get his cut of the escalating scam, revealed to the press today that Trole wanted to create a shambolic, goblin-like figure and see just how far he could take it, and it seems to have worked like a charm; platinum albums, film roles and even a rap tribute album (you would have thought that would have aroused suspicion!) Trole’s other equally ambitious scams recently revealed include Heart fm, Chris Huhne’s driving licence, the entire cast of Made in Chelsea, the body of Richard III and a large capacity venue in Swindon town centre.

 

However if you want something more honest, look no further than The Victoria tonight for a bit of a special gig. Super Squarecloud have been at the forefront of a wonderful musical resurgence in this town over the last couple of years and it is with a heavy heart that we announce that this will be multi-instrumentalist and semi-professional pan basher Chris’s last show before heading off to see the world. His musical skills are widely believed by faith healers to hold miraculous powers – he once made a blind man deaf – but please head along anyway to give him a great send off. Also on the bill are Million Faces, yet another talented bunch from the musical Mecca of Witney (see Hats: cross reference Black for more details) and a slightly rejigged line up for The Light Grenades.

 

If blues is you thing then The Beehive is the place to be. Kent DuChaine has listened to, hung out with, opened up for, travelled and played with most of the great blues men and women throughout his whole adult life. So if the authentic blues sound channelled through a 1930’s National Steel guitar ticks your boxes, you know where to be.

 

Staying at The Beehive and the amazing Bruise (pictured) drop in on Friday a band of which the word eclectic is truly deserved as they weave folk, grunge, jazz, indie and full on psychedelic wig outs around Natalie Merchant-esque vocals.

 

If you threw poetic intelligent underground pop, melodic rock and fairly straight edged prog (i.e. no keyboard players dressed as wizards or 50 minute drum solos) into a blender then the resulting smoothy would taste like Godsticks. Drink in their wonderful music at Riffs Bar, also on Friday.

 

In keeping with The Furnace’s policy of pushing their musical remit to a wider audience, Sonic Boom Six are just what is needed. Taking ska, pop, grime, dubstep, punk and metal apart and splicing them back together to create interesting new mutations, this band are truly doing something unique. Also helping to define the clubs new scope is LaFontaines a pop, rock and hip-hop quintet who have come charging out of the industrial wastelands of central Scotland. Under the Influence and Attention Thieves get things started.

 

The Furnace is the place to be on Saturday also as Post 12, Full On, Tides of Change and Days On Juno playing a Stand Up To Cancer fundraising gig. Meanwhile upstairs in The Rolleston, it is all about Neo-Rockabilly and Rock and Roll with Red Hot Trio.

 

Sunday, this weekend anyway, is not the day of rest as there is a lot of great stuff happening that afternoon. The Lazy Sunday Afternoon sessions in the FoSAC studio at The Arts Centre feature your usual hosts Mr Love and Justice, heartfelt folk from Isobel Priestley and melodic acoustic rock from Pete Taylor. Meanwhile down the road, Kola Koca play The Beehive; expect, folk, rock, pop and blues mixed and matched with universal truths, political rants, kitchen sink dramas and the odd serpent.

 

Those seeking Culture Corner will find it back at The Arts Centre where Adriana Beaumont-Thomas plays some of Chopin’s most romantic and poignant pieces. Chopin of course is best known for the Orange free mobile Internet advert, Heineken (2007) and that really nice bit in Halo 3. Innit?

 

Ending at our usual terminus, we arrive at The Running Horse Sessions on Wednesday. Benji Clements does a lovely line in soulful covers, cross genre mash-ups and wonderful original compositions. Drew Bryant is also on the bill but such is his on line presence that I have no idea what to tell you about him.

Music is full of potential; the potential to push boundaries, to boldly go and all that (pardon the split infinitive,) to move forward with and even ahead of current imagination, to challenge and make you think. It is indeed a wondrous thing. Sometimes however all you want is something familiar and a bit lowbrow, something that connects with the heart and the foot rather than the head and that is just what Songs of Praise has on offer for you tonight.

Forget following the fickle fashions of music that come and go faster than Kerry Katona’s boyfriends, tonight at The Victoria, it is all about old school rock, albeit dressed in some nice, cliché free contemporary attitude. You may remember White Knuckle Bride from their support slot to Thin Lizzy when they graced The M.E.C.A stage last year: a wholesome blend of rock aggression and glam sleaze. Up from Portsmouth  are Kodiak Jack who sound just like Nickleback think they do and Frome’s Indie-Punkers, Haters.

New kids on the block, Imperial Promotions have their first outing at The 12 Bar, featuring the funked out vibes of Sasquatch Walk (pictured), another outing for those dark and poetic garage rockers, The Dacoits, plus the alt-pop sounds of Lionstate. Add to that acoustic sets from Callum Martin (who was awesome a few weeks ago opening up for Tripwires) Bianca Politzi and Days On Juno and you have the potential for a brilliant night).

The Rolleston is playing host to a band that I really haven’t seen enough of in the last few years. Coach, for it is they, mix up world music grooves, classical sass, laidback vibes and soulful folky pop melodies. Just add a warm evening and a chilled drink and you have everything you could want. And blues aficionados must not miss the chance to catch Kent DuChaine at The Beehive, the real deal in Delta Blues all the way from the Deep South.

Something a bit different at The Victoria on Friday. Dead at 27 is a tribute to all those iconic musicians who were determined not to see 28, but then you know rock musicians and how they feel about the septemvigesimal positional numeral system? Anyway, the great and good of Swindon will be paying tribute to the likes of Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and more besides.

If you prefer something a bit more heart warming then Prita at The Beehive might be your preferred option who neatly blends layers of looped harmonies, percussion and acoustic guitar into wonderful washes not a million miles away from Norah Jones or a laid back K T Tunstall.

Saturday is all about The Furnace. System of a Clown recreate everyone’s favourite Armenian technical metal-heads and believe me if you think that it would be difficult to do justice to such complex music then you obviously weren’t at their debut outing last year when they nearly destroyed the 12 Bar. A must see.

Loads to do on Sunday, which obviously might interfere with your church commitments, but then God is a big music fan. Joshua had his own jazz band and people are still talking about his gig in Jericho, brought the roof down, apparently.

The Beehive afternoon session is a mix of folk and jazz tinged blues with Sara Coffield and ex-Dr Feelgood front man, Pete Gage. The 12 Bar plays host to an all-dayer with a host of great acoustic acts before it relocates to the main stage for the full on show. There will be punk from The Useless Eaters, Indie from The Fixed. Alice Offley’s piano driven dream pop will be adding a touch of elegance to the proceedings and SkyBurnsRed will be dishing out wonderful swathes of Gypsy Metal. The whole night is rounded off with the beautiful cacophony that is The Racket. And that’s not even the half of it.

The Furnace has a night of rock and hardcore headed up by The Amsterdam Red Light District and The Rolleston has those local rhythm and booze icons, The Hamsters From Hell.

Culture Vultures will have are spoilt for choice mid week between jazz with The Theo Jackson Trio at Baker Street on Tuesday and folk darling Maddy Prior at The Arts centre on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday acoustic entertainment comes courtesy of Drew Bryant and Rich Maya at The Running Horse.